For the most part, UFC fighters do all of their fighting inside the cage. However there have also been some street fights over the years involving some of the biggest names in the UFC.
For a good portion of the early days in the sport, there was a stigma attached suggesting that MMA was little more than glorified street fights. Obviously that is not a real issue anymore, with the UFC now being featured on ESPN. Regardless there is still concern that if a UFC fighter is involved in an incident like this, it will leave a stain on the sport.
Of course, this does not mean that street fights don’t happen with pro fighters, largely with no consequences to the sport. Some of these bouts outside the cage have become infamous, even with some footage to go with it. That being said, here are some of the most notorious times UFC fighters have gotten into a street fight.
1. Bas Rutten vs Swedish Bouncers
A former UFC Heavyweight champion, Bas Rutten, is also known for an incident in Spy Bar in Sweden, when he had a hard time with bouncers. Two bouncers pulled Rutten to the side and asked him to stay out of trouble and leave. Despite the fact that Bas agreed to leave, the bouncers still tried to fight him.
One of the bouncers dived over his colleague poking Rutten into his eyes. Rutten knocked him out with a punch, but then got into a fight with five angry bouncers. Bas disabled a few of them, but he was outnumbered and went for the exit.
When he reached fire escape, Bas couldn’t open the door and turned to face bouncers who were now armed with broomsticks. Luckily, police appeared behind Rutten’s back forcing bouncers to give up. Bas was arrested and jailed, as one of the men he knocked out cold was a policeman. Luckily, he was released a few days later and charges were dropped.
2. Urijah Faber vs Bali Gang
In 2006, one of the best Bantamweight UFC fighters of all time, Urijah Faber, had to fight for his life during his vacation in Bali. One of the locals did not like that he was dancing with local girls and asking to settle the differences outside. Urijah won the fight, breaking his opponent’s collarbone.
However a few seconds later, another local armed with brass knuckles hit him in the back of his head. Faber was attacked by multiple opponents with weapons. One attacker that was thrown over the motorcycle fled back into the club and armed himself with a bottle.
The Californian Kid was repeatedly kicked and struck with a shoe hammer, but he was able to get out of the club, elbowing one of his attackers in the face. Blood-soaked, the superstar jumped into a nearby taxi, where he had to fend off the gang again before he was driven to the hospital.
3. Lee Murray vs The Funky Buddha Night Club
Lee Murray is currently serving the sentence for bank robbery, and he is a UFC fighters who simply couldn’t stay out of trouble. Lee even claims he has scars to prove it! He was involved in a fight outside the Funky Buddha nightclub in that London nearly cost him life – he was stabbed twice, and his nipple was reattached in the hospital later!
But Lee did something insane – he returned to the same club one week later and was caught up in another fight outside. Murray jumped to help his friend, who was attacked by six or seven people. As the fight developed Lee noticed his head is bleeding and he thought he was punched. Yet when he looked down, he had blood spurting from a stab wound in his chest!
Murray ran off to the nearby car and begged two girls to take him to the hospital. With a punctured lung and damaged artery, he needed emergency surgery. Miraculously, he survived the open-heart surgery despite the doctor said he died three times at the operating table.
4. Roger Huerta vs the NFL Linebacker
Roger Huerta is a former UFC fighters who became known as a woman protector. He brutally beat a guy who was much bigger than him, who sucker punched a woman outside a bar in Austin, Texas in 2010. Despite being only 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighed only 155 lbs, Huerta went to confront the 230+ lbs Rashad Bobino, who was a former Texas Longhorns linebacker and had briefly been with the Atlanta Falcons in 2009.
Huerta berated him verbally for punching a girl, but Bobino threatened to knock him out. The two started to fight, but Bobino ran off with Roger Huerta following in hot pursuit! Huerta knocked him out cold, then landed a brutal kick to the head while Bobino was lying unconscious. The video went viral, but Huerta remains modest, claiming that he just got the better of him and left.
5. Alistair and Valentijn Overeem vs Bathroom Bouncers
A group of Dutch bouncers really had a hard time against two brothers, Valentijn and Alistair Overeem, back in 2009. Alistair went to the restroom in a club, and he realized he didn’t have enough money to pay to the toilet attendant. After several bouncers interfered, the two brothers were asked to leave.
Alistair went outside, but his brother was struck with a flashlight in the face by one of the bouncers, and The Demolition Man jumped in to help him. The fight resulted in five injured bouncers being taken to the hospital. Alistair checked into the hospital a few days later complaining of a strong pain in his hand. Doctors discovered infection due to the cut earned in the fight, and they claimed he came in the last moment or his hand would have been amputated! He is one of UFC fighters you definitively don’t to face in your street fights.
