MMA, a sport known for its intense battles and dramatic moments, occasionally delivers unconventional surprises inside the octagon. While some publicity stunts may come and go, certain acts leave a lasting impression. One such act involves martial artists licking their gloves, a move that has raised eyebrows and sparked discussions among fans and fellow stars.
In the 30-year history of MMA, there have been instances where guys have taken this unusual action, making it a unique but controversial trademark. One of the most famous cases of glove licking was associated with UFC legend BJ Penn. During his career, Penn surprised the MMA world when he licked the remains of his opponent from his glove. It was a gesture that pushed the boundaries of sportsmanship and garnered attention for its audacity.
BJ Penn’s glove-licking antics even resurfaced in recent times when YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul adopted a similar move. After a spectacular knockout victory over former UFC champion Tyron Woodley, Paul licked his gloves, despite the absence of actual injury during the bout. This act drew criticism from the MMA community, including BJ Penn himself, who expressed disapproval of Paul copying his unconventional move on social media.
Tyron Woodley also weighed in on the situation, emphasizing that there was no blood present during the bout, making Paul’s gesture even more perplexing.
However, the glove-licking tradition didn’t end with Jake Paul’s imitation. During CFFC123, a recent MMA event held at Parx Casino Xcite Center in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, another star, Jose Perez, decided to add his twist to this unusual tradition. Perez faced off against Chris Vasil in the main event, and during the third round, he showcased his dominance.
While in a dominant mount position, Perez delivered a barrage of elbow strikes to his opponent, leaving Vasil visibly battered. In a surprising moment, Perez, who seemed fully committed to maintaining his mount position, licked his glove. Initially, the commentary team missed this unconventional act, but as the fighters began to disentangle, they discussed this unusual move in detail.
Perez wound up winning via anonymous decision after a 4 round bout overseen by Dan Miragliotta. His MMA record now consists of 8 wins and 1 loss.