Is it ever appropriate for fans to boo at an MMA fight?

At UFC 152, the Toronto fans showed a lack of respect towards co-main event fighters Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez. Not too long into the fight the crowd began booing. I find this completely disrespectful, not only towards the fighters but towards all the hard work that everyone surrounding them has put into the fight.

At one point, the crowd began chanting, “Go Leafs Go.” How is that at all to do with the MMA fight that they so generously paid to go to? That is the question at hand though, do fans have the right to boo whenever they want because they paid their hard earned dollars to go to the event?

We are going to look at this in depth below, as we have caught up with fighters, fans and members of the MMA media to give their thoughts on whether it is ever appropriate for fans to boo at an MMA fight.

Lets first get the fans perspective.

Photo thanks to Bleacher Report

Andy Marinos

Most people boo because of the lack of pace or blood and usually has nothing to do with the overall strategy of the fighters. If it were chess they would boo every game. It’s kind of a sad reality…. If a fighter just wants to please the crowd he’s setting himself up to lose.

Jeff Mellick

Yes, you can’t turn the sport into a WWE style sports entertainment, then complain when the fans act it. I blame Sonnen lol


Only if there is no movement for at least 3 minutes. If the guys are attacking but missing, that’s a dogfight, and it’s badass.

Ale Rodríguez

Sometimes when they’re a “recognize figure” they don’t go 100% afraid of injuries. So it’s a lame fight.

Kyle Edwards

Not really.

Francina and Trevor

Those people that were booing were not fans. There were the people that ufc gave free tickets to=non-fans. 45% of the tickets were given away for free by UFC

Josh Breger

Def. ok to boo. Wedum vs. Reem, Maynard vs. Guida. When a guy won’t fight it’s completely justified.


Now let us move over to the MMA media side of the debate.

Goze Garcia (MMAJunkie Radio)

I guess if they bought the ticket, they can but if they do, they probably don’t like the sport or understand it as much as they think they do. Sometimes fans don’t bo for the reason we think. They know the refs listen and if they boo enough they can get a ref to stand fighters up.

Mike Russell (UFC Magazine)

I don’t like fans booing slow fights, but I get where they are coming from. You pay to be entertained. If actors and directors were in the theatre when fans watch movies they didn’t like, I’m sure they’d hear complaints too.

Shawn W. Smith (

I don’t know if I have a decisive answer one way or the other. I think they certainly have the right to boo whenever they want. They’ve paid their hard earned money and can do whatever they feel like when they are there. On the other hand, these fighters train long and hard and put their lives towards this sport.

Denny Hodge (

I do, but damn, now days it seems that they boo everytime a fight hits the ground.

Mauro Ranallo (The Score/The MMA Show)

Fans can boo if they choose.They pay the freight.I don’t like it though.

Breanna Armstrong (

I feel that all fans who pay to go to a sporting event has the right

Matthew Kaplowitz (

Can’t do much about booing, but I do believe that, yes, there is an appropriate time for booing, ie if a fighter is fighting dirty and getting away with it. if the fighter is aware of boo’s, he or she probably is not as focused on the fight as they should be, though.

Adam Martin (The Score)

Yes the fans can boo whenever they want because they are paying customers and if they aren’t entertained they’re allowed to boo

Layzie the Savage (

Yes, they pay their hard earned money to watch these fighters fight. If they don’t feel like they’re getting their money’s worth. I think they have the right to let that be known.

Jeremy Botter (Bleacher Report)

Sure. A boring fight is a boring fight. But not because the fighters are too small.

Jon Anik (UFC Commentator/FUEL TV)

Rarely, if ever. Perhaps when a fight stalls on the ground and neither party is working to advance position.


Inside the cage, the fighters have a thought about fans booing them as well and you may not believe how they feel.

Carlos Condit (UFC Interim Welterweight Champion)

I think booing the guy when he’s coming out because you’re going for the other guy is OK, I guess and booing sportsmanship is fine. Other than that, no.

Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (UFC Lightweight Fighter)

Hahaha when they’re laying and not doing shit.

Anthony Pettis (UFC Lightweight Fighter)

Yes, when there is no action. I’m a fan myself and I like to see action, always trying to finish the fight!

“King Mo” Lawal (Bellator/TNA Fighter)

Fans can do whatever they want. They paid for the tickets.

Miesha Tate (Strikeforce Women’s Fighter)

No, I think if you want to boo stay home. If you’re a fan then chances are you’re not a fighter, so you have no room to talk or in this case, boo. Usually when fans boo anyways, it’s because they don’t understand something technical that’s going on, which is very irritating. If you think it’s so easy, give it a try!

John Alessio (AFC Fighter)

Fans booing is disrespectful, I understand it’s a show, but unless you actually fight you have no right to boo. If you do fight then you have too much respect to boo. Long story short, fans need to cut it out.

Tom “Kong” Watson

Yeah, they pay they can do what they like in my opinion.


Well, there you have it. It seems like the jury has rendered a decision… most people believe it IS alright for fans to boo at an MMA fight. What do you think?


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