In round five of UFC 172’s light heavyweight title fight, Glover Texeira‘s mouthpiece popped out for a third time. This is grounds for disqualification in some leagues, but in the UFC it simply earns a fighter a morale sinking round of booing.
By this time Teixeira’s mindset was most likely already low, as defending champion Jon Jones was dominating the bout with his superior reach. He was beating Teixeira at his own game by out-boxing the Brazilian brawler, knocking out his mouth piece in the third round with an uppercut and in the fourth round with a jab.
This begs the question: When a mouthpiece does not want to stay put, is it within the UFC code of rules to apply a bit of Fixodent? Denture adhesive is designed to hold false teeth in place; that would make it an obvious choice for holding a rubber mouthpiece in place as well, as long as the bond is not permanent.
In this situation the sheer speed of Jones’ punches presents a genuine concern. He could have easily knocked loose Teixeira’s mouthpiece and connected with a right hand straight to the chompers before the mouthpiece even hit the canvas. This sort of a connection could easily knock the teeth out of a fighter’s head but was avoided due to Jones’ noble sense of sportsmanship.
Each time the mouthpiece flew out, Jones relented until Teixeira could re-insert it and continue fighting. What a guy. Lots of fighters would have seized the opportunity to exact some improvisational dentistry on their opponent, but Jones was already inflicting enough damage as it was.
Perhaps in future bouts a referee can keep a tube of Poligrip or Effergrip on his pocket and when the spit covered grill guard gets launched, he can scoop it up, wipe it off, apply some gum glue and slap it back into place. Just an idea.