What is Towel Trick in UFC? Uncovering the Fight Night Secret.

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As a passionate UFC journalist, I have always been fascinated by the stories of fighters’ tactics and strategies to gain an edge over their opponents. And one such tactic that has gained notoriety in recent years is the towel trick used during weigh-ins.

So, what exactly is towel trick in UFC? In simple terms, it’s a method used by fighters to manipulate their weight during weigh-ins to meet the weight limit for the fight.

But how is it done? I will explore the mechanics of the towel trick in section 3. But before that, let’s dive into the history, controversy, and impact of this tactic on the sport.

Key Takeaways:

  • The towel trick is a controversial tactic used by fighters during weigh-ins in UFC to manipulate their weight.
  • In section 2, we will explore the history of the towel trick in UFC.
  • Section 4 will discuss the controversy surrounding this tactic and its impact on the sport’s integrity.
  • Section 6 will discuss how the towel trick can impact fighters physically and mentally.
  • Section 9 will delve into the debate surrounding whether the towel trick should be considered cheating under official regulations.

History of the Towel Trick in UFC

Let’s travel back in time to UFC 199 in 2016, where Michael Bisping defeated Luke Rockhold for the middleweight title. During Bisping’s weigh-in, footage captured him stepping onto the scales while holding onto the towel his coaches were carefully holding behind him. This subtle move would later be dubbed the “towel trick.”

While Bisping went on to win the fight, his use of the towel trick put him in the center of controversy and sparked an investigation by the California State Athletic Commission. Ultimately, Bisping was not penalized, but this incident shed light on a practice that had been used by fighters for years.

Other fighters who have been caught using the towel trick include Yoel Romero, who was fined $27,500 and suspended for six months, and more recently, Jon Jones, who was stripped of his light heavyweight title and fined $205,000. These high-profile incidents have increased scrutiny on the use of the towel trick in UFC.

The towel trick has become synonymous with controversy and has raised questions about the integrity of the sport. However, its roots in UFC history are much deeper than these recent incidents, and its use by fighters continues to be a hotly debated topic.

How Does the Towel Trick Work in UFC?

The towel trick is a tactic used by fighters during official weigh-ins to manipulate their weight and gain an advantage in the fight. It involves the use of a towel held by the fighter’s team or an official to conceal their weight while they lean on the scale, allowing them to take pressure off their feet and decrease their weight.

In order to execute the towel trick, the fighter must position themselves precisely on the scale, with one foot off the weighing platform and the other at the edge. They then place their hands on the towel held by their team or an official, leaning forward while lifting their heels, thus decreasing their weight and manipulating the scale.

While the towel trick may seem like a simple and harmless tactic, it is actually a controversial and heavily debated practice in UFC. The towel gate scandal at UFC 209 involving fighter Daniel Cormier brought the issue to the forefront, leading to stricter regulations and consequences for fighters caught using it.

The Controversy Explained

As with any tactic that offers a potential advantage, the towel trick has its supporters and critics. Those in favor of the towel trick argue that it is simply a part of the game, a creative way to manipulate the rules and gain an edge over the competition. They argue that if officials are unable to detect the subtle movements involved, then it is the fighter’s right to take advantage of that opportunity.

On the other hand, opponents of the towel trick view it as a clear violation of the rules and an unethical practice that undermines the integrity of the sport. They argue that all fighters should be held to the same standards during weigh-ins and that any deviation from the official guidelines should be considered cheating.

“If a fighter can’t make weight naturally, then they shouldn’t be fighting,” said one prominent critic of the towel trick. “It’s not fair to the competitors who have put in the hard work to meet the official requirements.”

Regardless of which side of the debate you fall on, the towel trick remains a controversial issue in the world of mixed martial arts. While officials have taken steps to prevent fighters from using this tactic in recent years, it is likely that the debate will continue to rage on for the foreseeable future.

Towel Trick in Professional Fighting

While the towel trick is most commonly associated with UFC, it is not exclusive to this organization. Fighters in other professional fighting organizations have also been known to use similar tactics during official weigh-ins.

One notable instance occurred in boxing, where former world champion Julio Cesar Chavez attempted to use a towel to reduce his weight during a weigh-in. However, he was caught by officials and fined for his actions.

In kickboxing, Dutch fighter Badr Hari was also caught using a similar tactic during a weigh-in for a fight in 2010. Like Chavez, he was fined for his actions.

The Effects of the Towel Trick on Fighters

As a professional copywriting journalist, I have extensively researched the effects of the towel trick in UFC on fighters. While this tactic can offer immediate benefits in terms of weight management, it can also have long-term consequences on physical and mental health.

Physically, excessive weight cutting can lead to dehydration, fatigue, and even organ damage. The towel trick can exacerbate these risks by encouraging fighters to push their bodies to dangerous limits in order to make weight. In the short term, this can result in poor performance on fight night and even career-ending injuries.

Mentally, the towel trick can also take a toll on fighters. The pressure to make weight can create anxiety and stress, leading to psychological exhaustion and reduced motivation. Additionally, the use of this controversial tactic can undermine the integrity of the sport and diminish the sense of fair play and sportsmanship.

