Can You Kick in the UFC? | Simply Explained
In this page we will cover if you can kick in the UFC, when you can kick in the UFC, and what situation it's illegal to kick.
Can You Kick in the UFC?
You can absolutely kick in the UFC. As long as the opponent is standing up, kicks of all types are allowed in the UFC under the unified rules of MMA including kicks to the head, midsection, upper legs, and lower legs. In recent memory, the low leg kick (aka a calf kick) has exploded in use due to its effectiveness.
Calf Kicks in MMA
The calf kick has exploded in both popularity and usage over the years, as fighters have figured out how to incapacitate the smaller calf muscle.
The calf muscle is much smaller than the quad muscle, and unsurprisingly it takes many less strikes to the calf to affect it, than it does to the quad.
In fact, recently in PFL, a fighter was able to obtain a calf kick knockout.
CALF KICK TKO FOR MICHAEL LOMBARDO!#PFLPlayoffs LIVE NOW— PFL (@PFLMMA) August 13, 2021
🌍 https://t.co/WfOt9XBfzk pic.twitter.com/mkyfjO8hsv
That is something that is very rare, but as you can see above, his opponent was literally screaming in pain after the repeated calf kicks.
When is Kicking Illegal in the UFC
Fighters are unable to kick any grounded opponents. A grounded opponent is any fighter who has more than just the soles of their feet on the ground.
In simple terms, if an opponent has a knee down, a hand down, an elbow down, or even a forearm down, he is considered a grounded opponent.
The easiest way for fighters to not throw an illegal kick is by only throwing kicks when their opponent is standing up.
Illegal Strike Results in a Disqualification
Although not an illegal kick, Petr Yan is one of the most famous cases of an illegal strike resulting in a disqualification.
An illegal knee by Petr Yan means that Aljamain Sterling (+120) is the new Bantamweight champion. #UFC259— FOX Bet Sportsbook (@FOXBet) March 7, 2021
Brutal ending. pic.twitter.com/elPUfiqlv5
Yan would knee his grounded opponent, which would eventually result in a disqualification, and Yan would lose his championship belt over it despite dominating the entire fight up to that moment.