why do mma fighters use vaseline

why do mma fighters use vaseline

Why Do MMA Fighters Use Vaseline?

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters have long been seen applying Vaseline to their faces before stepping into the cage. This practice is not just for show; there are several reasons why MMA fighters use Vaseline. In this article, we will explore these reasons and provide a comprehensive understanding of why Vaseline is an essential tool for MMA fighters.

Preventing Cuts and Abrasions

One of the primary reasons MMA fighters use Vaseline is to prevent cuts and abrasions during a fight. The greasy texture of Vaseline creates a protective barrier on the skin, making it harder for opponents’ strikes to cause significant damage. When applied to the face, Vaseline helps reduce the friction between the skin and gloves, minimizing the chances of cuts and scrapes.

Moreover, Vaseline can also help prevent the reopening of existing cuts or wounds. It acts as a sealant, keeping the blood from flowing freely and potentially impairing the fighter’s vision or causing the fight to be stopped.

Reducing Facial Swelling

Facial swelling is a common occurrence in MMA fights, especially due to the impact of strikes. By applying Vaseline to their faces, fighters can minimize the extent of swelling. The greasy nature of Vaseline helps reduce inflammation by creating a slippery surface, which allows the skin to move more freely upon impact.

Additionally, Vaseline can also help with the post-fight recovery process. By reducing swelling, it aids in the healing of any minor facial injuries, allowing fighters to recover more quickly and be ready for their next bout.

Enhancing Vision

Vaseline can also improve a fighter’s vision during a match. When applied around the eyes, it can act as a lubricant, preventing sweat or blood from obstructing the fighter’s view. This clear vision is crucial for maintaining situational awareness and reacting to opponents’ movements effectively.

Preventing Skin Damage

MMA fighters often find themselves in grappling situations where their faces come into contact with various surfaces, including the canvas and their opponents’ bodies. Vaseline acts as a protective layer, reducing the friction and preventing skin damage that could result from these encounters. It helps minimize the risk of developing mat burns, rug burns, or other skin abrasions.

Psychological Advantage

While not directly related to physical benefits, the application of Vaseline can provide a psychological advantage to MMA fighters. The act of applying Vaseline can serve as a moment of focus and concentration before the fight. Additionally, the shiny appearance of Vaseline on the face can intimidate opponents, creating a psychological edge.

Improving Grip

why do mma fighters use vaseline

Although not primarily designed for this purpose, Vaseline can also improve a fighter’s grip. When applied to the hands or forearms, it can make it easier to maintain a firm hold on an opponent during grappling exchanges. This enhanced grip can be advantageous in controlling the fight and executing various techniques.

Regulating Body Temperature

MMA fighters often compete in intense, physically demanding matches that can cause excessive sweating. The application of Vaseline can help regulate body temperature by creating a barrier that traps heat and prevents excessive evaporation of sweat. This can aid in maintaining proper body temperature and preventing dehydration during a fight.


Vaseline plays a crucial role in the arsenal of MMA fighters. Its ability to prevent cuts, reduce swelling, enhance vision, protect the skin, provide a psychological advantage, improve grip, and regulate body temperature makes it a valuable tool in the world of MMA. Understanding these benefits helps to explain why MMA fighters continue to rely on Vaseline as an essential part of their pre-fight routine.

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