UFC stars share their thoughts on abstaining from sex before fights

By Tom Taylor - October 9, 2020

Do UFC stars like Colby Covington, Mackenzie Dern, Cory Sandhagen and Cynthia Calvillo abstain from sex before their fights? From the sounds of it, no.

UFC, Colby Covington, Cynthia Calvillo, Cory Sandhagen, Mackenzie Dern

There are many theories out there about the benefits of abstaining some sex before athletic competitions—specifically before fights. The science supporting these theories is hotly debated, and it certainly doesn’t seem like many UFC fighters are buying it.


Speaking to MMA journalist James Lynch, a host of UFC stars recently offered up their thoughts on withholding from sex before their fights. Watch the video above.

Lynch’s video features commentary from current and former UFC stars in Colby Covington, Gillian Anderson, Artem Lobov, Mackenzie Dern, Cory Sandhagen, Cynthia Calvillo, Brandon Royval, Katlyn Chookagian, Andre Fili, Tanner Boser and Modestas Bukauskas.

Covington, a top-5 UFC welterweight contender, weighs in on the issue at the beginning of the video. He actually believes there are benefits to regular sexual activity before a fight, rather than the opposite.

“You’ve definitely gotta get the rounds in the bedroom,” Covington said. “It builds up a stamina. It builds up cardio. Yeah, you’re going to lose a little testosterone, but you’re going to build it up, times a little more, the next time.

“I think there’s some science to [abstaining], but I’m the cardio king for a reason,” the UFC welterweight added.

One of the other big stars to weigh in on the topic in Lynch’s video is UFC strawweight contender McKenzie Dern.

“We’re totally good to do it before the fight,” Dern said. “We’re at peace, everything is good, let’s have a good night and have a good fight tomorrow—and celebrate, too.”

Cynthia Calvillo, a top contender in the flyweight division, doesn’t see any need to lay off sex before a fight, but speculated it could be a different matter for male fighters.

“As long as you don’t do it the day of [a fight],” she said. “I think that it works more against guys, cause I’ve actually read some of the research and stuff like that. It’s something that people talk about. I think it’s more that, if you have deprivation, you’ll fight better in there. But that’s not necessarily true, it’s not going to affect your performance. It’s more like ‘I f**king sacrificed so much for this, I’m about to eat your f**king head off. I’m about to make you my b**ch.’ For girls, it’s said that it actually helps us to be active.”

Cory Sandhagen, who takes on Marlon Moraes in the main event of UFC Fight Island 5 this Saturday, also chimed in, and encouraged his fellow fighters to do whatever works best for them.

“If it works for you, it works for you,” he said. “If it doesn’t work for you, it’s not going to work for you.”

Do you think there is any merit to fighters abstaining from sex before their fights?