Cage attire has seen a lot of changes since MMA contests became a thing.
In the early days of the UFC, competitors were allowed to wear pretty much anything they wanted to.
The competitors at UFC 1 wore everything from Gis to Sumo Mawashi — and even shoes were optional.
However, ever since the Unified Rules of MMA were implemented back in the year 2000, the attire became more regulated. Competitors could only wear shorts that were approved.
In the case of the UFC, things got even stricter as the Reebok deal happened in 2014. This meant that the company’s athletes could only wear approved uniforms in the cage. They also couldn’t have their sponsors’ logos on them.
This deal was replaced by the Venum partnership in 2021 which has similar conditions.
However, outside the UFC, competitors still tend to get creative when it comes to cage attire. Mike Bezanson is the most recent example of this, in a clip that’s making the rounds.
Bezanson can be seen wearing spandex shorts as he knocked out his opponent John Bell. The two fought at Combat FC 3 held in Wilmington, Massachusetts.
Almost half-way into round number one, Bezanson mounted Bell and delivered a vicious elbow to KO him. While the finish was a spectacular one, people are more interested in his gear.
But of course, this isn’t the first time that an athlete has worn something unusual in the cage.
MMA veteran Shinya Aoki is famous for wearing tights to the cage. He started wearing them when he made his debut for PRIDE. Ever since then, he has worn many uniquely designed tights during his long and storied career.
Dennis Hallman once wore a blue speedo for his match against Brian Ebersole at UFC 133. He wore it because he lost a bet. Not only did it look out of place, it caused a lot of controversy since his privates were almost exposed during the match.
All those watching were elated when Hallman got destroyed early on into the match. Despite the bout being a short one, it was enough for the crowd to chant “Put some clothes on”. Dana White was furious and there were talks of even dropping Hallman from the UFC.
Syed Ali Fazeel is an accomplished MMA fan, and writer. He discovered MMA in his youth and has been following the sport since TUF season 1.