Few sports can rival the peculiarities of MMA. It encompasses an array of wild personalities that originate from both upper management and the grassroots level. But what sets MMA apart more than anything else is the abundance of ‘curses’ that afflict fighters and become ingrained in the collective consciousness of devoted fans.
What is a UFC Curse?
A UFC curse refers to a scenario in which a fighter becomes entangled in certain circumstances or commits an action before a fight, regardless of how trivial, that seems to guarantee their defeat in the match.
- Example: Israel Adesanya was on the cover of UFC 5 and had a bet placed on him by Drake before fighting Sean Strickland. He went on to lose.
List of UFC Curses
UFC Veteran Curse
(As of Dec 11, 2023)
If a fighter competes below middleweight, and is 35 or older, they have a miniscule chance of winning title fights. The collective championship record for fighters who match this criteria is 2-22, Tyron Woodley owns those two wins.
Fighters below welterweight have a 0% win rate in title fights if they are 35 or older.
Here’s looking at you Colby Covington (35) and Alexander Volkanovski (35)
Haircut on Embedded Curse
If a fighter has their haircut as a part of the ‘UFC Embedded’ vlog series prior to their fight, they seem to have a higher chance of losing.
Chael Sonnen Prediction Curse
Whenever MMA pundit Chael Sonnen picks a fighter to win, they often end up losing.
Whenever Drake puts a huge bet on a fighter, they tend to lose.
Bruce Buffer Curse
Some fighters refuse to fist bump Bruce Buffer when he’s giving their introduction because it’s bad luck.
Eminem song curse
Fighters that walk out to an Eminem song have a 45% win rate.
EA Game Cover Curse
Fighters who are on the cover art for the EA UFC games tend to lose their next fight. Example: Conor & Ronda on the cover of UFC 2.
Conan O’Brien Curse
Fighter’s that used to go on the Conan O’Brien show seemed to lose their next fight. I.e. Conor before Nate Diaz.
Cursed Fight: Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib
Ferguson vs. Khabib was cancelled FIVE times. Both fighters sustained injuries, and COVID cancelled the last bout before Ferguson got TKO’d by Justin Gaethje.
Anderson Silva Curse
Anderson Silva snapped his leg against Chris Weidman. Silva retired on a loss to Uriah Hall. Weidman snapped his leg on Hall.
Fighters who undergo cupping therapy and enter the octagon with cup marks always seem to lose.
Know any more curses? Drop a comment below and they could be added to the list.
Mathew is a UK-based combat sports journalist. He currently works for MMA Knockout, part of the Sports Illustrated FanNation network. The Fight Fanatic is Mathew’s one-man operation. His past bylines include Heavy on UFC, Sportskeeda, and MMA UK.
Contact Mathew via Twitter or through [email protected]