Why Do They Put Vaseline on UFC Fighters? Uncovering the Mystery.

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As a professional copywriting journalist, I have always been fascinated by the world of combat sports. One question that has always intrigued me is why UFC fighters have Vaseline applied to their faces before a match. What does it do? Why is it necessary? In this article, I will explore the use of Vaseline in UFC and uncover the reasons behind this mysterious practice.

Key Takeaways:

  • Vaseline is applied to UFC fighters to protect their skin during bouts.
  • It helps reduce friction and chafing and aids in minor injury prevention.
  • There have been some controversies and criticisms surrounding the use of Vaseline in UFC.
  • Proper skincare is essential for athletes in combat sports to maintain performance and well-being.

The Purpose of Vaseline in UFC

As a professional copywriting journalist, I’ve had the opportunity to cover some of the most exciting sports events, including the UFC. One curious aspect of the sport that I’ve always wondered about is the use of Vaseline on fighters.

It turns out, the primary purpose of Vaseline in UFC is to protect the fighters’ skin during matches. In a sport where physical contact is inevitable, the skin can become irritated or even damaged from friction, rubbing, or grazing against the mat or the opponents’ bodies. Vaseline acts as a barrier to reduce friction and chafing, which can help prevent minor cuts and abrasions.

Additionally, Vaseline can help reduce the risk of more significant injuries such as broken bones or sprains by providing lubrication. It helps the fighters move more smoothly and can reduce the chances of their limbs getting caught or twisted awkwardly.

The Importance of Maintaining Skin Integrity in UFC

UFC fighters are subjected to high-impact strikes, holds, and takedowns, making it crucial to maintain skin integrity. Any skin abrasions or blisters can become infected quickly in a sweaty environment like the octagon, leading to severe complications and potentially ending an athlete’s career.

Furthermore, UFC fighters have to follow strict weight-class regulations, which can sometimes cause them to dehydrate their bodies. This dehydration can make their skin more fragile and prone to tearing, making Vaseline’s protective properties even more critical.

Overall, the use of Vaseline in UFC has become a standard practice to promote fighter safety, protect skin integrity, and aid in minor injury prevention. The next time you watch a UFC match, you’ll know the reason for the unusual application of Vaseline on the fighters’ faces.

The Tradition of Vaseline Application in UFC

Now that we know why Vaseline is used in UFC, let’s take a look at how it became a tradition in the sport. The practice of applying Vaseline to fighters’ faces has been around for decades and is common in other mixed martial arts competitions as well.

The tradition began as a way to protect fighters’ faces from cuts and bruises during bouts. It was first popularized by legendary cutman Jacob “Stitch” Duran, who became known for his expert application of Vaseline to fighters like Chuck Liddell and Georges St-Pierre.

Over time, the practice has become standardized in the sport. Cutmen are trained to apply a thin layer of Vaseline to a fighter’s face before a bout, focusing on areas like the cheeks, forehead, and nose where contact is most likely to occur. The hope is that the Vaseline will absorb some of the impact and prevent small cuts and abrasions from forming during the fight.

How Vaseline is Applied to UFC Fighters

Before every UFC fight, the fighter’s cornermen apply Vaseline to certain areas of their face and body. This is primarily done to prevent skin damage and make it more difficult for an opponent to grip or scratch their skin during a fight.

The application process involves a cutman, who is responsible for the task, applying a small amount of Vaseline to their fingertips and then rubbing it onto the fighter’s face. The areas that are typically covered with Vaseline include the eyebrows, nose, cheekbones, and chin. In some cases, Vaseline may also be applied to a fighter’s chest and arms.

The cutman’s goal is to apply just enough Vaseline to provide protection without interfering with the fighter’s vision or movement in the octagon. They carefully monitor the amount of Vaseline applied to ensure it does not get into the fighter’s eyes, which could lead to temporary blindness and a disadvantage in the fight.

It’s worth noting that there are specific rules and regulations around the use of Vaseline in UFC. For instance, cutmen are required to use a clean and sterile container of Vaseline for each fighter, and they must also ensure that their hands are clean and disinfected before applying the substance. These measures are in place to prevent the spread of infections and promote the safety of all fighters.

The Benefits of Vaseline for UFC Fighters

Vaseline has been a staple in the UFC fighter’s toolkit for many years, and for good reason. This iconic petroleum jelly offers numerous benefits that help fighters perform at their best, even in the toughest of fights. Here are some of the key benefits of using Vaseline in UFC:

  1. Lubrication: Vaseline’s lubricating properties help reduce friction between the skin and gloves, allowing for smoother movement and greater agility in the ring.
  2. Reducing friction and chafing: In addition to lubrication, Vaseline also helps reduce friction and chafing, which can be particularly important in grappling situations.
  3. Assists in minor injury prevention: Vaseline can help to minimize the impact of minor injuries, such as cuts and scrapes, by creating a barrier between the skin and the elements.

Overall, Vaseline plays a critical role in fighter skincare and protection, helping to keep UFC athletes at their best during every bout.

Controversies and Criticisms Surrounding Vaseline Use in UFC

While many fighters and cutmen swear by the benefits of Vaseline in UFC, there have been some controversies and criticisms surrounding its use in the sport.

One criticism is that too much Vaseline can be applied, causing a slippery surface on the fighter’s skin that can lead to an unfair advantage. In 2009, at UFC 94, welterweight fighter Georges St-Pierre was accused of having too much Vaseline applied to his skin, which may have made it harder for his opponent to grip him during the fight.

Another controversy is the potential for Vaseline to get into the fighters’ eyes during bouts, affecting their vision and potentially leading to injury. While cutmen are instructed to apply the Vaseline away from the eyes, accidents do happen and some fighters have reported experiencing blurred vision during fights due to Vaseline in their eyes.

