Former UFC star defends "career-ending" kick as fighters "sign death waiver"

Former UFC star turned analyst Dan Hardy has slammed fighters calling for oblique kicks to be banned from the sport.

Some fighters called for the kick to be banned this past weekend after Khalil Rountree defeated Modestas Bukauskas with the technique at UFC Vegas 36.

Among those included middleweight fighter Kelvin Gastelum, light heavyweight Jamahal Hill and welterweight contender Belal Muhammad.

But despite the kick causing him suspected ligament damage, Bukauskas blamed himself for not defending the technique properly.

Hardy – who retired from fighting in 2012 due to a heart condition – says the technique is perfectly legal and calls to ban it are ridiculous.

He told Submission Radio : “It shouldn’t be banned. It’s an effective technique. If we start banning effective techniques, then we’re going to find ourselves with a very, very limited rule set. I think that we need to recognize that it’s an occupational hazard.

"On football fields, rugby pitches, up and down, around the world on a weekend basis, people are getting their knees destroyed in the same way that Modestas did.

"It happens very rarely in MMA. Anybody that says it should be banned, have them name three people that it’s happened to, because it’s very difficult to recall any time when it actually happens in MMA."

The extend of Bukauskas' injuries have not yet been revealed, though he will undergo an MRI scan when he returns home to England.

Rountree wished his opponent a quick recovery after the fight, but didn't feel any wrongdoing and stated it "could quite as easily have happened to him" instead.

The kick has previously been scrutinised after the likes of pound-for-pound No.1 Jon Jones utilised it during his title reign at light heavyweight.

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And Hardy thinks that fighters calling to ban the kick are in the wrong career.

“It’s a part of the sport. We are literally in there to try and take each other’s head off. You’re not pulling punches. You’re not thinking about what the damage is doing to the person’s brain when you’re kicking and elbowing them.

"I would much rather be dealing with a knee injury than a serious concussion. They’re the kind of things that we really have to take into consideration.

“I can’t even believe that it’s been brought up as something that we should consider banning. It fries my brain. Honestly, it does. And the fact that professional fighters would come out and say it, you’re in the wrong sport.

"You’re doing the wrong thing if you’re concerned about picking up a knee injury. You know what you’re doing when you get in there. You sign a death waiver when you’re stepping in there to fight. Suck it up.”

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