Issue 205

May 2024

The UFC elite might be world-famous for their knockout performances inside the UFC, but their fashion choices can be just as jaw-dropping when they step out of the Octagon. Khabib had his infamous wig. McGregor had his iconic Gucci jacket. Even Covington had his custom “greetings nerds and virgins” suit jacket. As the fight game has evolved, these outlandish fashion choices have helped build the fighter’s brands. They’re a way of standing out against the crowd to leave a mark on the fan’s mind. Without these unique styles, many would blend into the background, forgotten faster than a last-minute replacement on a fight card. But some fighters are now trading the walk to the Octagon for the walk down the runway. Isaac Barnett looks at some of the unique fashion styles fighters have adopted in the UFC and breaks down why the world of MMA is so much better for the extra flare.


If you are what you say you are, a superstar. “The Suga Show’s” style is undoubtedly loud, perfectly matching his flashy fighting style. The Bantamweight champion loves to wear colorful items matching his hair and flashy tattoos.

His unique style is one of one as he uses hair and builds his outfits from the top down, drawing inspiration from notorious rapper 6ix9ine. If there was ever a fight to bring the rap game to fight game, it’s been Suga. 

O’Malley first dyed his now iconic hair before his stunning walk-off KO of Eddie Wineland. Since then, it’s been a staple of his brand inside and outside of fighting, making him one of the most identifiable fighters on the UFC’s roster.

He sells merchandise to his fans so they can emulate his style. Some items include technicolor afro wigs, dyed hoodies, jogging bottoms, and custom “Suga Show” basketball jerseys, another staple of his style.

He’s got a keen eye for chains and expensive watches now that he’s also making serious money as the champ. He owns multiple Richard Mille’s, Audemars Piguet’s, and Rolex’s, some even customized with diamonds and jewels, making them extra flashy.

Sunglasses are essential for his pre-fight presser fits, Versace and Balenciaga being some of his favorite brands.

It probably comes as no surprise that he loves sneakers, too. The J Balvin Jordan 1 Retro High is another stand-out often seen on his feet. The shoes were gifted to him on his Food Truck Diaries episode by former fighter-turned-comedian Brendan Schaub.

On the show, Schaub said: “These are the most unique and loud shoes, and to me, these represent you because you’ve got to be the most unique guy in the UFC.”

In contrast to his flashy public persona, he wears comfortable clothing outside of public appearances, often going for full-body tracksuits from his merch and sliders.

O’Malley’s style has evolved a lot since he first joined the UFC. In his early days, before he dyed his hair, he was sponsored by Gym King, a sportswear brand also known for representing Kamaru Usman and Tom Aspinall, so he was always dressed head to toe in the brand.

Since then, however, he’s started to make more money, giving himself the financial freedom to look and dress however he wants.

Speaking to GQ Sports, O’Malley said: “I like to stand out and be colorful if you guysdidn’t already know. If it’s colorful and stands out, I’ll probably cop it.”


"There are two things I really like to do, and that's whoop ass and look good." - Conor McGregor

Not only did McGregor revolutionize the fight game, but he also revolutionized the fashion game in the UFC. Just look at the UFC 205 press conference. McGregor’s flashy aura rubbed off on all the fighters on that stage.

“Look at everybody up here, they’re all dressed like me, they’re all trying to talk like me, they’re all trying to be me. Everyone in the game wants this fight. This is the lottery fight.”

It’s no secret that the Notorious One loves to rock a sleek fitting suit; it’s rare to see him make a public appearance without one, and he certainly knows how to stand out.

His flare for attention started with a single-breasted three-piece suit with a double-breasted vest that had f*ck you woven into the fabric, which took all of the headlines and matched his persona perfectly.

McGregor loves suits so much that it led him to create his clothing brand, August McGregor, in association with luxury custom clothier David August. The brand aims to make its customers stand out and feel untouchable.

The brand produces high-quality lifestyle fashion, emulating McGregor's style for his fans to purchase. Many pieces include McGregor’s iconic chest tattoo of a Gorilla eating a heart.

After earning generational wealth from his boxing match with Mayweather, he developed a taste for designer brands, including Gucci, Versace, Louis Vuitton, and many more.

He is not one to follow trends; his fashion MO seems to involve buying everything he can and mixing and matching as he goes. He claims to have warehouses worth of Gucci attire, often only wearing an item of clothing once before buying something new. 

