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Three Strikes and You’re Out: How groin shots are changing the outcome of fights

Ever been kicked in the crotch? Were you able to go right back to what you were doing; not right away. So why does the MMA world think that a fighter can return to his normal form after 5 minutes or less?

There has to be some type of repercussion for repeatedly thumping another fighter’s man-region. Something has to be done to even the fight after an illegal low-blow.

My solution, three shots to a fighter’s tea bag and the fight is over.

The idea is simple. After the first shot to the jewels the referee will officially warn the fighter. After the second blast, the fighter will have a point deducted. Immediately after a third smack to the gonads, the fight is over…disqualification!

No man is the same after being annihilated 3 times in the trinkets in a 15 minute period. I know that if I took three kicks or three knees to the stones I wouldn’t be able to walk the dog, or even talk on the phone, let alone fight another man. Don’t get me wrong, I would want to attack the assailant, but that would be out of rage and maybe some embarrassment. You’re just not the same after your boys have been bumped.

Some may argue that if a fighter was warned or lost a point, he’s forced to abandon low kicks and/or knees. He becomes more cautious and maybe even changes his game plan. That’s the point! If a fighter is warned and or is deducted a point, it wasn’t arbitrary; he broke the rules and is penalized for it. It is just like any other sport. For example, if a basketball player gets a technical foul for committing a hard foul against an opposing player, he cannot commit another hard foul for the remainder of the game or he will receive another technical foul and be ejected. He must now abandon his aggressive defense, be cautious and alter his game plan. Two strikes and you’re out in the NBA.

The current state of MMA allows a fighter to mash another fighter’s nards with no recourse. How long will it be before some low-class fighter actually uses a testicle punt to equalize a fight?

“If I get in trouble, I’ll knee him in the nuts, say I’m sorry as he hunches over, wait a few minutes ‘til he’s ready to fight again, and then we’ll fist pound. He won’t be as good as he was when the fight started. That’s my game plan.”

Conversely, if referees are not willing to take swift action on low-blows, there will be a trend in fighters not being able to continue after their allotted 5 minutes. For example, at WEC 49 had Jamie Varner said he could not continue after any of the three illegal low-blows he suffered, he would be twice as rich. Kamal Shalorus would have been DQ’d, therefore Varner would have taken home the win bonus along with his show money. Furthermore, the judging has been baffling at times. Continuing to fight after a low blow has proven to be costly. Here’s a general scenario. A fighter gets clobbered in the berries; the ref does nothing; the fighter is a warrior so he fights on, but not to his full capability, thus his performance is sub-par; so at the end of three rounds he loses a decision. Given that scenario, who would continue to fight after a low-blow?

While there is no way to ensure that a fighter will not swat his opponent in the junk, there needs to be some written or unwritten rules that referees utilize to ensure that groin shots do not change the outcome of fights, or worse cause permanent damage to a fighter. Currently, fighters are only protected from being “Joe Son’d” (if you don’t get the Joe Son example, watch UFC 4). Three low blows in a fight should be the maximum.

  • Angry Mike says:

    I don’t know if three strikes to the groin is a dq, but refs should take points away more aggressively. The outcome of the fight between Varner and Shalorus was definitely affected by groin strikes, imo. Regardless, I sitll can’t believe that was scored as a draw.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  • Rece Rock says:

    Yea I don’t think you should get DQ’d unless it looks to be intentional… if there legit inside leg kicks or your in a tight clinch throwing knees – Hey shit happens. But I do agree that there should be a cap on the illegal shots regardless if it’s nut shots or punches to the back off the head or whatever… It’s kinda up to the ref’s right now when they should deduct a point or not and I think if there was a more concise rule there would be more cautious fighters and ref’s can also easily deduct points with some guidance on the rule. I’m sure we’ve all seen some refs deduct immediately after one warning and some refs after 3 warnings, think we need a bit more consistancy for the fighters sake and health.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  • MCM says:

