Friday was an unusual day in the UFC on the grooming front.
First it was revealed that the Ontario Athletic Commission were forcing Norwegian welterweight Emil Weber Meek to cut his beard ahead of his promotional debut at UFC 206 in Toronto on Saturday. Meek, who will face Canadian veteran Jordan Mein at the event, was told that if a beard was long enough to be grabbed, a fighter would not be permitted to…um…wear it(per Chuck Mindenhall of MMAFighting).
Shane Burgos’ situation was a little different. Nobody ordered the ‘Hurricane’ to make any adjustments to his look ahead of UFC Fight Night 102 in Albany, but between rounds two and three of his bout with Brazil’s Tiago Trator, a little trim apparently became a necessity.
“It’s pissing him off. We got to get it off of him,” said someone in the Burgos corner, as a scissors was taken to the featherweight fighter’s hair in a haphazard fashion.
— UFC (@ufc) December 10, 2016
It was a strange sight, although not a first in the history of combat sports.
In 2008, boxer Paulie Malignaggi’s braids were causing him all sorts of trouble during his rematch with Lovemore N’dou in Manchester, getting in his face and obscuring his vision. When tying them with tape didn’t work, Malignaggi’s trainer Buddy McGirt decided that they simply had to go and hacked poor Paulie’s do in an act of between rounds barber-ism.
Burgos, like Malignaggi back in ’08, went on to pick up a decision win. The victory moved him to 8-0 as a professional.