Should the oblique kick be banned after devastating finish at UFC Vegas 36?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 36 we saw a light heavyweight showdown between Khalil Rountree (9-5) and Modestas Bukauskas (11-5). Both men were coming into UFC Vegas 36 on losing streaks and both men needed a win badly.

In the first round, Rountree was fighting with a ton of urgency. He was hunting for the knockout virtually the entire fight, but couldn’t quite find the finishing shot early on. Bukauskas was doing a decent job of defending while trying to find his range.

In the second round, there were a couple of times where both men came towards the other and had an exchange. Well, halfway through the second round, there was an exchange that ended the fight in a brutal fashion.

As Bukauskas planted his front foot to throw a shot, Rountree perfectly timed a side-kick to the knee. The kick completely buckled Bukauskas and it looked like his knee was completely shredded from the kick. Khalil Rountree picked up the much needed win, but this kick sparked a debate between UFC fighters.

Should the UFC step in?

In this article by MMA Mania, you can see a number of fighters weighing in on the technique after UFC Vegas 36. The most vocal fighters were calling for the kick to be banned due to the serious nature of the technique and the long-lasting damage it can cause.

Belal Muhammad said the technique should be banned. Light heavyweight prospect Jamahal Hill said the kick shouldn’t be allowed. Kelvin Gastelum was another fighter who called for the technique to be banned. 

Now, there were UFC fighters that said the kick should still be allowed and those are listed in the article. So, with fighters on both sides of the issue, what should the promotion do?

Well, I think banning the technique causes way more problems than it fixes. Yes, the kick is devastating and could threaten a career. However, as Joe Rogan always says, so can leg locks and submissions on the ground.

At the end of the day, this is the fight business. Whether it’s concussions or damage from submissions, UFC fighters face career-threatening injuries every single day. I know the technique is devastating, but I don’t think it should be banned.

Soccer kicks to a the head of a ground opponent are one thing, but this kick is another. It’s a brutal technique that many of the best in the UFC use. It’s not popular, but even as Modestas Bukauskas himself pointed out, it’s on the fighters to defend. Bukauskas took to Instagram where he stated the following:

“Getting (an) MRI when I get home. Probably ligament damage. And yo, please give my opponent some slack, that kick was all good, it was my job to defend and I didn’t. Let the man enjoy his victory.”

UFC: Greg Hardy – Khalil Rountree targeted for UFC 252

UFC 252 is quickly becoming a card for the heavyweights. The main event features the conclusion to the trilogy between Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic while the co-main event is scheduled to feature Junior Dos Santos and Jairzinho Rozenstruik. Combate is reporting that the UFC is planning on another heavyweight matchup for the August card.

According to Raphael Marinho of Combate, Greg Hardy (6-2, 1 NC) and Khalil Rountree (8-4) will be going head to head on August 15th. For Rountree, the Hardy fight will mark his first fight at heavyweight, and potentially the last fight of his career. Back in December, Rountree said his next fight would be his last.

From All-Pro to UFC contender

The former all-pro defensive lineman, Hardy, has had an interesting MMA career thusfar. He came storming out of the gate winning three straights by first round knockout, then he ran into issues against Allen Crowder. Hardy went on to lose that fight by DQ due to an illegal knee.

After that loss, Hardy would go on to win back to back fights. We last saw Hardy at UFC 249 where he was able to secure a unanimous decision victory over Yorgan De Castro. There are no questions that Hardy will look to make this a statement victory on his way to the top fifteen in the UFC‘s heavyweight division.

The UFC‘s heavyweight division will see a lot of action on August 15th. Three big fights currently scheduled on the main card. Top contenders Francis Ngannou and Curtis Blaydes just won a pair of fights which secure their spots at the top of the division. The heavyweight division is lacking right now so it makes sense that the UFC is trying to capitalize on the August card by stacking the deck with heavyweight fights.