10 Worst Excuses UFC Fighters Had For A Loss

No fighter wants to lose. It’s a hard thing to deal with, especially when a bout is highly anticipated and part of a heated rivalry. Some fighters manage to lose with grace, giving respect to the better fighter and crediting their skill, but some fighters do the exact opposite and try to make excuses for their loss.

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There have been some poor excuses from some surprising names throughout the history of the UFC, something that has caused some fans to lose respect for their idols. Poor excuses also ruin legitimate complaints that could be brought up, like too fast of a stoppage or a perceived poor referee or judge call. Regardless, most people agree there is no room for excuses when losing in the UFC.

Conor McGregor UFC 194
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

A lot of things have been said about Conor McGregor over the years. He’s one of the most exciting fighters to grace the UFC, and he’s also one of the greatest trash-talkers to ever do it. Unfortunately, he hasn’t always taken losses with the most grace.

The charismatic fighter became the subject of a bit of ridicule following his loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov. He famously stated that his foot was broken and swollen to the size of a balloon among other trash-talk. The excuse is strange considering no one beat Khabib, and some of the best fighters in UFC history tried.

nine ‘The Cracked Skull’ – Tito Ortiz

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Love him or hate him, Tito Ortiz was one of the pioneers of the success of MMA across the globe. He’s never been afraid to speak his mind, but that has resulted in more than a few surprising moments from Ortiz. One of the strangest came after one of his boots with Forrest Griffin.

During his post-fight interview, Ortiz mentioned that he’d been in a brutal three-round fight with a cracked skull. The excuse was bizarre because while he did end up with the loss, he earned a lot of respect with the fight he put on. Regardless, the excuse was really weak in the eyes of fans.


eight ‘Felt A Tapout’ – Alistair Overeem

Alistair Overeem UFC Bout
© Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

One of the worst excuses for a loss came from a surprising man. Alistair Overeem didn’t seem too happy about his loss to Stipe Miocic, and that lead to a rather unfortunate excuse. It seems that during the post-fight interview, Overeem forget the UFC had access to a replay of the fight.

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Overeem claimed that Stipe actually tapped out early in the fight when he had Stipe in a guillotine choke. Footage from multiple angles was played almost instantly, and it was made clear that Stipe didn’t tap. There’s no harm in losing to talent like Miocic so the excuse just feels shameful.

7 ‘Poisoned Before The Fight’ – Rampage Jackson

Rampage Jackson A-Team

Rampage Jackson has always been a rather outspoken competitor, but no one could have seen his comments about PRIDE coming. When he first made his way to the promotion, he actually lost his first bout to Kazushi Sakuraba.

While an early loss for a promotion is unfortunate, actively accusing either the promotion or his hotel of seeing to it that Rampage wasn’t fit to compete that night. He’s implied that his stomach was in a terrible condition, something that may have come from poisoned room service.

6 ‘An Injury And A Doctor’ – Maycee Barber

Maycee Barber UFC Bout
© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

There were a lot of people that were high on the talent of Maycee Barber during her brief time as an undefeated fighter. She was literally dubbed The Future, but a lot of people became critical of her after attempting to make excuses for her first loss.

She legitimately injured her knee in the fight, something she made sure to let everyone know about after the bout. The real issue with the excuse came from her stating that the doctor on-site gave away the fact that she was injured, something her opponent could have capitalized on.

5 ‘Irresponsible Referee’ – Dominick Cruz

Dominick Cruz
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Dominick Cruz was not happy about his loss to the incredible Henry Cejudo at UFC 249. No one likes to lose, but it’s rare for most fighters to openly blame the referee for their loss. There have been a few moments in which fans and fighters both agree referees made bad calls, but this wasn’t one of those moments.

Cruz openly went on the record to complain about the referee smelling like cigarettes and booze. The implications there are obvious, but most people weren’t buying the story and were simply embarrassed for Cruz.

4 ‘Still Drunk’ – Paulo Costa

Paulo Costa Interview
© Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports

There are some people that don’t consider Paulo Costa’s admittance of still being drunk during his bout with Israel Adesanya as an excuse, but any attempt to explain a loss outside of not being the better man on that night counts in most fans’ books.

It’s possible that the excuse came because Costa was undefeated to that point, and maybe he just wasn’t sure how to handle the knockout loss. Regardless, fans weren’t happy with the excuse as it’s something that Costa was solely responsible for if true.

3 ‘The Kind Of Finish & The Referee’ – Rodrigo Nogueira

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira UFC 190
Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

The thing that makes Nogueira’s excuse so rough is the fact that he actually had the victory right in front of him. Had he not decided that it was more important to end a bout by submission than it was with his fists, he probably would have won.

Rather than continuing to pound Frank Mir all over the octagon, he decided to try for a submission finish. That attempt is what would lead to one of the most horrific injuries in UFC history with a brutal arm break. He later stated his loss was due to the referee’s poor instruction during the bout.

2 ‘Too Talented To Train’ – Karo Parisyan

UFC 78 Karo Parisyan vs Ryo Chonan
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

If Karo Parisyan didn’t want UFC fans to like him, his excuse was probably the best way to accomplish that task. Rather than accepting a loss to Thiago Alves with grace, he instead blamed it on his lack of care while training for the bout.

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Better put, he actually mentioned he was too talented to train. It’s shocking that any UFC fighter would ever make a statement like that, but the statement does make sense when you realize he’s lost roughly a third of all of his total bouts.

one ‘Too Much Vaseline’ – BJ Penn

Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

It’s one of the most famous excuses in MMA history. It was such a big deal that the entire commissions were called upon, and an investigation was launched. It comes down to this, Penn was upset by how much vaseline Georges St-Pierre had on during their fight.

He claimed that St-Pierre was too slippery during their bout, something that ultimately led to his loss. He did offer other excuses during the entire mess, but complaining about someone being too slippery was too much for a lot of UFC fans.

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