why do mma fighters have ante face

why do mma fighters have ante face

why do mma fighters have ante face

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a combat sport that combines various techniques from different martial arts disciplines. One distinctive feature of MMA fighters is their “ante face,” a term used to describe the swollen and bruised appearance of their faces after a fight. This article aims to explore the reasons behind why MMA fighters have ante faces from various perspectives.

1. Impact of Strikes

MMA fighters engage in intense striking exchanges, including punches, elbows, and kicks. These strikes can cause significant damage to the face, resulting in swelling and bruising. The repeated impact on the facial area is one of the primary reasons for the ante face.

2. Lack of Protective Gear

Unlike other combat sports like boxing, MMA fighters do not wear headgear or face protection during fights. This lack of protective gear exposes their faces to direct strikes, increasing the likelihood of facial injuries and contributing to the ante face phenomenon.

3. Ground and Pound Techniques

Ground and pound techniques involve a fighter taking their opponent to the ground and then delivering strikes from a dominant position. The close-quarters nature of these techniques often leads to strikes directly targeting the face, resulting in facial swelling and bruising.

4. Submission Holds

MMA fighters frequently employ submission holds, such as chokes and joint locks, to force their opponents to submit. While these techniques do not directly cause facial injuries, the struggle and resistance put up by the opponent can result in accidental strikes to the face, contributing to the ante face appearance.

5. Facial Vascularity

The face has a high concentration of blood vessels, making it more prone to swelling and bruising. MMA fighters’ intense physical activity and strikes to the face increase blood flow to the area, leading to pronounced swelling and discoloration.

6. Broken Facial Bones

MMA fighters often experience broken facial bones, such as the nose, cheekbones, and orbital bones, due to the forceful strikes they endure. These fractures contribute to facial deformities and the characteristic ante face appearance.

7. Weight Cutting

Weight cutting is a common practice in MMA, where fighters rapidly lose weight to compete in a lower weight class. This process involves dehydration and extreme dieting, which can weaken the body’s ability to absorb strikes and increase facial swelling during fights.

8. Fight Duration

MMA fights can last for several rounds, with each round lasting five minutes or more. The prolonged exposure to strikes and the accumulation of damage over time contribute to the development of an ante face.

9. Adrenaline and Endorphins

During a fight, MMA fighters experience a surge of adrenaline and endorphins, which can mask the pain and allow them to continue fighting despite sustaining facial injuries. This adrenaline rush may delay the immediate appearance of an ante face until after the fight.

10. Healing Process

The body’s natural healing process plays a role in the development of an ante face. Inflammation and swelling occur as the body responds to the trauma, leading to the characteristic appearance. The extent and duration of the swelling depend on various factors, including individual healing capabilities.


MMA fighters have ante faces due to a combination of factors, including the impact of strikes, lack of protective gear, ground and pound techniques, submission holds, facial vascularity, broken facial bones, weight cutting, fight duration, adrenaline and endorphins, and the healing process. Understanding these factors helps to appreciate the physical toll that MMA fighters endure and the challenges they face in their sport.

Like (0)
Previous November 8, 2023 7:59 am
Next November 8, 2023 7:59 am

You may also like