If Conor McGregor Had His Way, There’d Be No Time Limits and No Rounds

November 8, 2013
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Conor McGregor FS1 Workout 2-478x270Fighters are often times asked if they could change one rule in mixed martial arts, what would it be? The responses range from getting rid of the ten-point must system of scoring to brining back allowing knees to a grounded fighter.

UFC featherweight Conor McGregor would like to turn back the clock to the early days of the sport and eliminate rounds and time limits.

“Me, personally, I’d love to scratch it all and do no time limit, not separation, no nothing. Let the contest go, and it’s over when it’s over,” said the Irishman during a recent question and answer session in Manchester, England.

“People say, ‘we want a finish.’ Trust me, someone will break. No time, a man will break,” added the outspoken 25-year-old.

The last UFC event that featured no time limits and no rounds was UFC 4: Revenge of the Warriors on Dec. 16, 1994, at the Expo Square Pavilion in Tulsa, Okla.

There wasn’t any need for judges. Referee “Big” John McCarthy oversaw Royce Gracie winning the eight-man tournament by defeating Ron van Clief, Keith Hackney, and Dan Severn all by submission in the same night. The only fight on the card the exceeded the now-standard three five-minute rounds system was the final between Gracie and Severn. The fight lasted 15 minutes and 49 seconds.

McGregor was six-years-old at the time.

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  • Guest

    Yes. I’d love to see GSP fight for 46 straight minutes.

    • Sir T

      well the point is that if there were no round it would make the sport a fight again. There would no longer be the lay n’ pray game

      • Advance*

        How do you know it wouldn’t do the opposite? GSP would need one take down and could just stay on top until the other guy gives up. There’s even more risk of gassing yourself out if there’s no time limit, so some fighters would be more cautious. Why come out looking for a finish if you might gas out and still have to be in there another 45 mins?

    • Kris-tyahn

      Most guys get “new life” after the round is over, in between rounds. If you have guys who have fought for 10 mins straight with ZERO breaks, they’d be DOA. GSP would benefit from no time limit bc his cardio is top notch in the WW division. The only fighter who has better cardio than GSP at WW was Nick Diaz! I think you’d see GSP finish more fights and in less time. GSP could pace himself a lot better than any other fighter at WW bc he can fight do so long and on a crazy/ridiculous pace.

      Fighting for 10 mins straight would gas te avg fighter out, imagine if they fought for 12-15 mins straight?! One guy would break before the other guy 99/100 times, guaranteed!

  • bajafox

    I would love to see the old rules back in the Octagon but the powers that be, politicians, would never allow it to happen

    • Sir T

      So long as the rest of the rules stay I think it would be fine, It might be better to go with the same 15 minute fights but no rounds and if there isnt a finish it would be a no contest.

      • bajafox

        That would be cool, no rounds. But how would it get judged?

        • David Huenecke

          By a one round system. If two guys fought for 20 minutes straight Im sure you would know who one by the end of it. No one is going to take a beating for 19 minutes just to try and steal the round in the last minute.

          • George Sperry

            Who one? Really?

          • David Huenecke

            Your comment doesnt even make sense. Dont talk if you have no point.

          • George Sperry

            My comment makes no sense?
            You wrote “you would know who one by the end of the round” and you say MY comment makes no sense?
            You really think one is the same as won don’t you?
            Tell you what, when you learn English you comment then YOU will make sense…. possibly.

          • David Huenecke

            Really? You’re ragging me for a spelling error I made at 5 in the morning? Get a life you f****** loser. You have no valid comment to make on this subject so you attack the one word I used incorrectly.

          • David Huenecke

            And yes I used one instead of won. Like I said it was five in the morning and before I went to sleep I stumbled across this post and agreed with him. So, sorry if I offended you with a grammatical error. And if you’re going
            to be the english expert you should know you can’t capitalize you in the middle of a sentence even if it’s for emphasis.Loser!

          • George Sperry

            Looks like you one that won.

  • David

    Hey MMA Weekly why are you posting q&A from UFC Fight Night Machida vs. Munoz FOX Sports 2 weeks late and everything separately? For example this story and also

    Michael Bisping Wants to Hold Judges Accountable for Their Scoring and

    Chael Sonnen Thinks Junior dos Santos’ Corner Should Be Suspended and Fired.

