The Ten Most Ironic Nicknames in MMA
For reasons we will never truly understand, a lot of emphasis seems to be placed on the monikers designated to a given fighter. For guys like Randy “The Natural” Couture, the nickname often represents an extension of a their personality, or an underlying philosophy that they bring into the cage. Guys like Renato “Babalu” Sobral, on the other hand, carry perhaps the most authentic nicknames of them all; names that, although holding little to no meaning in terms of the fight game, were bestowed upon the fighter as a child and simply stuck. And then there are guys like Justin “The Nsane1″ McCully, whose nicknames were most likely derived from an ill-fated, drunken AOL Instant Messenger conversation at 3 a.m. with the intent of finding something “fresh” and “intimidating” to bring to the table.
But even lower on the nickname totem pole than the Joe Lauzons and the Kendall Groves of the world are the guys whose nicknames completely clash with the public’s perception of who they truly are, their gameplan once they step into the ring, or simply their abilities as a fighter in general. So it is with that in mind that we present you with a brief rundown of the top ten fighters who are in desperate need of a name change if they want to continue to be taken seriously.
#10 - Sam “Hands of Stone” Stout
Not only does Stout have only one knockout to his credit in his 13-fight UFC career, he only has one finish in his UFC career. Granted, the KO he managed to pull off against Yves Edwards at UFC 131 was a freakin’ brilliant one, but you don’t see Chad Mendes calling himself “The Guillotine Machine” because he was able to pull it off once a couple years ago. Perhaps “Hands of Limestone” would be something a little more appropriate.
#9 - Matt “The Immortal” Brown
When your MMA record is just a notch above .500, it might be a little pretentious to refer to yourself as “Immortal.” Not even Superman was immortal, but he could sure as hell defend a guillotine choke when forced to do so. Not that we’re knocking Brown as a fighter, because like Stout, the guy always comes to throw down on fight night, and is one intimidating SOB to boot. Plus, as Jeremy May will surely tell you, pissing off Brown is not something you want to do if you enjoy having all of your teeth in their current location.
#8 - John “The Natural” Alessio
Besides the fact that the nickname already belongs to one of the godfathers of the sport, you shouldn’t be able to call yourself a natural anything when you’ve admitted to steroid use in the past.
#7 - Tito “The People’s Champ” Ortiz
You haven’t held a title in ten years, and you gave yourself a nickname that was both stolen from a professional wrestler and contradicts the heel role you have built your name on for the past fifteen or so years. For shame, Tito. For shame.
#6 - Joe “The Baddest Man on the Planet” Warren
Now, this technically isn’t Warren’s nickname, as it isn’t listed on his fighter profile, but Warren has referred to himself as such on several occasions, and has paid dearly in karma points as a result.
#5 - Eric “Butterbean” Esch
It’s actually pretty fitting that Eric Esch is named after a food. I know Eric “Double Bacon Cheese Thickburger” Esch doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, but can you at least name yourself after a food you actually eat?
#4 - Tom “Kong” Watson
If being a 6’1” middleweight makes you comparable to King Kong, then I’m going to start calling myself “Six Cthulhus and a Charizard.”
#3 - Quinton “Rampage” Jackson
We’ll let the evidence speak for itself on this one.
#2 - Scott “Lionheart” Blevins
In 1990, Jean Claude Van Damme starred in arguably the greatest underground street fighting movie ever made, Lionheart. In it, he fought dudes three to four times his size in abandoned swimming pools, filthy underpasses, and parking garages surrounded by Cadillacs. Twenty years later, an accused child molester by the name of Scott Blevins compiled an 0-17 record, including at least four submissions to punches and a 37 second submission to elbows. Not one of his pathetic excuses for a fight lasted beyond the 2:10 mark of round 1, yet he somehow had the intestinal fortitude to imply that he not only had a heart, but one the size of an in-his-prime JCVD. Or a lion. In either case, he was dead wrong, and we would suggest he chooses a nickname more in the vein of Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall. Then again, considering what he had to do to get out of jail, perhaps Scott “The Snitch” Blevins would be a little more telling.
#1 - Bob “The Beast” Sapp
Only in America can a man on a nine fight losing streak (and that’s just in MMA) still claim to be a “beast.” We’re talking about a man who has openly admitted to throwing his fights, who has submitted to a takedown, and who has given up so many times that his name has been equated to surrender itself. The ONLY thing that Sapp could ever claim to be a beast at would be the consumption of hot dogs and candied yams that are stocked in his dressing room before each fight to fulfill his contractual demands. Considering how many promoters he has swindled out of money over the years (and continues to), a nickname along the lines of “The Snake Oil Salesman” would be much more fitting for a worthless tub of crap like Sapp. Actually, Bob “Tub of Crap” Sapp has a nice ring to it now that we think about it.
But maybe we’re rushing to judgement on Sapp; he made it all the way to the second round of his last fight, and even attempted a submission of his own before inevitably getting TKO’d. That may not be all the impressive to the average MMA fan, but as Dr. Leo Marvin once wrote in his groundbreaking novel, Baby Steps, “Set small, reasonable goals for yourself, one day at a time. One tiny step at a time.” On this front, Sapp has succeeded for the time being.