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MMA star slammed for brutally ‘soccer kicking’ rival in face after he was KO’d

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An MMA fighter was left spread-eagled on the canvas when he was viciously kicked in the face after already being KO'd by his opponent.

The shocking incident happened a the end of a fight in the Asian RIZIN promotion. Brazilian fighter Marcos Yoshio de Souza was the unlucky recipient of the kick as he lost to fellow welterweight Daichi Abe at RIZIN 37 at the end of July.

He was fighting in front of a home crowd at the Saitama Super Arena and got his supporters on their feet with a huge right-hander which flattened his opponent. But he clearly wanted to make sure of the win, as he then kicked the downed de Souza before the referee could intervene.

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The Brazilian was laying flat on his back, dazed and completely defenceless as Abe swung his right leg into his face. Medics leapt into the ring to make sure de Souza was okay.

Soccer kicks are banned in most MMA promotions – including UFC – but the violent strike, as well as knees to the head of a floored opponent, are allowed in Asian-based fight promotions ONE Championship and RIZIN.

Abe's violent move had fans on social media split. Some felt it was too far and denounced the former UFC star for being unnecessarily brutal, while others enjoyed it and questioned why 'soccer kicks' are not allowed in other promotions like the UFC.

@Hovhann59178346 wanted Abe to be "disqualified", while @George_DIII felt that was not far enough and called for a "life time ban and assault charges". @ThatArreKid said: "I'm all for soccer kicks but idk about when the dude is already f***ing knocked out."

What's the most violent move you've ever seen within MMA? Let us know in the comments section.

Meanwhile, @Woah_Dave said: "Perfectly legal. RIZIN's rules allow soccer kicks and elbows from all angles." And @FrctalB4ss added: "It was good, he could still recover before the kick. He just needed to finish the fight and have the ref pull him."

Abe has been fighting in Asian championships since he was released by the UFC in 2018. His stint in Dana White's promotion was a disappointing one, lasting for just a year and producing a record of one win and two defeats.

After being shown the door, he joined the ONE championship but that did not bring him any better luck. After defeats to Luis Santos and Ev Ting, he started making appearances in DEEP and RIZIN and has five victories in his last six bouts.

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