If you’ve ever seen a UFC fight, you commonly see fighters applying vaseline to their faces between rounds. Many people don’t know why they do it, but it is beneficial during a fight for a few reasons.
UFC fighters vaseline their faces to prevent cuts from punches to the face. When a glove makes contact with the fighter’s face, it can cause the skin to rip. Vaseline makes that harder by causing the glove to slide off, not stick to their skin. This reduced friction reduces the chance of a cut.
Let’s go into more detail about the benefit of UFC fighters using vaseline on their faces and how it works.
What Are the Benefits of UFC Fighters Putting Vaseline on Their Face?
UFC fighters often put vaseline on their faces to prevent cuts and burns. Using vaseline also helps control bleeding when they get cut. While vaseline doesn’t make a fighter harder to hit, it does make them less likely to get those specific injuries when they are hit.
When leather comes in contact with dry skin, it can leave burn marks. It can also put a lot of pressure on the skin, causing it to separate.
Vaseline also helps to reduce friction which can cause burns. Sliding your knee quickly and heavily across the carpet will cause a burn. A leather glove will also do the same.
UFC fighters get hit with such intense force. This force causes leather to rub against a fighter’s face quickly and forcefully. The speed and power behind a swing can cause burns.
While vaseline doesn’t completely prevent burns from happening, it does cut down on them. Though the fist will still make contact, the leather will not grip the face causing a burn. Instead, it will slide off because of the vaseline.
Cuts are the main focus of vaseline application for UFC fighters because of bleeding. Fighters want to avoid bleeding as much as possible.
Why Fighters Don’t Want to Bleed During a Fight
Fighters can stop the fight due to blood in their eyes. Or the fight could get called altogether because a fighter has bled too much.
Additionally, blood loss can cause many different issues for fighters. They can begin to feel lightheaded or even pass out if they lose too much.
Blood is something that fighters try to avoid in the octagon as it can quickly stop or end a fight. The UFC takes blood loss seriously. So, fighters use vaseline, hoping that they can avoid blood loss altogether.
No fighter wants to stop or even lose a fight because they had cuts and lost blood. So, they use vaseline to help prevent cuts from happening.
Vaseline helps prevent cuts and rips in the skin by allowing the opponent’s glove to slide. This movement helps to prevent the leather glove from sticking to the skin and causing cuts. Since bleeding is not ideal, vaseline is the best way fighters have to avoid it.
If cuts happen despite vaseline, then it can also stop bleeding. Vaseline is a thick jelly that can help prevent continuous bleeding for cuts that happen. It may not be as good as a bandage, but vaseline can help clog the cut to prevent bleeding temporarily.
When people say to rub some dirt in a wound, that isn’t the best idea. There are germs and a chance of infection. But vaseline follows the same idea. The packed dirt aims to stop the bleeding until it gets treated. Vaseline does the same thing without germs.
Why Are Fighters Only Allowed To Use Vaseline on the Face in UFC?
UFC fighters can only use vaseline on the face because it’s where bleeding is most likely to occur. Pressure is more likely to make faces bleed than other parts of the body. It’s also because of the grappling aspect of fighting. Trying to grapple with someone covered in Vaseline isn’t a great idea.
Fighters need to grab and grasp their opponents. This would not be feasible if they were both covered in vaseline.
The bone structure in the human face stretches the skin over sharp edges. Areas like cheekbones and chins are pointy.
In these pointy areas, we have tighter skin. When skin is tighter, it is more likely to tear on impact. So, it is important to protect those areas with vaseline.
There aren’t as many places where the skin is that tight on the rest of our bodies. Sure, we may still bleed when hit in the arm or shoulder. But you are more likely to bleed when hit in the face. So, using vaseline for this purpose on the rest of the body wouldn’t be as useful as it is on the face. It would also be much messier.
Even if it was worth applying vaseline all over to prevent bleeding in other places, it isn’t practical. UFC fighters focus a lot on grappling, holds, and controlling their opponent’s body. With vaseline, this would be much more difficult to do.
A fighter who chooses to use vaseline on their body would have a clear advantage. They would be more difficult to control and hard to hold on to. It would turn the art of UFC into more of a mud wrestling-style competition.
Regulations help keep with the traditions of hard-hit and body control. Fighters can only use vaseline on the face to prevent and treat cuts. Otherwise, it would give fighters an unfair advantage.
UFC fighters have plenty of really good reasons to use vaseline on their faces. From preventing cuts and burns to controlling bleeding, vaseline can help fighters stay in the fight.
Vaseline is only allowed on a fighter’s face, but it still protects them. UFC fighting is a dangerous sport, but vaseline helps fighters stay a little safer in the octagon.