When did knees on the mat become an international incident? These days, a fighter will take a full knee from a plum clinch just fine, but if you tap him with it when he has his fingers on the mat, he’ll act like he’s taken an ice pick to the face. There was a time in MMA when a knee to the face while you were on all fours was a good thing. It meant the guy wasn’t smart enough to soccer kick you in the throat. The good old days of MMA were full of brutal insanity, but there are a few fights that really take the cake, whether for sheer violence or some Hannibal Lector style creativity.