Robbie Lawler Tito Ortiz Vitor Belfort and Other MMA Fighters Share Their Views on the Oblique Kick

Published 09/19/2021, 12:22 PM EDT
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – MAY 12: Lyoto Machida of Brazil submit Vitor Belfort of Brazil in their middleweight bout during the UFC 224 event at Jeunesse Arena on May 12, 2018 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC)


The UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs Till event was touted to be one of the most interesting UFC events of the year. The event lived up to the expectations as it featured some glorious fights.

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However, the fight that grabbed the most attention was the light heavyweight bout between Khalil Rountree Jr. and Modestas Bukauskas.

During the second round of the fight, Rountree Jr hit Bukauskas with a well-timed oblique kick. This led to Bukauskas immediately falling on the ground and letting out a cry of pain. Following the incident, there has been much debate about whether they should ban the oblique kick.

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Recently, various MMA fighters and coaches gave their takes on the same. During an interview with Mike Heck of MMA Fighting, Robbie Lawler, Tito Ortiz, and Vitor Belfort shared their thoughts on the incident. While many fighters believed that they should ban the oblique kick, there were some others who believed that it should remain legal.

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Former Bellator champion Phil Davis talked about how he doesn’t really care and is not a fan of the technique. Meanwhile, MMA legend Robbie Lawler believes that the kick is part of the sport and therefore fighters should learn how to block it and counter it.

Vitor Belfort believes there are many things that need changing in MMA and boxing

Former UFC champion Vitor Belfort was one fighter who certainly believes that the oblique kick should be banned. He said, “It’s time to review the rules. Even boxing, why 12 rounds?”

“It’s time to review the rules, MMA, even boxing. Why are you putting in 12 rounds? You want to see knockouts. You want to see finishes. There are so many things to change in both sports, I believe. Why are you allowing that kick? What’s the purpose of that kick?”

Belfort is clearly among the few who believe that the kick should not be allowed. The fighter even went on to talk about how the fighters should have a say in making the fight rules.

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He said, “Why are you letting fighters get all this damage? Because now, the guy goes for the ACL, maybe end his career. So a lot of things we’ve got to revisit. The rules of MMA are so antique. And who made the rules? I asked that question for Dana.”

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – MAY 12: Vitor Belfort of Brazil enters the arena prior to his middleweightÊbout against Lyoto Machida of Brazil during the UFC 224 event at Jeunesse Arena on May 12, 2018 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC)

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“I don’t know. And who was involved? Any fighter was involved? Anybody was involved? Who’s creating the rules for boxing? It’s someone in a suit? Get the fighters along to see what we can do to get better.”

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Do you believe the oblique kick should be banned? Let us know in the comments below.

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Paras Pande

561 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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