Across the board, in all walks of life, image is very important, and projecting the right one can mean the difference in pay grade, career advance, and ultimately, success. With the UFC in an ever constant motion to move completely into the mainstream, they've been adopting new policies recently that would suggest they are serious about cleaning up their image.
Earlier this year, we saw the institution of a code of conduct policy, which has already been enforced a few times, to the tune of several thousand dollars and a suspension. Now, it would seem that a dress code is being enforced, as well. According to UFC lightweight champion, Benson Henderson, the organization has made an 'effective immediately' policy regarding fighter clothing during press appearances.
From Benson's Facebook fanpage:
Mwahahaha!!! Guess @ufc decided to make it official...I'm a start calling them the NBA...guess it's one thing to be encouraged to do or dress one way & entirely another thing to be told to do or dress one way...
"Per Jackie, effective immediately, fighters and talent traveling on press tours and PR/marketing-related appearances are no longer permitted to wear shorts or flip flops. Jeans are acceptable and shoes are a must."
Don't get me wrong, I'm gonna dress how my employers want but doesn't mean I gotta be happy about it..."Don't let the man hold you down" "Fight the power" "You can take my life but you can never take my FREEDOM!!!"
I don't quite understand Henderson's reluctance to dressing the part of a champion during press obligations for the company that employs him, but I'm from the school of 'dress for success' and feel that some of these guys just add to an unbecoming stereotype that the sport as a whole has been trying to shake for years now. Bravo UFC! I think you're on the right track.