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MMA is one of the most brutal combat sports in the world. There are only a few restrictions regarding what the fighters cannot do or use during a fight.
However, the UFC (the world’s leading MMA promotion) does have some regulations to ensure their fighters are as safe as possible when they step into the octagon.
Additionally, those rules change regularly, so it’s sometimes hard to know the answers to some questions.
What can UFC fighters do? What aren’t they allowed? What do they do before the fights?
Here’s a list of the fifteen most frequently asked questions and answers.
Can UFC Fighters Hear Commentary?
It all depends on the venue where the fights are held, the attendance, and the crowd’s excitement.
If the arena is loud and the fans are screaming, the fighters would hardly hear Joe Rogan and the other commentators.
However, as of now, where the fights are held in arenas with no fans due to the coronavirus pandemic, they can hear the commentator loud and clear, as good as they can hear their cornermen.
Can UFC Fighters Have Sponsors?
After the promotion signed their sponsorship deal with Reebok, fighters aren’t allowed to have in-ring sponsorships anymore.
Every fighter wears the designated shorts with no sponsorship logos on them. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t allowed to get endorsement deals outside of the octagon.
Almost every fighter has a sponsorship or an endorsement deal outside of competition because it’s usually the larger part of their income.
Can UFC Fighters Take Creatine?
Creatine is not on the Prohibited Substance List, which means the fighters are free to use it in their training.
Creatine allows your body to recover faster and more comfortably, and your body produces it from amino acids on its own, too.
It’s a natural compound that’s not viewed as a PED (performance-enhancing drug), and every UFC fighter is free to use it as a supplement.
Can UFC Fighters Wear Shirts?
Often in the UFC, we see women fighters wear shirts (for obvious reasons). These are rash-guard compression shirts or tops that protect the chest area and allows more comfort for the fighters.
But, male fighters aren’t allowed to wear shirts inside the octagon for several reasons.
Shirts can tear during grappling. They can facilitate certain chokes, they get your core temperature higher quicker, making you fatigue faster, and many more reasons.
Can UFC Fighters Fight Outside the UFC?
In terms of street fighting, not only are the fighters restricted by the UFC and forbidden to use their skills in a street fight, but the law prohibits them from doing so too.
Their hands and feet are considered cold weapons, and they can get in serious legal trouble if they get caught fighting outside.
In terms of fighting in other sports or promotions, the UFC usually forbids it strictly with a contract.
However, there are exceptions, such as the boxing fight between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather, where Dana White and the promotion gave McGregor clearance to pursue the fight.
So, if the money is right, the UFC might permit their fighters to fight outside the promotion. But in general terms, the fighters are allowed to fight only inside the UFC octagon.
Can UFC Fighters Fix Their Ears?
“Cauliflower ears” are a widespread condition among MMA fighters and other combat sportsmen in martial arts that include grappling.
Once it happens, though, it’s pretty much a permanent condition. 
We’ve seen fighters drain blood and liquid from their ears before and after the fights to reduce the swelling, but apart from that, the ear might never go back to normal. At least not without extreme plastic surgery.
If you are interested, check out the article I wrote about why do UFC fighters have cauliflower ears where I go in full depth about the subject.
Can UFC Fighters Take Pre-Workout?
The UFC fighters are allowed and encouraged to use pre-workout supplements to increase their energy and help them get into the best possible condition before stepping into the octagon.
However, they have to be careful when choosing their supplements because there are many substances that the UFC prohibits.
If the supplement contains a banned substance, the fighters face disqualification and suspension from competition, depending on how severe the anti-doping violation was.
Also, again, if you are interested, check out the article I wrote about do UFC fighters take pre-workout where I go in full depth about the subject.
Can UFC Fighters Take Steroids?
The UFC strictly prohibits their fighters from using any steroids, and the penalties for using them are incredibly high.
USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) is the capital governing body that tests the fighters before and after fights to determine if they used any illegal substances.
If the fighters fail the tests, they get the opportunity to defend themselves, like Anderson Silva and Junior dos Santos did.
