Shit happens, and no one is more aware of that than MMA fighters (and the elderly, but you’ll learn that yourself some day). While on a purely logical level we understand that everyone poops, that doesn’t make it any less mortifying if you happen to do it front of an arena full of people. And because of a number of different factors – cutting weight, the flu, or just a well placed kick to the midsection – you need to know that crapping yourself in the cage is an occupational hazard.
It isn’t just fights you need to concern yourself with. Many simple jiu jitsu moves put a considerable amount of pressure on your guts – I personally had a turtle moment the first time someone slapped a tight body triangle on me – and almost every boxing gym has a story about the guy who took a body shot and voided his bowels all over the canvas.
But let’s take this beyond anecdotal tales and into factual examples of fighters donking in the cage. While my preliminary research indicates that many fighters have pooped a little and fought on with no one being the wiser about it, here’s some cases where the truth (amongst other things) did come out.
It’s all after the jump:
Tim Sylvia took the most famous shit in mixed martial arts history on January 16th, 2006 in a fight against Assuerio Silva. Sylvia spent the entire day combatting a random bug that gave him some pretty bad diahrea, and the problem didn’t go away once he stepped into the cage. About halfway through the fight his bowels let go and you can actually see a brown stain on his shorts several times during the fight.
Not only was this fight aired on SpikeTV – making it the first cable TV poop in MMA history – but the story has became a part of sports folklore amongst fans, with people regularly bringing it up. Search engine site Google has well over a million page results on the subject, from people joking about it to Zapruder style multimedia of the stain itself to interviews with Tim where he stoically mans up about the incident.
Kevin Randleman is another fighter that has shit his pants in the UFC. His story is similar to Tim’s: he got hit with a bad case of diahrea on the day of his fight with Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral at UFC 35, leading to what must have been the most uncomfortable matchup of wrestler vs jiu jitsu fighter in a long while.
Fortunately, whatever happened in Randleman’s tights stayed in his tights, and it wasn’t just him that ended up with a bad case of the trots that night. A huge chunk of the UFC staff and fighters were also suffering from similar effects, generally attributed to the hotel restaurant everyone was staying at (which ironically enough was named “The Octagon”). While Randleman was the only fighter to admit dropping the kids off in the cage, other fighters like Dave Menne were downing Pepto Bismol in the lockerroom right up until he was set to walk out and Eugene Jackson also fought (and won) with a fever.
If there’s any silver lining to these stories, it’s that the poopees came out of their fights victorious. And these are both cases where you can blame outside factors such as the flu and food poisoning. But sometimes all it takes is a well placed knee, as Kyle Wethey found out in his first pro fight against Fred Mitchell at a 2008 Powerhouse Fighting Championships show in Louisiana.
Mitchell landed a knee to Wethey’s body early in the first round and initially everything seemed fine … until a smell made it very clear that things had gone horribly wrong: Wethey’s bowels had released. To Wethey’s credit he not only continued to fight after defecating himself, but he actually tried to use the situation to his advantage by trapping Mitchell’s head between his legs at one point. Mitchell spent a good portion of the fight trying to force the ref to do something about it but the round was allowed to close before the fight was called off. Wethey was disqualified and the event was put on hold for 10 minutes while staff cleaned the canvas.
For the most part though, cagepoops occur not with a bang but a whimper. There’s probably hundreds of other incidents that have happened since MMA came back to North America in 1993 that we just don’t know about. The only people who know are the ones with a slippery bit of brown between their buttocks, and they’re not likely to bring it up. One man who bucked that trend was Frank Shamrock, who admitted after his fight with Cung Le that one kick he received did more than cause some pain. It was ‘a bit of a shart, I would say’, he confirmed when we asked him about it on Twitter.
So for all you ultimate fighters out there, relax a little. You very well may shit your britches in the cage, but chances are no one is going to find out about it unless your lips are as loose as your bowels.