Among all the strikes that a fighter can withstand, a liver shot is one of the hardest to stomach – literally. A solid shot to the liver can incapacitate even the toughest fighters. Take Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone for example. He can withstand several blows to the head inside the octagon, but he’s down for the count after a well-thrown body shot.

Don’t get me wrong, blows to the head are no walk in the park! The difference between headshots and liver strikes is that our brains don’t immediately process the pain from the former, while the opposite takes effect when the liver is involved.

But why does this happen? Let’s start with the liver, our largest internal organ. It’s situated on the right side of the body, just below the diaphragm. It helps us break down proteins, cleanses our system of toxins, and aids in digestion.

Despite its size and weight, the liver is a vital organ and can be quite sensitive. – A punch measuring in at 5 m/s can rupture the liver! Now, the average adult male can deliver 6 m/s punches, while professional boxers can reach speeds of 12 m/s or higher. So, you can see why a solid hit to the liver can cause damage! Remember that famous punch delivered by Bas Rutten to Jason Delucia’s liver? – Jason wasn’t looking too good after sustaining that blow.

Even if it doesn’t lead to injury, liver shots can cause your knees to buckle and you to pass out momentarily, and that’s if you’re lucky. Apart from the overwhelming pain, you’ll have to deal with nerve-induced symptoms such as reduced heart rate and blood pressure.

Although other internal organs share the same sensitivity component, the liver is the most vulnerable to physical damage, especially since it is the largest in the abdomen and protrudes ever so slightly below the rib cage. Through the years, the human body has never really evolved to protect the liver better.

The human body is imperfect, and there’s no other explanation as to why such a vital organ remains susceptible in this manner. But don’t feel entirely defenseless here. Although you may find yourself on the receiving end of a liver punch, there’s still the opportunity for you to be the one delivering the blow to someone else.

Have you ever experienced a blow to the liver? What happened as a result?