What Moves Are Banned in The UFC?

What Moves Are Banned in The UFC?

1. Piledriving

Piledriving is a technique used in professional wrestling in which a fighter holds the opponent, flips them over, and drives their head into the mat.

Although it is frequently used in WWE, we are talking about Real Fighting, it is prohibited in MMA as it can cause major damage to the spine.

This technique is perhaps best known to wrestling fans as the Undertaker's signature finishing technique. Given that, Owen Hart's neck was broken by the exact same technique. Piledriving is also the major reason why Stone Cold left the WWE.

So, before attempting this technique in UFC, simply consider how it will affect your opponent; keep in mind that UFC is just as legitimate as any MMA competition.

You can see a close example of piledriving in the video below:

2. Fish Hooking

The technique of "fish-hooking" involves putting fingers of one or both hands into the opponent's mouth, nose, or other orifices and pushing away; this is typically done with the intention of tugging, tearing, or lacerating the tissues.

One of the worst things someone can do to his opponent is fish hooking. You will undoubtedly get disqualified for this unsportsmanlike behavior.

Fish hooking is strictly prohibited in the UFC and is likely the most unlawful act a fighter can do during a fight. Despite the fact that this technique is taught as self-defense in several martial arts, it is strictly forbidden in the UFC and other combat sports.

In the video below you can see Bryan Caraway fish-hooking Erik Perez:

3. Headbutts

A headbutt is a precise punch to the head that usually involves the use of a sturdy part of the skull. The strongest bones in the forehead or back of the skull are used in the most powerful headbutts to hit an opponent's most sensitive areas, including the eyes and nose.

Although head butts are permitted in Lethwei, one of the most deadly MMA, they are not permitted in a UFC match.

This is one of the most controversial illegal UFC maneuvers. Headbutts used to be completely acceptable in the UFC. They are not now. Why? Headbutting an opponent can result in serious brain trauma and lifelong damage that cannot be repaired. If they were permitted, we would probably observe several terrible injuries within the cage because they are relatively simple to do.

A headbutt can cause some terrible cuts and bleeding on sensitive facial parts, such as the nose or eyes.

Do you remember the UFC 259 moment when Cruz Dominick accidentally headbutted Cejudo? Cejudo suffered a terrible cut close to his eyebrow and started bleeding heavily.

You can see Ant Davies Headbutt in the following video:

4. 12-6 Elbows

A 12-6 elbow is a strike used in the fighting sport of mixed martial arts. Officially known as "downward elbow strikes". Elbow strikes move from straight up (12 o'clock on a clock) to straight down (6 o'clock).

There is no question that they need to be prohibited since they can seriously harm the opponent's brain. It is possible to be disqualified for using 12-6 elbows.

Jon Jones must be mentioned when discussing 12-6 elbows. Jones faced Mark Hamill in his fourth UFC bout. Jones hit Mark Hamill with several 12-6 elbows while thoroughly dominating the fight and overpowering him, leading to disqualification for Jones.

5. Groin Strikes

An intentional hit to an opponent's groin region is called a groin strike. Due to the sensitivity of the groin region and genitalia, the technique, which is occasionally employed as a self-defense tactic, can be quickly debilitating.

Blows to the groin often occur accidentally, just as headbutts. Even though fighters are required to wear cups, even accidental kicks to the groin may feel quite painful. A fighter gets five minutes to recover after receiving a punch or kick to the groin. If he cannot recover in the allotted time, the bout may be declared no contest or subject to disqualification.

In 2005 UFC 55, Alessio Sakara accidentally received the most brutal groin strike by his opponent Ron Faircloth. The bout was declared a "no contest" because Sakara was in terrible pain and unable to continue.

6. Throat Strikes

Strikes or kicks to the throat are not permitted by the UFC. Due to the nature of the sport, accidental punches and kicks to the neck or throat are most likely to happen. Although they are prohibited, the referee will not pause the bout because of an accidental hit.

The referee would only break up a fight if one of the participants was injured or clearly trying to strike the opponent's throat. It is against the rules for a fighter to pull their opponent's head back to expose the neck region while using the other hand to attack the throat.

Punches to the throat are extremely dangerous and forbidden in all competitive combat sports.

In the following video, Ramsey Dewey, an MMA coach explains why throat strikes are illegal.

7. Kicks and Knees to the Opponent on Ground

It is absolutely acceptable to kick or knee the opponent in the head while they are standing, doing so while they are on the ground is against the law. A fighter will very probably lose points or perhaps get disqualified for kneeing or kicking a downed opponent.

It's important to note that those hits during grappling exchanges are not prohibited (if both fighters are on the ground). However, it is illegal when one is standing, and exerts a great deal of force, and a kick or knee to the head can cause significant injury.

