UFC Fighters are perhaps the most dangerous people on the planet. The kind of arsenal they carry in their bodies is capable of inflicting a lot of damage. Therefore, the ethics of MMA say that the skills acquired by a practitioner should not be used for the wrong reasons.
Nevertheless, there have been incidents where MMA fighters have gotten into bar brawls. While some of these brawls may be acts of self-defense, others depict absolute disregard for ethics.
Let's countdown five such instances when MMA fighters got involved in bar brawls.
5. BJ Penn [UFC Lightweight/Welterweight]
'The Prodigy' BJ Penn is infamous for his conduct outside the UFC. The former UFC Lightweight champion has been involved in numerous controversies, particularly violent in nature. In fact, it was one such incident that led to his release from the UFC.
In September 2019, BJ Penn was at the Lava Shack in Big Island, Hawaii. What transpired outside the bar eventually led to his dismissal from the UFC. A video showing BJ Penn mounted on top of a person outside a bar surfaced on social media on August 28, 2019.
BJ Penn was mounted on top of a guy who lay on his stomach on the ground. Penn was swinging away at the person as the crowd rushed in to separate the two. As can be seen in the video, it was extremely difficult to remove BJ Penn.
However, a clip that was released later showed that the person who BJ Penn was fighting actually knocked 'The Prodigy' out.
BJ Penn said that he had been attempting to defuse the situation. After getting knocked out, he was disoriented and felt the need to defend hiself. According to BJ Penn, this is why he charged on the other man.
4. Michael Bisping vs Dominick Cruz [UFC Middleweight & Bantamweight]
Former UFC Middleweight champion Michael Bisping once narrated an incident on his podcast, 'Believe You Me', regarding an altercation with former UFC Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz.
The two have worked together for a long time as analysts. They have also gone out for drinks together after their shoots. Michael Bisping spoke about one such time in Hollywood. He said:
"He (Dominick Cruz) had many shots of tequila, as did I. And something happened, and he was like, ‘You want to punch me right now. Don’t you? You want to punch me’. It was like that scene in Stepbrothers. And I’m like, ‘No'. And he says, ‘Go on motherf****r. Swing a shot. By the time you swing on me, I’ll have hit you in the face six, seven times. You won’t be able to touch me’. I’m like, ‘What are you talking about Dominick, I am not going to punch you’. And then my older brother who had just got off a plane from England, who was very inebriated due to the tequila and the flight. And he’s like, ‘Woah, stop guys don’t fight’. … That’s just an average night out with me and Dominick."
On the other hand, Dominick Cruz narrated a very different version of the story. He claimed that he and Michael Bisping had been taking digs at each other all day. Something that Dominick Cruz said instigated Michael Bisping and led him to hold the former by his collar. Cruz admitted saying that he would punch Bisping many times before he landed a single strike.
Dominick Cruz also said that Michael Bisping knocked his brother out when he approached them from behind. Michael Bisping maintains that it was "just a little slap."
3. Jorge Masvidal [UFC Welterweight]
Former UFC light heavyweight Chael Sonnen revealed a story about 'Gamebred' Jorge Masvidal. Chael Sonnen shared that Michael Bisping had shared the story with him. When Chael Sonnen asked Jorge Masvidal if he could share the story on his YouTube channel, Jorge Masvidal said: "Yeah, man. Cool."
Narrating the incident, Chael Sonnen said:
"Jorge is at a club wearing a gold chain necklace and these two guys that he doesn't know go up to him. And one of the guys flicks the necklace. Jorge doesn't know how to interpret that, but thinks these guys are going to rob him. So Jorge knocks out the guy who touched the necklace, then turns with a hook and knocks out the other guy."
Thereafter, the UFC BMF titleholder went into the washroom to keep a low profile. Yet, Jorge Masvidal's KO streak was not quite done as yet. A man, not necessarily with the other two men, entered the washroom. Masvidal wasted no time in expecting an attack and knocked the person out. He said later that he could not afford to let a threat like that materialize.
2. Conor McGregor [UFC Lightweight]
'The Notorious One' has been under the media's spotlight for aggressive demeanor outside the UFC octagon more often than not. Although the former double-champ seems to have turned a new leaf now, it was only three years ago that he threw a dolly at a bus.
Another such incident came to light in 2020. Conor McGregor was at a pub in Dublin, Ireland. He presented his whiskey 'Proper No.12' to the bar and ordered free shots for everyone. However, an old man refused to take the drink. Conor McGregor offered the man a cup twice, and the man remained firm with his decision.
Conor McGregor drank a shot with the others. Out of nowhere, he threw his patented left hook straight to the elderly man's jaw.
Conor McGregor was carried out of the club by people. Fortunately, the old man at the bar was not injured.
1. Randy Couture [UFC Light Heavyweight/Heavyweight]
Former multi-division UFC champion Randy Couture had his own "bar incident." In 1995, Randy Couture was outside a bar in Buckhead, Atlanta with Dan Henderson. He kept his hand on a car to tie his shoelaces. However, something as little as that became the reason for trouble. Narrating the incident, Randy Couture said,
"...four guys that came out of that club [and said], ‘Hey, leave that car alone!’. I said, ‘Sorry, I wasn’t doing anything to the car.’ And one of the guys had a bat. And I couldn’t figure out what he needed a bat for. I wasn’t doing anything. I ended up snatching the bat from him and chasing him back into the club. I never caught him... I came back out, and Henderson had one of the other guys on the ground."
Randy Couture noted that no one was hurt that night.