LAS VEGAS – I’ve been huddled outside the Palms watching media get their parking validated all week, and now it’s the final hours until UFC 182. I’ve been slowly walking around the lobby, making inconspicuous laps around the huddled, overweight crews of media as they discuss tonight’s event. While I’m under a strict code, and can’t repeat everything I hear in the belly of the beast, I am a reporter, and some news has best be let out.
As I was making my third lap around the media, some huddled more closely together than others, I heard something interesting: Louis Gaudinot (6-3-1 MMA 1-2-1 UFC) is above the likes of Hector Lombard and a former lover of Arianny Celeste entirely because of his green hair.
“The Zuffa brass thinks it’s cool.” I heard from a circle of bald, caucasian heads looking down at smartphones. “They pretty much said, keep the hair, keep your job.” This news came to a surprise to me, as Louis Gaudinot is a forefather of the smaller weight classes. Someone who has spearheaded the little guy injection into the UFC like he was the offspring of an Oompa Loompa, trained in the martial arts near the chocolate river and jelly bean fields.
Knowing that Martial Arts gather so much of their identity from the late 90s to the early 2000s, this isn’t a shock. Many MMA stars made their names with interesting and wild hair. Some almost even made a living off their locks. Clay Guida was famously offered $50,000 to cut his hair in 2009. That’s more money than 1/3 of the UFC roster brings home after taxes and expenses every year, but he turned them down. Why?
Because you can give a man money, or you can teach him how to fish by giving him a job for years because of his wild hair.
“Green means cash,” one nameless MMA media member said. Not even acknowledging how Louis’ hair is a slightly aqua at times.