    I’m all about the idea of 3 junk thumps and your gone. IMO, this sport still leaves too much up to each individual ref. A simple steadfast rule like this seams like it would give them better parameters in which to do their jobs.
    I also think, depending on the severity of the strike that a ref should be able to call off a fight for a groin strike. If you can lose a fight due to an accidental head kick, like that seth dude on TUF, than you should lose a fight if you crush a guys walnuts like Gonzaga did to Tsuchner (sp).
    The more the rules become black and white the easier it is for the Refs to focus on the safety of the fighters.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  • Kamakosmo says:

    Groin…Crotch…Man-region…Tea-bag…Jewels…Gonads…Trinkets…Stones…the Boys…Nards…Testicle (w/ punt, now thats funny)…Nuts…Berries…and finally, Junk….Really broke out the Balls-Thesaurus for this article….that’s odd, “Balls” wasn’t used LOL.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 19 Thumb down 3

  • CMT says:

    It was hard to read that article with all the different scrotal references. I think Hammarabi’s (sp?) Code would work well here. You get sack tapped by your opponent, you get to pop his nuggets. Sorry, I am not as word smithy.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  • Dufresne says:

    I counted 13 different references to the happy sacks, not including the obligatory “groin.”

    I agree that something needs to be done about excessive groin shots, same thing for eye pokes. I don’t know if a 3 and out is the perfect solution, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction. This is a small change, but I would recommend the limit be set equal to the number of rounds in a fight; so a regular 3 rounder would be as you recommended, but a title fight would have a little more room for error.

    I also wonder why more fighters don’t take longer to recover from any sort of illegal blow. As a fan I obviously want them to get back in as soon as possible, but at the same time I also want them to get back in at the highest level they can. How many times have we seen a fighter get poked in the eye, come back quickly and get clobbered on the same side, almost certainly because of reduced vision.

    And just because that last sentence got me thinking about it; if there’s an injury that either appears to be an illegal shot or the fighter is taking long enough, the ref should be able to review the footage. In the Irvin fight it was looked at to see if it was an illegal shot, found that it wasn’t, and it was ruled a verbal submission due to a punch to the eye. That was a good call. On the other side of that we have Koscheck damn near dying due to a phantom knee and then saying he got hit in the eye when it was brought up later. I’ve watched that footage over a dozen times, there is nothing near the eye he’s holding. In that case he should either lose a point for delaying the fight or flat out be disqualified for being a lying little rat. It’s not soccer, you don’t get to flop injuries.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  • Afton says:

    I think at the least a fighter should start to lose a point on the second groin strike, and keep losing them each time another is landed.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • hindsightufuk says:

    good points all around fellas

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  • cwr says:

    “Currently, fighters are only protected from being “Joe Son’d”

    I didn’t know that fighters were protected from prison gang rapes…

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  • ihateemo says:

    Actually, the URoMMA has provisions for multiple fouls and permits the referee to use them.

    “(b) Disqualification occurs after any combination of three or the fouls listed in (a) above or after a referee determines that a foul was intentional and flagrant.”

    Bloody Elbow had a post about Kamal Shalarous constantly hitting Jamie Varner in the junk.

    My personal opinion is that the referee is reluctant to stop a fight – not to mention the fighters themselves hate to win said way – if the fighter if the fighter can still stand up and fight. Notable DQs should have been Overeem vs Cro Cop and Gonzaga vs Tuscherer.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • jj says:

    Strangely I think this article misses the very point it is trying to make. If a fighter takes ONE shot to the nuts he’s not the same, period. Why should someone still be allowed to deliver one shot to the nuts without repercussions if one is all it takes?

    All groin strikes should be treated the same: immediate point deduction.
    If there is a zero tolerance rule fighters are going to be damn careful that they don’t hit the other guy’s junk, and that’s EXACTLY what we need. Be gone with the system of at least one free shot to the nuts.

    If your technique is such that you can’t land an inside leg kick accurately then you shouldn’t be using it because it largely endangers the opponent’s chances of winning.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2


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