Still, if they can’t justify the test results, they are likely to be suspended and fined for violating the anti-doping rules, like Fabricio Werdum was suspended.
As with cauliflower ears and pre-workouts, I have also done an article about UFC fighters and steroids. Check it out!
Can UFC Fighters Wear Cups?
Not only are the UFC fighters allowed to wear groin guards in their fights, but they are required to do so as a standard part of their equipment.
Groin shots are illegal and forbidden in the UFC, but accidents happen regularly, and if the fighters didn’t have the necessary protection, it could have severe consequences for their health.
Therefore, yes, UFC fighters are encouraged to wear protective cups in the octagon to protect them from unwanted injuries.
Can UFC Fighters Break Bones?
Breaking bones is always possible if you are a UFC fighter. Every time you step into the octagon, you’re at risk of breaking bones, just like the gruesome leg break Anderson Silva suffered during his match with Chris Weidman.
As for breaking the opponent’s bones, if you happen to break somebody’s arm in a match, it’s their fault if they didn’t tap out and the referee’s fault for not stopping the match. You’re inside the octagon to win.
It’s much more often you break your own bones, though, as fingers and fists tend to crack after hard striking.
Can UFC Fighters Gain Weight After Weigh-In?
Almost every UFC fighter goes through the weight-cutting process before fights, where they dehydrate to lose weight and satisfy the requirements of their weight category.
As soon as they step off the scales, though, the rehydration process begins.
Fighters can gain as much as 15 pounds in 24 hours between weigh-in and fighting to gain an advantage inside the octagon.
Some states, though, forbid them from gaining more than 10 percent of their body weight between weigh-in and fighting, as they can be fined or asked to move to a higher weight class if they repeatedly do so.
Being a particularly interesting topic, here is the article I wrote about how exactly do UFC fighters cut (and regain) weight.
Can UFC Fighters Have Long Hair?
There are no hair-length rules in the UFC, so fighters can have long hair if they want. However, the fighters should tightly braid it against the head to prevent hair-pulling and freak accidents, tangles, etc.
Even women UFC fighters always have braided hair because it allows them to move around more freely and prevents the opponent from using it against them.
If you have long hair, the opponent can use it to control your movement, so the athletes are advised to either shorten your hair or braid it tightly against the head.
Can UFC Fighters Keep Their Belts?
Yes, every time a UFC fighter wins a championship or defends their title, they are awarded a new UFC championship belt.
They get to keep all their belts (which is why Demetrious Johnson has ten), even if they were already the champion.
The new “legacy” system of the UFC belts is a bit different, though. The fighters don’t receive a new belt after each title defense.
Instead, a ruby is placed on the belt they already have, signifying a successful title defense.
Can UFC Fighters Take Adderall?
Adderall is forbidden in the UFC, but there are exceptions. If a doctor prescribed it to a fighter for medical purposes (such as dealing with ADHD, etc.), then the UFC and USADA will allow the fighter to use Adderall as a supplement before the fight.
One such exception was made for the former UFC champion Frank Mir before his UFC 191 fight against Andrei Arlovski, as he had a medical prescription to use it. It didn’t help him, though, as Arlovski beat him with a unanimous decision.
However, if the fighters use it as a performance-booster without a medical prescription from a doctor, they can get suspended and fined, as the former UFC fighter Tim Credeur once was.
Can UFC Fighters Take Testosterone?
TRT, or testosterone-replacement therapy, was a significant debate issue for years in the world of MMA. Finally, it was forbidden in 2014 by the NSAC (Nevada State Athletic Commission), and the UFC followed their lead shortly after.
It was a form of legalized doping that fighters like Chael Sonnen and Vitor Belfort exploited as much as possible, saying they were using TRT as medicine, not PED.
But, it was evident that TRT had enormous effects on their performance. You can work out harder, recover faster, and develop huge muscles while reducing fat.
It could be seen on Vitor Belfort’s physique, as he looked like a juggernaut for most of his career. As TRT was banned, his physique declined, and his MMA career came to its conclusion shortly after.