6 Moves Prohibited in the UFC

March 7, 2023
From: Spartacus
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The Unified Rules of MMA, like the wise overseers of this electrifying sport, have drawn the line between fair play and foul play. Today, we embark on a thrilling journey to uncover the forbidden moves that have been banished from the UFC, the pinnacle of MMA.

Picture a clash of titans, where fighters push their limits and bend the rules. But beware! These treacherous techniques can land a warrior in hot water, facing disqualification or precious points slipping through their fingers. The forbidden fruits of combat, these outlawed maneuvers have been cast aside by the UFC, serving as a reminder that even in the pursuit of victory, there are boundaries that cannot be crossed.

Dear fight enthusiasts, fasten your seatbelts, for the realm of MMA is a wild and unpredictable one. As warriors clash, let us revel in the spectacle, knowing that the rules are in place to protect the integrity of the sport and safeguard the warriors who step into the arena. The world of MMA awaits, where honor, skill, and electrifying action collide.

Without further ado, let’s look at the UFC’s list of prohibited moves

#1 In the UFC, it is forbidden to use the notorious Piledriver, shoot after the bell, or disrespect the referee

In the world of UFC, there’s a golden rule that both fighters must follow: when the bell rings, all fighting must stop. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the middle of a punch or a grapple, once the bell has sounded, it’s game over.

The referee is responsible for enforcing this rule, and if a fighter fails to obey, they risk getting disqualified on the spot. Whether it’s a strike or a submission, when the ref says stop, you better stop.

And if you think you can spice things up with a piledriver, think again. This move, made infamous in professional wrestling, is a big no-no in MMA. Spiking your opponent’s head or neck and slamming them to the ground is not allowed and could lead to serious injury. So keep it clean, folks!


#2 In the UFC, headbutts, grabbing the fence, and grabbing an opponent’s gloves or shorts are all prohibited moves

In the UFC, it’s all about fair play and abiding by the rules. That means leaving some moves at the door, like headbutts, grabbing the fence, and getting a little too friendly with your opponent’s gloves or shorts. These are definite no-nos in the Octagon.

Headbutts may work in the animal kingdom, but in the UFC, they’re off-limits. So, no channeling your inner ram and unleashing a skull-bashing attack. Keep your head to yourself!

As for the fence, it’s there to keep the action contained, not to be your personal support system. Grabbing onto it for an unfair advantage is a big thumbs-down. Let’s keep the fights on a level playing field, folks.

And remember, your opponent’s gloves and shorts are not your personal playthings. No sneaky grabs or pulling to gain an advantage. It’s all about clean techniques and skillful maneuvers.


#3 In the UFC, improper behavior, timidity, and throwing an opponent outside the cage are prohibited

In the wild world of the UFC, it’s not just about throwing punches and grappling—it’s also about playing fair and being a good sport. That means no sneaky attacks during breaks, no picking on your opponent when they’re down, and definitely no involvement from your rowdy squad.

Unsportsmanlike behavior is a big no-no in the Octagon. You can’t go all Hulk on your opponent when the ref isn’t looking or take cheap shots while they’re getting medical attention. Let’s keep the fighting inside the designated rounds and show some respect!

But that’s not all. Being too timid is frowned upon as well. If you’re constantly running away, playing possum, or pulling out of exchanges like a scaredy-cat, the judges might not be too pleased. In the UFC, we want fighters with guts and glory, not shrinking violets!

And here’s a rule that might surprise you—no throwing opponents out of the octagon! While it might be a crowd-pleaser in professional wrestling, it’s a big no-no in MMA. Let’s keep the action where it belongs and avoid any serious injuries outside the cage.

So, remember, it’s all about being a good sport and playing by the rules in the UFC. Leave the unsportsmanlike behavior, excessive timidity, and wrestling antics at the door. It’s time to fight fair and unleash your inner warrior inside the Octagon!


#4 The UFC forbids the use of 12-6 elbows, small-joint manipulation, rabbit punches, throat attacks, pulling the skin of the opponent, and reaching out with the hands or fingers toward the face of the opponent

In the electrifying world of MMA, there are some moves that are strictly off-limits, and boy, they’re quite the handful! One such move that’s been the center of controversy is the infamous 12-6 elbow. Picture this—a lethal strike delivered to a downed opponent with an elbow that moves in a trajectory resembling the numbers on a wall clock, specifically 12 and 6. It’s a move that can send shockwaves through the Octagon, but alas, it’s a big no-no in the world of MMA.

But wait, there’s more! You might think joint manipulation is all fun and games, but not in the UFC. Twisting and pulling an opponent’s fingertips, toes, or any of their precious joints is strictly forbidden. Sure, wrist locks and ankle locks have their place, but let’s keep it fair and leave those small joints intact, shall we?

