To Boldly Go

Back in the day—the “day” being approximately 1994—fighters were clueless in every regard. It wasn’t until everyone got their asses handed to them by a skinny Brazilian named Royce Gracie (being the culturally aware world citizen that I am, I thought he was a Mexican in pajamas) that they realized they had to train in several martial arts to win fights. I was a part of this batch. Where I came from, fighting on the ground was considered dirty and unsportsman like.


The lack of skills in the cage I could have handled, but these guys were also totally clueless about proper fight attire. The first tournaments had guys wearing all sorts of crazy shit. In one fight, you’d see a guy wearing a gi while his opponent wore biker shorts, a pair of Pony tennis shoes, and a single boxing glove. In the next fight, you’d see a dude in a pair of Oakley’s and cutoff jeans fighting a guy wearing a skirt and a pair of sandals. The shit was ridiculous. Thankfully, the athletic commissions stepped in and began putting restrictions on ring attire. Don’t get me wrong, that shit was funny to see. I just don’t want to fight a dude wearing a kilt and combat boots.


If you plan on becoming a fighter or are already one, it is important for you to realize that the fight shorts you wear into the cage define you as a person. In all honesty, it is the most important decision you will ever make. Eva. When I first got into the sport, I didn’t fully comprehend this. I used to wear red shorts because, as everyone knows, red makes you 7% more aggressive. Don’t question me. It’s science. However, after further review, I realized that my opponent was the one looking at the red, which made him 7% more aggressive. If I had worn the red trunks when fighting Rampage, I’d probably be dead right now. The upside to my death would have been that instead of reading this bullshit article, you’d be doing something productive with your life. For example, actually training to fight.


I went back to the drawing board and decided on a different color—a very relaxing, warm, crème brûlée tan—to soothe my opponent into a peaceful state. I’d hoped that the color of my shorts would just cause my opponent to sort of lie down on the canvas and go to sleep, allowing me to beat on him for the 15-minute duration, but that hasn’t happened yet. Still need to work on the color a bit. Maybe more brûlée—a color so soothing that you can find peace even in a dentist’s office or other high anxiety places, such as the DMV or Dana White’s office.


Some people might consider white a soothing color, but that’s no good. Here’s the thing about white shorts: it’s almost a guarantee that you will get busted wide open and bleed like a stuck pig. By the end of the fight, your bright blood will have mixed with the pristine white, making your shorts pink—not quite a salmon pink, but more of nauseating, used-tampon pink. That’s not good. But what’s even worse is that some guys actually chose to walk into the cage with pink shorts. I assume that they are trying to get into their opponent’s head. I mean, you’ve got to be super tough to wear pink—“The Boy Named Sue” philosophy. But, if you are going to go to those extremes, you might as well go all the way.Throw some frilly lace into the mix and a matching handbag. Come to think of it, the handbag will be a great place to put your balls. You should probably even tuck your junk, look into the mirror, and discuss whether or not you’d bang yourself as your walkout song begins to play.


Some fighters realize that white and pink are terrible colors and go with the polar opposite—camo colored trunks. This is ok, but if you go this route, just make sure you are not a timid fighter. There is nothing worse than a fighter wearing badass camo, tiptoeing around the cage, and desperately hoping their multi-colored trunks will help them stay hidden from their opponent. Plus, if you wear camouflage trunks and aren’t in the military, you look slightly douche-ish. But then again, you might look like a douche no matter what color trunks you are wearing. Yeah, that’s probably the case.


The next thing you must consider is the type of material your shorts are made of. Some fighters, like Koscheck and St-Pierre, go with the throwback tight shorts. I guess wrestlers like tight clothes because it makes them feel safe and singlet…I mean secure. Don’t get me wrong—I am not bashing tight shorts (well, kind of). You just have to be aware that there are some inherent dangers. A perfect example is when Randy Couture took on Vitor Belfort in 1997. Vitor grabbed Randy’s tights like a prostitute grabbing onto your money, and in a matter of minutes, Randy’s tights were completely shredded. Thank heavens Randy had the wherewithal to double bag it that day. If he hadn’t, we might very well be calling him “Captain Underpants” rather than “Captain America.”


