Top 10 MMA Conspiracy Theories

Conspiracy theories have existed since the ancient age. Unfortunately, sometimes is way easier to assign an elaborate explanation than face the potential of a random and uncaring universe. 

Every single time something weird happens in the world of mixed martial arts, you can bet some random trolls and folks will come out on social media with strange theories and stories. Sometimes their explanations make sense, but in the majority of cases, these are “I want to believe” situations. Welcome to our top 10 MMA conspiracy theories. 

UFC Covered Colby Covington Cause He “Popped For Something”

Colby Covington won the UFC interim welterweight belt in 2018 after victory over Rafael dos Anjos but he was later stripped due to inactivity. Covington said that he had to undergo nasal surgery, which led to turning down a title matchup against Tyron Woodley. Then he fought in a non-title bout at UFC 235. 

“Chaos” claimed that UFC was turning him back from a belt bout. Yet, social media were flooded with various headlines. In his interview with Ariel Helwani, Covington unprompted began explaining how he used to work with USADA and said that he didn’t take steroids. 

But MMA conspiracy theorists claimed Colby “popped for something and UFC covered it up”, citing Ariel Helwani’s interview.

Faker TJ Grant Was Acting A Concussion

Anthony Pettis was booked to fight Benson Henderson in the main event of UFC 164 pay-per-view after TJ Grant pulled out of the bout, citing “concussion during the jiu-jitsu training session”. 

Well, here comes the problem – you don’t eat shots during submission switches, sweeps, and transitions, so the internet heroes came up with one of the funniest MMA conspiracy theories. There were posts on social media where “fans” claimed that “TJ Grant was bribed to fake a concussion and let Pettis fight instead of him”. 

But here’s another odd fact – Pettis was lined up for that title bout before TJ Grant, but the bout was unable to be scheduled. I mean, if you want to evade the fight because of a concussion, you’d probably choose a different reason – for example, a strike to the head in the kickboxing session. 

Georges St-Pierre Didn’t Hit The Scale In His Home State Of Quebec

Nick Diaz claimed that GSP was allowed to weigh in over the championship 170-pound limit before their UFC 158 title fight. The match took place in Canada, so Nick believed that home fighter got an illegal advantage, claiming the French-Canadian superstar came in few pounds heavier. 

Diaz also claimed UFC and Quebec Commission didn’t react, and his team released a controversial video where UFC official was explaining to GSP’s team that “any decimal over the weight limit would be rounded down”. Let me explain – 170.9 means 170 pounds. 

The video was later taken down by the UFC, and MMA conspiracy theorists were posting all kinds of explanations. Text message exchanges with officials also got public. St-Pierre weighed 170 pounds at the weigh-in, but it was unclear even today whether he was given any kind of allowance. 

Anderson Silva’s Title Loss Was Fixed

It’s hard to see your favorite fighter getting knocked out and losing belt after the longest title reign in UFC middleweight history. Anderson Silva was stopped by Chris Weidman at UFC 162 via a wild barrage of punches, and the belt changed its owner. Yet, conspiracy theorists offered a different explanation. 

Social media, especially Twitter, was stacked with “the fight was fixed” posts. But let’s be honest, Weidman’s left hook knocked Silva down, he was not sent to the canvas by the dust of air. Dana White said in the post-fight press conference it was “the stupidest thing I’ve heard in my f*cking life”. 

The Vitor Belfort Was Hiding In Brazil MMA Conspiracy Theory

Vitor Belfort was a TRT killer before the USADA rule change in 2014. He fought only twice in Brazil in 1996, but in 2013 he miraculously took part in three matches in his home state, which were ended via stoppages (Bisping, Rockhold, and Henderson were teleported to another dimension). 

But listen to the fans – “Vitor was booked only in Brazil so he could add a bit of extra TRT and boost his performance”. The Brazilian Commission closed their eyes on PEDs abuse many times in the past, but Dana White stated that UFC had a huge television partnership with Globo in Brazil, so they were keen on having Belfort on these cards. 

