There’s a few moves in MMA that are totally legal but still kinda dickish in the minds of fans. I remember back in the day it was footstomps. What are you, trying to win the fight by breaking the bones in a guys foot? Cheap! And of course then there was the crowd who thought Kenny Florian was cheap for throwing elbows with the intent to cut. CHEAP!
But I would like to propose that there’s a new ubercheap move, and we’re seeing it more and more: the kick to the knee. You know, like the ones Jon Jones was throwing nonstop on Vitor Belfort? Yeah, yeah, I know. This sounds a lot like more griping on Jones for the sake of griping on Jones. But I’ve never liked watching guys trying to fuck a dude’s knee up. It seemed dirty when Rashad was doing it to Rampage Jackson and was even more so when Brendan Schaub targeted Big Nog’s barely rehabbed knee in their fight. Which made it extra sweet when he got knocked the fuck out.
What’s interesting here is it seems like it’s always the young guys pulling it on the old dogs, and that just adds to the disrespect. The whole reason we get to enjoy mixed martial arts is because guys can get up after an ass kicking and go back to their (ir)regular lives. Few injuries are bad enough to put them down for extended periods of time. Knee injuries are one of those.
Now to be fair, we haven’t seen a whole lot of legs breaking backwards in the sport due to these attacks. And if I’m going to bitch about kicks to the knee and the effect it can have on an athlete, where’s my outrage at guys like Palhares and Imanari who have made a career of ripping legs apart like chicken from a KFC bucket? Maybe it’s because fighters have a chance to tap before things get ugly – something you don’t get when a guy kicks you right in the knee. Or maybe we all have our own illogical opinions on what constitutes a dirty move, and it has nothing to do with reason or reality at all.