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.
Khalil Rountree ended his fight against Modestas Bukauskas with an oblique kick. pic.twitter.com/1iGRcHmeb3— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) September 4, 2021
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.
Ahhh that technique should be banned that’s career changing— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) September 4, 2021
You’re goddamn right. I’ve literally won a fight like that in the past and I’ll get mine one day too and that day will suck. That’s how it goes. Go watch something else, pussy. https://t.co/HGTm9O2rD5— Tanner Boser (@BulldozerBoser) September 5, 2021
I don’t care if I’m unpopular for this but that bullshit kick should be banned.— Vinc Pichel (@FromHellPichel) September 4, 2021
Fan of Khalil. Love seeing him win. Hate that fucking kick. Have always hated that kick.— Andre Fili (@TouchyFili) September 4, 2021
That's exactly why that shit shouldn't be allowed!!! Hoe shit!!!#UFCVegas36— Jamahal Hill (@JamahalH) September 4, 2021
I don't think it should be banned. https://t.co/b69htn5NWt— Adrian Yanez (@yanezmma) September 5, 2021
Agreed,— #OnAmission4Gold (@KelvinGastelum) September 5, 2021
this strike should be illegal.
It is a career ender.
Who can we talk to about this? @ufc
This in now way is a knock on Rountree. His performance and execution was great to watch.
But this strike should be addressed. https://t.co/KnKI0BBPSr
Bad form. Def legal, but bad karma https://t.co/wlRkldoeeW— Nik “The Carny” Lentz (@NikLentz) September 4, 2021
Bunch of weenies. How many of those kicks have fucked up someone’s knees compared to heel hooks? It’s a damn fight https://t.co/3WAjz7k20F— Ricky Simón (@RickySimonUFC) September 5, 2021
Lamest strike in the game!— Mike "Biggie" Rhodes (@TeamRocBiggie) September 4, 2021
I admire the technique as a martial artist but as a fan I feel like this technique could easily be banned and nobody would be mad about it. https://t.co/Nkg1EWa2t3— Deron Winn (@DeronWinn) September 4, 2021
That same kick is what tore Tills knee out in his fight with Robert Whitaker. #ufcvegas36— Julian marquez (@JMarquezMMA) September 4, 2021
Who wants to go into a fight, throw a jab, and get their entire knee destroyed…— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) September 4, 2021
OUCH! OW! AHH! UGHH! That strike is a devastating one.
Shit!! That hurt !! I hate those strikes. Those are career threatening ♂️ #UFCVegas36— JIMI MANUWA (@POSTERBOYJM) September 4, 2021
Omg no that’s how my knee looked! Shit shit shit. Literally sick to my stomach. #UFCVegas36— Tatiana Suarez (@tatianaufc) September 4, 2021
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?