The Question of the Legality of Yoel Romero’s Elbow Strikes

You can always smell a slow week for MMA news when the rulebook comes out in regards to a fight of little fanfare, which is exactly what is happening this week as questions are being raised about Yoel Romero’s downward elbow strikes to the body of Derek Brunson at UFC Fight Night 35 in Atlanta on Wednesday night. Yoel Romero’s win was an impressive one, but it calls into question the ridiculous 12-6 elbow rule that is in place, the same rule that cost Jon Jones a win over Matt Hamill a few years ago, putting the lone blemish on his record.

Here is what Big John McCarthy had to say, in regards to the elbows used by Yang and Browne recently;

“The way things go, when I started teaching the rule to other people I would just say, ‘You cannot go from 12 o’clock to six o’clock.’ Any other alteration of the blow makes it legal. Any elbow strike that has an arc makes it legal. Even if your hand starts straight up, but you bring it down and it has an arc near the bottom, it makes it legal.”

Now here is BloodyElbow’s take on it with the Yoel Romero fight;

In his fight against Derek Brunson at UFC Fight Night 35, middleweight Yoel Romero used a downward elbow to the body to score his third round TKO victory. The finish sparked discussion about the legality regarding the finishing blows as the rule does not distinguish between head and body blows. Referee Blake Grice gave no warning or mention about the blows before stopping the fight.

So, what do you think? [source]