Or has Holloway been holding onto a grudge since 2017?
At the UFC 218 official weigh-ins, Gaethje nearly exposed Holloway’s genitals to the world after volunteering to hold the towel for the former champion who needed to strip down to make championship weight for his fight against Jose Aldo.
Gaethje raised the towel in front of the scale, making it impossible to see the weight. The commissioner told Gaethje the towel needed to be placed between the scale and Holloway.
An executive decision was made by Gaethje to save time.
Rather than have Holloway put his clothes back on, move the towel, and get undressed again, Gaethje saw a quicker solution – and one that likely played into his favor as he was weighing in right after Holloway.
“He even told me, he was like, ‘Brother, it just looked like you wanted to get off the scale, so I just threw the towel over,'” Holloway told ESPN MMA. “I was like, ‘Bro, you did the right thing.’ But I’m not going to forget that, Gaethje.
“I guess that’s the whole beef. I guess that’s the way to sell this fight. Me and him have beef. What is that? That’s a towelgate. You can call it a towelgate, Gaethje and Holloway’s towelgate incident. It’s super funny.”
The UFC has since upped its game when it comes to preventing accidental exposure on the scale. Fighters used to just put all their trust in the two people holding up a towel on either side of the scale. Now, the promotion uses a rigid booth covered on all sides to prevent accidents.
The device kills two birds with one stone; it eliminates exposure and also ensures fighters can’t use the towel for leverage, as in another infamous ‘towelgate.’
Back at UFC 210, Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier used the towel as leverage to make himself just light enough on the scale to make championship weight for his title fight against Anthony Johnson. For years Cormier denied what happened, but during his HOF speech, he finally came clean.
Holloway didn’t need the leverage at UFC 218, though. He knew he was on point and was more concerned with stepping off the scale and putting his clothes back on so he could begin his rehydration process.
“I totally told him, that’s why I was covering,” Holloway said. “He looked at me and was like, ‘Bro, I’m going right over.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, go right over, bro.’ And he did it, so shoutout to him. He got me off the scale sooner than later. … He saved me quite a bit of time to go get hydrated.”
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