why are inhalers illegal in mma

why are inhalers illegal in mma

Inhalers are devices commonly used to treat respiratory conditions such as asthma. They deliver medication directly to the lungs, providing relief and improving breathing. However, in the world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), inhalers are prohibited during fights. This article aims to explore the reasons why inhalers are illegal in MMA from various perspectives.

1. Fairness and Level Playing Field

MMA is a combat sport where fighters compete against each other based on their skills, strength, and conditioning. Allowing the use of inhalers would create an unfair advantage for fighters with respiratory conditions. It would compromise the level playing field and potentially affect the outcome of the fight.

2. Safety Concerns

MMA is already a dangerous sport with a high risk of injuries. The use of inhalers during fights could pose additional safety concerns. In the heat of the moment, fighters may not use inhalers appropriately, leading to potential accidents or injuries. Therefore, banning inhalers in MMA helps prioritize the safety of the fighters.

3. Performance Enhancement

Inhalers can potentially enhance performance by improving breathing and increasing oxygen supply to the muscles. This could give fighters an unfair advantage over their opponents. By prohibiting inhaler use, MMA ensures that fights are solely determined by the fighters’ natural abilities and skills.

4. Medical Supervision

MMA fights are conducted under strict medical supervision to ensure the well-being of the fighters. Allowing inhalers would require additional medical oversight, including assessing each fighter’s respiratory condition and determining the appropriate medication. This could be logistically challenging and time-consuming during an event.

5. Pre-fight Medical Checks

Before participating in an MMA fight, fighters undergo pre-fight medical checks to assess their physical condition. If a fighter requires an inhaler, it may indicate an underlying respiratory condition that could potentially be aggravated during the fight. In such cases, the fighter may be deemed unfit to compete for their own safety.

6. Encouraging Proper Management

Banning inhalers in MMA encourages fighters with respiratory conditions to manage their conditions effectively outside of the fighting arena. It promotes responsible self-care, including following prescribed treatments, avoiding triggers, and maintaining overall respiratory health.

7. Consistency with Other Sports

Many other combat sports, such as boxing and kickboxing, also prohibit the use of inhalers during fights. This consistency ensures a level playing field across various combat sports and prevents confusion or unfair advantages for fighters transitioning between different disciplines.

8. The Role of Adrenaline

MMA fights are intense and physically demanding, often leading to an adrenaline rush. Adrenaline can temporarily alleviate symptoms of respiratory conditions, making fighters feel less affected during the fight. Allowing inhalers would undermine the natural physiological responses and potentially mask underlying conditions.

9. Avoiding Unnecessary Distractions

MMA fights require intense focus, concentration, and split-second decision-making. Allowing the use of inhalers could introduce unnecessary distractions during the fight. Fighters may need to pause the action to use the inhaler, disrupting the flow of the fight and potentially affecting the overall experience for fighters and spectators.

why are inhalers illegal in mma

10. Maintaining the Integrity of the Sport

MMA is a sport that prides itself on integrity and fair competition. Banning inhalers helps maintain the integrity of the sport by ensuring that fights are determined by the fighters’ skills, training, and natural abilities, rather than external aids or medications.


The prohibition of inhalers in MMA is rooted in the principles of fairness, safety, and maintaining the integrity of the sport. It ensures that fighters compete on a level playing field, promotes their safety, and prevents performance enhancement through external aids. By understanding and respecting these reasons, the MMA community can continue to uphold the values and spirit of the sport.

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