ONE Championship announced that effective immediately the use of soccer kicks or technical ground kicks are banned from 13th August 2016. ONE Championship will no longer permit its competitors to use the move in future matches.
Company chairman Chatri Sityodtong personally announced the prohibition of the technical ground kick, saying:
"As of this Macau event, we will not allow soccer kicks to head anymore," he said in a media scrum on Friday, August 12." He went further to elaborate the reason that the removal of soccer kicks in ONE Championship’s rulebook is a measure to ameliorate the sport's bad image to a global audience.
“There’s bad publicity. If we really want to go mainstream, people will have to understand that. We have to make certain steps,” he shared.
The Thai businessman stressed that conventional foot-strikes are far more powerful than a single soccer kick in some instances.
"If you look at studies that were done on soccer kicks, it’s the same as a normal head kick because you cannot generate more pivotal force," Sityodtong pointed. "It’s more of a perception thing. No one has been injured and no one has been in any serious situation from a soccer kick."
With the banning of soccer kicks, Sityodtong is not worried that the action inside the cage will be limited and less exciting as the organization aims to expand internationally with the help of two big financial firms.
"Everything we are doing, especially with the investment from Temasek (Holdings Pte.) and Heliconia (Capital Management), it has really raised the bar for everything that we do in terms of institutionalization of the sport," he maintained.
It is unfortunate that this is now banned, since ONE Championship has by far the best ruleset of any mma organization. It makes their events entertaining and those in attendance never found it distressing. It is worth noting that soccer kicks are just similar to other forms of contact in combat sports such as knees to the head or elbows to the head. It's actually an affective weapon to have and a stand-up opponent can use it to against the ground opponent from stopping them just staying on the ground. With this removal, you will likely see opponents just buying their time on the ground or won't get caught just lying on their backside from kicks to the face.
Having said that, it is unfortunate the world we live in people see things on TV or media and because it's not common, they view it as being wicked or inhumane or whatever. The point is that within combat sports, anyone can get hurt by contact with knees, kicks or elbows therefore it's irrelevant that soccer kicks are much worse. No soccer kicks have ever killed anyone previously. But if ONE Championship wants to get a TV/Media deal in north America or other parts of the world where spectators are likely to complaint about the soccer kicks, then a ban is necessary for the organization to expand. My hope that ONE Championship enters the north America market and in time the pay-per-view market for TV or other medias.