After his 2013 rampage, Vitor was randomly tested in Las Vegas, and his testosterone levels were way above the allowed. TRT was strictly prohibited three weeks after Belfort’s failed test. So it seems this conspiracy theory will remain unclear forever.

Jon Jones Was Assisted By USADA In Cheating

Jon Jones is a controversial figure and has plenty of MMA conspiracy theories surrounding him, he is the only fighter who was stripped three times off a title due to various kinds of behavior outside of Octagon. But his penalty was reduced from 48 months to just 15 months by USADA for “substantial assistance” after failing the drug test for the UFC 214 title fight versus Cormier. Fans immediately started flooding the internet with MMA conspiracy theories. 

Things got escalated when traces of the same metabolite appeared in Jones’ system before his UFC 232 battle against Alexander Gustafsson. “Bones” was allowed to fight after USADA determined that the tainted supplement “was not re-ingested”. Nevada refused to license Jones so the whole event was moved to California, which made many fans and fighters angry. 

Cormier claimed that USADA allowed Jones to cheat. It makes sense, as the anti-doping agency was not friendly towards Frank Mir and Tom Lawler in the past. 

The First-Ever UFC Event Was A Setup

UFC 1 happened at the end of 1993 and it brought a whole new level of excitement and only two rules – no biting and eye-gouging. Bill Wallis claimed that the event was a setup because “it was designed in every aspect to ensure Royce Gracie was the winner”. 

According to his words, all the Octagon warriors were hand-picked to struggle with BJJ experts as they heavily lacked grappling skills and ground game. He also said that Teila Tuli’s battle was stopped too early as Royce would be unable to drag him to the ground. Plus, Royce was the only competitor granted to wear his gi and belt. 

His semi-final opponent Ken Shamrock complained about that and added that “UFC took his shoes because the promotion intended to take away his balance and help Royce”. The smoke was used for the entrance of one-gloved boxer Art Jimmerson, despite he told the officials that he had asthma.

But other fighters wore specialized gear, Teila Tuli lost his teeth, and Royce later showed the effectiveness of BJJ against bigger dudes. 

UFC 223 Bus Attack Was Staged

There were a lot of sparks in the air before the UFC 223 battle before Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor. Conor’s friend and teammate Artem Lobov took part in a hotel incident with Khabib’s training partner Zubaira Tukhugov, then Conor decided to stand up for his brother in arms.

The Irishman threw a chair into a bus full of UFC fighters at UFC 223 media day to defend Artem Lobov’s honor, which led to numerous injuries and withdrawals from the card. Karolina Kowalkiewicz was unable to fight alongside Michael Chiesa. Rose Namajunas was visiting the psychiatrist for a long time after the event. 

Few moments after the attack, conspiracy theories appeared online that the attack was staged to build the hype for the future bout between Conor and Khabib, to sell more pay-per-views (the match happened at UFC 229). But it’s hard to believe that the greatest MMA promotion in the world would risk so many lawsuits and jail time against their golden goose. 

No UFC In Japan Because Of Yakuza Gang

Pride was bought by Zuffa in 2007 with two goals – to promote the fights under the brand and to keep Pride FC as a unique entity. 

But before the end of the year, Zuffa closed the shop in “The Land of Rising Sun” and returned in 2012! It was so hard to get TV rights for Pride after an organized crime scandal, so Zuffa would lose a lot of money. 

According to some interviews with Enson Inoue and Dana White, it seems Yakuzas had a lot to do with UFC’s decision to move from Japan. Dana said it was extremely hard to get the job done in Japan because of the crime syndicate. It’s so hard to run two major promotions in two different places, but fans had to come up with interesting MMA conspiracy theories.

Staged Showtime Kick

The WEC belt battle between Benson Henderson and Anthony Pettis brought some of the best moments in the history of MMA. Sixty seconds before the final bell in round 5, Pettis ricocheted off the fence and slammed Henderson with a right foot to the cheek. Henderson fell like a board but “Showtime” was unable to finish the bout on the ground and won via decision after 25 minutes. 

Listen to one of the craziest MMA conspiracy theories – Henderson put his left foot on the cage and gave Pettis a signal to go for a Showtime kick. Just forget a fact that they took part in a great five-round war before that. 

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