Press Release
International Fight League Rules & Reference Guide

The IFL is committed to providing fight fans of all ages the opportunity to experience the non-stop action only found in mixed martial arts, the most exciting sport on the planet! Our televised programming will leave you on the edge of your seat, and our thundering LIVE events will bring you to your feet and keep you there! IFL – “Pure Sport”


IFL Competitive Weight Divisions

Lightweight 145 lbs. to 155 lbs.

Welterweight 155 lbs. to 170 lbs.

Middleweight 170 lbs. to 185 lbs.

Light Heavyweight 185 lbs. to 205 lbs.

Heavyweight 205 lbs. to 265 lbs.


A team will consist of 5 fighters (1 from each weight division)

IFL Round System and Bout Duration

All non-championship bouts are a maximum of three rounds Rounds are four minutes in duration A one-minute rest period between each round

IFL Approved Ring, Uniform and Equipment

Fighting area

(a) The fighting area will be done in a standard boxing ring. The fighting area canvas shall be padded in a manner as approved by the Commissioner, with at least one inch layer of foam padding. Padding shall extend beyond the fighting area and over the edge of the platform. The canvas will be a cloth based material.

(b) The ring consist of five ropes, wrapped in soft material. The lowest ring rope is 9 inches above the ring floor.

(c) There is no obstruction or object on any part of the ring floor.

Mouth Pieces

(a) All contestants are required to wear a mouthpiece during competition. The mouthpiece shall be subject to examination and approved official.

(b) The round will begin once mouthpiece in place.

(c) If the mouthpiece is involuntarily dislodged during competition, the referee shall call time, clean the mouthpiece and reinsert the mouthpiece at the first opportune moment, without interfering with the immediate action.

Protective equipment

(a) Male mixed martial artists shall wear a groin protector of their own selection, of a type approved by the Commission.


(a) The gloves shall be new for all events.

(b) All contestants shall wear either four, five or six ounce gloves, supplied by the promoter and approved by the commission.


(a) Each contestant shall wear mixed martial arts shorts, biking type shorts, or kick-boxing shorts.

(b) Gi’s or shirts are prohibited during competition.

(c) Shoes are prohibited during competition.

Actions Constituting Fouls in the IFL

(a) The following are fouls and will result in penalties if committed:

1. Butting with the head;

2. Eye gouging of any kind;

3. Biting or spitting at an opponent;

4. Hair pulling;

5. Fish hooking;

6. Groin attacks of any kind;

7. Intentionally placing a finger in any opponent’s orifice;

8. Downward pointing of elbow strikes;

9. Elbows to the face or head;

10. Small joint manipulation;

11. Strikes to the spine or back of the head;

12. Heel kicks to the kidney;

13. Throat strikes of any kind;

14. Clawing, pinching, twisting the flesh or grabbing the clavicle;

15. Kicking the head of a grounded fighter;

16. Kneeing the head of a grounded fighter;

17. Stomping the head of a grounded fighter;

18. The use of abusive language in fighting area;

19. Any unsportsmanlike conduct that causes an injury to opponent;

20. Attacking an opponent on or during the break;

21. Attacking an opponent who is under the referee’s care;

22. Stalling (avoiding contact, or consistent dropping of mouthpiece, or faking an injury);

23. Interference from a mixed martial artist corners;

24. Throwing an opponent out of the fighting area;

25. Flagrant disregard of the referee’s instructions;

26. Spiking an opponent to the canvas on his or her head or neck.

(b) Disqualification occurs after any combination of three or the fouls listed in (a) above or after a referee determines that a foul was intentional and flagrant.

(c) Fouls will result in a point being deducted by the official scorekeeper from the offending mixed martial artist’s score.

(d) Only a referee can assess a foul. If the referee does not call the foul, judges shall not make that assessment on their own and cannot factor such into their scoring calculations.

(e) A fouled fighter has up to five minutes to recuperate.

(f) If a foul is committed, the referee shall:

1. call time;

2. check the fouled mixed martial artist’s condition and safety; and

3. assess the foul to the offending contestant, deduct points, and notify each corner’s seconds, judges and the official scorekeeper.

a) If a bottom contestant commits a foul, unless the top contestant is injured, the fight shall continue, so as not to jeopardize the top contestant’s superior positioning at the time.

1. The referee shall verbally notify the bottom contestant of the foul.

2. When the round is over, the referee shall assess the foul and notify both corners’ seconds, the judges and the official scorekeeper.

3. The referee may terminate a bout based on the severity of a foul. For such a flagrant foul, a contestant shall lose by disqualification.

Ways to Win in the IFL

Teams win by winning 3 out of 5 fights.

Fighters win by:

1. Submission:

i. Tap Out: When a contestant physically uses his hand to indicate that he no longer wishes to continue; or

ii. Verbal tap out: When a contestant verbally announces to the referee that he does not wish to continue;

2. Technical knockout:

i. Referee stops bout;

ii. Ringside physician stops bout; or

iii. When an injury as a result of a legal maneuver is severe enough to terminate a bout;

3. Knockout by failure to rise from the canvas;

4. Decision via score cards:

i. Unanimous: When all three judges score the bout for the same contestant;

ii. Split Decision: When two judges score the bout for one contestant andone judge scores for the opponent; or

iii. Majority Decision: When two judges score the bout for the same contestant and one judge scores a draw;

5. Draws:

i. Unanimous – When all three judges score the bout a draw;

ii. Majority – When two judges score the bout a draw; or

iii. Split – When all three judges score differently and the score total results in a draw;

6. Disqualification: When an injury sustained during competition as a result of an intentional foul is severe enough to terminate the contest;

7. Forfeit: When a contestant fails to begin competition or prematurely ends the contest for reasons other than injury or by indicating a tap out;

8. Technical Draw: When an injury sustained during competition as a result of an intentional foul causes the injured contestant to be unable to continue and the injured contestant is even or behind on the score cards at the time of stoppage;

9. Technical Decision: When the bout is prematurely stopped due to injury and a contestant is leading on the score cards; and

10. No Contest: When a contest is prematurely stopped due to accidental injury and a sufficient number of rounds have not been completed to render a decision via the score cards.

Restarts, Stand Ups and Pausing Time-clock by IFL Referee

If the fighters reach a stalemate on the ground and do not work to improve position or finish the fight, IFL referees have the authority to stand both fighters up and resume the round without stopping the clock. As long as one of the athletes is actively pursuing submission attempts and/or trying to end the fight, the action will continue without a stand up. IFL referees are well-versed in a multitude of art forms traditionally taking place on the ground and can interpret the action as skilled professionals.

If the fighters reach a stalemate while in the clinch from the stand up position, IFL referees have the authority to separate the fighters and resume the round without stopping the clock.

An IFL referee has the authority to issue a penalty (at his or her sole discretion) to one fighter or both fighters for stalemates. Penalties may include, but are not limited to a verbal warning or a deduction of a point or points for repeated offenses.

An IFL referee has the authority to temporarily pause the action (and the time clock) in order to have a ringside physician check an injury to one of the fighters. If fighter is deemed able to continue the referee will reposition combatants how they were before pausing the action and call for a restart of the clock.