6. Mark Hunt vs New Zealand Night Club Bouncers
His fighting career would have never happened if some people hadn’t seen that Mark Hunt has the heart of a lion. He was forced to demonstrate his skills outside of a nightclub in Auckland, New Zealand. Outside the ‘Don’t Tell Mama’s’ club Mark Hunt noticed his friend was attacked. Mark ran over to help, but unfortunately both men were beaten.
After police showed up, The Super Samoan wanted revenge to his foes. He punched one of them and knocked him out with a single right-hand, then did the same to two more foes right after. It quickly turned to a huge brawl with the police was heavily outnumbered!
During the fight, one of the bouncers quickly ushered Hunt into the club and ordered him to enter the staff toilets to avoid being busted. As it turned out, the bouncer was a martial artist, Sam Marsters, and he was impressed by Mark’s brutal knockout power. He offered Mark to train in his gym, which led to Mark’s long and storied career as a fighter. All because of one of the craziest street fights you can imagine.
7. Lee Murray vs Tito Ortiz vs Chuck Liddell vs Pat Miletich
This is definitively one of the most known UFC street fights, and it happened after UFC 38 in London, England, in July 2002. It involved the aforementioned Lee Murray, Tito Ortiz, Chuck Liddell, and Pat Miletich all fighting each other!
Around 4 a.m., all fighters went out of a club into the back alley. One of Tito’s friends jumped on Pat Miletich’s back pretending to choke him. He was joking but Pat’s friends thought he was serious and pulled the man off of him, dragging him down in a choke.
This quickly turned into a dangerous back alley brawl, as Pat Miletich knocked out everybody that came after Chuck Liddell, whose back were against the wall to prevent the attack from behind. Tito Ortiz and Lee Murray started to fight each other. Tito was the Light Heavyweight champion at that time, but he missed a punch. Lee countered with a five-hit combo which knocked Ortiz out. Murray even kicked him in the head twice while he was on the floor.
8. Jon “War Machine” Koppenhaver vs The Porn Star
One of the most evil fighters to ever compete in the UFC, John “War Machine” Koppenhaver became infamous by kidnapping, sexual assault, and battery of his ex-girlfriend and porn star Christy Mack. Koppenhaver has been in numerous street fights before, and even spent two years in prison for these altercations. His wildest showdown happened when he was invited to the birthday party of Brooke Haven in Los Angeles in 2009 after he shot a porn scene with her previous day.
Alannah Rae, another pornstar, was his girlfriend at the time. Koppenhaver came with Alanhah but he went into kill mode after he saw her talking to another man. First, he slapped Alannah, then knocked out porn star Alec Knight, hurt his manager Ben English, knocked three teeth out of an unknown person’s mouth, and even gave someone else a broken nose! After fleeing the scene, Jon Koppenhaver was arrested but he managed to somehow to avoid a prison sentence at that time.
Five years later, he was arrested for brutal attack on Christy Mack. On June 5, 2017, War Machine was sentenced to an aggregate sentence of life in prison with a possibility of parole after 36 years has been served.
9. Chris Weidman vs The Policeman’s Son
A former UFC Middleweight champion, Chris Weidman, has a history of street fights from his younger days. The most dangerous was the one when he saw his friend, a 125-pound wrestler, was attacked by three bigger guys. Weidman went to help his friend, and he even warned the troublemaker to stay away from his friend on multiple occasions. When that did not work, he knocked him out with a single punch.
Another man then tried to choke him out from behind but Weidman did a world-class ippon seoi nage and slammed him to the ground. According to Weidman, the attacker was keeping his head up at the moment of fall, which resulted in scraping his face across the concrete. A trail of skin was left and he started screaming in pain. Weidman’s wrestler friend double-legged the third thug and executed brutal ground and pound punishment.
The two left the scene but cops picked them up along the way, claiming that one of the thugs was the son of a policeman. Although he feared for the worst, Weidman didn’t get into a serious trouble.
10. Dan Henderson and Randy Couture vs Bat-Weilding Bouncers
Apparently a lot of these street fights take place at night clubs. Two legendary wrestling, UFC fighters, and champions were involved in a bar fight with five bouncers in 1995 in Buckhead, Atlanta. Randy Couture pushed Dan Henderson into a nearby vehicle, as the two were exiting a bar. Even though it was a joke, the doormen intervened, and one of them picked up a baseball bat to escalate the situation.
However, Hendo didn’t show fear, telling the same bouncer that he can stick that bat into his rear end. After a tense stand-off, Randy Couture chased the bouncer with the baseball bat inside the club. Hendo stayed outside and blasted a few bouncers with punches. Two of Hendo’s friends also beat up two of the doormen. Inside, Randy Couture taught the baseball bat guy a lesson, repeatedly throwing him across the bar.
Oddly enough, Randy Couture did something insane, by coming to the same bar the next day for an interview with USA wrestling officials. This was because he was becoming the head coach for the U.S. Greco Wrestling team. However a policeman had to ask Couture to leave the place during the interview, because the bar manager recognized him as a man who demolished the place night before. No charges were filed.