The same applies to his sneakers or, if you’re Irish - his runners collection. He’s even credited sneakers as one of his primary motivations for getting wealthy in the first place.

Speaking to Complex, McGregor said: “If you had a clean pair of runners, it was a statement, it was important to me, that was why I started to acquire money.

“It’s sacrilegious in Ireland if you step on someone’s runners, then it's on, don’t step on someone’s runners.”

His love for fashion extends to his incredible watch collection, too. He owns multiple Jacob & Co. watches, worth more than $1,000,000, alongside multiple Rolex’s and watches that pay homage to his Irish heritage from Weir & Sons.

He owns a Patek Phillippe, which is especially important to him. Patek Phillippe made the watch especially for Weir & Sons, only making 25 of them. The watch was made with Irish colors, and McGregor wears it as a way of paying homage to his heritage 

His “first real watch” was a solid gold Rolex Sky-Dweller, which the former owner of the UFC, Lorenzo Fertitta, gifted to him post-UFC Dublin in 2014. 

He told GQ Sports: “We all went for dinner with the Fertitta family, and they gifted me this Rolex. It was my first real watch.

“Before that, I was at the press conference wearing a fake one, but you know, you’ve got to fake it to make it.”


Usman is widely regarded as one of the best-dressed fighters in the UFC, and unlike the two fighters we’ve previously discussed, he has some official fashion pedigree.

He has a stylist, Chief Ugo, who creates most of the outfits you see him wearing at red carpet events or even his press conferences in the UFC.

He even modeled for the famous designer brand Moncler during the Milan fashion week, and he was invited to do so by the artist turned fashion designer Pharrell Williams.

He heavily leans on his Nigerian culture, where he’s been seen wearing traditional African robes alongside his close friend and fighter, Francis Ngannou.

The robes are spiritual to him, and he likes to dress this way to feel closer to his ancestors.

Usman likes to be sleek, echoing his disciplined demeanor and fighting style, which has granted him so much success inside and outside the Octagon.

Dolce & Gabbana, Southern Gents, and Christian Louboutin are a few of the brands he wears frequently. 

Speaking to TNT SPORTS he said: “They call me Hollywood Usman now, you know you got to look Hollywood, you’ve got to let them know.”

The Nigerian Nightmare’s success in the UFC and his proud representation of his African heritage were combined in his acting debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Like O’Malley, he’s also sponsored by Gym King, the brand he usually wears when he appears for press calls or everyday use.

He said: “It’s a brand that we’ve known about for a while. We knew some of the big athletes that they had.

“If you look at the team, there’s some real athletes in the squad, so that’s always nice that there’s some of the top athletes all representing the same brand, it’s a special thing.”


His Miami roots and Cuban heritage heavily influence Gamebred’s everyday style. He often gravitates toward vibrant, eye-catching pieces that showcase his love for bold colors and unique patterns. Graphic tees, distressed jeans, and statement sneakers are staples in his wardrobe. 

His looks are often accompanied by accessories that add a layer of authenticity. Snapback caps, chains, and designer sunglasses are among his go-to items. This laid-back yet curated aesthetic resonates with fans who admire his ability to make the simplest outfit look effortlessly clean and simplistic.

Masvidal's fashion sense is also deeply rooted in his cultural background, including wearing guayaberas (traditional Cuban shirts) and incorporating tropical prints and colors into his wardrobe. These choices pay tribute to his roots and add a unique dimension to his persona.

His cultural pride extends beyond clothing to his grooming choices as well. Masvidal often sports a well-groomed beard and uniquely styled braids, further enhancing his image as a unique fighter.

Like his former rival Usman, Masvidal has also made a catwalk appearance for the Tell The Truth brand, sporting a crocodile skin vest with some patterned baggy trousers. 

One of his most unique public outfits was his Scarface-inspired suit, which he wore for his BMF bout presser. The suit was a call back to his “three-piece with the soda” line, and he got huge credit from fans for pulling off such an iconic look.


Adesanya’s nickname, The Last Stylebender, is a nod to his love for anime and pop culture, influences that are evident in his fashion choices. He often wears clothing and accessories featuring characters and symbols from his favorite anime series, such as Naruto and Dragon Ball Z. 

His fashion choices include custom-made pieces inspired by anime, blending fantasy and reality in a way only Adesanya can. More often, these custom pieces are gifts from fans, helping him connect with them more personally. 

