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 a "granite chin", an "iron chin" or the like.

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]

Notable chins[edit]


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


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

Mixed martial arts[edit]

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


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  2. ^ a b c d e "Top 12 All-Time Best Chins". 2011-08-25. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Houston, Graham (2008-01-08). "The Ten Best Chins in Boxing History". ESPN. Retrieved 2011-04-17. 
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  16. ^ UFC 116 Fighter Analysis – Yoshihiro Akiyama
  17. ^ a b c d e "UFC Power Rankings: Nick Diaz and the Top 5 Chins Right Now". 2012-07-27. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
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