Now, let’s talk about target practice gone wrong. In the UFC, you can’t go around punching the back of someone’s skull, spine, or behind their ear. Even unintentional blows to those sensitive areas can cause serious harm. It’s like navigating a minefield—if a fighter crosses that line, it’s up to the referee to decide if a warning, a point deduction, or even disqualification is in order. Ouch!

And there’s more to the forbidden list. Throat strikes, trachea assaults, twisting or pulling flesh, using claws or pins, or extending your fingers towards your opponent’s eyes or face? Yeah, those are definite no-nos in the UFC. We’re all about fair play and keeping things in one piece, minus the nasty surprises.

So, remember, when you step into the UFC, leave the 12-6 elbows, joint twisting antics, and forbidden strikes at the door. It’s time to unleash your skills within the bounds of the rules and show the world your electrifying moves!


#5 In the UFC, using foul language is also prohibited, as is attacking a fallen opponent with stomps, soccer kicks, and knees to the head

Get ready for a wild ride through the forbidden territory of the UFC! In this electrifying world of combat, there are some moves that are strictly off-limits, and boy, they’ll leave you shaking your head in disbelief.

First off, let’s talk about striking a downed opponent. It’s a big no-no in the UFC. You can’t stomp on them or deliver any strikes while they’re down on the canvas. We’re all about fair play and keeping the action on its feet!

Now, brace yourself for a knee-slamming twist. In a bantamweight title match at UFC 259, we witnessed an odd move that shook the MMA world—striking an opponent in the head with a knee while they’re down. It’s a risky move that can land you in hot water, and even result in disqualification. Keep those knees in check, folks!

But hold on, the surprises don’t stop there. Get this—one of the most intriguing illegal actions in the UFC is using foul words against your opponent. That’s right, trash-talking may be part of the game, but there are limits. According to the Unified Rules of MMA, crossing the line with profanity and obscene gestures is a big no-no. However, fighters typically don’t lose points or get disqualified for their verbal outbursts. Let’s keep it respectful, folks!

Now, let’s dive into the forbidden moves that will make you cringe. In the UFC, you can’t unleash a groin strike, yank someone’s hair, poke them in the eyes, bite, spit, or engage in fish hooking. We’re talking about the whole package of no-nos here. Biting, spitting, deliberate eye pokes, attacking the nether regions, hair pulling, and striking the face with your fists—those are all strictly prohibited. We’re all about fair fights and leaving those dirty tricks outside the Octagon.

And here’s one for the record books—fish hooking! It’s not the sport of angling we’re talking about here. It’s the act of sticking your fingers into an opponent’s mouth or other orifices and attempting to pull them apart. Yikes! It’s a move that can lead to severe injuries and permanent disfigurement. Let’s keep the action fierce, but fair, folks!


What are the consequences of using prohibited moves in the UFC?

Using prohibited moves in the UFC can have serious consequences for the fighters involved. The exact consequences may vary depending on the severity of the infraction and the discretion of the referee and the governing athletic commission. Here are some of the potential consequences:

  • Point Deduction: The referee may deduct points from the fighter’s score as a penalty for using a prohibited move. This can significantly impact the outcome of the fight, especially if it happens multiple times.
  • Disqualification: In more severe cases or for repeated infractions, a fighter can be disqualified from the match. This means an automatic loss and can have implications for their future fights and reputation.
  • Fines and Suspensions: The athletic commission may impose fines and suspensions on fighters who violate the rules. This can range from monetary penalties to temporary or even long-term bans from competing in the UFC.
  • Loss of Prize Money: Depending on the circumstances, a fighter may be denied their prize money for the fight if they are disqualified or penalized for using prohibited moves. This can be a significant financial blow.
  • Damage to Reputation: Using prohibited moves can tarnish a fighter’s reputation among fans, fellow fighters, and the UFC organization. It may result in negative publicity and affect future opportunities within the promotion.

Enforcement and Refereeing

Enforcement and refereeing are like the guardians of fairness and safety in the wild world of combat sports, including the UFC. Just like superheroes, referees swoop into the Octagon to oversee the fights and ensure that everyone plays by the rules.

These referees aren’t your average Joes and Janes. They’re highly trained in the ways of the UFC, equipped with knowledge about all the do’s and don’ts of the sport. Their mission? To spot any sneaky prohibited moves that fighters might attempt to pull off.

From eye pokes to hair yanking, the referee has the power to step in and say, “Hey, that’s a no-no!” They can issue warnings, dock points from the naughty fighter’s scorecard, or even unleash the ultimate punishment: disqualification.

