Facial hair does more than give a fighter a signature look, it plays one of the most crucial roles in strategic MMA. You might hear talk all day about fighters’ ground game, striking, speed, mental focus etc., but the best fighters know that the right ‘stache or soul patch can be a game changer in combat sports. So whether you’re looking for style, practicality, or a mixture of both, here are three great options to consider before stepping into the cage.
Trying to land a few on Kimbo Slice’s chin? Not before you’re met with the “Beard Shield”. There’s 4 to 5 inches of a of solid steel wool that will stop your hands dead in their tracks. The beard shield can work as a last line of defense against incoming strikes or also as an effective weapon from the top. Putting that sweat drenched, hairy chin in a guy’s face can blind your opponent, inducing fear and panic while you dominate from the top.
A variation on the beard shield. The Duck Dynasty has been banned by most Athletic Commissions citing health concerns for MMA fighters who’ve come in contact with them. Once known as a sure fire way to scare the hell out of anyone willing to even shake your hand. This mark of unadulterated manhood has become a useful tool in the aid of fighters who need to hide a chin (or three) from their opponent. The added ability to suffocate your opponent by smothering them with the Duck Dynasty makes this an indispensable tool for large targets that want to finish a fight quickly.
Ian McCall is a master craftsman of this look. Whereas the beard shield boasts a host of practical uses, “The Instigator” preys on the opponent’s mental game. It won’t matter how much of a fan you are of “Uncle Creepy,” everything about that 1920’s boxer’s mustache will make you want to punch the wax off of those curly Q’s. Getting your opponent focused on your oddball mustache allows you to set up your moves when least expected. If you’ve got a knack for distraction, “The Instigator” is the perfect addition to your game.
Don Frye is a pioneer of “The Officer.” Rather than distract and entice the opponent, like you would with “The Instigator,” this look works for pure intimidation. If your opponent starts getting lippy with you and talks a big game, call his ass out about his unpaid parking tickets and you’re right inside his head.
“The Dos Equis”
First discovered in the 16th century by pioneering Spanish Conquistadors, the Dos Equis has become the epitome mark of strength and power. The Dos Equis can not only hypnotize your opponent or fill them with fear, it has the power to command their every move. When a man sporting the Dos Equis says “Just a minute.” you wait exactly 60 seconds.
But few in combat sports have ever been able to master the Dos Equis. Requiring a perfect balance of proportion and length, many MMA amateurs who’ve tried this look have noted they spend equal time examining their beard in the mirror as they do training in the gym.
But remember this:
“You may not always win a fight, but when you do, you’ll do it with a Dos Equis!”
Note: No fighters or farm animals were harmed in the writing or research of this article.