The UFC is the most well-known MMA organization in the world. It is glorious, glamorous and a lot of people have used it’s rather wild fights as a basis that the old sci-fi idea that the future will be full of to-the-death gladiatorial fights. We haven’t quite gotten there yet, and given the increasing amount of rules and regulations on all fighting sports, it’s going to stay in the pages of a novel for a while, much to the chagrin of many a neckbearded nerd who fancies themselves as some cyberpunk hacker.
Modern MMA sports have had a somewhat checkered history, and there are plenty of secrets that the UFC have tried to hide away from the public at large. However, it seems that they really haven’t put any effort into hiding them, since controversies rise all the time from MMA, some are rather obvious, such as drug use, others really, really strange, such as their early days which were quite…interesting to say the least, and some are just mind-boggling, like the weighing in methods they use that would make any sports fan cringe (with more than one emotion, as you will soon see)
So, now that we got the introduction out of the way, let’s see if the following list of secrets that the UFC has been trying to hide (however poorly) will really make you laugh at the next MMA round you decide to watch. Here is a list of 15 sketchy things that the UFC tries to hide from its fans.
15. Apparently…MMA Is Pro Wrestling
MMA is the realest, toughest, meanest fighting sport out there. You have combatants who’re brawling at one another for the thrill of pounding your opponent to submission and work the crowds into a frenzy, and of course to win the prizes and titles and all the jazz.
This is certainly a whole lot better than the WWE’s Pro Wrestling gig, where we know what goes on in the ring is fake, and we know the animosity that is between the fighters is an act (as well as their entire gimmicks being completely fake on top of that). So that’s one edge that it has over it, amirite?
Apparently… not quite. According to CM Punk, an Ex-UFC MMA fighter who recently came out and stated that the way the UFC handles fighting is basically the exact same way the WWE handles wrestling. He even pointed out that there were fighters with zero MMA experience and still managed to sign contracts with the UFC. Most of the fights might be real, but often times whatever emotions the fighters have towards each other is a carefully crafted plan by Dana White in order to rile up the crowds (and ratings) to make the fights more entertaining.
14. Brock Lesner On Steroids
Brock Lesnar is a massive mountain of a man. If he was any bigger than The Mountain from Game of Thrones would have to look up to him and say ‘not climbing it’ and walk off to chop some heads and guzzle ale or something. That being said, it seemed that his size and prodigious strength wasn’t gained as a result of a strenuous workout regime with the diet of champions (or the gods, whatever floats your boat), but he actually more recently tested positive for steroids and the win he had over Mark Hunt was overturned as a result. They tried to cover it up, but it seems like that they drew more attention to it than normal… I mean come on, what were they expecting? In my opinion, a sport without the occasional drug scandal is no fun at all…
13. Weighing In Scandals
So like boxing and wrestling, MMA has multiple weight classes to help make the fights more even and fair (no one wants to see a Pee Wee Herman being crushed by Conan the Barbarian… no wait! I do! Bring Paul Ruebens and Arnold Schwarzenegger on set NOW!). This is obviously strictly enforced by weigh-ins and other common sense stuff.
But it seems like these measures can easily be beaten, and they can be beaten in the most disgusting ways imaginable. Using a method known as sodium loading/deloading that’s done about 5 days before a weigh-in, a potential fighter can lose up to 30 pounds in just 5 days. It works by effectively making you urinate ceaselessly. I’m guessing that’s a pretty piss-poor example of weight loss… hmm, I wonder if…
12. Dana White’s Tax Returns…
OK, this isn’t about his actual tax returns, but this is about how much income the UFC actually brings in. Being a major sports organization in the United States and has basically cornered the market on MMA fights in the country.
So how much money does it bring in? Hard to believe as it may we have absolutely no idea how much it makes, and ever since Dana White got in charge of the UFC, he has worked even harder to keep exact figures out of the public eye. I’m guessing if the real figures came out, the UFC fighters might finally stand up and demand fair pay for their work.
11. The Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson Match
Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson had one of the best fights that the UFC has ever seen, with both fighters going on for almost 5 rounds before the judges made a decision. Despite granting victory to Jon, the fight has been the center of quite some controversy, as numerous other judges, such as those in FightMetric actually came forward and suggested that Gustafsson was well in the lead over Jon and should have been deemed the winner. While the fight has been over for a long time, the arguments over whether or not the judges were rigged in favor of Jon have not gotten quieter over the years and still remains a topic of debate as whether or not foul play happened.
Given the WWE nature of the UFC, I wouldn’t be surprised.
10. Randy Couture And Dana White’s Never Ending Rivalry
Randy Couture is one of the best fighters in the history of MMA and the UFC. He also has the uncanny ability to reinvent himself on the spot (like he came back as a light bulb once… don’t ask). But despite his talents, Dana White really hated his guys and that resulted in him to start a feud that just won’t end.
It even got to the point where it was brought before a court to get justice for what he believed was being underpaid and poorly treated. Thought Dana apparently used his powers as a promoter to get Couture booked with Brock Lesnar in a fight, which as we have seen is a steroid abuser. Couture ended up getting defeated and he wasn’t even allowed to be in the corner when his son, Ryan, debuted in the UFC. Talk about pettiness.
9. Vitor Belfort On TFT
Vitor Belfort is a fan favorite around the world for fans of MMA. He’s been around for many years and just seemed almost as famous for being unable to age in the octagon as he was unable to stop being an amazing fighter. Some people thought he was just too amazing and suspected he was doing drugs…well, they weren’t wrong. In 2006, he was suspended when they discovered he was on TFT. He came up with an excuse that his doctor had somehow ‘accidentally’ injected him with banned chemicals. Don’t buy it? Yeah, neither did the judges.
