UFC Versus Real Life

UFC versus real life


While UFC and MMA in general are considered by many to be the epitome of fighting, it is extremely prudent to consider that it is a world away from self defence in a street fight.  Not only for the environment which is an isolated cage free of obstacles and dangers, with a fence separating you from any other person (other than a referee who is ready to stop the fight at a moments notice!).


Then there is the fact that there are time limits, weight classes, no weapons, and a limited array of clothing options, all of which would make a difference in  a “real” situation.


Were you prepared for multiple assailants, weapons and no holds barred?
How would you fare in this situation?
Are you prepared for boxing, kicking, takedowns, grappling, ground and pound?
How would you fare in this arena?

Lastly, and most interestingly to the traditional martial art technicians out there, here is a sample of some of the fighting rules in an UFC match. These come from an excellent book called “Scaling Force” by violence experts Rory Miller and Lawrence Kane.


These moves are outlawed

  • Head-butts
  • Eye gouges
  • Throat strikes
  • Grabbing the trachea
  • Biting
  • Hair pulling
  • Groin strikes
  • Fishhooking
  • Putting finger into any orifice or cut or laceration
  • Small joint manipulation
  • Striking the spine
  • Striking the back of the head
  • Striking downwards with the elbow
  • Clawing, pinching or twisting the opponents flesh
  • Grabbing the clavicle
  • Kicking the head of a downed opponent
  • Kneeing the head of a downed opponent
  • Stomping a grounded opponent
  • Kicking the kidneys with your heel
  • Spiking an opponent head first into the floor
  • Throwing the opponent out of the ring
  • Holding the shorts or gloves of an opponent
  • Spitting at an opponent
  • Engaging in an unsportsmanlike conduct that causes injury. ?
  • Holding the ropes or fence
  • Using abusive language
  • Attacking an opponent during a break period
  • Attacking an opponent under care of the referee
  • Attacking the opponent after the bell
  • Disobeying the referees instructions
  • Interference by someone in the competitors corner


Not sure about you but most of these are things that I practice (or attempt with some care) within my training environment. It gives me hope then that I could prevail with this extended repertoire of available techniques.



  1. What an awesome blog post! I will definitely register for future articles. I’d love to comment as well, so as to create some interaction and to show some support and love for the content you’re providing. After all, I know this information is for our benefit so it doesn’t hurt to let you know it’s been seen and hopefully appreciated. 😉

  2. Although what you say is true – about lots of techniques that are outlawed in MMA – most of the fights I’ve seen on the streets (and I’ve seen quite a few), end up like the UFC. How many people do you know have fish-hooked or eye-gouged someone in a “real fight” – for me – NONE. What about you personally – have YOU ever throat-chopped, eye-gouged, or fish-hooked anyone in a real fight???

    1. Thanks for your comment. I suppose in a real fight (and in MMA) gross motor skills are most commonly utilised, so swinging arms, ground and pound. Whatever you mostly practice is the mostly to come forth under pressure.

      As for me, I typically try to avoid street fighting and I can’t say I have ever throat-chopped or fish-hooked anyone in a real fight. But I HAVE pulled hair, bitten, used pressure points, twisted fingers and attacked eyes. And they worked just fine for me against bigger violent guys. My focus is not fighting and that’s a big difference, defending and avoiding are distinctly different skill sets to fighting. I have trained for fighting in tournaments both non and full contact. 15 years of competing at a national level but that is also very different to fighting ‘for real’.

      1. Nice article, It seems to be a contentious issue these days, mma or traditional the best way to go probably due to the awesome displays on the UFC. Those guys have great skill that’s for sure.
        Your article makes perfect sense to me though, thanks. 🙂

    2. I have met three people actually who have either eye gouged an attacker( and I mean eye out!) or been eye gouged in mugging situations.
      I have fortunately never had to use any martial arts against anyone out of training circumstances. It is surprising how common some of the moves that are banned in the UFC are actually used by people out on the street, who do not train in any defensive arts.
      I personally would be using these kinds of tactics against a large male attacker if I ever had to.

Leave a Reply