‘”As real as it gets” is the UFC’s slogan describing just how realistic the combat in our sport can be. But before fighters get to any of the face punching, they share a moment of respect, a moment of peace that represents their mutual acknowledgment for the struggle to arrive at this moment – the touch of gloves.

Fighters might beat each other up for 15 to 25 minutes, but the respect for one another and the sport of MMA never goes away. The martial arts spirt is always with them.

In this first edition of “Touch of Gloves,” we see that spirt come to life as fighters, coaches and more show appreciation to the people they think especially deserve a shoutout for what they did in 2021:

Mackenzie Dern on Charles Oliveira
Francis Ngannou on Kamaru Usman
Cub Swanson on Brandon Moreno
Jamahal Hill on Glover Teixeira
Rashad Evans on Julianna Pena
Marc Ratner on Dana White
Brendan Fitzgerald on John Gooden
Eric Nicksick on Laura Sanko
Bryan Battle on Forrest Griffin
Austin Vanderford on Chael Sonnen
Adrian Yanez on Dominick Cruz
Shannon Knapp on Valentina Shevchenko
Chris Curtis on the UFC fans



21 really cool things that happened in MMA in 2021


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