This unique approach adds a playful and imaginative dimension to his style, making him a true trendsetter.

Adesanya hasn’t always been into fashion compared. Before he was a fighter, he loved street dancing, his first real passion. He would only wear clothes that were a cultural part of that scene.

Speaking to Complex he said: “I was never really up on street culture, I was never cool enough when it comes to the latest fashion.

“But you know American street culture? That I was up on.”

In 2020, Adesanya signed a deal with Puma, the MMA fighter first to do so in the company's history. It was an incredible achievement to add to his vast accolades.

Puma was a massive part of street dance culture in the '70s and '80s, with the Puma Suede being one of the most popular shoes to wear at that time, so the partnership with Adesanya was a match made in heaven.

He continued: “It was a big deal in the sense of being the first MMA fighter, so I was breaking boundaries. It made me feel like another tick, another achievement unlocked.

“One thing I love about Puma is the creativity they have. They don’t have a leash, they let you express how you want, and dance for me is big in that sense that I get to express, so it just made sense to go with a company like Puma because they know me, they like the way I express myself."


In the evolving world of MMA, fighter fashion is transforming the game, bringing in personal brands and redefining what it means to be a star. Once, the focus was on the shorts fighters wore inside the Octagon, symbolizing their fighting identity. However, their style outside the Octagon builds their brand, persona, and financial success today. Fighters like Sean O'Malley with his technicolor look, Conor McGregor with his bespoke suits, and Kamaru Usman with his elegant Nigerian-inspired ensembles have shown that fashion is not just about appearances but about making lasting impressions and connecting with fans on a deeper level. This shift has allowed fighters to leverage their unique styles to create merchandise lines, secure sponsorships, and expand their influence beyond the sport. As the UFC continues to grow, the personal brands built through fashion will remain a critical element in the sport's narrative, proving that a fighter's image outside the cage is just as powerful as their performance.


1. Li Jingliang: UFC 279 press conference

UFC 279 had some crazy fight week moments, but through all the chaos, The Leech managed to gain some unexpected attention. 

MMA fans and fighters were gutted for Jingliang because before the press conference, he showed off an incredibly sleek custom-made suit on UFC embedded, but after the now infamous backstage altercation between Khamzat Chimaev, Nate Diaz, and Kevin Holland, The Leech didn’t get to show off his new clobber.

While he didn’t get the opportunity to show off his style, everyone can agree he would have been the coolest-looking guy on that stage.

2. Conor McGregor, UFC 205 press conference

McGregor had some extraordinary press conferences that fit across the span of his UFC career, but one certainly stands out from the rest.

After turning up extremely late to the UFC 205 presser in New York, he came skipping across the stage in a fur Gucci mink jacket, claiming he paid $55,000 for it as it was one-of-one.

While he did do it again for one of his Mayweather pressers, the first time is always the best, and the jacket was fit for the occasion and was one hell of a fashion statement.

3. Charles Oliveira, UFC 274 pre-fight

UFC 274’s fight week was smooth sailing until the weigh-in day, when Oliveira appeared shocked to miss weight, vacating his lightweight throne.

These strange circumstances, however, would not deter the Brazilian from looking like a million bucks when he entered the Footprint Center in an incredible red suit with his now staple sunglasses to accompany him.

Could the Red have meant he was out for blood, or was it just a coincidence? Who knows? But Justin Gaethje found out the hard way, that's for sure.

4. Custom fight shorts, UFC 300

UFC 300 was a special card, and you’ve always got to be well-dressed for a special occasion. The UFC took that to a new level with their fight gear distributor Venum.

Max Holloway, Justine Gaethje, Zhang Weili, and Alex Pereira all got custom fight gear for their fights, each embodying their various cultures and personalities.

This fashion statement shows that fighters can be fashionable inside the cage and outside, and maybe this is just the beginning.

5. Donald Cerrone, UFC 246 pre-fight

UFC 246 marked the return of The Notorious One after his fight against Khabib, and we all know McGregor knows how to make an incredible fit.

That said, Cowboy gave him a run for his money at the press conference. He wore an all-black suit with his iconic cowboy hat, a stunning blazer made from python skin, and a pair of rattlesnake-skin boots.

The suit was so good even McGregor had to give it a shout-out, saying, “That’s a damn good suit.” You know you’ve done a good job if even McGregor’s giving praise.