It wasn’t even the last time it happened, in 2012 the lab accidentally emailed his blood results to the wrong people… resulting in people suspecting that he was on another testosterone boosting drug. Some people just can’t seem to get an even break
8. Bacteria…Not Broken Bones
So you think with all the punching and kicking and grappling and pounding on the ground, that fighters must be in a constant risk of serious injury and broken bones and such. Actually that’s not really what the biggest danger to fighters in the octagon.
It’s actually flesh eating bacteria. Specifically, it is staph infections that seriously concern many MMA fighters. A staph infection is a skin-loving bacteria that spreads easily through scrapes, cuts, and sweat, which are not in short supply during any fight. I would highly advise you not to look at how the worst case scenario staph infection looks like, not unless you wish to lose your lunch.
7. Dana White’s Mafia Connections
So Dana White is someone who, as I have mentioned before, the UFC has done a lot to really try to portray him as a likeable man who just wants to promote the fights but isn’t really getting in the way of anything important. Well… not only does he do that, but apparently he has some connections to the mafia. Or at least he has had trouble with the Mafia.
It’s known that he had a gym in Boston that he had to close down and run away from due to none other than Mafia man Whitey Bulger trying to extort payments from him. When he also tried to get into Mexico to expand the UFC, he couldn’t’ due to the fact that organized crime there is so deep in all fighting sports that it made it nearly impossible. Even his foray into Japan with PRIDE was made extremely difficult due to just how much the Yakuza loves to interfere with fighting sports there, too.
It seems like Dana might be a tough guy, but I still think he did the right things when he refused to tangle with those types
6. Dana White’s Abusive Streak
It’s no secret that Dana White is a shrewd business man. But despite his public persona as a smiling, upbeat man who is totally approachable… only like most things in show business, he really isn’t.
In reality, he can be an incredibly brutal, and is a firm believer in ‘my way or no way’. Demetrious Johnson was one such individual who testified to this, saying that Dana forced him into certain fights and used the future his weight class as leverage. Whatever that means (Sorry, I’m not that into sports).
And let’s not forget about the previous instance with Randy Couture. Dana is a man who really knows how to hold a grudge.
5. Cocaine Use…Live
In February 2005 something very interesting happened. Chuck Liddell, AKA the Ice Man, was in a match. It was an exciting fight, and the crowds were going wild and all that, as well as Chuck himself. But there was something really fishy going on.
He was constantly rubbing his nose, and he seemed to have been covertly (at least poorly) snorting something. Fans in the audience noted that there was something white on his nose at the time as well. They also noticed he was unusually focused on the fight, with an intense look on his face while his body just became rigid, which some think was a sign of cocaine use.
The only way it could have been any better if he ended up pulling out a giant gun and referring to it as his little friend.
4. The Reebok Deal Screws over Fighters
So fighters can make a lot of money doing this? I mean it’s a pro-sport, and top-tier pro-sports players can often make a killing from their craft, with a short career of a few years can often net a fighter enough money to retire on… and sleep on a bed full of money.
So how much does a UFC fighter make? Barely anything actually. With some exceptions, most fighters don’t make that much on fights, and the old system that they used to operate under allowed each fighter to enter the octagon with their own sponsor, and this allowed them to earn quite a fair amount of money on each fight from the sponsorship.
But with the Reebok deal, all of this was taken away, and the result is, most of the fighters now make substantially less, making it harder for them to stay on top. Another case of Dana White screwing over his fighters.
3. The Early Days of the UFC
So you know how like in high school you ended up drawing the weirdest stuff and then squirrelled it away in some folder, where you rediscovered it many years later and you ended up getting so embarrassed by it that you set it on fire, and then cast the ritual of the demons of Yordor to take these images and then torment them for eternity?
Of course not, that’s insane. But what is legitimately ridicules were the early days of the UFC that they would rather just forget they even existed. In the early days, they had no weight classes, and even fewer regulations. In fact, the only thing they had in place was no eye gouging and no biting, and the fights and the fighters were ridicules. They had no weight classes, they could wear whatever they wanted, and the whole affair looked like a cheap movie based on a cheap video game. Have you ever watched Bloodsport? It’s a 1988 film starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and it’s basically Street Fighter the video game turned into a movie. That’s basically how the early days of the UFC looked like.
Thank goodness they cleared up those rules, otherwise we would have had that Pee-Wee Herman and Conan the Destroyer fight…
2. Dana White’s Compulsive Gambling
Joe Rogan has been a rather interesting critic of Dana White, and one thing about Dana White’s personality that could have a severe impact on the UFC. Dana White was noted to have gone to casinos and rack up astronomical gambling debts, to the order of around 1 MILLION dollars… in one night. Though he did sometimes win to the order of 7 million dollars. He has gotten banned from numerous casinos for his winnings or behavior during the gambling spates. His gambling addiction is only a small part of his extremely impulsive mode of behavior. Though I will give him some credit, a lot of highly successful people tend to be impulsive.
Still, I think it would be better for all involved if he ended up getting help, else he might gamble the UFC away one day…
1. The One Thing They Can’t Say…
So for all the weird stuff we’ve seen, there is at least one interesting fact that I’m not sure you would have noticed… and while I’m not entirely sure it is worthy of being ‘sketchy’ as it is rather hilarious. But the UFC has a rule that allows its members to talk about whatever they want, unlike most other organizations that restrict what they say on camera.
But there is something that Dana White tells to all his fighters before TV interviews or appearances, and that rule is extremely simple… no swearing. That’s all. Just no swearing or any foul language. They can provide a WWE style silliness and they use drugs on camera, but no swearing at all. I wonder if there is an ulterior motive to this or is it just plain politeness on national TV. I don’t know.
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