by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
New Jersey announced that they have introduced instant reply into mixed martial arts bouts. In a statement released by the State Athletic Control Board, instant replay is allowed effective immediately for all regulated mixed martial arts, professional boxing, and kickboxing contests.

Though competitors currently have a process by which they can appeal a decision made by a referee in New Jersey, that process does not take place until well after the bout has taken place. With instant replay, the state hopes to “allow the Commissioner’s review to commence in a more timely fashion, namely, on the night of the bout itself.”

Instant replay, according to New Jersey, would allow the Commissioner to review certain issues on the spot, such as:

– a knockdown versus a slip
– accidental versus intentional fouls
– if a cut was the result of a legal strike
– if a fighter beat the count
– low blows
– whether or not a strike landed before the bell rang

According to the statement, “The Commissioner, if approached during a round by the contestant’s chief second, would review the issue at the end of the round. The bout would be temporarily stopped during the rest period and the Commissioner would have a maximum of three minutes to render a decision or choose to reserve his judgment because further review is needed. Upon the Commissioner’s ruling, the bout would then be restarted and would continue.”

There is a catch though. The State of New Jersey is not able to supply instant replay. They are leaving it up to the promoter to provide the necessary equipment if the promoter so chooses. Promoters that don’t have the funds or simply choose not to employ instant replay will not be required by the State to do so. At this point, instant replay will be employed if the promoter chooses to utilize it, but it will not be uniformly required.

Instant replay is employed in many other professional sports leagues, such as the National Football League, the National Basketball League, the National Hockey League, the Canadian Football League, and others.