Have you seen some UFC fighters doing some weird habits or tics and are wondering what they are and why they do it?
In this article, we’ll look at the 25 weirdest UFC fighter habits/tics and go through the possible reasons behind why they do it.
- Weird UFC Fighter Habits/Tics
- 1. Dustin Poirier Pulling Up His Shorts
- 2. Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua Spreading His Arms Out
- 3. Tony Ferguson Throwing Sand
- 4. Derrick Lewis Taking Off His Shorts
- 5. Robert Whittaker Kicking His Own Leg
- 6. T.J. Dillashaw Running His Hands Through His Hair
- 7. Jiri Prochazka Beating His Chest and Holding His Wrist
- 8. GSP, Rashad Evans, and Keith Jardine Twisting Their Nipples
- 9. Jorge Masvidal Cracking His Knees
- 10. Wanderlei Silva Rolling His Wrists
- 11. Ben Henderson Fixing His Hair and Fighting With a Toothpick
- 12. Clay Guida Belching/Burping Between Rounds
- 13. Forrest Griffin Touching His Nose
- 14. GSP Spitting Water Into the Air
- 15. Robbie Lawler Fixing His Gloves
- 16. Daniel Cormier Covering His Belly Button
- 17. Nick Diaz Wiping His Hands on His Shorts
- 18. Nate Diaz Beating Himself Up
- 19. Eddie Alvarez Shaking His Head
- 20. Khabib Poking Out His Mouthpiece
- 21. Kelvin Gastelum Swaying His Right Arm In a Circle
- 22. Yoel Romero Sticking His Tongue Out
- 23. Sean Strickland & Kevin Holland Talking During Fights
- 24. Tai Tuiavasa Doing a Shoey
- 25. Clay Guida Getting Beaten Up By His Team
- To Conclude
Weird UFC Fighter Habits/Tics
In no particular order, here are the 25 weirdest UFC fighter habits/tics to have become noticeable over the years.
1. Dustin Poirier Pulling Up His Shorts
Every single Dustin Poirier fight features him pulling up his shorts every minute or so.
In his UFC 291 post-fight interview, Dustin explained him pulling up his shorts is a nervous tic he has.
Before this, people believed it to be a reset, a feint to lure people into a counter, not wanting to be restricted by the shorts when kicking, or a tic he picked up from backyard brawls/street fights.
Josh Koscheck and Kyle Bochniak are other UFC fighters who constantly pulled up their shorts.
2. Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua Spreading His Arms Out
Shogun would nearly always spread his arms out in a circular motion from high to low after getting hit in an exchange.
Picked up during his Muay Thai training, spreading the arms out as he did is essentially saying to the opponent, “That didn’t hurt, is that all you’ve got?”
3. Tony Ferguson Throwing Sand
At random stages during fights, Tony Ferguson would bend down and perform a scooping motion from the ground up as if he was throwing sand in his opponent’s eyes.
This was a way for Tony Ferguson to confuse his opponents and aid his unorthodox and awkward fighting style. It was also used as a feint to get his opponents to react to different things.
4. Derrick Lewis Taking Off His Shorts
On a few occasions and most recently at UFC 291, Derrick Lewis has a habit of taking off his MMA shorts after a fight, because in his own words, “My balls was hot.”
It makes you wonder how sweaty someone’s shorts compartment could possibly be after a fight lasting only 33 seconds, so it seems to be The Black Beasts‘ newly formed habit as a way to entertain the crowd.
5. Robert Whittaker Kicking His Own Leg
Robert Whittaker likes to wipe and slap his left leg with his right foot during fights.
When asked about it in his post-fight interview, Robert Whittaker replied, “I use the sweat on my left leg to get traction on my right foot. To be honest, it just makes it slippery, I don’t know why I do it.”
Number 13 on this list shows a video that includes Whittaker kicking his own leg.
Whittaker also has the habit of repeatedly beating his left pectoral during fighting introductions.
