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Conor McGregor and His Dirty Habit of Holding Onto Opponent’s Gloves During Fights



Conor McGregor holding gloves

Over the years, Conor McGregor has become the biggest name in the world of mixed martial arts. However, a recent row of losses against Dustin Poirier, and his submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov, added with his lack of activity as a mixed martial artist has had a huge impact on fight fans’ opinion on Conor McGregor.

However, that’s not it, McGregor’s trash talk, which once used to be a strong point, has become the reason for his downfall to a huge extent if we take a look at his fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov from back at UFC 229 and his back to back losses against Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 and UFC 264 respectively. 

Conor McGregor

Be that as it may, there’s another thing that has concerned a lot of fans. It won’t be wrong to say that it has left many McGregor fans without a reason or argument and that is the former champion’s habit of holding onto fighter’s gloves while he is on the ground. 

Khabib Nurmagomedov accuses Conor McGregor of holding his gloves

It has been so many times in the past that a fighter holds the gloves of his opponent in order to deal some damage. Often referred to as a veteran move inside the Octagon, McGregor has made use of the same on a couple of occasions. The first time around, it was in his lightweight championship bout against Khabib Nurmagomedov. 


While on many occasions fighters do get away with such instances, Joe Rogan, the co-commentator for the fight during UFC 229 main event was quick to notice McGregor holding onto Nurmagomedov’s gloves. “Well, Conor was grabbing the gloves. That’s illegal. The hooking of the gloves is illegal.”

Needless to say, Khabib Nurmagomedov complained about the same on numerous occasions to referee Herb Dean, who remained oblivious to the entire incident until the end of the fight. 

“Three times he do it. Three times… You say to him ‘Two times’ and he still [does it].” Nurmagomedov could be seen furiously screaming at Herb Dean.

Dustin Poirier calls Conor McGregor a cheater at UFC 264

In one of the most highly anticipated bouts in the history of mixed martial arts which marked the return of Conor McGregor against Dustin Poirier in the trilogy fight after suffering a vicious stoppage loss at back at UFC 257, the Notorious once again got a little cheeky during the ground exchange with Dustin Poirier.

Dustin Poirier accused Conor McGregor of holding onto his gloves at UFC 264, and once again bringing light to McGregor’s habit of holding onto his opponent’s gloves while on the ground during fights. 


“I let him up because he had three fingers in my glove. It’s a good grip on the cuff of the tape. Pulling me down into up-kicks. He’s pulling me and kicking up at the same time. You know, I’m not surprised that he does stuff like that. I was telling Herb that ‘I can’t get out of it.’ When I told Herb, maybe Conor pulled his fingers out.” Poirier told Megan Olivi of the UFC.

Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz

Needless to say, a veteran move in the kitty, just like the Stool Gate incident during Tim Kennedy vs Yoel Romero. McGregor holding Poirier’s gloves while trying to land up-kicks may have reminded many of Donald Cerrone holding onto Leon Edwards’ gloves as he landed a vicious high kick. 

Conor McGregor holds Nate Diaz’s gloves at UFC 202

While many fans are not aware, McGregor held Nate Diaz’s gloves in the second fight at UFC 202. Going into the fifth and the final round, McGregor, who was visibly fatigued by the constant pressure from the Stockton Slugger.


McGregor appears to hold Diaz’s gloves, and while Diaz has never come out publicly accusing the Notorious, it’s safe to say that it’s not a thing that started with the Khabib Nurmagomedov fight.

Why does McGregor hold gloves? Is this cheating?

While it certainly falls under cheating, McGregor’s habit of holding the gloves of his opponent could have a lot to do with his lack of ability in wrist control. Needless to say, wrist control plays a huge role in controlling the exchange on the ground and negating damage from the fighters. Additionally, it helps defend oneself from submission attempts, and potential ground and pound. McGregor has often been accused of holding onto his opponents’ shorts as well, which is quite evidently due to the same reason.

Also Read: Conor McGregor Teases Netflix Documentary Series Showcasing His Behind the Scenes Footage From UFC 264


History has shown has that McGregor is not an excellent grappler, and it won’t be wrong to say that he is often forced to hold on to the glove of his opponents to defend himself. 

Also Read: WATCH: Dustin Poirier Cheats During Conor McGregor’s Guillotine Choke Attempt at UFC 264


Critical of Dana White's matchmaking abilities but always in awe of his business acumen, Nikhil Chauhan is always up for a chat related to MMA and Boxing.