Knock Your Teeth Out: A Dentist’s Take On UFC, McGregor & Rousey

It wasn’t long ago that an athlete like Ronda Rousey and the UFC in general weren’t household names. But with the growth of the sport and her BA attitude, we can’t help but to fangirl a bit. While we may not like people undoing our work with swift kicks to the face, we do acknowledge that the power of an UFC athlete is impressive. So impressive that we wanted to find for our for ourselves just how powerful a UFC hit is, and we’re taking you with us.

What a UFC Punch Can Do

It’s easy to realize what a standard punch can do to one’s pride and joy. (What, you don’t see your teeth that way?) But we’re talking UFC punches. These athletes have the force that comes with pure power, which means teeth don’t stand a chance.

Ronda Rousey and UFC 193

But what do we know, we know teeth not physics. So we’ve read up on Ronda Rousey’s power by the go to nerd resource: Wired Magazine. We’ll let you read it for yourself. (We’re not physicists, so we aren’t too keen on it.)

By taking Rousey’s average strikes per match (one strike per 3.27 seconds), and an estimate of 2kg mass for her forearm and fist, we can find the force of her punches.

Still with us? We barely are.

That gives us the speed, from which we can find kinetic energy. Some fancy equations later, and we see that her average kinetic energy for a punch is twenty-five joules. For us non-physicists, the average force to lift a textbook from the floor to a table is roughly 10 joules.

Rousey’s fist hitting her opponent’s face is 2.5 times greater than that.

Conor McGregor and UFC 194

Let’s give you another example. Earlier this year, a professional sports lab invited McGregor to measure his kicks. He claims that he can react just as quickly with a kick that he can with a jab. And their results concur.

The force of this movements, specifically his hips turning during a kick is higher than pro golfer Rory Mcllroy. Mcllroy has the highest force among pro golfers, a group known for those hips that don’t lie.

His kicks have a force of roughly 62,000 per second. Now imagine that force coming towards you as a foot to your unprotected ribs or arms.

Maximize Your Teeth’s Life with Mouthguards

If you’re determined to take up boxing (it is a great workout), then don’t let us stop you. But, please for the love of all things tooth-related, get a mouthguard. A good one. You have three options, depending on how you balance your commitment to boxing versus your commitment to your teeth.

  • Stock
  • Boil and Bite
  • Custom

The “Eh, You Could Do Better” Mouthguard Option

Stock mouthguards are readily available and affordable, but you’ll compromise on fit. They won’t be formed specifically for your beautiful teeth, so they may not be as effective. But hey, your money, your choice. We just think you could do better.

The “At Least You Care” Mouthguard Option

Brought to you by your tea kettle, the next best option is the boil and bite mouthguard. It’s just as the name implies. Place it in boiling water to soften it, then bite down in it to create a fairly customizable mouthguard without the cost of a fully custom molded guard.

The “Go All Out” Mouthguard Option

The big kahuna, the prince among men, the Mercedes of mouthguards: the custom fitted choice. Much like a retainer, a provider will make a mold of your teeth and make the mouthguard based on that mold. So that spot where your tooth is crooked from a Holm-esque punch that bothers you with typical mouthguards? No problems here! They’re expensive, but so are dental implants.

If nothing else, we now have the appreciation for the force and skill behind UFC fighters, even though we cringe every time we see though hits to fighters’ faces. UFC fights are the definition of strength and power, but it’s not known as a career with longevity. We won’t tell you how to live your life, though we want to, but we do want you to protect those teeth.

Still want to box? Better you than us. But don’t worry, we’ll be here when you need dental work.

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