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Swinging fists vs. swinging clubs: Are golf fans as aggressive as UFC fans?

Sports Reports
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4min read
Image depicts cartoon of an MMA glove and a man playing golf

In the realm of sports, passion and aggression often go hand in hand. But what if we told you that, contrary to popular belief, golf fans might actually be more aggressive than their counterparts in the UFC fan base? Armed with comprehensive data and in-depth research, we’re here to challenge conventional wisdom and explore the intriguing notion that golf enthusiasts display a higher level of aggression than their UFC counterparts.

The urge for aggression as an outlet

Infographic discussing aggressive behavior in golf fans and UFC fans

Our investigation begins with a fundamental belief held by sports enthusiasts – the idea that sports should serve as a constructive outlet for aggression. In a survey of 1069 respondents, a resounding 80% expressed this conviction, regardless of the specific sport they follow. This shared belief underscores the essential link between sports and the release of pent-up emotions.

Golf fans: the unexpected aggressors

While golf is a sport renowned for its elegance and composure, a shocking 70% of golf fans openly admit to using it as a legitimate outlet for their aggression. This challenges the traditional perception of golf aficionados as mild-mannered and reveals a layer of passionate intensity beneath the serene façade of fairways and greens.

Physical and verbal outbursts

Delving further into the data, it becomes apparent that one out of every three golf fans openly admits to expressing their frustration physically and verbally when faced with a disappointing sporting outcome. Off the fairway, a shocking 31% of golf fans admitted to having been involved in some kind of physical altercation with another person.

This revelation shatters the stereotype of golf fans as reserved and highlights that, even in the refined world of golf, emotions can run high and manifest in passionate outbursts.

UFC fans: aggression as part of the game

In contrast, the UFC, a sport known for its raw physicality, attracts fans who naturally perceive it as an outlet for aggression. 84% of UFC fans believe that the sport serves as a release for aggression, a figure not significantly higher than that of golf fans. This aligns with the inherent confrontational nature of the sport.

Calm and reserved fans

Shifting our focus to fan behavior during sporting events, we discover an interesting parallel. Surprisingly, 42% of UFC fans claim that they remain calm and reserved during sporting events, similar to the 41% of golf fans who share this sentiment. 

Confrontations with rival fans

Infographic discussing aggressive behavior of golf and UFC fans

Moving on, we delve into the realm of fan rivalries and confrontations. Surprisingly, 80% of UFC fans claim that they have never had a confrontation with rival UFC fans. This statistic stands in contrast to the intense rivalries often associated with the UFC, suggesting that most fans manage to enjoy the competition without resorting to physical confrontations.

Discomfort with violence

Our data further reveals that a substantial portion of both fan groups expresses discomfort with violence. Surprisingly, 74% of UFC fans admit to being upset by violence. This illustrates that fans can be emotionally affected by the events on the field or in the octagon, irrespective of the sport’s inherent nature.

Linking rivalry and aggression

A significant finding emerges when we examine the perception of a connection between sports rivalry and physical aggression. Among UFC fans, a resounding 84% believe in this linkage. This belief is shared by 78% of golf fans, indicating a common recognition of the phenomenon across both sports. Overall, 862 respondents, or four out of five, believe that there is indeed a connection between sports rivalry and physical aggression, emphasizing the universality of this understanding.

Emotional impact on fans

Lastly, it is imperative to acknowledge the profound emotional impact that sports can have on fans. In golf, more than one in ten (16%) of  fans admit to becoming bad-tempered and aggressive with family and friends when their favorite player faces a loss. 

Perceptions of aggression

Interestingly, half of golf fans believe that UFC fans are more aggressive, perhaps due to the UFC’s confrontational image. However, our data challenges this perception. Four out of five UFC fans (80%) stated that they have never been bad-tempered with family and friends following a loss. This statistic reveals that, despite the intensity of the UFC, most fans do not allow their passion for the sport to negatively affect their personal relationships.


In conclusion, our analysis provides compelling evidence that questions conventional stereotypes. Despite the apparent differences in the nature of golf and UFC, there is a surprising parity in fan behavior when it comes to aggression and emotional involvement. While both sports offer fans an outlet for their emotions, the extent and expression of aggression are not significantly different between golf and UFC fans, with golf fans even outscoring UFC enthusiasts in some instances. This exploration reaffirms that sports possess a unique ability to stir deep emotions and passion, irrespective of whether it’s played on the golf course or within the confines of the UFC octagon.

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