Full Contact Fighter’s “The Daily Takedown:” End All MMA Soccer Kicks; Jon Jones Continues to Puzzle Everybody
By Joshua Molina
So-called “soccer kicks” should not be allowed in MMA anymore.
Soccer kicks were once a hallmark of Pride Fighting Championships, and have recently been revived by One FC, a Singapore-based mixed martial arts company.
One FC on Friday promoted a mega show featuring former UFC champs Andrei Arlovski and Tim Sylvia.
It was the fourth “epic” matchup between these two fighters, who are both well past their primes.
The fight ended after Arlovski dropped Sylvia with a right hand and then kicked him in the head a couple of times with his left foot while Sylvia was down, forcing the referee to stop the fight.
The referee, however, declared the fight a “No Contest” because Arlovski used the soccer kicks before it was legally OK for him to kick a fighter while down.
In One FC, the referee must somehow signal that a fighter can proceed with a soccer kick.
Regardless of the rules, and Arlovski’s mistake, allowing soccer kicks in the modern day world of MMA seems unnecessary and borderline unsportsmanlike. How can a fighter, already dazed from a punch, defend himself from a brutal kick to the head? Gravity is not on your side.
Take the case of Roger Huerta at One FC’s show in June. The former UFC and Bellator fighter was kicked unconscious, in a scene that would make anyone sick if they saw it.
From a fan perspective, soccer kicks can be exciting. They usually lead to knockouts. And one downside to modern mixed martial arts is the rise in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners who coast on their backs to run out the time or lay on their backs and wait, like a spider, to capture their opponents in armbar or triangle choke.
Can you imagine what would have happened had Fedor Emelianenko been allowed to soccer kick Fabricio Werdum in San Jose, California in 2010? Fedor dropped Werdum with a right hand, but as he leaned in to try to KO with him with another right, Werdum, a black belt in Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu, grabbed his arm and choked him out with a triangle choke. Had Fedor been able to soccer kick him, the fight would have been over and Fedor’s future would have turned out entirely different.
But those aren’t the rules. Soccer kicks, thankfully, are not allowed in the UFC, Strikeforce or Bellator.
It’s just unfair to allow one fighter to kick another fighter while down. There’s no art or skill to that. That’s purely primal – and MMA should be a battle of talents among multiple disciplines, not a showcase of cowardly head kicks.
Last night was supposed to be the big battle between Jon Jones and Dan Henderson.
Instead, what we got was Jones mouthing off again about Henderson. Henderson injured his knee and was forced to withdraw from the fight. Chael Sonnen agreed to fight Jones – on eight days notices – but Jones, refused to fight him. Jones’ refusal led to Dana White vilifying Jones, questioning his manhood and courage, and ultimately canceling the show.
Jones over weekend said that he had considered paying the purses to the fighters who lost money with the cancelation of the show, but that he changed his mind when he read that the undercard fighters were saying bad things about him.
Then, Jones in response to a tweet from an MMA fan who said “I have no plans tonight” thanks to Jon Jones, said this: “Thanks to the old man and his knee I don’t either.”Actually Jones would have plans had he accepted Sonnen’s challenge. And to call Dan Henderson an old man is just disrespectful.
When Sonnen, the sport’s best trash talker, talks about his opponents, it’s in character and everyone knows that. It’s part of the Sonnen persona that he is created. When Jones says things like that, it is disrespectful and mean. Jones clearly believes his own hype.
Will Jon Jones be fighting when he is 42 years old?
Contact reporter Joshua Molina at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JoshuaMolinaMMA