The Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts were established in 2001 to create a standardized set of rules and regulations for MMA competition across different states and countries. The rules are regularly updated and revised by the various regulatory bodies to ensure the safety of the athletes and maintain the integrity of the sport.
Biting has been prohibited in MMA since the inception of the Unified Rules, even at UFC 1, which took place in 1993. However, the rules and regulations at that time were not as standardized as they are now, and there were fewer restrictions on the actions including permitted groin shots.
Recently, Thiago Oliveira, who had a record of 16-9, faced off against Erkin Damenov, who had an impressive record of 12-5 and a winning streak across multiple promotions. The finishing sequence of the bout saw Oliveira outgrapple Damenov, who squirmed out of back control when something suspect occurred.
Damenov pleaded with the referee as Oliveira’s hands were beneath his chin, and he went for the finish. Instant replay showed that Oliveira had bitten Damenov’s ear to cause him to lose focus, enabling him to place his arm underneath his chin to set up the submission finish.
The referee disqualified Oliveira, and Damenov was declared the winner.
But, believe it or not, Oliveira disputes the overwhelming video evidence. He told MMAFighting:
“If you watch the video you’ll notice it never shows me biting him. I move closer to his ear so the RNC gets tight. There’s no point saying I didn’t bite him because everyone will draw their own conclusions, but watch the video and you’ll see I didn’t bite him.”
“Those who know me know I never needed anything like that to win,” he added. “And I wouldn’t do something crazy like that now. He was about to give up anyway, I didn’t need to bite him.”
Since 2014, Benny A. King has been fully immersed in the world of combat sports. Starting with a blog about Greco Roman wrestling, Benny’s passion for combat sports has led him to explore various disciplines.