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UFC threatens to cancel fights, suspend fighters who get physical during staredowns

UFC Fight Night Whittaker v Gastelum: Weigh-Ins with Drakkar Klose and Jeremy Stephens Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is taking a hardline stance against fighters who insist on pushing and shoving during the pre-fight staredowns, probably because Jeremy Stephens gave Drakkar Klose a concussion and ruined it for everyone else.

“They just told us at weigh ins that if we touch our opponent at ceremonial weigh ins for any thing other than a fist bump, or a handshake, or high five, we will be pulled from the card, suspended, and fined,” UFC flyweight Lauren Murphy wrote on Twitter.

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Murphy (14-4), who quietly put together four straight wins over the last two years, hit the scale on Friday morning for her Joanne Calderwood fight, which takes place this Sat. evening (June 12, 2021) inside Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona.

I’m sure the promotion would have no problem making an example out of Murphy or some other fighter lower on the card ... but does anyone believe Israel Adesanya would get yanked from the UFC 263 headliner for shoving Marvin Vettori?

What happens when Conor McGregor stares down Dustin Poirier at UFC 264?

UFC has a fine line to walk because fighter face offs are designed to generate hype for the upcoming fight. At the same time, it has an obligation to protect its athletes — sometimes from themselves — and prevent embarrassing melees like this infamous debacle.

We'll see what happens at tonight’s UFC 263 ceremonial weigh ins.

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