Consistency is the name of the game. Referees must enforce the rules with an iron fist, making sure every fighter is held to the same standards. If a referee starts slacking, chaos could ensue, with fighters running wild and breaking all the rules like rebellious teenagers at a party.

When rules are consistently enforced, the flow and outcome of the fight can be affected. Prohibited moves can throw off the rhythm, like a monkey wrench in the gears of a well-oiled machine. Referees might have to hit the pause button, issue warnings, and deduct points, which can disrupt the fighters’ momentum and strategy.

But fear not! Consistent enforcement also brings excitement and strategy to the Octagon. Fighters have to rely on their skills and techniques rather than resorting to dirty tricks. It’s like watching a mind-blowing dance-off, where the fighters showcase their mastery of the sport with every strike and submission.

So, remember, enforcement and refereeing are the unsung heroes of the UFC. They keep the fights fair, safe, and jaw-droppingly thrilling. With their watchful eyes and quick hands, they ensure that the Octagon remains a place of honor, where only the best of the best can battle it out for victory.


In the electrifying world of the UFC, where warriors clash and legends are made, certain moves are strictly off-limits. We’ve delved into the thrilling realm of prohibited moves in the UFC, uncovering a colorful tapestry of rules and regulations designed to uphold fairness and safety.

In the fast-paced, high-impact world of MMA, rules play a vital role in ensuring fighter safety. Among these are prohibitions on certain moves, some of which might surprise you. At Spartacus Fight Events, these rules are strictly upheld to create a safe and exciting platform for our fighters and fans. Understanding the rules, including prohibited moves, helps preserve the integrity of MMA and the safety of the fighters we admire. It also enhances your viewing experience, allowing you to appreciate the skill and strategy involved in every Spartacus event.

From bone-crushing 12-6 elbows to jaw-droppingly unsportsmanlike conduct, the UFC leaves no room for ambiguity when it comes to forbidden maneuvers. Referees, like vigilant guardians, play a crucial role in identifying and penalizing these infractions, ensuring that fighters compete within the boundaries of the rulebook.

Consistent enforcement is the cornerstone of maintaining a level playing field. Referees must wield their authority with unwavering resolve, ensuring all fighters are held to the same standard. By doing so, they preserve the integrity of the sport, preventing chaos and confusion from marring the spectacle.

The impact of enforcing these rules extends beyond maintaining fairness. It influences the flow and outcome of the fight, adding an element of strategy and excitement. Prohibited moves can disrupt the rhythm, forcing fighters to rely on their true skills and unleash their technical prowess.


What moves are prohibited in the UFC?

In the UFC, certain moves are considered illegal to ensure fighter safety and fair competition. These include eye pokes, groin strikes, 12-6 elbows, headbutts, and grabbing the cage, among others.

What are the consequences of using prohibited moves in the UFC?

Breaking the rules can result in penalties, ranging from point deductions to disqualification. Repeated infractions could lead to fines or suspensions and may damage a fighter’s reputation.

What is the role of referees in enforcing UFC rules?

Referees are responsible for maintaining a fair and safe fight environment. They issue verbal warnings, separate fighters, and administer point deductions for violations. In extreme cases, they can disqualify a fighter.

How do prohibited moves affect a fighter’s reputation and career?

Using illegal moves can tarnish a fighter’s reputation, making them seem unsportsmanlike or reckless. Over time, this may affect sponsorship opportunities and fan support, impacting their career.

What is a 12-6 elbow and why is it banned in the UFC?

A 12-6 elbow is delivered in a downward motion from 12 o’clock to 6 o’clock. It’s banned due to the perception that it can cause excessive damage, though this is a subject of debate among fans and experts.

Why are headbutts and grabbing the fence prohibited in the UFC?

Headbutts are prohibited to prevent serious injuries like concussions or lacerations. Grabbing the fence is disallowed to maintain the integrity of the grappling and clinch aspects of the sport.

What is considered unsportsmanlike behaviour in the UFC?

Unsportsmanlike behaviour includes actions that show disrespect, such as trash-talking beyond reasonable promotion, not following the referee’s instructions, or engaging in prohibited moves intentionally.

Can a fighter be disqualified for using foul language in the UFC?

While unlikely, using extreme foul language could be considered unsportsmanlike conduct, leading to warnings or potential point deductions. A disqualification would be extremely rare.

Are there any fines or suspensions for breaking UFC rules?

Yes, fighters can face fines and suspensions for severe or repeated rule violations, often enforced by athletic commissions overseeing the events.

How does consistent rule enforcement impact the flow and outcome of a UFC fight?

Consistent rule enforcement ensures a fair fight, affecting both the flow and the outcome. It discourages cheating and maintains an environment where skill, rather than rule-breaking, dictates the result.

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