What are the Basic Rules of MMA?


Mixed martial arts fighters are some of the toughest people on the planet. They train for years to develop their skills and strength in order to compete in this intense sport. However, even these hardened warriors must follow a set of rules. Rules that keep them safe during matches and ensure everyone who steps into an MMA cage knows what to expect. These rules protect both fighters from serious injuries as well as anyone else who might witness an MMA fight live or on television.

The Basic Rules of MMA

The Basic Rules of MMA are a set of rules that all mixed martial arts fighters must follow. They are designed to protect fighters from injury, unfair disqualification, and the sport itself from being unsafe for everyone involved.

The first rule is that no strikes or kicks can be thrown until the fight has officially begun. This means you cannot throw punches or kicks until after the referee says “fight”. Once he says this, you can begin throwing strikes at your opponent as much as possible. That is until one person taps out (signaling surrender), gets knocked out cold, or loses consciousness due to lack of oxygen flow due to strangulation techniques (choking).

Another rule states that if both competitors fall down simultaneously during any given round, they must get back up before resuming fighting. Otherwise, they will both lose points based on how long it takes them each individually takes too long returning back up again after falling down together earlier during their match.

1. No biting or eye gouging

If you bite someone during a fight, you’re not just disqualified. Your opponent can also sue you for damages. Similarly, if you gouge an opponent’s eyes during a fight, the referee will stop the match and disqualify both fighters. In training sessions (where there aren’t any referees), we also advise against these practices because they can lead to serious injury. Possibly even death!

2. No fish hooking or groin strikes

No fish hooking or groin strikes. Fish hooking is when you grab the top of the opponent’s shorts and pull it down, exposing their groin area. Groin strikes are illegal in MMA because they can cause serious injury to your opponent. They can even end your career if done improperly (which usually happens).

3. No simultaneous submission attempts and no heel hooks

The UFC has rules for MMA that differ from most other organizations. These rules are meant to keep fighters safe and ensure they don’t get hurt while competing in their sport. These basic rules of MMA include what submissions are allowed in competition and which aren’t. And there are many!

4. No head-butting, scratching, or spitting

Some basic rules apply to all MMA fights. If a fighter breaks one of these rules, he or she will be disqualified from the fight, and his or her opponent will win by default.

Head butting is illegal in all combat sports. It can cause serious injury to your opponent’s brain tissue, resulting in brain damage or even death. Especially if the fighter hits his head after being knocked down.

Although scratching and spitting during competition isn’t technically against any official rulebook, it still carries severe consequences. If you scratch someone’s face with your fingernails (or worse yet, bite him), you’ll probably be disqualified from the match on account of unsportsmanlike conduct. Whereas, if you spit at another fighter while they’re engaged in hand-to-hand combat (which can happen easily if one person grabs hold of another), then both fighters will likely be disqualified as soon as they separate themselves enough for officials watching over them to see what happened.

5. What happens in the cage stays in the cage

This rule is crucial to MMA because if it weren’t there, everyone would lose interest in watching fights and would instead just want to see two people fight outside of their cages (which wouldn’t be fair).

MMA fighters are some of the toughest people in the world

MMA fighters are some of the toughest people in the world, but they must follow these rules, so nobody gets hurt. The UFC and other MMA organizations have created a set of rules that apply to all fights and help keep fighters safe during competition.

These basic rules include:

  • Fighters must wear approved headgear, cup protectors, and gloves when competing in an MMA match.
  • No blows below the waistline or kicks to the groin area are allowed during the competition (although these moves may be used during training).
  • A fighter cannot strike an opponent while they are down on their back or while they’re lying face-down on top of another fighter who is also down on his back (known as “grounded”).


MMA fighters are some of the toughest people in the world, but they must follow these rules, so nobody gets hurt. If you want to learn more about MMA, check out our blog posts on the subject!