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Spiking rules also need clarified and enforced

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: there’s serious problems with half the combat sports rules that haven’t been fleshed out over 100+ years of use in the boxing world. We talked about the issues with punches to the back of the head, but that’s just one of the many unclear rules which could potentially cause serious injury or death to an MMA participant. Another is spiking your opponent on their head.

The UFC website describes “Spiking an opponent to the canvas on his head or neck” as a “foul in a contest or exhibition of mixed martial arts and may result in penalties, at the discretion of the referee.” But we’ve seen exactly this kind of thing happen in the UFC several times and not once has it been called:

The argument being used to defend a lot of spiking is that the fighter getting spiked has the option of letting go of his opponent so he doesn’t end up neck first onto the mat. Not only is this often not true (fighters are often gripping arms holding each other in place) but it also doesn’t address the safety issue behind the rule: it’s way too dangerous to ever let this kind of thing happen.

It’s not only the person being taken for a ride that’s in danger. A Chicago fighter was paralyzed when he tried to spike his opponent off his back:

Dunbar was conscious when he arrived at the hospital but already had lost movement in his legs. He had only weak feeling in his arms. Tests showed he did not sustain serious head injuries but had dislocated two vertebrae — one forward, one backward — crushing his spinal cord.

“(It) was a complete injury from the very beginning,” said Mark Chwajol, the neurosurgeon who performed the seven-hour surgery on Dunbar.

Doctors told him he probably will never walk again. On Christmas Eve, one week after the fight, Dunbar’s lung collapsed, and he later underwent a tracheotomy. He is confined to his hospital bed and may never breathe without the aid of a ventilator. Chwajol said Dunbar will need months of rehabilitation before possibly regaining strength in his arms and fingers.

While the current spiking rules seem to cover situations like this, there needs to be a clear message and enforcement that you’re not allowed to slam someone headfirst into the mat if they’re on your back. Otherwise stuff like will happen again, possibly in the UFC. Spiking is too dangerous to ever be allowed.

  • DJ ThunderElbows

    I still believe in an immediate DQ.  For all the macho bravado, this isn’t a war, it’s a game – and there’s no reason to ever risk that kind of damage to yourself and/or your opponent in a game.

  • frickshun

    Soooooo…….HE SPIKED HIMSELF??

    Ha!! Sorry, that’s unkind.

  • iamphoenix

    then why is it called Spiketv?

  • agentsmith

    Intentionally putting a guy on his head, regardless of position, should be a foul.  But for some stupid reason, it’s only a “spike” if you pick the guy up like a Hulk Hogan piledriver AND and he lands straight down on the top of his head.  So Marquardt/Leites in the gif above was a spike, but Belcher/Cote didn’t count.  But I bet if Cote had been paralyzed they would’ve changed the rule toot-fucking-sweet.

    Even Pellegrino/Camoes should’ve been a foul.  Look at how fast this happens: 

    The rationale that Camoes was “in control” and could/should have avoided it by letting go is pure bullshit, there’s simply nothing he could’ve done.  The angle that his neck gets cranked to gives me fucking shivers.

    The next worst thing to an in-cage death in the UFC would be an in-cage paralyzation.  Letting this shit go is like playing Russian roulette with dude’s spines.

  • CAP


  • Blackula Jonez

    This is easy the nastiest collection of gif’s i’ve seen in a while.

    I’m sold, spikes should be banned/instant DQ.

  • frickshun

    If anything, INSTANT REPLAYS should be banned.

  • raizor

    Spike drinks, not fighters!

  • Giallo

    Why the fuck aren’t the god damn refs calling that shit, its on the rule books and its extremly fucking dangerous. And all the fighters doing the spiking are douche nozzles, they know its against the rules but do the shit anyway