Why Do They Put Vaseline On UFC Fighters? | Explained

You may have seen fighters getting vaseline put on their face before they enter the octagon, or even in between rounds and wondered 'Why Do They Put Vaseline on the face of UFC fighters?'

vaseline on ufc fighters

If so, you're not the only one. In this page we'll cover why this happens, the pros and cons of it, and who can apply it.

Table of Contents

Why Vaseline is Put On UFC Fighters

Vaseline on the face of UFC fighters is primarily done to prevent cuts, and help punches roll off of the face. It makes the face more slippery, which reduces the chance of skin tearing. It's the same reason that gloves are worn.

Additionally, vaseline is put on the actual cuts as well, in order to reduce the amount of blood that runs.

petroleum jelly ufc fighters

If you've ever watched the early days of MMA, you'll have noticed the large amounts of blood on the canvas was a direct result of the lack of either one.

Vaseline is first applied seconds before the fighter enters the octagon. Then, if the fighter makes it to the end of the round, vaseline is re-applied while they are sitting on the stool.

What is Vaseline?

According to Healthline, Vaseline is petroleum jelly, one that he noticed oil workers use in order to heal their wounds and burns hundreds of years ago.

Petroleum jelly (also called petrolatum) is a mixture of mineral oils and waxes, which form a semisolid jelly-like substance. This product hasn’t changed much since Robert Augustus Chesebrough discovered it in 1859. Chesebrough noticed that oil workers would use a gooey jelly to heal their wounds and burns. He eventually packaged this jelly as Vaseline.

Petroleum jelly’s benefits come from its main ingredient petroleum, which helps seal your skin with a water-protective barrier. This helps your skin heal and retain moisture. Read on to learn what else you can use petroleum jelly for.


Pros and Cons of Vaseline on Fighters


Vaseline will allow more 'cushion' in terms of how many punches it will take before a fighter begins bleeding.

This does not mean that it will prevent it altogether, but rather it will provide leeway for a fighter.

As a fighter, their job is already hard enough as it is, and dealing with blood can make everything messier and at times tough to see.

At times, the referee can even stop a fight due to large amounts of blood loss, or large cuts. Vaseline can be a 'lifesaver' for fighters trying to continue a fight.


When applied incorrectly, or when too much is applied it can get in the eye of a fighter. This is something that is very rare, but it can still happen.

In fact, this happened to Michael Bisping seconds before entering the octagon.

Unluckily for the fighter, due to how slippery it is, they can't wipe it off with their hands, but will need a towel to due so.

Who Can Apply Vaseline to the Fighters

An approved cutman or a licensed cornerman. In fact, the new MMA policy states that

Currently, fighters are only allowed to have a thin amount of petroleum jelly on their cheeks, eyebrows, forehead, temples and nose put on before the fight. The policy passed Wednesday states that the jelly — or a similar substance — can be reapplied between rounds, but only by an approved cutman or licensed cornerman. The reasoning for the change is because boxing has always allowed the application of such a substance in between rounds.

When Can Vaseline Be Applied On Fighters?

Seconds before entering the octagon, as well as in between rounds.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Vaseline Legal in the UFC?

Vaseline is legal but it can only be applied to the face of the fighter by an approved cutman or a licensed cornerman. It is illegal to apply vaseline to the body of the fighter as it will be called 'greasing'.

What is the Metal Thing They Put on Fighters Faces?

That would be the 'End Swell', it is used to apply pressure in order to reduce swelling on the face of a fighter. It can be applied to any bruise however it's most notably used around the eyes of a fighter. If the swelling becomes too large where it affects the eye, it can put the fighter at a massive disadvantage.

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