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Benji Radach: Stomps and Soccer Kicks Should Be OK in MMA

The latest issue of ESPN the Magazine devotes its cover and nine inside pages to proposed rules changes in various sports. Ideas range from allowing NFL players to celebrate without penalty to eliminating fouling out in basketball.

And there's one blurb written by Strikeforce fighter Benji Radach, who has a proposal for a rules change in mixed martial arts.

Under the heading, Let MMA Fighters Knee, Kick or Stomp Downed Foes, Radach writes the following:
Nobody wants to seriously hurt an opponent, but I've seen way too many guys get into trouble on their feet and drop to the floor just to save their asses. The guys who can punch, kick, elbow and knee are toughest to fight. But when you go from having all those techniques available one second, then taken away if a guy drops down, a huge chunk of your offense is all of a sudden illegal. That's not fair.
I have mixed feelings about this. I tend to have a "the fewer the better" philosophy toward rules in MMA, and I think stomps and soccer kicks are exciting ways to finish fights. And I agree with Radach that some fighters (I'm thinking particularly of Thales Leites against Anderson Silva) flop onto their backs to avoid contact in a way they wouldn't be able to if stomps and soccer kicks were legal.

And yet I just think stomps and soccer kicks look so brutal that they're probably not good for MMA. The sport still has a long, long way to go before it has reached mainstream acceptance, and in order to gain that acceptance, some moves need to be outlawed. Stomps and soccer kicks are among those moves.

In Pride, where stomps and soccer kicks were legal, no fighter used them more effectively than Shogun Rua, who finished two fights with stomps and three fights with soccer kicks. And yet Shogun has come to America, where the rules don't allow stomps and soccer kicks, and managed to remain one of the best fighters in the world. If Shogun can do without stomps and soccer kicks, the rest of us can too.

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