Despite all the pre-fight tension and animosity than can build-up between MMA fighters, the good thing is that they know they will eventually be able to settle their differences when they step into the cage together on fight night, and best of all get paid to do it too.
However, over the years some have combatants have been unable to keep their fists to themselves until fight night, so read on as recall 10 infamous examples where fighters have instead become involved in pre-fight scuffles, altercations and on occasion even all-out brawls with their rivals in the days, weeks and months before they were sanctioned to compete.
No.10: Ronda Rousey vs. Holly Holm
Up until the final post-weigh-ins staredown things had been relatively civil between the at-the-time undefeated Ronda Rousey and title challenger Holly Holm, but that all changed in the blink of an eye.
After successfully weighing in Rousey marched forward towards Holm with enough intensity that Dana white momentarily held her back fearing that she was about to start the fight a day early.
The two did then go face-to-face, and indeed practically nose-to-nose at one point, but as they did so their arms clashed and Holm appeared to force her fist into the champion’s face, causing ‘Rowdy’ to step back and then shove her arm away.
Rousey was livid and began shouting at Holm as White stepped inbetween them, but the challenger remained calm in the heat of the moment when Rogan asked her immediately afterwards what had just happened.
“I dunno, I was just having a drink, you know?” holm shrugged with a mischevious grin on her face.
Apparently it was no laughing matter for the champion though.
“Fake ass cheap shotting fake respect fake humility b-tch – ‘preacher’s daughter’ my ass,” Rousey ranted on afterwards. “I see through your fake sweet act now – you’re getting your ass kicked tomorrow, and I’m really going to enjoy the beating I give you #andSTILL.”
However, 24 hours later it was Holm who shocked the world by breaking Rousey’s unbeaten record with a devastating head kick hear around the world.
No.9: Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 1
Despite Nate Diaz having come in on just 11 days notice to fight Conor McGregor at UFC 196, the Irish superstar’s trash-talk ensured that tensions were running high by the time the two got head-to-head for a staredown after the pre-fight press conference.
As they squared up to each other, the taller, lankier Diaz kept his right fist far out in front of him, almost touching his rival’s face as UFC president Dana White nervously stood between them trying to keep the peace.
McGregor was clearly irritated by this and eventually snapped, aggressively punching Diaz’s hand away from him.
Diaz readied himself to return fire, but White intervened and corralled him over to the back of the stage while a security guard kept McGregor at bay.
Meanwhile, Diaz’s brother Nick and teammates Jake Shields and Joe Schilling, who McGregor had been taunting earlier on that day, also got up on stage to back-up their fighter, leading to a lot of pushing and shoving as the situation threatened to spill completely out of control.
Just as it looks as if things were calming down Nick Diaz suddenly motioned for the others to follow him and it apeared they were going to rush McGregor, but UFC exec Reed Harris intercepted them and was able to take them back down to prevent another flashpoint.