MMA Weekly has the downward elbow rule straight out of the NSAC rulebook:
“NAC 467.7962 Acts constituting fouls. (NRS 467.030)
10. Striking downward using the point of the elbow. All elbow strikes are legal except for an elbow that is thrown in a downward trajectory (hand traveling from 12 o’clock to 6 o’clock). Any elbow thrown with an arc is a legal elbow. The point of the elbow may be used as striking instrument as well as the forearm or the tricep area of the arm.”
And here’s the instant replay rule too:
Sec. 7. NAC 467.682 is hereby amended to read as follows:
A referee may view a replay, if available, at the conclusion of a contest or exhibition stopped immediately due to an injury to an unarmed combatant pursuant to NAC 467.718 in order to determine whether the injury in question was caused by a legal blow or a foul.
(a) If the determination is made that the injury was the result of a legal blow, the injuredunarmed combatant shall be determined to have lost the contest via technical knockout.
(b) If the determination is made that the injury was the result of a foul, it must bedetermined whether the foul was intentional or accidental.
(1) If deemed intentional, the outcome of the contest shall be determined in accord withNAC 467.698; or
(2) If deemed accidental, the outcome of the contest shall be determined in accord withNAC 467.702 or 467.7966.
Saturday’s situation was a little wonky. Hamill was toast the moment his shoulder was dislocated (not broken as originally reported) by Jon Jones’ takedown. But it was the illegal elbows that caused the ref to step in and assess the situation. From there they saw the nasty cut on Hamill’s nose and stopped the fight for that specific reason. The cut made everything pretty simple, really.
It looks like they followed the situation according to the rulebook perfectly (past the whole refusal to stop the fight while Jones was pulverizing Hamill on the ground). I’m still a bit iffy on how fighters in Hamill’s position can win even though they clearly lost – it feels like No Contest would have been a more appropriate result in this case. But the rules are the rules: Jon Jones threw those downward elbows intentionally. Even though he didn’t realize they were illegal, there’s no distinction in the rules for not knowing any better.