Why do MMA fighters put vaseline?
When it comes to mixed martial arts (MMA), vaseline plays a crucial role in a fighter’s preparation and performance. This article aims to explore the various reasons why MMA fighters put vaseline on their bodies before a fight.
1. Preventing cuts and abrasions
One of the primary reasons for applying vaseline is to create a protective barrier on the skin. MMA fighters often engage in intense grappling and striking, which can result in cuts and abrasions. By applying vaseline, the skin becomes more slippery, reducing the friction and lowering the chances of cuts and abrasions.
2. Reducing skin damage
MMA fighters frequently experience skin damage due to the repetitive impact of strikes and submissions. Vaseline acts as a lubricant, allowing the skin to slide more easily, thereby minimizing the risk of severe skin damage.
3. Enhancing visibility
Vaseline can improve a fighter’s vision during a match. When sweat or blood drips into the eyes, it can impair vision and affect performance. By applying vaseline around the eyebrows and cheekbones, fighters can prevent sweat and blood from running into their eyes, ensuring better visibility.
4. Facilitating escapes from submissions
During an MMA fight, fighters often find themselves in submission holds, such as chokes or joint locks. The application of vaseline can make it more challenging for opponents to maintain a firm grip, increasing the chances of escaping from these submissions.
5. Reducing friction on the mat
MMA fights take place on mats, which can be abrasive and cause skin burns when there is excessive friction. By applying vaseline, fighters can reduce the friction between their bodies and the mat, preventing unnecessary burns and discomfort.
6. Psychological advantage
Putting vaseline on the body can provide a psychological advantage to fighters. It gives them a sense of readiness and confidence, knowing that they have taken all necessary precautions to protect their skin and enhance their performance.
7. Quick recovery
Vaseline has moisturizing properties that can help fighters recover faster from minor skin injuries. It aids in keeping the skin hydrated, preventing excessive dryness, and promoting the healing process.
8. Easier removal of blood
In MMA fights, blood can be a common occurrence. Applying vaseline beforehand makes it easier to clean the blood off the skin between rounds, allowing the fighter to maintain better visibility and preventing the blood from obstructing their opponent’s grip.
9. Minimizing facial swelling
Strikes to the face can cause swelling, which can impair a fighter’s vision and mobility. The application of vaseline can help reduce the severity of facial swelling, allowing the fighter to maintain better control during the fight.
10. Maintaining a professional appearance
By applying vaseline, fighters can maintain a professional appearance throughout the fight. It prevents excessive sweating from making their skin look greasy or shiny under the bright lights, ensuring they look composed and focused.
11. Protecting against infection
During MMA fights, fighters are exposed to various bacteria and germs present on the mat or their opponents’ bodies. Vaseline creates a barrier that can help protect against potential infections and skin-related diseases.
12. Preventing skin dehydration
The intense physical exertion in MMA fights can lead to excessive sweating, which can cause the skin to dehydrate. Vaseline acts as a moisturizer, helping to retain the skin’s natural moisture and preventing dehydration.
13. Reducing the impact of strikes
When fighters are struck, the vaseline on their skin can act as a cushion, reducing the impact of the blows. This can potentially minimize the damage caused by strikes and allow fighters to withstand more punishment.
14. Assisting in takedowns and grappling
Vaseline can make it harder for opponents to secure a grip during takedowns and grappling exchanges. The slippery surface created by vaseline can make it challenging for opponents to maintain control, providing an advantage to the fighter.
15. Promoting blood flow
Applying vaseline to the skin can stimulate blood flow to the area. This increased blood flow can help fighters feel more alert and focused during the fight, enhancing their overall performance.
16. Preventing skin irritation
The constant rubbing of the body against the mat or an opponent’s skin can cause skin irritation. Vaseline acts as a lubricant, reducing friction and preventing skin irritation, allowing fighters to focus on their technique rather than discomfort.
17. Tradition and habit
Over time, the application of vaseline has become a tradition and habit in MMA. Fighters have witnessed the benefits of using vaseline in their training and fights, leading to its continued use as a standard practice.
18. Enhancing confidence
Knowing that their skin is protected and their performance is optimized, fighters can enter the cage with enhanced confidence. This mental boost can positively impact their overall fighting abilities and decision-making during the match.
19. Adhering to regulations
Many athletic commissions and governing bodies require fighters to apply vaseline before a fight. This regulation ensures a level playing field and consistent practices across different fights and promotions.
20. Professional advice and guidance
Professional trainers and coaches often recommend the use of vaseline based on their experience and knowledge. Their guidance ensures that fighters are aware of the benefits and proper application techniques, maximizing the advantages of using vaseline.
In conclusion, the use of vaseline by MMA fighters serves multiple purposes, including preventing cuts and abrasions, reducing skin damage, enhancing visibility, facilitating escapes from submissions, minimizing friction, and providing psychological advantages. It also aids in quick recovery, easier removal of blood, reducing facial swelling, maintaining a professional appearance, protecting against infection, preventing skin dehydration, reducing the impact of strikes, assisting in takedowns and grappling, promoting blood flow, preventing skin irritation, adhering to regulations, and following professional advice.
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