There are many types of tight shorts you can wear, the most infamous being the classic wrestler’s singlet. Occasionally, usually in smaller shows in Iowa or Mississippi, you will see an ex-high school wrestler turned pro MMA athlete wear a singlet into the cage. Personally, I have fought an opponent clad in a singlet. Being a guy with more than five professional heavyweight fights, I, of course, have fought Travis Fulton. And yes, he was wearing a singlet. However, I don’t think he was trying to make any sort of fashion statement. I simply think he was trying to keep his gut in check.


Then we have Speedos, otherwise known as the banana hammock. These were popularized by ancient fighters, such as Dan “The Beast” Severn and Ken Shamrock. However, no one pulled this look off better than Wanderlei Silva back in his Pride days. He wore Euro trash Speedos—you know, the kind old Irish vacationers wear on the beaches in Spain. Unlike the old Irish, however, Wanderlei had great success with the Speedos, and I don’t mean fighting success. No, I mean he looked cool as fuck in them. Inversely, Heath Herring wore the banana hammock and had very little success. Don’t get me wrong—I’m pleased that he’s comfortable with his own hyper-masculinity. And by “hyper-masculinity,” I mean his giant, white, hairy thighs. What I think was really off-putting were the wrestling sneakers he wore to the ring. The sneakers certainly added some “flare,” but the ensemble did not work as a whole. (Notice that I used quotation marks around the word “flare” to distance myself from the unmanly word. In fact, re-read that sentence and imagine someone else saying the word, not me. Do that right now. I know how words can sometimes stick, and seeing that I don’t have a nickname, the last thing I want is to become Forrest “Flare” Griffin. On second thought, that doesn’t really sound all that bad. Maybe one of you could mention it to Joe Rogan. Try to get him say it during my next fight so it becomes official.)


Finally, we have the “fat football coach shorts” or “professional bicycle rider shorts.” Both are the same, they are simply defined by your waistline. If you are going to wear these, you must be as cool as Don Frye. That’s right, I’m talking about Don “The Predator” Frye. Not only were his shorts made of spandex, but they also donned the American flag. While fighting over in Japan, he singlehandedly protected democracy, much like Rocky did when fighting the Russian, as well as making a very bold fashion statement. Don Frye is a true patriot and a real American hero. He was soutterly manly that he was actually able to make his shorts cool. I thought about foll
owing his lead and sporting a pair of spandex with the confederate flag, but, thankfully, my wife talked me out of that. In hindsight, that might not have gone over too well.


If you like to live dangerously, you can also get really creative with the design on your shorts. But again, you have to really think this out first. Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell has ice on his shorts, which makes sense. Then you have Tito Ortiz. This guy has flaming shorts. Not a far stretch from a rainbow, am I right? What kind of statement is he trying to make? Is he trying to show his flaming personality? Does he have a flaming desire to do something when he climbs into the cage and is alone with another man? Is he from Huntington Beach or San Francisco? OK, I might be reading a little too deeply into this flaming thing.


Confused about what kind and color of trunks to wear into the ring? Yeah, I am kinda confusing myself right now. The bottom line is that you have some difficult decisions to make. Do you go with the hip board shorts to appeal to the male youth of America? Do you go with the spandex shorts to appeal to the female youth of America? Do you go with the nut-hugging Speedos to appeal…well, to appeal to Europeans, I guess? And what colors do you chose?


Unlike all of the fashion magazines that offer conflicting suggestions, I am going to tell you exactly how to make these hard choices. That’s right, you must go on a vision quest. You have to wander deep into a desert (could be the Utah desert or the Sahara desert, it doesn’t matter as long as there is lots of sand and plenty of camels), strip naked, thoroughly dehydrate yourself, and then pierce your nipples and swing by them from a pole for two days. Just before you black out, you will see your spirit animal, and he will tell you what type of shorts to wear.


I know my instructions might sound rather ludicrous, but I ripped the scene off from the movie A Man Called Horse, and that shit won an academy award, so how stupid can it be? Why end the article this way? Well, because the idea for it came to me while standing in a check outline and reading Housewife Magazine, and I wanted to conclude on a super manly note. Good luck, and remember to put hydrogen peroxide on your nipples after you come down off the pole. You don’t want to get a nasty infection.

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