Why Do Fighters Apply Vaseline to Their Face?

Video why do fighters put vaseline on their face

During an MMA or boxing match, fighters inevitably face the risk of getting punched in the face. To avoid severe cuts or lacerations that could lead to forfeiting the match, fighters employ various methods. One common practice is the application of vaseline to their face. This article aims to shed light on the significance of vaseline for professional fighters.

The Reason Behind Vaseline Application

In combat sports, injuries are expected, but even a minor scratch on the face can prove detrimental. A severe cut can quickly end a match. To minimize the likelihood of a fight-ending due to severe lacerations, fighters apply vaseline to their face before and during a fight. There are several benefits associated with this practice:

  1. Protection Against Leather Gloves: Leather MMA or boxing gloves are capable of inflicting cuts on the tender facial skin. By applying vaseline, a jelly-like substance, fighters reduce friction between their face and the glove, which in turn decreases the chances of skin tearing.

  2. Enhanced Elasticity: Vaseline acts as a lubricant, increasing the skin’s elasticity. With more stretchability, the skin becomes less prone to tearing when the fighter receives a hard punch from their opponent.

  3. Wound Management: Inevitably, fighters will sustain injuries during an MMA fight. Vaseline is applied to open wounds to help control bleeding. However, severe cuts may require additional measures such as the use of a coagulant.

  4. Avoiding Early Fight Endings: Swift fight terminations due to severe cuts are generally unfavorable among MMA organizations and spectators. Applying vaseline to the fighter’s face is widely accepted to prevent such premature conclusions.

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It is important to note that vaseline does not alleviate pain. Its primary purpose is to offer protection and ensure fights do not conclude prematurely due to severe lacerations.

Quantity of Vaseline Application

There are no specific rules governing the amount of vaseline a fighter can use during a match. The referee determines the permissible quantity for application. Typically, vaseline is applied to key areas such as the nose, cheekbones, jawbone, and ears. Excessive application should be avoided to prevent vaseline from inadvertently reaching the fighter’s eyes, which is undesirable.

The Role of a Cutman in an MMA/Boxing Fight

Fighters do not apply vaseline to their own faces; this task falls to a dedicated individual called a Cutman. Positioned ringside, the Cutman’s responsibility is to prevent or treat cuts, bleeds, wounds, swellings, and lacerations sustained by the athletes. During the one-minute breaks between fights, the Cutman treats the fighter in their corner, requiring expertise, speed, and professionalism. The Cutman’s work can significantly impact a fighter’s chances of winning by minimizing the effects of facial wounds during the match.

The Cutman is authorized to apply vaseline exclusively to the fighter’s face during a match. Using vaseline on other parts of the body, commonly referred to as “greasing,” is not permitted. Greasing with vaseline diminishes the impact of strikes and makes it harder to execute submissions.

Medication and Treatments During a Fight

Ensuring a fighter’s health and safety is crucial both inside and outside the MMA cage. In addition to vaseline, a Cutman may employ other products and medications to aid the fighter. These include:

  • Water: Cutmen provide fighters with water for drinking and cooling, often placing damp towels or clothes on their shoulders and legs.
  • Ice: Ice, usually enclosed in a plastic bag, helps reduce swelling.
  • Enswell or Metal Plate: An Enswell, a small metal plate kept in ice, is pressed against swollen areas resulting from opponent strikes.
  • Adrenaline Chloride: Adrenaline Chloride constricts blood vessels and is applied to swiftly close wounds during a fight.
  • Coagulant and Cotton Swabs: Cotton swabs are employed to apply Adrenaline Chloride and coagulants, aiding in rapid wound closure and bleeding control.
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Treating Cuts and Swelling During a Fight

When a fighter sustains severe cuts, the Cutman’s immediate response is to apply pressure to the wound, aiming to close it off rapidly. During a match, the Cutman may use a topical solution of Adrenaline Chloride, typically in a 1:1000 concentration, to mitigate bleeding. Vaseline is typically applied around the cut rather than directly within it, while a coagulant is applied internally to promote clotting and stop bleeding as quickly as possible.

Swelling is a common consequence of strikes. It occurs due to fluids and blood gathering in damaged tissue. To restrict blood flow and minimize swelling, ice is applied directly to the affected areas. Cutmen use an enswell, a small metal plate kept in ice, to apply pressure and coldness during one-minute breaks in MMA fights. After a match, fighters continue to apply ice to swollen areas to stimulate the healing process and alleviate pain.

In Conclusion

Fighters rely on vaseline to act as a protective buffer for their skin during fights. A Cutman applies a small amount of vaseline before a fight and during the one-minute breaks. In addition to vaseline, various tools can be employed to assist fighters with bruises, swellings, and wounds. Understanding the significance of vaseline for professional fighters and its usage in boxing and MMA matches sheds light on the importance of this practice. For more insightful articles like this one, visit 5 WS.

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