Does Daniel Cormier fear the beard?

Roy Nelson
Daniel Cormier wants no part of Roy Nelson's face mane at UFC 166.
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Mike Chiappetta

Mike Chiappetta has documented the fast-growing sport of mixed martial arts since 2006 for news organizations including SB Nation, NBCSports.com, FIGHT! Magazine, AOL and ESPN. He appears regularly as an analyst on countless television shows and radio programs, including CBS Radio and MMA Beat. Follow him on Twitter.


Roy Nelson’s unruly, unkempt beard has become something of a trademark, or at least a perfect complement to go with his mullet and belly. But it may not make an appearance at UFC 166 when he takes on Daniel Cormier.

Why? Well, it seems that Cormier will petition to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation to have him shave it off prior to their bout, which takes place in Houston. That’s what he told Ariel Helwani, as reported on Wednesday’s edition of UFC Tonight.

(Note: Cormier/Nelson begins at 02:40)

Cormier will protest on the grounds that it gives Nelson an unfair advantage, Helwani reported.

Many state commissions allow a competitor to request such a change, though it is very infrequently done.

Texas’s combative sports administrative rules don’t specifically have a statute relating to facial hair, but rule 61.111(f) states that, “Each contestant must be clean and present a tidy appearance,” which is presumably the passage he’ll use to file his claim.

Some states, like New Jersey, for instance, have more clearly specified guidelines on appearance. Their rule 13:46-24A.10 states “All contestants shall be cleanly shaven immediately prior to competition, except that a contestant may wear a closely cropped mustache.”

This isn’t the first time Cormier has made the same threat towards Nelson, but as the fight approaches, Nelson might want to start lining up a razor sponsor, just in case.

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