One could make the argument that mixed martial arts was better before all the rules came into play. Back before athletic commissions came around, an MMA bout was basically an organized fight.

from Fightland

Then Senator John McCain got the UFC thrown off of PPV following the debacle that was UFC 9, and the sport was on life support for several years. The introduction of rules and working with athletic commissions saved the sport by once again allowing it exposure to the masses.

But for those who have been fans since the beginning, today’s sport sometimes lacks the same intensity of those that took place in the pioneer days.

Here are 7 old school KOs that would be illegal in today’s sport…

from CBN sports
from CBN sports

7. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua KOs Quinton “Rampage” Jackson

A lot of fans wish that soccer kicks were legal in MMA today, as they were in Pride. A soccer kick to a grounded opponent looks (and is) brutal however, which really prevents them from ever being legal again.


This fight from 2005, perfectly illustrates how brutal soccer kicks can be.

Rampage was coming off of his 2nd loss to Wanderlei, but was still considered one of the best in his weight class in the world. He was also coming into this fight having just defeated Shogun’s older brother, Murilo Rua, in his last fight.

This was the opening round of the Pride 2005 middleweight grand prix, a tournament that Shogun would go on to win.

YouTube video

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Ian is a MMA writer based out of Toronto, ON Canada. An avid mixed martial arts enthusiast and passionate fan since he was born, Ian has been writing about mixed martial arts for over 5 years.