No matter what sport you focus on, two different types of strikes will always hold some sort of prominence to all others. The first type is the head strike, which basically includes any punch or kick aimed at either the cranium or the jawline. The second type is a strike that, much like the head kick itself, doesn’t happen often in combat sports. That technique is what we in the world of professional combat sports refer to as the body shot, or “liver shot”.

We call this strike by its fancier moniker because whether an attacker lands with a left hook to the body or with the ferocity of a left kick to the body, the shot itself gets its full payoff when it connects in the general area of the body where the human liver resides. Of course, that does not necessarily mean that a person cannot win if they aim for the upper body, but the brunt of the most successful and most memorable body-shot stoppages all occurred when the shot landed in the general area of the liver.

As previously stated, the shot is as much a rarity in the combat sports world as any variation of the head kick, but why? Sure, body shots do happen all the time in MMA, kickboxing, and Muay Thai, but the reasons why it feels rare to see someone actually go down from one is because it requires a special kind of execution to pull off, even when the attack makes an honest attempt to set it up properly with head shots.

Many men from, Alistair Overeem to Anthony Pettis, have executed this strike well en route to victories in their MMA careers, and without question, none can complete a conversation about liver shots without dropping “El Guapo” Bas Rutten’s various victories by the token. Some beautiful body shots, however, have done well enough to get the UFC to come calling for some prospects of the sport.

UFC bantamweight prospect Thomas Almeida made his debut recently and demonstrated his striking prowess to the UFC diehards across the world, but lest we forget, a right hand, followed by a left hand to the body sent Caio Machado to the floor at Legacy FC 32, as part of an AXS TV Fights broadcast. Ultimately, that finish was what punched Almeida’s ticket to the UFC.

About The Author

Dale De Souza
Staff Writer

Dale De Souza is a 22-year-old kid straight out of Texas, who grew up around Professional Wrestling but embraced the beauty of Mixed Martial Arts and Combat Sports at a young age. Dale is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report MMA, a writer at The MMA Corner.