UFC light heavyweight Michal Oleksiejczuk fought Modestas Bukauskas in the prelims for tonight's UFC 260 pay-per-view. Before setting foot on the UFC canvas, one of the surging Polish fighter's cornermen aggressively slapped him.
The slaps were to stir up Oleksiejczuk, who was coming off a loss to Jimmy Crute by stoppage. The attempt to fire Oleksiejczuk up paid off as the Polish fighter unceasingly pushed the pace against Bukauskas.
Joe Rogan, who was constituting the commentary panel, was surprised to see the aggressive treatment of Oleksiejczuk by his coach.
"That's about as hard a trainer ever hits a guy before he gets into the Octagon," said Rogan.
After three rounds of back-and-forth, the fight went to the judges' decision. Michal Oleksiejczuk was declared the winner by a split decision, with judges Tony Weeks and Ron McCarthy ruling the fight in his favor.
"I think I fought a good fight. My movement was good; my boxing was crisp... I'm happy that I won... but my goal is to be the best; to be the champion. And it doesn't matter if it will take me five years or ten years, I will make it and I will be a champion. So, it doesn't change a lot, I still have to work hard and be a better fighter everyday," said Oleksiejczuk in a post-fight interview.
UFC fighters who were famously slapped as a pre-fight ritual
While most brothers hug each other before stepping inside the cage, Jason Guida slaps Clay Guida to inspire the veteran lightweight fighter. Jason doesn't appear to hold back on hitting Clay Guida, who enters the Octagon with elevated confidence.
Here's a video of Clay Guida being slapped by Jason Guida at UFC Vegas 3:
Another incident involving a coach slapping their disciples took place in August 2019. Marina Rodriquez was slapped by her coach at UFC Fight Night 156. A UFC cutman standing closeby had a hilarious reaction to the pre-fight ritual: