UFC’s corporate overlords are busy dodging political bullets. The promotion that was once infamous for welcoming flamboyant walkouts – now forbids all personal touches.
Just last week, Sodiq Yusuff explained UFC had threatened him with a hefty fine if he were to sport a Nigerian themed bandana he’s worn countless times before.
“The flag thing, it was so weird,” Yusuff explained on a podcast episode.
. “They always let me wear my bandana, but that weekend, they told me, they said, ‘Hey, if you wear the flag, we’re gonna fine you a lot of money.’ So it wasn’t worth it. They were like, ‘You can’t wear it anywhere the UFC cameras are gonna catch.’” Yusuff said.
Now another athlete is coming forward and slamming UFC for ridiculous policy.
American athlete, Mike Trizano, told the SUN he was given some bad news before last night’s win over Seungwoo Choi at UFC 281.
Trizano said: “You guys know I always walk out with my American cowboy flag and cowboy hat.””
“I had it in the bag during weigh-ins and they came up to me and went ‘You can’t wear this’.”
“I was like ‘What are you talking about, I wear this every single time’. ”
“It’s never an issue, it’s not like I’m walking out with the flag, because they have that whole thing with no flags now.”
“They told me I couldn’t walk out with my American flag hat right before the weigh-ins and told me because it’s got a flag on it, I can’t wear it.”
“I was like ‘You’re going to take my American flag hat off me on Veteran’s Day? Out of all the days you’re going to take it off me it’s that day?’”
“It must come from the top, I’m not blaming any one person, but I think it’s a little ridiculous.”
Flag ban was instituted some time this spring discretely. Rumor has it, it was a result of Aljamain Sterling’s team posing with the Ukraine flag to taunt Peter Yan ahead of their rematch but the trut is this was brewing for quite some time.
Demian Maia was denied a retirement speech because UFC was paranoid about a Palestine shout out late last year. Not to mention they actually did get into hot water when Edmen Shahbazyan displayed a flag of an “illegal regime” prior to his bout.
Shahbazyan donned an Artsakh flag ahead of his UFC Vegas 5 main event bout against Derek Brunson. He displayed a flag of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, an internationally-unrecognized breakaway region technically belonging to Azerbaijan.
Consul General of Azerbaijan was displeased and sent a protest letter to UFC.
Prior to the flag ban, Justin Gaethje was lobbying to get a UFC flag themed shorts after Bryce Mithcell managed to plead his way into a camo version of his kit.
“I want to wear my country’s flag on my body on May 7th. I need an artist to design some fight shorts that I can convince the UFC to let me wear. I will Venmo $500 to the best design. The Sooner the better so I can file the paperwork. Send to [email protected]” Gaethje wrote on March 2nd this year.