Conor McGregor’s Coach Gives His Take on Illegal Knees to the Head in UFC

Published 05/25/2021, 9:29 AM EDT


There are many techniques in MMA that are now banned in the UFC and other promotions but once played a significant part in the sport. The officials banned most of these techniques to protect the fighters and have clean fights. However, there is still much debate about whether some of these techniques should be legalized.

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Recently the question returned to the forefront when popular MMA coach John Kavanagh tweeted about the same. In his post, Kavanagh wrote about which technique he thinks, if brought back, would affect MMA the most.

“There were a lot less rules in the early Vale Tudo days. Which single technique, now illegal, if brought back would make the biggest difference to modern MMA? I think knees to head of grounded opponent. What do you think?”

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Kavanagh believes that among the many techniques that have been deemed illegal, one would affect modern MMA most if legalized. That is the technique of kicking a downed opponent. Many of the top MMA promotions have shown great disdain towards this technique and continue to ban it, whereas there are some promotions that still allow it.

This rule last came into the spotlight when MMA legend Demetrious Johnson faced Adriano Moraes at the ONE championship. A knee knocked ‘Mighty Mouse’ out while he was on the ground during the second round of the fight. This was Johnson’s first KO sport in MMA history and thus caused widespread discussion about the rule.

Why is the technique banned in UFC and not in ONE championship?

The reason ‘knees to grounded opponents’ are banned in the UFC but not in ONE is because of the different rule books the promotions follow. While One uses the Global Martial Arts Rule Set For Competition the UFC follows the Unified Rules.

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Fighters and critics from all around the world have talked about the technique. While Ben Askren has shown his support for the rules of ONE, Aljamain Sterling is of a different mindset. However, the most shocking was Demetrious Johnson’s continued support for the technique even after being knocked out by the same.

There will continue to be a debate about whether the technique should be legalized. However, Kavanagh is surely right about one thing that is if the rule is made legal it will surely make a big difference to modern MMA.

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What do you think, should the move be legalized? Let us know in the comments.

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Paras Pande

219 articles

Paras Pande is a UFC author at EssentiallySports who is pursuing his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication. An ardent follower of the UFC, he has been covering the sport for 2 years now. Before joining the team at EssentiallySports, Paras gained expertise as an MMA writer whilst working with Sportskeeda.

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