why dont mma fighters use body shots

why dont mma fighters use body shots

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a combat sport that incorporates various martial arts disciplines. While fighters primarily focus on strikes to the head and legs, body shots are often underutilized in MMA. This article will explore the reasons why MMA fighters don’t frequently use body shots, examining different aspects of the sport.

Lack of Scoring Value

One reason why MMA fighters may not use body shots as frequently is the scoring system. Judges tend to award more points for strikes to the head and legs, as they are perceived to have a greater impact on the outcome of the fight. Consequently, fighters prioritize these areas to maximize their chances of winning on the scorecards.

Additionally, body shots may not always result in immediate visible damage, making it harder for fighters to impress the judges. This lack of scoring value discourages fighters from investing heavily in body shots.

Defensive Considerations

MMA fighters must also consider the defensive aspects when deciding to use body shots. While body shots can be effective, they often require fighters to close the distance, putting them at risk of counterattacks. This risk may deter fighters from throwing body shots, as they prioritize their own defense and avoiding potential damage.

Furthermore, body shots can be easier to defend against compared to strikes to the head or legs. Opponents can tighten their core or block with their arms, reducing the impact of body shots. This defensive advantage may make fighters more reluctant to rely heavily on body shots.

Training Emphasis

Another reason for the underutilization of body shots in MMA could be the training emphasis. Many fighters come from specific martial arts backgrounds, such as boxing or kickboxing, where strikes to the head and legs are emphasized. As a result, fighters may naturally gravitate towards these areas in their training and fights, neglecting the potential effectiveness of body shots.

Moreover, body shots require specific techniques and targeting, which may not receive as much attention in training. Fighters may not have developed the necessary skills and comfort level to effectively execute body shots in the heat of a fight.

Strategic Considerations

Strategically, fighters may prioritize other techniques over body shots. For example, fighters may focus on takedowns and grappling, as these techniques can lead to submission victories or dominant positions on the ground, which score more points and offer greater control over the fight. In these cases, body shots may be seen as less effective in achieving the desired outcome.

why dont mma fighters use body shots

Additionally, fighters may choose to conserve energy by not throwing as many body shots. Body shots require significant energy expenditure, and fighters may opt to conserve their energy for other techniques or later rounds.

Psychological Factors

Psychological factors can also play a role in the limited use of body shots. Fighters may be more drawn to strikes that have a visible and immediate effect on their opponents, such as head kicks or punches. These strikes can be more psychologically demoralizing to opponents and can potentially lead to a knockout. Body shots, on the other hand, may not have the same psychological impact, making fighters less inclined to utilize them.

Furthermore, fighters may have personal preferences or biases towards certain techniques, which can influence their decision-making during a fight. If a fighter has had success with strikes to the head or legs in the past, they may be more inclined to stick to those techniques, even if body shots could be equally effective.


While body shots can be effective in MMA, there are several reasons why fighters don’t frequently use them. The scoring system, defensive considerations, training emphasis, strategic considerations, and psychological factors all contribute to the underutilization of body shots. However, as the sport continues to evolve, it is possible that fighters may start incorporating body shots more effectively into their arsenal.

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