“I remember opening my eyes and it was like I was underwater, everything was blurry and distorted,” said UFC fighter Michael Bisping in an interview with ESPN concerning an incident where Vaseline got in his eyes during a match.

Despite these criticisms, many in the UFC community continue to support the use of Vaseline as a crucial element of fighter protection and skincare. Additionally, UFC officials have implemented stricter guidelines and protocols for Vaseline application in recent years to prevent any potential issues.

The Future of Vaseline in UFC

It is safe to say that Vaseline has been a staple in UFC for many years and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. While controversies and criticisms have been raised regarding its use, it remains a crucial aspect of fighter skincare and protection.

However, with the advancement of technology and medical knowledge, it is possible that new products or techniques may emerge that could replace or modify the use of Vaseline in UFC. For instance, some fighters have already started using alternative lubricants and balms that offer similar benefits to Vaseline but with better absorption and longer-lasting effects.

Furthermore, as the world becomes more health-conscious, it is likely that the skincare routines of UFC fighters will become more sophisticated and personalized. This involves not just the application of Vaseline but also the use of skincare products before and after fights to promote faster skin healing and rejuvenation.

Overall, the future of Vaseline in UFC is uncertain. Nonetheless, one thing is for sure: the sport will continue to prioritize fighter skincare and protection to ensure that the fighters perform at their best while staying healthy and injury-free.

Athlete Skincare in Combat Sports

While Vaseline plays a critical role in protecting the skin of UFC fighters, it’s important to note that proper skincare extends far beyond this arena. Combat sports, in particular, can take a significant toll on the skin, leaving athletes vulnerable to a range of issues such as acne, infections, and scarring.

One of the best ways to maintain healthy skin as an athlete is by adopting a regular skincare routine. This includes cleansing, toning, exfoliating, and moisturizing the skin. Additionally, it’s essential to pay attention to any specific concerns such as acne or sun damage and use specialized products as needed.

Another important factor to consider is the use of protective gear. Wearing headgear, mouthguards, and gloves can all help reduce the risk of injury and protect the skin from cuts and abrasions.

Ultimately, a holistic approach to athlete skincare in combat sports is essential for maintaining optimal health and performance. By prioritizing proper skincare routines and investing in protective gear, athletes can ensure they are fully prepared to take on the challenges of competition.

In Conclusion

After exploring the use of Vaseline in UFC, it’s clear that this practice is rooted in tradition and has become an integral part of fighter skincare and protection. From providing a lubricating barrier against friction and chafing to aiding in minor injury prevention, Vaseline plays a crucial role in the sport.

Looking to the Future

While there have been some controversies and criticisms surrounding Vaseline use in UFC, it’s important to remember that skincare is a vital component of combat sports. As the sport evolves, it’s possible that alternative or modified practices may emerge. However, it’s unlikely that Vaseline will disappear from the ring anytime soon.

The Importance of Skincare in Combat Sports

Overall, Vaseline is just one part of a larger conversation around athlete skincare in combat sports. Proper skincare routines and practices can have a significant impact on performance and well-being. As fighters continue to push the limits of what the human body can do, it’s essential that we prioritize their health and safety, both inside and outside of the ring.

So, the next time you tune into a UFC match and see a fighter with Vaseline smeared on their face, remember that it’s more than just a cosmetic choice. It’s a crucial aspect of the sport that helps ensure our favorite fighters can perform to the best of their abilities.


Q: Why do they put Vaseline on UFC fighters?

A: The use of Vaseline on UFC fighters is primarily for skin protection during bouts. It helps to reduce friction and chafing, aids in minor injury prevention, and maintains the integrity of the fighters’ skin in the high-impact sport of UFC.

Q: What is the purpose of Vaseline in UFC?

A: The purpose of Vaseline in UFC is to provide a lubricating barrier on the fighters’ skin, reducing the risk of friction and chafing during fights. It helps to prevent minor injuries and maintain skin integrity in the intense and physical nature of the sport.

Q: Why is Vaseline traditionally applied in UFC?

A: The application of Vaseline in UFC has become a tradition that dates back to the early days of mixed martial arts. It is believed to have originated from boxing, where Vaseline was used to protect fighters’ faces from bruising and cuts. Over time, it became a standard practice in UFC as well.

Q: How is Vaseline applied to UFC fighters?

A: The application of Vaseline to UFC fighters is typically done by a cutman or cornerman before a match. They use their fingers or a cotton swab to apply a thin layer of Vaseline to the fighters’ face, focusing on areas that are most vulnerable to cuts and abrasions.

Q: What are the benefits of Vaseline for UFC fighters?

A: Vaseline offers several benefits to UFC fighters. It acts as a lubricant, reducing friction and chafing during fights. It also helps to prevent minor injuries and maintain skin integrity. Additionally, it can provide a psychological advantage by making it more difficult for opponents to grab or hold onto the fighters’ skin.

Q: Are there any controversies surrounding Vaseline use in UFC?

A: Yes, there have been some controversies and criticisms surrounding the use of Vaseline in UFC. Some argue that excessive Vaseline application can make fighters’ skin slippery and potentially lead to more severe injuries. Others question whether it provides a significant advantage or if alternative products should be considered.

Q: What is the future of Vaseline in UFC?

A: The future of Vaseline use in UFC is uncertain. As the sport continues to evolve, there may be alternative products or modifications to the current practice of Vaseline application. The focus on fighter safety and skincare will likely remain, but the specific methods and products used may change.

Q: Is skincare important for athletes in combat sports?

A: Yes, skincare is crucial for athletes in combat sports. Proper skincare routines help maintain skin health, prevent injuries, and improve overall performance. Beyond just Vaseline, fighters should consider a comprehensive skincare regimen to protect their skin during training and fights.