Do UFC Fighters Drink Alcohol, Who, What And How Much?

Conor McGregor with Proper 12 in an Irish bar.

UFC fighters are supposed to be in tip-top condition at all times both during and in between fight camps. But that may not always be the case, especially if some drink alcohol. But do UFC fighters drink alcohol?

While the most fighters claim that they do not drink, many admit that they do, even if it just on the odd occasion. So we can say that at least some UFC fighters do indeed drink alcohol. But most don’t admit exactly how much.

And this appears to have changed down through the years. With the fighters from the earlier years in the sport coming from all walks of life. And many not have anywhere near the diet and health standards of today’s UFC fighters.

What Alcohol Does To Your Body

There has been plenty of tests done to show the effects that alcohol has on the body. And to be honest as a drinker myself it doesn’t make for good reading. But generally speaking, most medical tests do refer to drinking over extended periods or heavily on an individual occasion.

But the general consensus is that in larger amounts is generally not good for our bodies. And some of the negative impacts of alcohol can include:

  • Cardiomyopathy which leads to a weakening of the heart muscle.
  • Arrhythmias or irregular heartbeat
  • High blood pressure can lead to hypertension
  • Fibrosis which can lead to permanent scarring in the organs
  • Fatty liver can lead to pain, tiredness or even liver cancer.

And when you are an athlete performing at the very highest levels. Even a slight dip in performance may affect your results. As we often hear top fighters commenting that “no none works harder than me in the gym.”

Well, that may be true. But what if someone is working almost equally as hard and has an almost equal set of skills. But you are the one who drinks just a little too much on their downtime and it has a slight knock-on effect on your performance?

It’s a game of inches and the guy and girls are looking for every possible advantage. So when you then put yourself at a disadvantage, no matter how small. You are simply making life that little bit harder to compete to your very highest potential. Or at least this is what some fighters believe.

Some Benefits to Drinking Alcohol?

And while alcohol can have so many negative effects on the body. Some medical professionals do point out that when used sparingly alcohol can have some positive impacts on a person’s life.

Something as simple as winding down after a long hard day of training. Where the body has been through the grinder and it simply needs to relax. Alcohol it appears can have the added benefit of stress relief and easing social interactions.

That coupled with some known benefits including those below. Means that when used in moderation, there can be a place for alcohol. Even when it comes to the elite level fighters in the UFC.

Some Benefits Of Drinking Alcohol in Moderation

  • Lesser chances of heart attacks
  • Helping to minimise the most common types of strokes
  • Death due to cardiovascular disease
  • A reduction in the possibility of developing diabetes
  • Less chance of getting gallstones

And former two-division champion Georges St Pierre, many peoples pound for pound greatest MMA fighter. Mentioned in a podcast that he likes to have a glass of red wine each evening with his dinner.

And those who know GSP know that he is amongst the most diligent and dedicated athletes the sport has ever known. So when he decided that drinking one glass of red wine per day after a meal was beneficial. You know that it was a decision based on sound science.

Drunk UFC Fighters

There were too many stories of crazy booze-fuelled nights on the town. Where some of the biggest names in the sport would get up to all kinds of shenanigans. Some of which was even captured on video!

Like below, where former UFC heavyweight champion Bas Rutten is filmed out celebrating his birthday in Las Vegas. Quite obviously very drunk, but having a really good time with his friends and fans.

A drunk Bas Rutten hanging with fans during his birthday

And how about the now infamous story of the MMA fighter turned bank Robber Lee Murray. And when he squared off against the quite drunk UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz outside a London nightclub.

How could we not talk about the former history-making two-division UFC world champion Conor McGregor? The Irishman has become as well known for his activities outside the cage as inside.

And his post-fight celebrations would always conclude with an alcoholic beverage. Shared with the former owners of the UFC Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta and it’s President Dana White.

Where McGregor says he would celebrate and plot his next step in world domination. That coupled with him launching his very own whiskey brand. Shows just how much alcohol plays a role in his lifestyle and bank balance.

And how about the now-former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping? The Englishman is well known for his caustic wit and comebacks. As well as his love of all things alcoholic.

He has never been shy about admitting that he loves to have a drink or three. Not only that, but he has arrived at a number of UFC press conferences. Either after a night on the town or pre-celebration after his historic title win. Letting us all know just how drunk he will be later that very same night.

Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping drinking alcohol

Other UFC Fighters Who Do Drink Alcohol

If you ever followed the former UFC flyweight champion, Demetrious Johnson on his Twitch stream. You would quite regularly see him happily displaying some of his latest craft beers he had purchased.

And after winning his fight, the former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar said that he would be going home and celebrating by drinking some Coors Light.

Having a few to celebrate his win inside the octagon. But very specifically Coors, as the event sponsor Bud light did not offer him any sponsorship opportunities for his fight.

And we cannot forget lightweight and welterweight fighter Donald Cowboy Cerrone. Who regardless of any sponsorship can be regularly seen cracking open a bottle of his favourite beer Budweiser.

UFC Fighters That Don’t Drink Alcohol

So it’s not a case of one size fits all and that UFC fighters do or do not drink alcohol. While some don’t touch a drop like the former middleweight champion Chris Weidman.

Or the super dominant UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. Who first and foremost for religious reasons does not drink any alcohol whatsoever.

There are numerous others in the same boat who decide for their own personal reasons why staying off alcohol is the best course of action for them. Others, as we can see, are quite happy to knock back a few cold ones. And either way it’s doesn’t seem to have affected their careers.

In Closing

So I think you can see by what we have discussed whether or not a UFC fighter drinks alcohol is very much dependant on the individual. For some, it’s simply a way to relax when all the hard work is done.

And perhaps as they go through such strict diets and training regimes. They believe a couple of drinks here and there isn’t going to have much of a negative effect. And who could blame them for thinking just that?

When we see several pound for pound greats, along with fighters who have reached the pinnacle of the sport and become champions in their own right. All the while enjoying their favourite alcoholic beverages along the way.

While at the same time we have fighters, some of which have never managed to claim the sports highest accolades. Abstaining from alcohol for their entire career. The argument against a couple of drinks here and there looks pretty thin.

It may be that drinking has a very negative effect on some. And they may not even be able to stop at just a few. And so for them, it is best to just stay away entirely.

But all in all, it’s a decision for the individual to make. And when we are dealing with some of the best MMA fighters in the world. Where a wrong choice may affect the trajectory of their entire career. I’m sure it’s a decision they don’t take too lightly.


Hi, I'm Ross, at 40 years plus, I have been involved in the Martial arts for most of my life. Along with my first pet Collie dog named Tyson, RIP. My journey in the world of Martial Arts is something I want to share. So that others too can learn from my experiences.

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