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Mastering the Oblique Kick: Jon Jones and the Debate Over Its Legality

Jon Jones Kickin' it
Jon Jones Kickin' it

In the world of mixed martial arts (MMA), fighters are constantly seeking innovative techniques to gain an edge over their opponents. One such technique that has garnered both praise and controversy is the oblique kick. At, we're diving deep into the world of the oblique kick, exploring how Jon Jones has mastered it, why it's considered brutal, and why there's an ongoing debate over its legality in regulated competition.

The Oblique Kick: A Closer Look

The oblique kick, also known as the "leg kick" or "side kick," is a striking technique primarily targeting the opponent's lead leg. Usually the lower thigh at an angle that pressures the knee joint. Unlike traditional kicks that aim for the head or body, the oblique kick is unique in its focus on the thigh right above the knee. Its primary goal is to disrupt an opponent's movement and balance, making it an effective tool for controlling the pace of a fight. If executed hard enough it can take your opponents leg out entirely and get you a TKO.

Jon Jones: The Master of the Oblique Kick

When it comes to mastering the oblique kick, one name stands out prominently – Jon "Bones" Jones. Jones, the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and current UFC Heavyweight Champion whose widely regarded as one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time; has incorporated the oblique kick into his arsenal with remarkable precision.

Why Jon Jones Uses the Oblique Kick

  1. Range Control: Jones uses the oblique kick to manage the distance between him and his opponent. By targeting the lead leg, he keeps his adversaries at bay and limits their ability to close the gap, giving him a significant advantage in striking exchanges.

  2. Injury Potential: When executed correctly, the oblique kick can cause significant damage to an opponent's knee joint or thigh. This damage can accumulate over time, potentially compromising an opponent's mobility and overall effectiveness in the fight.

  3. Tactical Strategy: Jones often uses the oblique kick as part of his tactical approach. By constantly targeting the lead leg, he forces his opponents to adapt, which can disrupt their game plan and lead to openings for his other strikes.

The Brutality of the Oblique Kick

While the oblique kick is undoubtedly effective, its perceived brutality has sparked debate within the MMA community. Critics argue that it poses a significant risk of injury to an opponent's knee ligaments, potentially leading to long-term damage and shortened careers.

Knee Ligament Vulnerability

The knee joint is particularly vulnerable to oblique kicks. The forceful impact on the lateral side of the knee can hyperextend the joint, potentially causing ACL or MCL injuries. Such injuries can require extensive rehabilitation and surgery, impacting a fighter's career and overall quality of life.

The Debate Over Legality

The legality of the oblique kick in regulated competition remains a contentious issue. Some organizations like the UFC, permit the technique. While others have banned it. The debate centers on whether the move's potential for severe injury outweighs its strategic value.

Arguments for Legality

  1. Tactical Skill: Proponents argue that the oblique kick is a legitimate skill that fighters should be allowed to employ strategically. It adds depth to the sport and forces fighters to develop defensive techniques.

  2. Injury Responsibility: Advocates believe that fighters have a responsibility to protect themselves during a match. If they fail to defend against oblique kicks, they should bear some responsibility for any resulting injuries.

Arguments Against Legality

  1. Safety Concerns: Opponents argue that the oblique kick poses an unnecessary risk of serious injury to fighters, which contradicts the duty of organizations to prioritize fighter safety.

  2. Integrity of the Sport: Some critics believe that allowing oblique kicks could tarnish the reputation of MMA as a sport that values skill and technique over inflicting harm.


The oblique kick mastered by Jon Jones, has become a point of contention in the world of MMA. While it is undeniably effective in controlling range and inflicting damage, its potential for severe injury raises questions about its place in regulated competition. As the debate over its legality continues, fighters and organizations must weigh the strategic advantages against the safety concerns associated with this controversial technique.

At, we will continue to cover the latest developments in MMA and provide you with insights into the techniques and tactics that shape the sport. Stay tuned for more exciting content from the world of combat sports.


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