MMA is a monkey-see-monkey-do type sport. Two years ago when Edson Barboza almost killed Terry Etim with a Spinning Wheel Kick everybody took note. Now fighters throw the kick with no clue in the world how to set it up and end up looking very weird and awkward. Out of all the things that I would have suspected to be copied, I would have assumed leg kick check due to them shattering the leg of the greatest Middleweight of all time.
There have been a lot of videos and articles I have read after UFC 168 were people predicted that leg kick checks will greatly increase in number, or people will stop throwing kicks to the leg altogether. I also thought of this, but I was proven wrong just one week later.
On UFC Fight Night 34 the main event between Saffiedine and Lim was a massacre. Despite the fact that Saffiedine is know for his leg kicks, Lim still decided that checking them was not a priority of his things of to do. He caught a few in the first round after taking them and probably thought that was going to get Saffiendine to stop, but adjustments were made and Lim is now realized to be the bigger Korean Zombie.
Fight Night 35 didn't have too many example of leg kicks, but in the TJ Dillashaw and Mike Easton fight, the only strikes that seemed to hurt Dillashaw were Mike Easton leg kicks. The thing with Dillashaw however is that he was all over Easton and the leg kick opportunities were few and far between. He also was able to mix in inside leg kicks and body kicks together and that combination is what got him to land that thunderous high kick early in round 2.
In Nikita Krylov's blitzing of Walt Harris on UFC on Fox 10 I believe I counted four leg kicks that landed and went unchecked right before the head kick came. Later that night Donald Cerrone landed close to ten very powerful lead leg switch kicks to Martins leg (as the always wonderful Connor Ruebusch pointed out beforehand) before his head kick finish came. Martins looked to halfheartedly check the kicks, but never fully committed to it and since Donald didn't have to worry about getting his kicks checked, he progressively threw them harder until he decided that kicking someone in the head will help him get paid a little extra, since he needs the money anyway.
UFC 169 was the only event where I can remember leg kicks that actually got checked, and all those were from the best leg kicker in the business Jose Aldo. I guess Lamas decided that before he started to get leg kicks thrown at him, he better throw some himself. Well he did do that and nothing came out of it except him adding extra pain on to himself. He threw leg kicks without set up and only around two of them landed. Unfortunately for him right after those two kicks he received even more punishing leg kicks or a vicious combos followed by leg kicks.
I can't really fault Lamas for not checking kicks as they were set up very nicely and some were impossible to check. Even when Aldo would throw leg kicks without set up he didn't really have to worry because Lamas had to worry about the other vicious strikes that Aldo would throw or even the takedowns as Aldo offensive wrestling is very underrated.
Now on to the main event on that fight card between the Renan Barao and Uriah Faber. We all know Faber and leg kicks don't go together so well, and in this fight it is what effectively go him finished. After a while of inactivity and Faber charging in Barao launched a powerful leg kick, but it was without set up. Nevertheless it was unchecked and landed making Faber switch his stance for a bit. As Faber was switching back to orthodox, Barao threw a Mayweather type straight right that crushed Faber while he was on one foot to check a kick that he thought was going to come.
After about a month and very few leg kicks being checked in general, I don't think kicks are going to be checked in the near future for various reasons even when the Middleweight GOAT Anderson Silva got plastered all over the internet when he decided that throwing a leg kick without set up was a good idea. (P.S. can you guys in the comments section teach me how to upload gifs on the article, as I would have, but I have no idea how to do it and God Bless!)