Chin (combat sports)

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In combat sports such as boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts, a fighter's chin is a figurative term that refers to an ability to tolerate physical trauma to the head without being knocked unconscious. The fictional Rocky Balboa character of the Rocky franchise epitomizes the concept of a boxer with a granite chin.


A fighter with a "good chin" refers to a fighter with the ability to absorb blows to the head without being struck unconscious, which can also be called "having a beard", "good whiskers", "granite chin", or "iron chin".

Although such fighters have been knocked out, it is rare. There is a dispute as to the physiology of having a "good chin". Some believe that a strong neck that resists a sudden angular acceleration of the head is what makes a "good chin". Supporters of this belief point to Evander Holyfield and Marvin Hagler, both of whom were strong and had large trapezius muscles around the neck. Others believe that it is genetics that decides whether a fighter will have a good chin or not.

A fighter with a "bad chin", "china chin", "suspect chin", or "glass jaw" refers to fighters with limited ability to absorb punishment to the chin or jaw. Many clubfighters and journeymen may have glass chins, although it may depend on weight class or sometimes legs. Some boxing experts, such as Teddy Atlas, believe it to be a mindframe. Additionally, some fighters have been known to have better chins as a result of moving up to a higher weight class. One example of this is Miguel Cotto, who was seen as having a relatively weak chin at light welterweight but was harder to hurt once he moved up to welterweight.[1]

In 2008, Amir Khan was labelled as being "chinny"[2] and lacking a "decent chin"[3] after being knocked out in 54 seconds in his bout with Colombian Breidis Prescott. The label held after he was wobbled in the 10th round of a bout versus Marcos Maidana and later knocked out by Danny Garcia in the 4th round of their fight.

Notable chins[edit]

Chins in boxing[edit]

The following boxers have been known to possess a strong chin:

Chins in kickboxing[edit]

The following kickboxers have been known to possess a strong chin:

The following kickboxers are known for having weaker chins:

Chins in mixed martial arts[edit]

The following list of mixed martial artists are known to have a strong chin:

The following list of mixed martial artists are known to have a weak chin:


  1. ^ Pro Boxing-Fans; Emen, Jake (2009-08-28). "Manny Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotto Preview & Predictions". 
  2. ^ BBC News; Dirs, Ben (2008-09-07). "Khan gone in 60 seconds". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  3. ^ Daily Express; Hickman, Niall (2008-09-08). "Khan will not survive floor show". Daily Express. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Top 12 All-Time Best Chins". 2011-08-25. 
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  6. ^ a b c d e f Heavyweight Kickboxing's Hardest Heads
  7. ^ Bovy Loses Shootboxing Bout to Former Boxer Suzuki.
  8. ^ Keys to Victory: Daniel Ghita
  9. ^ a b Mark Hunt profile
  10. ^ Badr Hari vs. Alexey Ignashov; a Battle of the Bad Boys
  11. ^ K-1 legend Ray Sefo to make Strikeforce debut against Kevin Jordan
  12. ^ Giorgio Petrosyan Dominates K-1 World Max GP
  13. ^ Japanese Scene Year in Review: Upset of the Year
  14. ^ UFC 116 Fighter Analysis – Yoshihiro Akiyama
  15. ^ a b c d e "UFC Power Rankings: Nick Diaz and the Top 5 Chins Right Now". 2012-07-27. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  16. ^ Stephan Bonnar: The American Psycho
  17. ^ Former UFC fighter Wesley Correira arrested in Walmart parking lot, pleads not guilty to burglary and theft
  18. ^
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  20. ^ Nick Diaz vs Jeff Lacy: Contract Signed For Fall Showdown
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  24. ^ TUF 13 Finale Results
  25. ^ Strikeforce Columbus: Dan Henderson and the Top 10 Chins in MMA
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  27. ^ UFC 115: How Far Has Chuck Liddell Declined?
  28. ^ UFC 116 Preview: Chris Lytle Eyeballing Another Bonus Check Against Matt Brown
  29. ^ Roy Nelson Shows Granite Chin In Loss to Junior Dos Santos
  30. ^
  31. ^ Kazushi Sakuraba Most Brutal Beatings Tribute
  32. ^ Clay Guida, Rick Story and the 10 Best Chins in the UFC
  33. ^
  34. ^ UFC 127 Results: Michael Bisping Surpasses Chael Sonnen as MMA's Ultimate Heel
  35. ^ Strikeforce Nashville Preview: Proud Shinya Aoki Battles Gilbert Melendez in Lightweight Title Showdown
  36. ^ Andrei Arlovski and the Top 10 Most Questionable Chins in MMA History
  37. ^ a b c "UFC Power Rankings: Rashad Evans and the 5 Worst Chins in UFC History". 2012-08-04. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  38. ^ Dream MMA Fight: Randy Couture vs Fedor Emilianenko
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  40. ^
  41. ^ MMA Knockout of the Day: Jonathan Goulet's Redemption Knockout
  42. ^ UFC 130 – Tim Boetsch plans on exposing Kendall Grove's chin by laying his heavy hands on it
  43. ^ Strikeforce: Gegard Mousasi vs. Keith Jardine In-Depth Preview
  44. ^ If I Only Had a Chin: The Sad Ending To The Chuck Liddell Story
  45. ^ Strikeforce St. Louis: Will This Be Matt Lindland's Last Stand?
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  48. ^
  49. ^ Robbie Lawler vs Renato Sobral Predictions
  50. ^
  51. ^ Enough Is Enough: Tim Sylvia Needs To Retire
  52. ^ Chins of Glass: The Weakest Chins in the Sport of MMA
  53. ^ Thompson to test Slice's cage credentials
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