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5 UFC rules you might not have heard of

Scott Newman
SENIOR ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 20:00 IST

Evidently, nobody told Nick Diaz about one of these rules ....
Evidently, nobody told Nick Diaz about one of these rules ....

As longtime UFC fans would remember well, one of the taglines for the initial run of UFC shows was “there are no rules!” Of course, 25 years have passed since that 1993 beginning and the sport of MMA is no longer the spectacle it used to be.

There are now plenty of rules and regulations for the fighters stepping into the Octagon – some of them are pretty obvious, such as low blows and eye pokes being banned, but other rules commonly used in the UFC – which is sanctioned by various Athletic Commissions – are far lesser known to the fans.

Here are 5 UFC rules that you might not have heard of.

#1 No small joint manipulation

Josh Emmett suffered a broken finger against Jon Tuck - thankfully, no small joint manipulation was involved
Josh Emmett suffered a broken finger against Jon Tuck - thankfully, no small joint manipulation was involved

Small joint manipulation – basically attempting to break the fingers or toes of an opponent – is en vogue in the world of pro-wrestling these days thanks to the likes of Pete Dunne and Marty Scurll, villainous characters who pride themselves on using a tactic that wouldn’t exactly be considered the cleanest even in a bar fight.

In the UFC though, these techniques are completely illegal and would probably result in a fighter being disqualified. It’s a rule that many fans probably aren’t aware of – most likely because unlike eye pokes and low blows, which often happen by mistake during fights, it’s a little harder to accidentally grab and twist an opponent’s finger.

The reason for small joint manipulation being outlawed is a pretty simple one; despite being a trained technique in martial arts such as Krav Maga and hapkido – largely as a pain compliance move – in MMA, unlike standard joint locks like an armbar or kimura, there’s far less time for the victim to submit before bones begin to break.

And as we saw when Jon Jones almost lost his big toe – albeit accidentally – in his fight with Chael Sonnen, broken fingers or toes aren’t something to sneeze at, even for the tough fighters of the UFC.

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Published 24 Nov 2018, 03:25 IST
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