why do legs brake in mma

why do legs brake in mma

Why Do Legs Break in MMA?

Leg injuries are a common occurrence in mixed martial arts (MMA) fights. The intense physical nature of the sport, combined with the variety of techniques used, can put significant stress on the legs, leading to fractures, breaks, and other injuries. In this article, we will explore the various factors that contribute to leg breaks in MMA.

1. Impact of Strikes

One of the primary reasons for leg breaks in MMA is the impact of strikes. Powerful kicks and knee strikes can land with tremendous force, causing bones to fracture under the pressure. The repetitive nature of striking during fights also increases the likelihood of leg injuries.

Additionally, the targeting of specific areas, such as the shin or knee, can further increase the risk of leg breaks. These targeted strikes aim to weaken the opponent’s legs, making them more susceptible to fractures.

2. Submission Holds

Submission holds, particularly those targeting the legs, can also lead to breaks in MMA. Techniques such as leg locks, heel hooks, and knee bars put immense pressure on the joints and bones, increasing the risk of fractures. If the opponent fails to tap out in time, the force applied to the leg can cause severe damage.

Moreover, the rapid transitions and counter-movements involved in submission attempts can exacerbate the risk of leg breaks. Sudden twists and torques can put excessive stress on the leg, leading to fractures.

3. Takedowns and Slams

During takedowns and slams, fighters often land with significant force on their legs. The impact from being lifted and forcefully brought down can cause bones to break, especially if the landing is not properly controlled or if the fighter’s leg gets caught in an awkward position.

why do legs brake in mma

Furthermore, the unpredictable nature of takedowns and slams in MMA adds to the risk of leg injuries. Fighters may attempt to defend or counter these moves, resulting in accidental twists or hyperextensions that can lead to fractures.

4. Training and Conditioning

The training and conditioning methods employed by MMA fighters can also contribute to leg breaks. Intense training sessions, repetitive striking drills, and grueling sparring sessions can weaken the bones over time, making them more susceptible to fractures during fights.

Moreover, inadequate rest and recovery periods can further increase the risk of leg injuries. Overtraining can lead to fatigue and decreased bone density, making the legs more prone to breaks.

5. Weight Cutting

Weight cutting is a common practice in MMA, where fighters aim to shed excess weight before a fight to compete in a lower weight class. However, extreme weight cutting can have detrimental effects on the body, including weakening the bones.

When fighters dehydrate themselves to make weight, their bones become more brittle and prone to fractures. The compromised bone density increases the risk of leg breaks during fights, especially when subjected to high-impact strikes or submission attempts.

6. Accidental Injuries

Despite the strict rules and regulations in place, accidental injuries can still occur in MMA fights. Unintentional strikes or awkward falls can result in leg breaks, regardless of the fighters’ skill or technique.

Furthermore, the unpredictable nature of combat sports means that fighters can land in compromising positions, increasing the risk of leg injuries. Even with proper training and conditioning, accidents can happen, leading to fractures.


Leg breaks in MMA can occur due to a combination of factors, including the impact of strikes, submission holds, takedowns, training methods, weight cutting, and accidental injuries. It is essential for fighters to prioritize proper technique, conditioning, and safety measures to minimize the risk of leg injuries in this physically demanding sport.

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