The conclusion to the fourth confrontation between former UFC heavyweight champions Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski was both unsatisfying and confusing.
At last Friday’s One FC 5 “Pride of a Nation,” Arlovski appeared to have provided an emphatic closure to the longstanding rivalry, dropping Sylvia with a three-punch combination and following up with a pair of soccer kicks. However, “The Pitbull” was not rewarded for his aggression, as referee Yuji Shimada had not declared “open attack” -- a One FC rule in which a referee declares it safe for one fighter to soccer kick another.
As a result, the kick was ruled a foul, and when Sylvia was not able to continue after the allotted five-minute recovery period, the fight was declared a no contest.
What made the result even more maddening is that soccer kicks propelled Phil Baroni to a victory over Rodrigo Ribeiro earlier on the card, and some two months earlier, Zorobabel Moreira brutally finished Roger Huerta with the same maneuver at One FC 4.
On Sunday, One Fighting Championship took steps to ensure that there will be no such confusion regarding soccer kicks when its next event takes place.
“Effective immediately, One FC has adopted full Pride rules for soccer kicks,” the promotion tweeted.
Under the rules of the now-defunct Pride Fighting Championships, soccer kicks are legal at all times. While it won’t change the outcome of the most recent Sylvia-Arlovski tilt, the new rule will take effect on Oct. 6, when One FC 6 “Rise of Kings” takes place at Singapore Indoor Stadium.