(Also, wearing a scarf over a t-shirt indoors will now be punishable by death. / Photo via Esther Lin for MMAFighting)
As revealed in an update on Benson Henderson’s Facebook fan page, the UFC has just instituted a dress code for its fighters that would ban shorts and require shoes during publicity and marketing appearances. Though requiring athletes to look professional in public is something that other major sports leagues already do, Henderson took the news as a personal affront to his freedom, and his easy-breezy open-toed lifestyle. Here’s what Bendo had to say:
Mwahahaha!!! Guess @ufc decided to make it official…I’m a start calling them the NBA…guess it’s one thing to be encouraged to do or dress one way & entirely another thing to be told to do or dress one way…
“Per Jackie, effective immediately, fighters and talent traveling on press tours and PR/marketing-related appearances are no longer permitted to wear shorts or flip flops. Jeans are acceptable and shoes are a must.”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m gonna dress how my employers want but doesn’t mean I gotta be happy about it…”Don’t let the man hold you down” “Fight the power” “You can take my life but you can never take my FREEDOM!!!”
The UFC has been rolling out an official Code of Conduct since January, which has so far focused on offensive and discriminatory statements made by fighters. (See: Mitrione, Diaz.) A dress code simply discourages fighters from looking unprofessional when they’re fulfilling the promotional part of their job, and we see no problem with that.
As for the UFC’s lightweight champion, Henderson drowned his sorrows at the mall following his Facebook-venting.
Update: According to a UFC official quoted by MMAJunkie, “There is no dress code to speak of. We simply ask that our athletes not wear shorts or flip flops at company-related press tours/media functions.”