If you are a mixed martial artist, it pays to cheat. In fact most cheating in the sport goes completely unpunished.
For instance you are not allowed to grab ahold of the fence, but many fighters do, and some prevent being taken down because of it. The punishment for holding the fence is supposed to be the deduction of a point, though this rarely occurs. Even if a referee is enforcing the no fence-grabbing rule it is standard that a fighter be given a warning before a point is deducted. This basically means you are allowed to grab the fence as much as you want until you are warned for it.
Other rules are similarly un-enforced, such as punches to the back of the head, 12-6 elbows, and numerous others. Heck up until USADA entered the mix, it was more or less legal to take certain banned substances just so long as you weren’t dumb enough to take them the week of your fight.
The fact is cheaters are rarely punished by MMA (aside from USADA drug test failures), and here are 7 examples of fighters who cheated, but won their fights anyway…
7. Yoel Romero vs Tim Kennedy UFC 178
UFC 178 would be the first time Tim Kennedy would lose in the UFC, odd considering he may have finished his opponent the previous round.
The fight in question is often referred to as “Stool-Gate” and serves as a defining moment for each of the 2 fighters involved. To close out the 2nd round of this fight, Tim Kennedy had Romero rocked and the fight looked to be just moments away from ending, until the end of the round saved Romero.
Romero’s corner decided to give their fighter some more time, so they neglected to take the stool out of the cage with them when the break between rounds was over. Romero sat for an extended period of time on top of the stool to recover. John McCarthy finally got Romero up and on his feet, while Tim Kennedy came out from the other side of the octagon to protest the behaviour of Romero’s corner. Sure enough, Romero would end up knocking Kennedy out the very next round.