6. T.J. Dillashaw Running His Hands Through His Hair
With shaved sides and short hair on top, T.J. Dillashaw has a weird habit of running his hands through his hair mid-fight, despite no risk of hair in his eyes.
Another one of Dillashaw’s weird habits is to put his hand to his forehead like he’s blocking the sun before shooting for a takedown. This is an effective habit because he sometimes uses it to feint a takedown and strike up top.
It’s possible Dillashaw does this because he’s practiced clearing an opponent’s hand on his forehead before shooting a takedown, thousands of times.
7. Jiri Prochazka Beating His Chest and Holding His Wrist
One of the most unique UFC fighters out there, during a fight, Jiri Prochazka often beats his left pectoral, uses strange up-and-down hand movements, and holds his wrist at waist height like it’s hurt while leaning his face forward.
Prochazka revealed he holds his wrist as a way to stay focused and loose throughout a fight.
His chest beating and strange hand movements are part of his unorthodox feinting game used to distract and make his opponents react.
Number 13 on this list shows Jiri beating his chest.
8. GSP, Rashad Evans, and Keith Jardine Twisting Their Nipples
All fighters out of Jackson Wink MMA, the three would twist their nipples during fight introductions or before taking off their shirt outside the octagon.
While on Joe Rogan’s podcast, Rashad Evans said, “I’d pinch my nipples to do something stupid and silly, but then it would allow me to relax. And well, I’m not going to embarrass myself any more than that”.
So, for Evans, pinching his nipples was a way to take his mind away from the fight and feel more relaxed.
The other reason they would do it is to reduce the puffiness of the nipple, as steroid use can cause gynecomastia and this can help hide it.
9. Jorge Masvidal Cracking His Knees
Jorge Masvidal had a weird habit of cracking his knees during the fight introductions and sometimes in a fight. It seems the flying knee he landed on Ben Askren in 2019 did some damage.
Here’s an example of him cracking his knees during an interview.
10. Wanderlei Silva Rolling His Wrists
During fight introductions, Wanderlei Silva notoriously connected his hands and performed his signature wrist roll while death-staring his opponent.
The wrist roll, while a great way to warm up his wrists for the bombs he was about to land, was a brilliant intimidation tactic that became a habit of his.
11. Ben Henderson Fixing His Hair and Fighting With a Toothpick
There have been many fighters who constantly fix their hair during UFC fights, but none of them come close to Benson Henderson’s obsessive-compulsive order to make sure his hair was behind his ears.
Fans never entirely understood why he never shaved his long hair off, because it was clearly a huge distraction.
Other UFC fighters with a weird habit/tic of touching their hair are T.J. Dillashaw, Conor McGregor, K.J. Noons, Michael Bisping, and Clay Guida.
Perhaps even weirder is how Benson Henderson spent most of his time training with a toothpick in his mouth, even fighting in UFC fights with a toothpick hidden in his mouth.
12. Clay Guida Belching/Burping Between Rounds
On purpose or not, Clay Guida built a reputation for his habit of very loudly belching during the 1-minute break between rounds.
After his win at UFC Fight Night 63, where he let off a monstrous burp while receiving advice from his coach between rounds, Clay Guida said he burped because he had too many bananas before the fight.
13. Forrest Griffin Touching His Nose
Forrest Griffin had the habit of constantly touching his nose and forehead during a fight.
This is a habit picked up in boxing as a reminder to keep a high defensive guard.
Once Griffin was hit with a strike, he’d lightly touch his nose or forehead to remind himself to keep his hands high.
14. GSP Spitting Water Into the Air
Instead of drinking water like most athletes, Georges St-Pierre had a pre-fight ritual/habit of taking a drink of water, only to spit it into the air so it would land all over him.
He’d then also pour water on the canvas and rub his foot in the water for increased traction once it dried.
It’s possible he spat water on himself for the shock factor and to make himself a little slippery.
