MMA: The 12 Most Painful-Looking 'Nut Shots' in UFC History
Whether it was Matt Hughes recovering from a knee to the crotch to retain his UFC Welterweight Championship against Frank Trigg or seeing Joe Son endure repeated, intentional punches to the nether region, groin strikes have surprisingly produced many of the most memorable moments in mixed martial arts (MMA) history.
While the rules surrounding groin strikes have changes drastically since Keith Hackney legally blasted Son with them at UFC 4, fan perspective on them has not differed in the slightest. While fans can sympathize with recipients of accidental low blows, they also can't help but wait in anticipation for a replay.
With poorly placed inside leg kicks being the most prolific culprit, accidental groin strikes have become a common and unfortunate part of MMA. Of all the nut shots that have happened in the UFC over the years, here are 12 of the worst.
Alan Belcher vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama
About one minute into his fight with Alan Belcher at UFC 100, Yoshihiro Akiyama attempted to step out of the way of an inside leg kick.
What seemed like a decent idea at the time turned into a painful decision when Belcher's kick landed to the cup of Akiyama. In obvious pain, Akiyama crawled to his corner, where he took some much-needed time to recover from the unfortunate strike.
Despite the early setback, Akiyama was able to recover and defeat Belcher by a split decision in what was his UFC debut.
Michael Bisping vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama
Apparently, being "Sexyama" comes at a price.
In just three fights with the UFC, Akiyama has endured two of the worst groin shots in recent memory. The second blow came via another inside leg kick from Michael Bisping at UFC 120.
For a minute, it appeared unlikely that Akiyama would be able to continue after this painful low blow. Akiyama displayed his toughness, though, by continuing to fight. However, Akiyama came up short on the scorecards at the end of this fight in a unanimous decision loss to Bisping.
Trevor Prangley vs. Travis Lutter
It isn't often that a fighter lands an accidental punch to the groin in MMA, but that is exactly what happened to Travis Lutter with less than one minute to go in the first round of a fight against Trevor Prangley at UFC 54.
Looking to land an uppercut to the body, Prangley missed a little too far south of his target and Lutter was given time to recover, which he sorely needed.
Lutter was able to continue, but he would go on to lose to Prangley in a unanimous decision.
Efrain Escudero vs. Charles Oliveira
At UFC Fight Night 22, humor ensued after Efrain Escudero delivered a knee to the crotch of Charles Oliveira. While given time to recover, Oliveira briefly put his hands down his pants, which allowed ringside commentator and stand-up comedian Joe Rogan the opportunity to crack a few jokes.
After he was oddly forced to continue by the referee, Oliveira came out even more aggressive than he had been prior to the low blow and was able to submit Escudero shortly after.
Mirko Filipovic vs. Junior Dos Santos
Mirko Filipovic is well-known for the power he possesses in his leg kicks, which made it all the more difficult to watch him land this kick to the groin of current top contender Junior Dos Santos at UFC 103.
Amazingly, Dos Santos was not only able to continue after taking the blow from the striking legend, but he proceeded to completely dominate the fight and forced "Cro Cop" to verbally submit in the third round.
Cheick Kongo vs. Mirko Filipovic
Mirko Filipovic has taken a few shots below the belt himself over the course of his long career.
Fighting Cheick Kongo at UFC 75, "Cro Cop" took several knees to the groin while pinned against the fence. Despite being warned, Kongo was surprisingly never deducted a point for his repeated infractions and ended up winning the fight by a score of 29-28 on all three judges' scorecards.
In a later fight against Alistair Overeem in Japanese Dream, Filipovic suffered an even more devastating blow that caused one of his testicles to recede into his body...yeah, ouch!
Cheick Kongo vs. Mustapha Al Turk
Cheick Kongo's path of destrcution of his opponents' private parts did not end with Mirko Filipovic. Only three fights later, Kongo was at it again with a knee to the cup of Mustapha Al Turk at UFC 92.
The knee came shortly after Al Turk had delivered a similar strike to the crotch of Kongo, which prompted many to question whether or not Kongo's knee was intentional.
Just moments after the fight was restarted, Kongo finished Al Turk via technical knockout with less than 30 seconds remaining in the first round.
Georges St-Pierre vs. Matt Hughes II
At UFC 65, a welterweight title fight was stopped not once, but twice to allow Matt Hughes to recover from two misplaced inside leg kicks of Georges St-Pierre.
Although the first offense clearly was damaging, Hughes later admitted that the second did not affect him.
Whether the low blows affected Hughes or not, St-Pierre was the better fighter that night and proved it with a second round technical knockout win.
Frank Trigg vs. Matt Hughes II
Defending his UFC Welterweight Championship against Frank Trigg for the second time, a knee to the groin almost resulted in Matt Hughes losing his belt at UFC 52.
While asking for time after the knee landed, Hughes was tagged by Trigg and nearly finished. Hughes was able to recover, however, and mounted what could be considered the most amazing one-round comeback in MMA history with a submission victory.
Mario Yamasaki, who hesitated in halting the action after the low blow, can probably thank Hughes for preventing him from becoming a verbal punching bag.
Ron Faircloth vs. Alessio Sakara
It is a show of the toughness of the competitors in this sport that only a small percentage of these low blows result in an immediate end to the fight, but in some cases it is just not possible for a fighter to continue.
That was the case for Alessio Sakara at UFC 55 after he was struck in the groin by Ron Faircloth. Sakara immediately dropped to the canvas in agony and began dry heaving.
Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Chris Tuchscherer
Speaking of dry heaving, Chris Tuchscherer suffered a similar fate to that of Alessio Sakara when he was blasted in the crotch by Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 102. Writhing in pain, Tuchscherer began puking in the middle of the Octagon.
Amazingly, Tuchscherer continued to fight after the incident, but was quickly finished by Gonzaga upon the restart.
It was later discovered that Gonzaga's kick cracked through Tuchscherer's metal protective cup.
Keith Hackney vs. Joe Son
Finally, we go back to a time when nut shots were perfectly legal.
At UFC 4, Keith Hackney provided the MMA community with one of the more distasteful moments in the sport's history by delivering repeated groin shots to Joe Son.
Son's groin shot defense was strong, though, and Hackney was forced to resort to a high-level one-hand choke to finish the fight.