I’ve been threatening to do this for a while now. Whenever I write my UFC preview and predictions posts, I always come across a fighter nickname that makes me cringe, but equally there are some awesome and fitting nicknames out there. So in the absence of any amazing inspiration for this blog right now, let’s have a look at my Top Ten best nicknames. These aren’t in any particular order, just 10 fight names that are up there with the best there is (in my opinion of course!).
So what makes an great fighter nickname? Well for me it should be something that reflects the fighters style, intimidates their opponents to some degree and instantly resonates with fans. It would be ridiculous if every fighter had nicknames like “psycho killer face ripper” so I’m not advocating that every 2 bit fighter goes and get’s him/herself a badass nickname, that would be crap. But you just know when the moniker just fits, that for me is what makes a great fighter nickname.
1: Paul “Semtex” Daley.
This name is awesome and arguably one of the most apt fight names out there. Semtex is a plastic explosive, deadly in the correct hands. Paul Daleys fists are his own deadly weapons (particularly his left hook), you get hit on the button with one of these and it is gonna feel like you just been blown up. Fitting for his powerful explosive striking style, this one easily makes my top ten.
2: Randy “The natural” Couture.
Again a more fitting nickname would be hard to find. Couture is the quintessential MMA fighter, constantly seeking to improve and evolve his game, he can always find a way to win. Fighting seems to come completely naturally to this guy and his age makes him all the more admirable.
3: Wanderlei “the axe murderer” Silva.
Arguably more applicable to the Silva that stomped heads for fun in the now defunct Japanese organisation Pride than the 2010 version we see in the UFC, “the axe murderer” is still a great nickname. Instantly conjuring up suitably grotesque images in your mind, when you look at some of his fallen opponents you can see why the name stuck. Ok he never murdered anyone and he certainly never used an axe, but his devastating brand of Muay Thai felled many an opponent and his balls-out aggression, intimidating stare down and neanderthal looks made him an extremely fearsome guy to be facing across the cage or ring.
4: BJ “The Prodigy” Penn.
What is there to say about this guy? Reknowned for his unfeasibly quick progression through the belts in BJJ (it allegedly took him 4 years to get a black belt which is virtually unheard of) and the first non-brazilian to win the black belt division of the World JiuJitsu Championships held in Rio de Janeiro. He is a scary prospect now that he is taking a more professional approach to his training. Which makes his previous performances all the more scary!! He truly is a Prodigy in MMA, undisputably the best Lightweight fighter in the world and probably in the top 3 in the pound for pound rankings.
5: Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos
. This guy is one scary mofo. THE best staredown in the game and just looking at him is to be intimidated. Unfortunately his skills in the cage, well certainly his cardio, have let him down badly in the past and he has been overshadowed by his Wife (“mrs Cyborg”) who is the number 1 female MMA fighter in the world right now. Nevertheless when you think of part human /part robot organisms and you think of Robocop or Terminator, you can sort of see why the name fits this guy. Although a cyborg would NEVER gas out badly after half a round of swinging haymakers, so there is an argument for this being a bad choice of name, but screw you. It’s my list!
6: Chuck “the Iceman” Liddell.
Again perhaps more suitable when he was smashing everyone that stood in front of him, but you can’t deny this is a cool nickname. He was always cool under pressure when he was in his prime and even going backwards he had punches that could stretch his opponents out. Clinical, lethal, calm that is what the name “Iceman” conjures up for me and no-one could argue that when he rules the LHW division in the UFC that is exactly what he was!
7: Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
Like Cyborg, this guys nickname has actually replaced his name in MMA circles. If you say Rampage EVERYONE in MMA knows who you are talking about. Even the UFC announcers rarely refer to him by the names Quinton or Jackson, normally it’s “nice right hand by Rampage”. Also a great name given his fighting style and given his more recent misdaventures when he quite literally went on a Rampage.
8: Anderson “the Spider” Silva.
Not on too many peoples lists this one, but I think it’s a great name. Silva lures his opponents into his web in the cage and then devours them. Also he is a muay thai expert – also known as the science of 8 limbs. Spiders have 8 limbs…you see where I’m going with this! Also he is a BJJ blackbelt so he can tie his opponents up on the floor pretty well too (ask Dan Henderson). Awesome name for an amazing fighter.
9: Mark “Smashing Machine” Kerr.
One of the pioneers of ground n pound (along with friend Mark Coleman) and winner of back to back Heavyweight tournaments in the UFC before moving to Pride. He literally was a smashing machine, devastating all who stood before him with big takedowns and huge punches and knees. Unfortunately his loss to Igor Vovchanchyn in their rematch after the first fight was ruled a no contest due to illegal strikes (from Igor), started a downturn in his performances and his star faded. Despite winning only twice in his last 12 fights, he remains a legend of the sport.
10: Jens “L’il Evil” Pulver:
A pioneer of the sport at the lower end of the weight divisions. The first ever UFC lightweight champion. In his hey-day he knocked people out for fun and there was evil intent in the strikes he was throwing. Maybe he has continued to fight that little bit too long, as shown by the recent string of back-to-back losses on his record. Regardless of this, you cannot take his achievements away from him. A legit graduate from the school of hard knocks and a great fighter.
L’il Evil completes my list!!
- The nearly men – you almost made the list guys, try harder next time!
- Jeff “the snowman” Monson: He looks like a snowman! A big, bald, heavily tattooed, anti-establishment Snowman, end of discussion 🙂
- “The Neo Samurai” Genki Sudo: Great fighter to watch, cool tattoo’s, awesome nickname
- Lyoto “the dragon” Machida: I’m a sucker for a bruce lee reference, he gets an honorable mention!
- Mirko “Cro Cop” Filopovic: He’s croatian and he used to be a policeman…geddit!!
- Ryan “Darth” Bader: No explanation needed, geeky but funny and a good name. Doesnt really suit the guys fighting style though, I haven’t seen him “force choke” anyone…..yet!