11. Conor McGregor vs Everyone
Technically, Conor McGregor’s bus attack wasn’t much of a street fight but the damage and injuries he made will always be a story to remember. The former UFC two-division champion went on a rampage at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on April 5, 2018. His intention was settling the score with Khabib Nurmagomedov, who had a hotel altercation with Conor’s teammate Artem Lobov.
Conor McGregor attacked the bus with several UFC 223 competitors inside, throwing a metal dolly through the window of the bus and hurting Ray Borg and Michael Chiesa along the way. The two weren’t able to fight at the event, and Artem Lobov was also removed from the card due to his involvement into this street attack. McGregor was arrested, but the charges were later settled with no jail time served.
In addition to this infamous bus incident, McGregor has also been involved in some altercations with people in the streets. The first incident saw him smash the cell phone of a fan who was taking pictures of him leaving a night club. Some time after that, he had another situation, in which Conor punched a man inside of a Dublin pub for not wanting to drink his whiskey. Both circumstances saw initial legal action taken against McGregor, but ultimately nothing substantial came of them.
12. Nate Diaz vs Clay Guida
Nate Diaz, and his brother Nick are both known for trash-talk, provocations, and even physical showdowns. This was seen when Nate had an altercation with his longtime rival, Clay Guida, on May 12, 2018, at a Combate Americas MMA event in Sacramento, California. Diaz attacked Guida from behind and split his lip, even slapping Guida’s teammate Tyler Diamond.
Diaz was under police investigation for alleged assault, but it never went anywhere. This was the most intense of Nate’s street fights, but he has also been involved in altercations that were broken before they got out of hand. Notably he got into a bottle throwing contest while leaving his press conference with Conor McGregor. In addition to that, when Nate was younger, he a legendary bare-knuckle gym fight that was something close to a street fight. Even at an early age, his skills were evident.
13. Nick Diaz vs Joe Riggs
Allow me to take you back to 2006, just after UFC 57. This event saw Nick Diaz take on Joe Riggs, in a welterweight clash. For the most part the fight was pretty typical, with Nick dropping the unanimous decision.
While it is completely understandable that Nick might want to avenge this loss, he decided to wait for the UFC to schedule it. Instead, as the story goes, when both men were transported to the hospital after the fight, Diaz hunted down Riggs for some more action. The two had round four of their fight inside the hospital room, with Joe’s IV getting ripped out, before hospital staff broke up the action.
Enjoy Joe Rigg’s rendition of this street fight below, with some entertaining animations to go with it.
14. Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett vs Wanderlei Silva
One of the most eccentric characters in all of MMA, Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennet is known for his wild antics. He did not have the greatest career as a fighter, but he did hold some notable wins. However, if you believe his side of the story, one of his biggest wins came outside of official competition.
Footage shows an incident involving Bennett and members of Shootbox Academy, including Wanderlei Silva. As the footage shows, the men got into an altercation back stage, that resulted in Charles getting choked unconscious by BJJ coach Cristiano Marcello. Yet, according to Krazy Horse, as well as others who verify the story, when he awoke, he jumped up and threw a right hook at Wanderlei Silva. Apparently this shot knocked out the former Pride champion, ending with Charles Bennett getting the last laugh from this street fight.
15. Bruce Buffer vs Frank Trigg
The veteran voice of the Octagon, Bruce Buffer is usually announcing fights, not getting into them. That being said, there was an occasion in a hotel elevator, where he got into a street fight with UFC veteran Frank Trigg. Not only that, but he had Dana White as a spectator for this bout.
According to the story, the three men were in an elevator together, when Trigg, who had been released by the UFC, started asking Dana for his job back. Bruce, who apparently has a love for watches, stepped in front of Frank to check out the UFC President’s time piece. The MMA fighter did not take kindly to this, and struck the announcer in the throat. Buffer responded with some punches to the stomach, and the two tussled until the elevator reached the top floor. It was at this point that Bruce, with a bloody knuckle, declared they were done, and they went their separate ways.
16. Jorge Masvidal vs Leon Edwards
Jorge Masvidal was experiencing a the beginning of his career resurgence, after beat Darren Till in his own backyard. However “Gamebred” was actually victorious in two fights that evening. He was doing an interview backstage, when fellow welterweight Leon Edwards walked by and talked some trash to Jorge. Masvidal then proceeded to stand up calmly, walk up to Leon with his hands behind his back, then unleash a quick four-punch combo, cutting open Edwards.
Following the street fight, Jorge did another interview to discuss the now-viral moment. He was able to capitalize on the moment, by delivering the now iconic “three piece and with the soda” line. This sparked his popularity, which he rode all the way to the BMF title.
What did you think of our list? Were there any street fights with UFC fighters that we missed?