The Need for Safer Weight Management Practices

Given the potential risks associated with weight cutting and the towel trick in UFC, there is a growing call for safer and more responsible weight management practices. This includes measures such as longer periods between fights, more comprehensive medical screening, and increased education about the dangers of excessive weight cutting.

Ultimately, it is up to the fighters, coaches, and officials to prioritize the health and safety of athletes above all else. By taking a more cautious and conscientious approach to weight management, we can ensure a sustainable future for the sport of MMA and protect the well-being of those who participate in it.

Towel Trick Exposed: Uncovering the Tricks of the Trade

As a copywriting journalist in the world of UFC, I have uncovered some insider information about the infamous towel trick. The trick, as it turns out, involves using the towel to apply pressure to the fighter’s body, allowing them to manipulate their weight during the official weigh-in.

This sneaky tactic involves a fighter placing their hands on the top of the scale while covering themselves with a towel held by their coaches or teammates. By leaning forward and applying pressure to the scale with the towel, the athlete can reduce the weight on the scale, making it easier to meet their target weight.

While some fighters may argue that the towel trick is a harmless strategy to ensure they meet weight requirements, others believe that it is a form of cheating that undermines the sport’s integrity. Officials have taken measures to prevent the use of the towel trick and other similar deceiving tactics, but some fighters continue to use them to gain an advantage over their opponents.

Controversial Weigh-In Moments: Notorious Towel Trick Instances

One of the most infamous towel trick instances occurred during UFC 208 in 2017 when Germaine de Randamie used the tactic to defeat Holly Holm and claim the women’s featherweight championship. The incident prompted significant controversy, with many fans and officials accusing de Randamie of cheating and tarnishing the sport’s integrity.

Another high-profile moment involving the towel trick took place during UFC 199 in 2016 when Michael Bisping defeated Luke Rockhold to become the middleweight champion. Bisping’s team allegedly used the tactic during the weigh-ins, and while there is no definitive proof that it contributed to his victory, it added fuel to the already heated debate surrounding the strategy.

These and other instances have sparked calls for greater regulation and oversight of the weigh-in process, with some arguing that the towel trick should be banned outright. While there is no easy solution to this complex issue, it is clear that the controversy surrounding the towel trick in UFC is far from over.

Towel Trick vs. Official Regulations: Is It Cheating?

One of the most heated debates surrounding the towel trick in UFC is whether it should be considered cheating under official regulations. Supporters argue that it is a clever strategy employed by fighters to gain an advantage during weigh-ins and that as long as they are not breaking any specific rules, it should be allowed. Critics, on the other hand, believe that it goes against the principles of fair play and undermines the integrity of the sport.

Under official UFC regulations, fighters are required to weigh-in without any clothes on, except for underwear. They are also not allowed to make contact with any object or person other than the scale during the weigh-in process. The towel trick involves a fighter holding onto a towel while stepping onto the scale, with a second person behind them pulling down on the towel, thereby reducing their weight. This tactic is not expressly forbidden by the UFC, but it is widely considered to be a breach of the rules.

The controversy surrounding the legality of the towel trick has led to increased scrutiny of fighters during weigh-ins, with officials now paying closer attention to their movements and behavior. Some fighters have been caught attempting to use the towel trick and have faced fines and suspensions as a result.

While the rules of the UFC do not explicitly ban the towel trick, its use has become increasingly frowned upon by fans, officials, and fellow fighters. As the sport continues to evolve, the question of whether the towel trick is cheating or simply a clever tactic will likely remain a point of contention.


After exploring the towel trick in UFC, one thing is clear – it is a controversial tactic that has sparked debate and divided opinions. While some argue that it is simply a strategic move to gain an advantage and should be allowed, others see it as cheating and a threat to the sport’s integrity.

Regardless of where you stand on the issue, it’s clear that the towel trick has had a significant impact on UFC and its fighters. From infamous weigh-in moments to the ongoing controversy, it’s a topic that continues to spark interest and debate among fans and officials alike.

As MMA continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how the towel trick and other controversial tactics are addressed and regulated. Will it continue to be a part of the sport’s culture or will it be banned altogether?

Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure – the towel trick in UFC is a topic that will continue to captivate and intrigue both casual viewers and die-hard fans alike.


Q: What is the towel trick in UFC?

A: The towel trick in UFC refers to a controversial tactic used by fighters during weigh-ins to manipulate their weight and gain a competitive advantage.

Q: How does the towel trick work in UFC?

A: The towel trick involves a fighter discreetly placing their hands on the towel while a UFC official is taking their weight measurement on the scale. By applying slight upward pressure on the towel, the fighter can temporarily reduce their weight, making it appear as though they have successfully made weight.

Q: Is the towel trick exclusive to UFC?

A: While the towel trick is commonly associated with UFC, similar tactics have been employed in other professional fighting organizations.

Q: What are the effects of the towel trick on fighters?

A: The towel trick can have both physical and mental effects on fighters. Physically, it allows fighters to make weight without going through the necessary weight-cutting process, which can be detrimental to their long-term health. Mentally, it can provide a psychological advantage by creating the illusion of a successful weight cut.

Q: Is the towel trick considered cheating?

A: The debate surrounding the towel trick centers around whether it violates official regulations and should be classified as cheating. While some argue that it goes against the spirit of fair competition, others believe it is within the boundaries of the rules.