    I use this site to get up to date information and news. Step your game up.

    This is the video that you should of posted instead


  • Timothy Malone

    You have to have time limits for television purposes

  • No Joke

    For Gods sake, institute Pride rules, 10 minute first round, 5 minute second round, yellow card for inactivity. No one wants to watch an hour long fight and that would kill the ppv schematic, lets be real here.


      Yes I miss the old Pride Rules, can you imagine Jones v Gus a 10 min 1st round !!! followed by 3 5 min rounds if it went that far..

  • Spinning_Eye_Poke

    Jon Fish vs. Ben Asscream, no time limits.

    • El Gvapo

      Come on man, I don’t want to be sent to sleep by that, only to wake up for work in the morning to find they’re still grinding each other for “octagon control”.

  • DJ

    20 mins 1 round only. If it goes the distance, then referrees judge.

  • Raymond Gonzalez

    Make some 1 25, some 3 5’s and some 5 5’s. Who cares? As long as the fighters agree to it. Why are unified rules so set in stone? They were just made to get athletic commissions to treat MMA like Boxing. We are cerainly past that.

    • Jay Mcgarrity

      People train specifically for 3 5’s or 5 5’s and pace themselves with that in mind and to work with their game plan and strategy. We don’t need more things for these guys to have to agree to before a fight is signed. You would have guys saying they only want to fight this fight with pride rounds and the other guy refusing. Look how long it took to make the Chael/Wanderlei fight, we have enough reasons for guys to dodge so lets not give them another. As much as I hate the guys who try and avoid the fight for most of the round and steal the round with a late takedown, we still need some kind of standard to the number of rounds and time in each round. If we want to break away from the silly things we adopted from boxing, the 10/9 must system should be the first to go. Definitely add some judge accountability in there with a whole rework of the scoring system and the qualifications to become a MMA judge.

    • MikeMcK

      They don’t have those rules everywhere only because they wanted to be sanctioned. Having a single uniform rule set keeps things simple, and allows it to be easily understood.
      When zuffa came to be one of the first things they did was find a rules set that they could use everywhere. Different states will allow different things. It’s the UFC that wants them the same.

  • Kris-tyahn

    I think the UFC could do 15-20 min fights with NO breaks no nothing. For title fights, either 25-30 mins NO breaks. It would save the UFC time bc it would stop the 2-3 mins after each round. I think there would be a lot less decisions, and for those fights that do go the distance, they can either ask the ref to pick the winner, I mean most refs know more about MMA than many if those idiot judges. Who better to ask who won the fight than the man or woman who’s got the best seat/view in the Octagon?!? The referee sees much more than the judges who see the back of the fighters or who can’t see bc the referee is in front of them etc. Or maybe the UFC can have 1 or 3 referees on the outside of the octagon who will decide the winner of the decision. Not sure if it would be better to have them watch the fight on the monitors or at the fight itself? Though, I personally like the referee in the Octagon to decide. Not only do te ref know the rules, but they also know what it takes to win a fight and/or give “credit” to fighters who deserve it, whether by being busy from the bottom, being active etc.

  • Johnny Eagle

    Rounds impose a superficial time limit, how many times did we see a guy “win” a round and then “lose” a round, with the other guy having time to recover and come up with a new game plan.

    Problem is – fights would often end in a boring, fatiguing, gruelling manner – we’ve seen what happens when both fighters run out of gas and can’t finish each other, but won’t give up either.

    Must we wait for “win by tired-out”? In the early days, the huge difference in disciplines could lead to a finish, nowadays, most fighters can counter most other fighters in multiple fighting styles.

  • Informed One

    Problem is there are so many fights on standard TV now, used to be spike, now it’s FOX. Commercials….Good luck seeing fox air 20-30 minute fights with no commercials. I would love to see it, but man, money runs the world and those kok suckers care more about money than our entertainment.

  • mmanative

    I was thinking how about just adding an extra 1 minute to the fights . How many fights are close to a finish then round ends. Bet there would be more finishes and won’t b a huge dramatic change. Then main events would b 30 mins. Only thing is ufc on with a 666 in 3 rounders.