The person on top can land a knee to the head while they are getting up without realizing that their fist or knee is still in touch with the ground. When this occurs, the referee can pause the bout, give the fighter some time to recover, and give the other fighter a severe warning.

8. Strikes on the Back of the Head

It is also known as rabbit punching. UFC competitors have the power to strike their opponents while grappling. However, they are not permitted to strike the spine or the back of the skull.

Because of the sensitivity of that part of the body, striking these parts can result in serious, life-long damage and can even be fatal.

Due to the involvement of extensive head movement, it is a common technique in boxing. It happens less commonly in MMA, typically when a combatant back mounts an opponent and gains access to their back. The referee should use extreme caution when examining strikes to the back of the head since they are difficult to spot.

9. Eye Poking

In eye poking, a fighter moves his hand towards the opponent's face with open fingers and hits his eyes. Even though they are forbidden, eye pokes are frequently used in mixed martial arts.

Poking an opponent, whether accidentally or on purpose, can cause serious harm. Eye pokes can occasionally result in a point deduction or even disqualification. But frequently they escape punishment. The fighters are directed to keep their fingers closed when reaching out.

Five Worst UFC Eye Pokes

10. Hair Pulling

Even in the female UFC division, hair-pulling doesn't usually happen in a cage. Even though it's uncommon, hair-pulling occasionally occurs when martial artists are engaged in the clinch. Fighting by pulling an opponent's hair is extremely painful and can be utilized to gain the upper hand.

This unlawful maneuver can also assist you to escape a locked-in position or prevent your opponent from surpassing you in strength. Therefore, one of the most painful illegal actions in UFC is believed to be hair-pulling.

You can clearly see hair pulling in the video below from the 7:20 mark:

11. Biting

Biting is completely banned in the UFC. Although it occurs very rarely in all kinds of combat sports.

A fighter must understand that a referee may not be able to see all of their movements and must alert the referee if they are being bitted during the fight.

In a very notorious incident, you can clearly see Mike Tyson bites Holyfield's ear:

12. Small Joint Manipulation

In grappling, small joint manipulation is the act of tugging, twisting, or bending an opponent's fingers, toes, wrists, or ankles in order to lock one or more of the joints in those limbs.

Small joint manipulation is completely forbidden for UFC fighters. Due to how strict this rule is, you hardly ever witness fighters disobeying it. Unlike eye pokes or groin blows, a fighter cannot accidentally break their opponent's fingers or toes.

Although martial arts like Krav Maga teach breaking fingers and toes, you cannot use these techniques in MMA. MMA fighters instead allowed and concentrated on employing BJJ submissions to manipulate big joints like the arms, shoulders, or legs.

Even if joint locks and chokes are permitted, competitors must still put in their best effort to avoid hurting their opponents. When the opponent taps out or the referee instructs them to stop, they must release the submission. Holding on to submission is a visible indication that they are attempting to harm and break their opponent's arm or leg.

13. Fence Holding

The fence cannot be grabbed or held by UFC fighters using their toes or fingers. Fighters can be observed doing this when defending a takedown against a fence or when attempting to get out of a bottom position.

UFC fighters can, however, lean their hands and feet against the cage. To get out of the clinch or any other position, they can even push off the cage with their hands or legs. When they begin grabbing the fence to keep the opponent from bringing them to the ground, everything turns illegal.

14. Holding Opponent’s Shorts or Gloves

It's also forbidden to hold the opponent's gloves or shorts when they are engaging in clinches or grappling maneuvers.

Holding an opponent's gloves or shorts can give an advantage to a fighter just like holding a fence. Although there is a minimal chance of accident or injury, gripping the shorts or gloves might restrict the opponent and provide a significant advantage, so it is prohibited.

15. Soccer Kicks

A soccer kick is also known as PK (penalty kick). It is performed by a fighter when the opponent is in a standing or semi-standing position.

Soccer kicks are completely banned in the UFC. These kicks resemble the ones we see when a player kicks the ball in a soccer game. In MMA, competitors use the same action to deliver this kick, but they land it on the opponent who is bending or attempting to get up. Doctors warn that this kind of kick can cause broken necks and other severe injuries.

In the early years of the UFC, soccer kicks were permitted, but when unified rules were introduced in the early 2000s, they were banned.

Soccer kicks are not banned in MMA promotions like Rizin Fighting Championship and ONE FC. Both above-mentioned promotions allow fighters to use soccer kicks on the opponent’s body or head.

16. Last Words

UFC is one of the most anticipated physical combat sports of MMA. UFC has banned some potentially dangerous techniques which could be deadly for fighters. Some of these moves ruined the careers of many athletes like piledriving ended the career of Stone Cold, a famous wrestler. Attempting any of the banned rules listed above will result in a point deduction or even disqualification.

Photo credit: @mmanews

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