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What Are The UFC Illegal Moves?

UFC Illegal Moves

UFC has several rules and regulations for the mixed martial arts. UFC has clearly mentioned the UFC illegal moves to prevent any serious mishaps on the mat. Below is a list of UFC moves that are prohibited:

Hooking fish

With the goal of pulling, tearing, or lacerating the tissues, the “fish-hooking” technique is inserting one or both hands’ fingers into the opponent’s mouth, nose, or other orifices and forcing back.

Fish hooking is among the worst things a person may do to his opponent. Using this method directly results in disqualification.

The most illegal thing a fighter can do in combat is probably fish hooking. Therefore, UFC has banned this illegal move. Although many martial arts teach this technique as self-defense, you cannot commit this action on the mat.


A headbutt is a focused blow to the head that typically uses a robust section of the skull. The strongest headbutts strike an opponent’s most vulnerable body parts . For example, the eyes and nose, with the strongest bones in the forehead or back of the skull.

Lethwei, one of the most lethal MMA fighters, allows headbutts; however, UFC fights do not allow it.

One of the most illegal UFC moves is a headbutt. In the past, UFC had allowed these actions. However, now you can’t use this. Why? Because headbutting an opponent can cause severe brain trauma and irreversible, permanent damage. They are quite easy to perform, so if UFC had not banned this MMA move, we would probably see a few horrific injuries within the cage.

A headbutt can result in severe wounds and bleeding near the eyes or other delicate face areas.

Pile Driving

Piledriving is a professional wrestling move in which the opponent is held, turned over, and then the head is driven into the mat.

We’re talking about Real Fighting here, and while it’s regularly utilized in WWE, it’s not allowed in MMA since it may seriously harm the spine.

The Undertaker’s famous finishing move makes this move arguably the most known to wrestling fans. An identical method was used to break Owen Hart’s neck. Another big factor in Stone Cold’s departure from the WWE is piledriving.

Therefore, consider how this move will influence your opponent before attempting it in UFC; remember that UFC is just as legitimate as any MMA battle.

Throat Blows

The UFC forbids using kicks or strikes to the throat. Accidental punches and kicks to the neck or throat can occur due to the hard nature of the sport. Even though UFC does not allow these blows, the referee won’t stop the fight if someone hits it accidentally.

The rules prohibit a fighter in UFC Shorts  from attacking the throat with one hand while pulling back their opponent’s head to expose the neck area.

In all competitive combat sports, punches to the throat can lead to serious damage. Therefore, players cannot show such moves intentionally. 

Moreover, it is illegal to kick an opponent in the head when they are on the ground. Doing so while they are standing is perfectly fine. If a fighter knee or kicks a downed opponent, they will almost certainly lose points, or even UFC can disqualify them.

12-6 Elbows

An elbow strike in mixed martial arts, a 12-6, is utilized. It is also called “downward elbow strikes” in official terminology. From straight up (12 o’clock on a clock), elbow strikes progress to straight down (6 o’clock).

Players cannot exhibit this since they can cause catastrophic brain damage to the opponent. If you use 12-6 elbows, you risk losing your spot.

It is necessary to bring up Jon Jones about 12-6 elbows. Jones’ fourth UFC matchup was against Mark Hamill. Jones comprehensively dominated and outweighed Mark Hamill, landing three 12-6 elbows on him that caused Hamill to be disqualified.

Groin Blows

Groin strikes are deliberate blows to an opponent’s groin area. This method works for self-defense. However, UFC restricts it due to the sensitivity of the groin area and genitalia.

Similar to headbutts, blows to the groin frequently happen unintentionally. Even though fighters must wear cups, even unintentional kicks to the groin are extremely painful. After taking a punch or kick to the crotch, UFC offers five minutes for an athlete to recover. 

Alessio Sakara unintentionally took the most severe groin strike from Ron Faircloth in the 2005 UFC 55. Sakara was in excruciating pain and unable to continue, so the match was declared a “no contest”.

Eye Poke

When an opponent gets an eye poke, the fighter moves his hand and opens his fingers towards the opponent’s face. Although UFC does not allow this eye poke, some players still regularly employ this in mixed martial arts.

Whether done accidentally or intentionally, poking an opponent can use serious harm. Sometimes, eye pokes can lead to losing points or even disqualification. 

Kicks And Knees To The Opponent On Ground

It’s vital to remember that you cannot make strikes (if both fighters are on the ground) during grappling exchanges. While standing and using a lot of power is against the law since a kick or knee to the head might result in serious harm.

Without noticing that their fist or knee is still in contact with the ground, the person on top can land a knee to the head as they stand up. When this happens, the referee may stop the fight, give the fighter time to recover, and issue a strong warning to the opposing opponent. 

Punching Back Of The Head

It is also referred to as punching a rabbit. While grappling, UFC fighters have the ability to strike their opponents. However, you cannot blow the spine or the rear of the skull.

As a result of the sensitivity of that area of the body, hitting certain areas might cause severe, permanent harm or even be fatal.

It is a common boxing technique since it involves a lot of head movement. MMA occurs less frequently, usually when a fighter back mounts an opponent to obtain access to their back. 

Soccer Kick

PK (penalty kick) is another term for soccer. When the opponent is standing or nearly standing, a fighter will execute it.

The UFC fully forbids soccer kicks. These kicks are comparable to those we witness when a player kicks the ball during a soccer match. The contestants use similar moves in MMA to perform this kick. However, they target the opponent bending over or rising to their feet. Doctors caution that this kick might result in grave injuries, including broken necks.

Soccer kicks were allowed in the UFC’s early years, but now these acts can cause disqualification because of the resulting critical damage. Soccer kicks are permitted in MMA events like the ONE FC and Rizin Fighting Championship. 

Pulling Hair

Hair-pulling rarely occurs in a cage, not even in the women’s division of the UFC. Hair-pulling does occasionally happen when martial artists are in the clinch. MMA Fighters use the opponent’s hair to get an edge, but it is still not legal.

This illegal move can also help you get out of a tight spot or stop your opponent from strengthening you. Therefore, hair-pulling is one of the most painful and UFC-violating acts.


The UFC strictly forbids biting. However, it does not happen frequently in all combat sports like BJJ, AJJ, JJJ and MMA.

A fighter must know that the referee might not observe all of their action. Therefore players should inform the referee about biting if they feel it at any fight stage.

Final Words

UFC has outlined the rules and regulations for the MMA arts to minimizes injuries. Still, some fighting methods can destroy an athlete’s career. Therefore, UFC has given a list of those UFC illegal moves. The most famous wrestler, Stone Cold’s career ended due to the pile driving.

So, violating these rules can result in disqualification and loss of points.

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