Interesting. I always interpreted the stabbing of Crowe's character in Gladiator to be too low to be a lung strike. To me it looked more like a kidney strike, meant to bleed him to death and ensure he wouldn't survive afterwards, no matter what happened. Puncturing his lung intentionally would have, of course, led to not having the match in the first place, and even a mentally unbalanced Roman prince would know that.
Life begins & ends cold, naked & covered in crap.