Mixed Martial Arts is a beautiful bloodied sport with an array of interesting rules a regulations when it comes to maintaining the safety of their fighters. The recent rulings on facial hair have certainly caught the attention of the sports media just recently too, so here's as to why MMA fighters are expected to keep their face fuzz at a certain length...
It was first suggested that the ruling simply carried over from when the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) followed the rules and regulations put in place by the Boxing association, as boxing had a very firm ruling against its athletes sporting most types of facial hair. But others dispute this, suggesting that is not the reason at all. MMA Fighting reports that all MMA fighters were required to keep their beards trimmed to a tidy length in order for referees to get a better view on any sustained injuries which might otherwise go unnoticed hidden beneath a thick beard, which in all honesty seems more plausible. But that wasn't the reason given to one fighter, Norwegian born Emil Meek before his UFC fighting debut two weeks ago at UFC 206 in Toronto, Ontario.
Speaking with the media Meek voiced - ''They told me I needed to trim it down to a length where it couldn't be grabbed.'' he said. Although a firm ruling against hair pulling has been in place within the sport as far back as I can recall, so it does seem a little odd that a specific ruling against beards, rather than not simply further extending the ''no hair pulling'' rule to cover beards as well. Although the beard length rule appears to be firmly in place, it seems such rules become more lenient dependant of which state you are competing in, as different sanctioning professionals stand firm on such rules, whereas others appear to be much more lenient on their approach.
If I'm completely honest, I'm a little confused as to why certain rules, much like this one are even in place to begin with if they are not executed across the board. If these rules are simply in place after being carried on over from outdated boxing rules and regulations, then I believe the should be rightfully scrapped sooner rather than later. Whereas if officials agree that keeping all beards at a certain length is of an importance to the sport and the safety of the fighters then that should be shared across the board and supported also.
What are your thoughts on such rules being in place within the sport of MMA? Do you agree with the reasons given for such rules? Or do you feel this simply won't stick to the sport long term? as always let us know your thoughts in the comments section you'll find provided below.