why do mma fighters hug cornermen

why do mma fighters hug cornermen

Why Do MMA Fighters Hug Cornermen?

When watching mixed martial arts (MMA) fights, it’s common to see fighters hugging their cornermen before and after each round. This act of physical contact may seem simple, but it holds great significance for the fighters. In this article, we will explore the reasons why MMA fighters hug their cornermen from various perspectives.

1. Emotional Support

MMA is an intense and physically demanding sport that can take a toll on fighters both mentally and emotionally. Hugging their cornermen provides a moment of emotional support and reassurance before entering the octagon. This physical connection helps fighters feel grounded and boosts their confidence.

Moreover, the bond between fighters and their cornermen is often built on trust and friendship. Hugging serves as a gesture of solidarity and a reminder that the cornermen are there to support the fighter through every step of the fight.

why do mma fighters hug cornermen

2. Physical Warm-Up

Hugging their cornermen can also serve as a physical warm-up before the round begins. The act of embracing requires the fighters to engage their muscles, helping to loosen up and prepare their bodies for the intense physical exertion that lies ahead.

Additionally, the physical contact can help fighters get their blood flowing and increase their heart rate slightly, which can be beneficial in terms of mental focus and alertness.

3. Communication

Hugging their cornermen can also serve as a form of non-verbal communication between the fighter and their team. Through this physical connection, cornermen can convey messages of encouragement, strategy reminders, or even tactical adjustments without the need for words.

During the hug, cornermen may tap or pat the fighter’s back, indicating specific instructions or reminders. This non-verbal communication can be particularly helpful in a noisy and chaotic environment, where verbal instructions may be difficult to hear.

4. Mental Focus

Hugging their cornermen helps fighters maintain mental focus and stay present in the moment. The physical contact acts as a grounding force, allowing fighters to center themselves and block out distractions.

Furthermore, the hug can serve as a trigger for fighters to enter a focused state of mind. By associating the act of hugging with mental preparation, fighters can quickly shift their mindset from casual conversation to fight mode.

5. Ritual and Tradition

Hugging cornermen has become a ritual and tradition in MMA. It is a symbolic gesture that represents the unity and camaraderie between fighters and their teams. This tradition has been passed down through generations of fighters and is seen as a sign of respect and gratitude towards the cornermen’s efforts.

Moreover, rituals and traditions play an essential role in creating a sense of belonging and identity within the MMA community. The act of hugging cornermen is a way for fighters to connect with the history and values of the sport.

6. Pre-Fight Rituals

Before the fight, fighters often have specific pre-fight rituals that help them mentally prepare and get in the right mindset. Hugging their cornermen can be part of this ritual, providing a sense of comfort and familiarity before stepping into the cage.

These pre-fight rituals help fighters establish a routine and create a sense of control in an otherwise unpredictable and chaotic environment. The act of hugging their cornermen becomes a crucial component of this routine, helping fighters find stability and focus.

7. Symbolic Connection

Hugging their cornermen creates a symbolic connection between the fighter and their team. It represents the unity and collective effort required to succeed in the fight. The physical contact serves as a reminder that the fighter is not alone and has a team of supporters behind them.

Additionally, the hug can also symbolize the transfer of energy and strength from the cornermen to the fighter. It is a way for the cornermen to infuse the fighter with confidence and motivation.

8. Post-Fight Reflection

After a fight, hugging their cornermen allows fighters to reflect on their performance and receive immediate feedback. The physical contact serves as a moment of connection and acknowledgment between the fighter and their team.

The hug can also be a way for cornermen to console or congratulate the fighter, depending on the outcome of the fight. It provides a space for emotional release and support, regardless of the result.


The act of hugging cornermen in MMA holds various meanings and benefits for fighters. From emotional support to physical warm-up, communication, and tradition, the hug serves as a powerful gesture that helps fighters mentally and physically prepare for their bouts. It represents the bond between fighters and their teams, creating a sense of unity and strength in the face of adversity.

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