Elbows: More Trouble than they are Worth?

Posted: August 5, 2010 in Bellator, Marketing, PR, Strikeforce, UFC

Photo from Yahoo!s Cagewriter blog

Should elbows be banned permanently from MMA?

Since MMA became an organized sport the use of elbows and knees have varied from organization to organization.   Pride was known for its vicious knees to the head, and legal soccer kicks.  The UFC is known for allowing the use of elbows on a grounded opponent.  Although they have been strict with its ban of the 12-6 elbow strike (directly downward) the use of elbows still causes some stir between fight purists and those that want to ban MMA permanently.

The stoppage of John “Doomsday” Howard this past weekend certainly raised a few more eyebrows. (Photo above).  Should the use of elbows be banned in MMA?  I don’t think so.  I agree that knees to a downed opponent should be illegal, as should soccer kicks, but elbows are still fair game.

However, the use – or ban – of these elbows will definitely have an impact financially on the sport.  If too many fighters get seriously injured (Although Howard was fine, let’s not forget what Jones’ elbows did to Brandon Vera), this could impact the view of sponsors.  A large brand like Bud Light may not want to be associated with a sport that could lead to serious injury of its participants.  On the flip side, this could also happen if elbows ARE banned.  If enough fans stop watching because of this rule then the desire to advertise is no longer there either.

Either decision could have direct financial impact on the sport.  What do you think, do you think elbows should remain or be removed from fights?

  1. I think that elbows (stand up & ground) should remain legal within MMA. They can be very damaging but this is mixed martial arts not wiffleball. I know that may sound glib but I honestly feel that this is a move that involves both skill and strategy. This is not akin to foot stomps which I feel should be banned as they have no capacity to end a fight. Elbows that are implemented in effective ground and pound (i.e. “old school” Tito Ortiz) or in standup (i.e. Kenny Florian) have the capacity to end a fight. Jones main event rout of Matyushenko showcased devasting elbows that were effective, fight ending but did not cause any major long lasting trauma to his opponent. This is MMA and elbows are a part of the game. Occasionally a finger slips by and pokes someone in the eye because the gloves are open to allow grips for grappling, clinch work, bjj etc. but that doesn’t mean that we should slap boxing gloves on UFC fighters. I’m sure Toney would love that — but that’s precisely why he’s about to be embarrassed by Captain America this month. This is MMA folk elbows are a part of the game.

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