clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UFC fighters split on whether gruesome Khalil Rountree knee kick should be illegal

Rountree’s nasty TKO victory over Modestas Bukauskas at UFC Vegas 36 has some UFC fighters calling for a rule change to ban kicks to the knee.

UFC Fight Night: Bukauskas v Rountree Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

There were a lot of great moments during this weekend’s UFC Vegas 36 event, from Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett’s wild debut to “Meatball” Molly McCann gutting-out a solid “Fight of the Night” win. Tom Aspinall also upgraded himself from prospect to contender with a first round finish over a tough short-notice opponent. All in all, even with Darren Till losing in the main event, you have to consider this card a major success for the promotion and United Kingdom-bred talent.

On the other side of the equation, it was definitely a bad day for Lithuania’s Modestas Bukauskas, who dropped his third UFC fight in a row. Bukauskas suffered a horrific broken nose at the hands of Khalil Rountree and then an even more horrific knee injury when Rountree hit him with an oblique kick, one of the most controversial moves in the sport (watch highlights here).

What is the oblique kick? It’s basically when you push kick or low side kick someone in the knee hoping to blow out the surrounding ligaments. And on Saturday afternoon inside UFC Apex, Rountree landed a perfect oblique kick that did just that: the ringside physician told UFC broadcasters they believed Bukauskas tore his ACL, MCL and PCL.

A solitary ACL or MCL tear can keep an athlete out of the cage for more than one year, so you can imagine the complete nuclear destruction of the entire knee puts some serious fear into the hearts of UFC fighters. Following Rountree’s win, a debate broke out across the Internet among fans on whether the oblique kick should be illegal.

To us, we’re more interested in hearing what other UFC competitors think.

“If this one lands, it’s definitely blowing out your knee,” Alan Jouban said on the ESPN post show. “So I don’t think we need it any more.”

“Dana White, please protect me, change this rule,” Belal Muhammad added. “You gotta protect your stars, here.”

Among the UFC roster watching the fights, opinions were varied — although they definitely leaned toward having the oblique kick banned.

Interestingly enough, no word on social media from Jon Jones, who is one of the most famous oblique kickers in the game.

What do you think, Maniacs? Should oblique kicks / knee attacks be banned? Or is it just another part of the game fighters need to be ready for?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania