MMA Fighter Nicknames Are Boring, Here Are Some New Ones

As an avid MMA fan and long-time waver of the MMA-is-not-just-for-guidos-and-closeted-homosexual-rednecks flag, I have a complex relationship towards the fighter-nickname phenomenon.  Anything that makes MMA seem more like WWE is obviously problematic (at least from the standpoint of wanting it to be a real sport and not some weird sideshow), and I can see how every fighter having an alternate fake name like “The Rock” might play into that. That said, getting rid of them would be just be no fun, like shaving off your fu manchu for a job interview.  Thankfully, to my knowledge, no one’s arguing for that.  Nicknames have been around in boxing for hundreds, possibly thousands of years — longer than I care to do any research to verify, at least — and it’s one area in which people seem willing to embrace the idea that combat sports have just a little more in common with show business than basketball or football.  Nicknames are also necessary from a practical standpoint, given that every Brazilian guy’s first or last name is either Thiago or Silva.  This is fact.

As with everything, there’s a right way and a wrong way. Most people misunderstand that the point of a nickname is not to sound tough.  The point is to be memorable, to add to the character.  Of course, not all of them do that.  There are all kinds of nicknames.  There are the nicknames so synonymous that you barely remember they’re nicknames — Rampage Jackson, Mighty Mo, Kimbo, Cro Cop, Mayhem Miller — the fun and unique — Jens “Little Evil” Pulver, Tamdan “The Barncat” McCrory, Frank “Twinkle Toes” Trigg — the obvious faux-tough-sounding but still kind of cool — “Shogun” Rua, Diego “Nightmare” Sanchez — the pedestrian — The Iceman, The Phenom, The Natural, The Spider, The Prodigy — the why-are-there-so-many-guys-with-nicknames-about-looking-like-Jim-Carrey — Rich “Ace” Franklin (for Ace Ventura), Jacob “Christmas” Volkmann (for Lloyd Christmas in Dumb and Dumber) — and of course, lots of really stupid, ill-advised, or just uncreative ones.

Most common is the attempt to stretch too far for a rhyme, a pun, an alliteration, or a play on words. To wit: Mike “Quick” Swick, Jon “Bones” Jones, Matt “The Hammer” Hamill, Nate “Rock” Quarry…  Nothing wrong with them, they’re just boring.  If you can’t see why “The Barncat” is a ten times better nickname than “The Hammer”, just stop reading now. I don’t like you already.  In fact, you’re new nickname is “cocksnot.”

Some of them not only try too hard, they’re just confusing.  Take Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva.  Whoa, okay, settle down there, buddy, you don’t get to bring an axe into the cage.  Or how about Josh “The Dentist” Neer?  Problem is, dentists don’t really knock your teeth out, though I imagine that was the idea.  Should we be worried that watching one of your fights will be like pulling teeth?  Then there’s Kurt “Batman” Pellegrino, which is either really awesome or really stupid, I can’t decide which.  And of course, I can’t move on without mentioning the mother of all terrible nicknames, Sean “The Muscle Shark” Sherk.

First of all, what the f*ck is a muscle shark?  Would a shark be scarier if it had bigger muscles?  I tend to think it would just make the shark seem kind of pathetic, like a shark that’s all vain and insecure and more interested in working on his tan than in biting sea turtles in half.  “Muscle Shark Sherk” also doesn’t rhyme.  I guess it alliterates, sort of.  Really, all it says is “Hey, I’m muscular and my last name kinda sounds like ‘shark’.”  Well f*ck me, move over, Zorro.


The problem is, you can’t let guys name themselves.  As a wise character in a Tarantino movie once said, if you let people pick their own names, you get four guys fighting over who gets to be Mr. Black (or more accurately, three guys fighting over who gets to be “The Pitbull” {Andrei Arlovski, Thiago Alves, and Patricio Freire of Bellator, if you’re keeping score at home}).  Bottom line, not everyone gets to be “The Natural”.  (Like John “The Natural” Alessio and Randy “The Natural” Couture, who train at the same g*ddamned gym).  The world needs some new nicknames.  Conveniently, HERE THE F*CK THEY ARE.

Do not dispute me.

First, a couple quick ones for a couple fighters.


I’ve never seen a more Shrek-looking dude than Krzyzszzzsszztof Sozzcsskzzcynski.  Sidenote: Jesus Christ his name is hard to spell.  His alternate nickname could be “Consonants.”


Some people say Antonio Bigfoot Silva‘s greatest achievement was his win over Andrei Arlovski.  But I’m more impressed with the way he was able to travel back in time, make the natives of Easter Island worship him as a God, and carve thousands of stone blocks in the shape of his head.  Let’s see Junior Dos Santos try that.


And now, some more general ones.

NICKNAME: “The Snacks Murderer”

Looks like you picked a bad day to be a snack, son.

POSSIBLE CANDIDATES: Roy Nelson, Paul Buentello, Fedor, Ricco Rodriguez a few years ago, Frank Mir right after his car crash — pretty much anyone with a big fat gut like the one that covers your mom’s pussy.  It’s a shame that Roy “Big Country” already has one of the top-five best nicknames (up there with “Filthy” Tom Lawlor and The Barncat), because The Snacks Murderer would be pretty awesome too, dammit.

EXPLANATION: Look, every party needs at least one big, fat party animal.  It’s just science.  A Snacks Murderer sounds like a lovable rogue you’d root for and want to hang with; an axe murderer is just some crazy f*ck who kills people and sh*ts in the dishwasher.  Everybody loves a fat guy.  Buddha, Santa Claus, Dave Thomas, Dr. Phil — all fat f*cks.  Nothing would say  “lovable fat ass kicker” like The Snacks Murderer.

NICKNAME: “The Ibex”

POSSIBLE CANDIDATES: Anyone with really good balance, really.

EXPLANATION: Why do pitbulls and sharks and spiders get all the love?  Have you ever seen what Ibexes can do?  Ibexes roll so xxxtreme it makes Red Bull shoot out of my d*ck.  Sh*t, it even ends with an “X.”  Who wouldn’t want to be “The Ibex”?  You can’t take The Ibex down because his balance is too good.  Come fight time, The Ibex is gonna lead your punk ass up a cliff and then throw you off like some bitch-ass, no balance-having fox.  …Yeah. If you don’t like The Ibex, well then f*ck you.


NICKNAME: “The Rapist”

"Audible 15!"

POSSIBLE CANDIDATES: Nick Ring, Brock Lesnar.

EXPLANATION: I admit, this one’s more a devil’s advocate nickname than a nickname you’d want to have.  But point is, why does everyone have to be a killer or a murderer?  Wouldn’t it be scarier if you thought there was a chance the guy might rape you first?  You know Nick Ring would.

"There'ttth thomething wrong with my knee ligamentttthh. They're all looth."

Might as well own it, dude.  It’s either that or “The Lisp.”

NICKNAME: “Prison Sex.”


POSSIBLE CANDIDATES: War Machine.  Now that Jon Koppenhaver has legally changed his name to “War Machine,” if he adopted this nickname, he could be “War ‘Prison Sex’ Machine.”  It’s like eight nicknames in one.  It would be even better if he looked like Danny Trejo.

War 'Prison Sex' Machine. Terrifying.

NICKNAME: “Punchy”

POSSIBLE CANDIDATES: Marcus Davis, James Toney, Ricardo Mayorga, Chris Lytle — pretty much anyone who relies heavily on boxing, and/or talks like he’s punch drunk. *cough* Tito Ortiz *cough, cough*

EXPLANATION: I’ve had many friends try to talk me out of it since ’95, but I would argue any Pulp Fiction reference is a good thing, no matter how obscure.  Bar scene:

“You lookin’ at somethin, friend?”

“I’m not your friend, Palooka.”

“Come again?”

“Think you heard me just fine, Punchy.”

Okay fine, it’s not that good.  How about “The Knuckle Sandwich Artist?”  Come on, one of these guys has to have Subway on his resume.

NICKNAME: “Sucker Punch”

This gif is going to take forever to load, but it’s worth it because it’s awesome.

EXPLANATION: I think part of Paul Daley’s punishment for trying to hit Josh Koscheck after the bell a few weeks ago should be changing his nickname to Sucker Punch. Plus, it’s just the right mix of derisive and  menacing that you want in a nickname; something that started as a knock on you that you have no choice but to own and make your own.  In fact, maybe we should save it for someone who’s less of an A-hole.

NICKNAME: “C*ntpuncher

EXPLANATION: Self explanatory.

POSSIBLE CANDIDATES:  Anyone.  Anyone in the world.


EXPLANATION: Briefly, my policy on Patton Oswalt references is similar to my policy on Pulp Fiction references (the bit in question is about 4:30 into this, but it’s not that relevant).

POSSIBLE CANDIDATES: The perfect candidate for this would’ve been Andrei Arlovski before he started shaving his chest hair.  Basically, “F*cksquatch” would be a big hairy dude who would f*ck you up, or f*ck you.  Either way, pretty scary — roughly the same impact as “The Rapist”, but more vivid.  In general, there aren’t enough super hairy guys in MMA.  And look at what happened to Arlovski.  With chest hair, he was practically invincible.

Then he shaved it off.

Apparently, the chest hair was the key to his power, like Samson.  And just like Samson, I bet he shaved it for some bitch, too.  Where was I?  Oh right.  F*cksquatch.  Think about it.

Anyway.  That’s what I got.  How say you? Quick, before another person names himself “The Pitbull.”

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