Arena Grappling is the latest addition to the growing professional grappling scene and the fledgeling promotion has just announced the unique twist on a submission-only ruleset they’ll be using for their “Endurance Format”. All of these matches will actually take place over three five-minute rounds in a best-of-three format instead of a singular round and any submission scored is worth a point. At the end of all three rounds, the total points are tallied up and the competitor who has the most, wins. In the event that the athletes are at a tie after the three initial rounds, they will then have a fourth and final round which will have no time-limit whatsoever and is only winnable by a single submission.
Curiously, they’re adopting a ruleset that allows the athletes to slam one another but does not allow for any lower-body submissions until the fourth and final round. This means that we’ve got the potential to see vicious knockouts like the one that occurred as the result of a slam back at High Rollerz 4, but we won’t be seeing any straight ankle-locks in the initial three rounds, something that’s legal at white belt under IBJJF rules.
They will also be using what they call the “Traditional Format” as well, where athletes will instead compete over a single ten-minute round with the potential for unlimited overtime if no submission is scored. The promotion is also acutely aware that the nature of unlimited time rounds means that there’s the potential for hours-long matches with extended periods of limited action, so the eventual broadcast will be edited down in order to show only the best moments from the matches that take place.
The first Arena Grappling event will take place on August 14th in Reading, PA and will air exclusively on their website, click here to watch or purchase tickets for the live event.