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It's time to stop the most ghastly move in combat sports

As a sport, whether MMA, BJJ, or wrestling, is it time we knuckle down and come up with a solution, or else the athletes will take matters into their own hands.
Unite to eliminate most ghastly move from combat sports

This is Clarissa Chun at the 2008 USA Olympic Team Trials.

This article is one small piece of an ongoing effort by The MMA UnderGround to understand what really works. The focus is not on what happens in the arena, but rather what happens on the street. And sometimes the focus is on what's funny. If you enjoyed it, check out more stories on:
1. Funny Things That Happen in Combat Sports
2. Martial Arts on The Street
3. Style vs. Style

Stop The Oil Check in Wrestling

It hangs like a dark cloud over wrestling.

Preston Hill, 17, was hit with molestation charges and suspended from his Clovis, California, high school for too vigorous application of the move on a freshman. The 14-year-old claimed it was retribution for his having stood up to Hill's bullying.

Hill's father Darren offered a defense.

"It just doesn't make sense," said the elder Hill. "His coaches taught him the move when he was in middle school. All the wrestlers use it and my son did it in front of his coaches at a school-sponsored event."

Clovis police, however, say Preston went too far. The alleged victim's father, Ross Rice, explains.

“Preston took it beyond a simple wrestling move," said Rice. "He crossed the line.”

Jerome Hunt, also 17, and a former South Dakota state champion, faced 21 counts of rape and attempted rape; each count carried up to 25 years in prison.

Hunt's lawyer Mike Butler argued that the claims against Hunt are "grossly distorted and exaggerated."

"It's not something illegal or not taught," said Hunt's former assistant coach to investigators. "It's being taught all over."

Defenders in both cases claimed that the Butt Drag is a legal move, and the athletes did nothing more than try to gain the upper hand, as it were. For the record, the practice involves grabbing an opponent's glute for leverage. Should an errant finger or two gain a better hold, well, that's called an Oil Check.

Butt are the parents of the accused students correct that the method is taught? Phenom coach Neal Melanson explains.


The executive director of the National Wrestling Coaches Association offered clarification.

"It is never acceptable to insert fingers into the opponent's anus (regardless of duration)," he explained.

Good. Now everyone should stop.

Stop The Oil Check in Professional Wrestling

Even professional wrestling is not immune.

Hulk Hogan told TMZ that Andre the Giant would oil-check people "all the time."

And this is Andre the Giant's hand.

Stop The Oil Check in BJJ

BJJ too is not immune. This is the end at a recent BJJ tournament in Russia. After the quick tap, there was a distinct look of embarrassment.

Afterward, the winner offered no apologies.

"Show me in the rules where it’s said that this move is illegal," said Alexander F. "Now it’s new school of BJJ!"


Stop The Oil Check in MMA

MMA is not immune.

John "The Machine" Lober said it happened vs. Kazuo "Yoshiki" Takahashi at Pancrase: Breakthrough 6, on Jun 11, 1999 at Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan. The event was called Breakthrough. Heh.

And it has happened much more recently in the cage.

Shogun Rua did it to Paul Craig at UFC 255. Craig told Joe Rogan you have to take him to dinner before trying that.

And there are innovations in the practice.

Below, the great Robin Black breaks down an egregious Oil Check, via alternate digits. Alfie Davis beat Jorge Kanella via Unanimous Decision at Bellator MMA 223 in London, England, but along the way, something ghastly happened. Davis had Open Guard, and was frustrated at the lack of action.

In this position, I was wasting the fight. I didn't want to waste the fight," said Davis. "So I'm sitting there saying, 'Come on, let's go. What's happening?' and I see his face change.

"I said to him, 'What are you being a p***y for?'. I don't even know if he understood me and he went BOOM ... it was the bum, right at the bottom of the balls. ... I understand we're in there to try and kill each other. He was pissed off at that moment but, yeah, respect to him."

Wrong. No respect to oil checkers. 

As a sport, whether MMA, BJJ, or wrestling, is it time we knuckle down and come up with a way to clean up this problem, or else the athletes will take matters into their own hands.