why do refs feel all over mma fighters before fight

why do refs feel all over mma fighters before fight

Why Do Refs Feel All Over MMA Fighters Before Fight

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a combat sport that requires intense physical exertion and places fighters at risk of injury. To ensure the safety and fairness of the fights, referees play a crucial role in enforcing the rules and regulations. One of the common practices among referees is to feel all over the fighters before the fight begins. This article aims to explore the reasons behind this procedure from various perspectives.

Ensuring Fighter Safety

Feeling all over the MMA fighters before a fight is primarily done to ensure their safety. By physically examining the fighters, referees can identify any pre-existing injuries or conditions that may affect their ability to compete. This allows them to make informed decisions about the fighters’ readiness to participate and prevent potential harm during the bout.

Moreover, by feeling the fighters’ bodies, referees can detect any hidden objects or prohibited substances that could give an unfair advantage or pose a danger to both fighters. This ensures a level playing field and reduces the risk of any foul play.

Confirming Compliance with Regulations

Another reason for referees to feel all over MMA fighters is to confirm their compliance with the sport’s regulations. Referees check for any illegal substances or equipment that fighters may attempt to conceal. This includes checking for foreign objects, such as brass knuckles or hidden blades, which could cause severe harm to opponents.

Additionally, referees may also ensure that fighters are not using any substances that could enhance their performance, such as banned drugs or steroids. This helps maintain the integrity of the sport and ensures fair competition.

Preventing Injuries

Feeling all over the fighters’ bodies allows referees to identify any potential areas of vulnerability or weakness. By doing so, they can take preventive measures or provide additional instructions to the fighters to protect those areas during the fight. This proactive approach reduces the likelihood of severe injuries and ensures the fighters’ well-being.

Moreover, referees can assess the fighters’ physical condition and determine if they are fit to compete. If a fighter appears to be injured or in poor health, the referee may decide to stop the fight before it even begins, thus preventing further harm.

Building Trust and Confidence

Conducting a thorough examination of the fighters before the fight helps build trust and confidence among all parties involved. The fighters can be assured that their opponents are not hiding any unfair advantages, while the audience and officials can trust that the fight will be fair and safe.

why do refs feel all over mma fighters before fight

By implementing this procedure consistently, referees demonstrate their commitment to upholding the rules and regulations of the sport. This fosters a sense of trust and respect between the fighters and the referees, contributing to the overall integrity of MMA.


Feeling all over MMA fighters before a fight serves multiple purposes. It ensures fighter safety, confirms compliance with regulations, prevents injuries, and builds trust and confidence. Referees play a vital role in safeguarding the well-being of the fighters and maintaining the integrity of the sport. By conducting thorough examinations, they contribute to the fair and exciting nature of MMA competitions.

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