15. Robbie Lawler Fixing His Gloves
Robbie Lawler had a habit of constantly fixing his gloves during a fight as if they were too big for him and becoming loose.
However, they weren’t loose, it was just a habit of his to make sure they were correctly fitted before landing bombs.
16. Daniel Cormier Covering His Belly Button
During fight introductions and sometimes during the fight, Daniel Cormier would pull up his shorts very high to around belly button height.
While DC never explained it, it’s most likely a habit he picked up during his credentialed wrestling career.
Wrestlers often tuck their hoodies into their swear pants and pull them up to keep them tight and trap heat. This helps them sweat more and cut weight more easily.
It could also be something picked up during boxing training, as boxers pull their shorts high so they’re not punched lower in the gut. This works as boxers aren’t allowed to punch opponents below the belt.
17. Nick Diaz Wiping His Hands on His Shorts
During fights, Nick Diaz would constantly wipe his hands on his shorts to remove sweat and as a way to reset.
Max Holloway also frequently does it during fights.
18. Nate Diaz Beating Himself Up
During the fight introductions before every fight, Nate Diaz would slap and punch his legs, body, and face to prepare himself for battle.
Not only does he slap himself, but he often uses the Stockton Slap on his opponents.
19. Eddie Alvarez Shaking His Head
Before every fight, Eddie Alvarez wildly shook his head left and right repeatedly.
It was part of his pre-fight ritual to relieve tension and warm up the muscles in his neck.
20. Khabib Poking Out His Mouthpiece
Khabib Nurmagomedov had a weird habit of constantly taking the mouthguard from his top teeth and poking it out of his mouth.
He did this before fights, just before the next round began, and after fights finished. He likely picked up the habit through thousands of wrestling drills.
He infamously took out and threw his mouthpiece toward Conor McGregor’s corner after submitting him at UFC 229, then hopped the cage to attack Dillon Danis.
21. Kelvin Gastelum Swaying His Right Arm In a Circle
After throwing a combination or dodging strikes, Kelvin Gastelum has a habit of swaying his right arm in a circular motion anticlockwise.
While it looks like he’s imitating Doctor Strange opening a portal, it’s his way of measuring the range and drawing out strikes from his opponent. He also uses it to parry and as a defensive frame if an opponent strikes.
See Number 13. on this list to see Kelvin Gastelum’s habit.
22. Yoel Romero Sticking His Tongue Out
After getting hit, Yoel Romero would always stick his tongue out to taunt his opponent and say the strike didn’t hurt.
23. Sean Strickland & Kevin Holland Talking During Fights
Both Sean Strick and Kevin Holland have a habit of talking to themselves, their opponent, the people in the crowd watching, and Dana White during a fight.
While Holland mostly talks, Sean Strickland likes to shout his head off.
They do it to distract their opponent and make themselves feel more relaxed in a tense situation.
The best example was when Kevin Holland was on his back with Jacara Souza in his guard, and he said, “That was nice Jock! That was nice too! Think I had a dream about this.”
Then he proceeded to knock him out with punches while still on his back.
24. Tai Tuiavasa Doing a Shoey
By far one of the weirdest but most hilarious UFC fighter habits is Tai Tuiavasa shooting a beer from a stranger’s shoe.
He does this every time he wins a fight in the UFC, and he’s also done it plenty of times as a spectator at an event.
The beer has been mixed with hot sauce and infamously with Alexander Volkanovski’s spit.
25. Clay Guida Getting Beaten Up By His Team
Ever since his UFC debut in 2006, Clay Guida has been getting slapped extremely hard by his corner and especially his brother before entering the octagon.
Clay Guida says the slaps help him wake up and get in the right frame of mind for fighting. He’s an absolute nutcase.
This has been the 25 most hilarious and weird UFC fighter habits and tics of all time.
If you feel a very blatant UFC fighter habit/tic has been missed, feel free to comment below and the list will be updated.