While honor is a virtue in most martial arts circles, that is not always the case. Some UFC fighters are willing to bend the rules in order to obtain a competitive advantage against their foes. The existence of dirty fighters who use poorly regarded techniques like oblique kicks is one thing.
However, there are fighters who outright commit fouls in order to claim victory or disadvantage their foes. Other foulers do so out of habit, while some submit to a moment of instinct when they're in the worst possible position against an opponent. Regardless of the reasons, some UFC fighters commit fouls.
Unfortunately, some fouls are more blatant than others, leaving no room for the imagination. This list details such incidents where there was no confusion as to what transpired. Thus, it's time to compile five of the most blatant fouls in UFC history.
There was no love lost between Rafael Natal and Uriah Hall. The feud between the two is said to have been sparked by the Brazilian's part in allegedly dissuading Phil Nurse from training with 'Prime Time', which the now-retired middleweight took as a serious slight, culminating in a shoving match at the UFC 187 weigh-ins.
Come fight night, it took no longer than three seconds for a foul to be committed. Rafael Natal landed a clear low blow that couldn't possibly have been mistaken for anything else. It wasn't a round kick to the body that fell a few inches low from landing on the midsection or a kick traveling along a wide arc to the thigh or calf.
The Brazilian's kick shot straight up like a soccer kick, never coming close to targeting his foe's legs or midsection. It landed squarely on Uriah Hall's groin, causing the referee to pause the bout. 'Sapo' exhibited zero remorse for the blatant foul and ultimately won a grinding split-decision with his grappling.
The foul committed during Priscila Cachoeira's loss against Gillian Robertson didn't receive the level of scrutiny and criticism it deserved. Of course, the bout escaped most casual fans' notice due to its position on the card overshadowed by its main event.
UFC 269 was headlined by newly crowned lightweight king Charles Oliveira and former interim titleholder Dustin Poirier. 'The Diamond' was fresh off two consecutive wins against UFC superstar Conor McGregor, and many fans were eager to see if he could make good on his promise to finally capture the undisputed title.
So when Priscila Cachoeira faced Gillian Robertson in the early-prelims' opening bout, not many people were present to watch the Brazilian women's flyweight gouge her foe's right eye in an attempt at escaping a rear-naked choke. It was deliberate as her fingers were seen searching her foe's face for an eye.
Ultimately, 'Zombie Girl' had no choice but to tap out to the rear-naked choke, but the blatant foul overshadowed Gillian Robertson's win due to the ugly circumstances of her opponent's attempts at survival.
Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling are two of the world's best bantamweights. The two men have faced the best of the best at bantamweight, including each other. Their first outing was Petr Yan's attempt at mounting a defense of his then newly acquired UFC bantamweight title.
The leadup to their bout was largely defined by 'Funk Master's' assertion that 'No Mercy' enjoyed an easier route to a title fight than he had. It is difficult to know how much offense the Siberian phenom took to his rival's statements, but come fight night, he seemed like he had a point to prove.
Aljamain Sterling is the NEW UFC Bantamweight Champion after this illegal knee disqualified Petr Yan #UFC259Aljamain Sterling is the NEW UFC Bantamweight Champion after this illegal knee disqualified Petr Yan #UFC259https://t.co/lQ6ITgu9ip
Petr Yan wasn't content with simply outstriking his foe. He made it a point to outwrestle him as well. With thirty-two seconds left in the fourth round and Aljamain Sterling clearly resting on both knees, 'No Mercy' landed a blatant illegal knee to the head of a grounded opponent.
The Siberian, a veteran of then seven UFC bouts, broke the rules en route to becoming the first champion to lose his title via disqualification in the promotion.
Perhaps no rivalry throughout the UFC's existence as a promotion was more heated than Conor McGregor's feud with Khabib Nurmagomedov. At the time, the Russian legend had just captured the vacant lightweight title, of which the Irishman was stripped after his long absence from the sport of MMA.
Prior to his return, a confrontation between 'The Eagle' and his close friend Artem Lobov took place in a hotel lobby. Khabib Nurmagomedov took offense to his Russian compatriot's insults in a previous interview and cornered him with a group of friends before slapping him and uploading the video for the world to see.
The incident angered 'The Notorious' beyond belief, prompting him to attack a bus full of fighters simply due to the Dagestani phenom's presence inside the bus. Once the two men finally crossed swords inside the octagon, Conor McGregor committed a series of fouls, including grabbing his foe's shorts, gloves and the cage.
His most blatant foul, however, was when he was under 'The Eagle' with the two of them on the mat. With no other recourse, 'The Notorious' landed an illegal knee on Khabib Nurmagomedov's head, which he expressed pride over after the bout despite suffering a fourth-round submission loss.
Before Petr Yan lost his title due to being disqualified, Jon Jones was dangerously close to being stripped of his light heavyweight crown after an incident during his bout with Anthony Smith at UFC 235. In the leadup to their matchup, 'Lionheart' made it a point to make a distinction between fighters and martial artists.
According to him, 'Bones' was a superior martial artist but not a better fighter than him. Furthermore, the former middleweight claimed that he had no fear of the legendary light heavyweight. Jones seemed to take offense to both of his foe's statements.
Once the two light heavyweights stepped inside the octagon, it was a typical Jon Jones affair. The former divisional kingpin completely shut 'Lionheart' down and was on course for an easy unanimous decision win against a dispirited foe. 'Bones', by then, was a veteran of 19 UFC fights.
So when he landed an illegal knee while Anthony Smith still had a hand on the mat, there was no excuse. Least of all, when Jon Jones has taken advantage of that rule himself by starting some of his fights by crawling towards his foes, knowing they can't kick or knee his head as long as his hands are on the mat.
While he escaped a disqualification loss due to 'Lionheart' refusing to win the title via DQ, it was one of the most blatant fouls committed by a man who more than understands the UFC's rules.
Edited by C. Naik