Dogs are the best, I will brook no argument to the contrary on this subject.
Mixed martial artists seem to agree, as the majority of fighters have fantastic dogs. With so many pooches in the mix, it’s tough to pick the best (And what is sports but an endeavor to find out who or what is the best at a particular thing?). Thankfully, my many years of both being a fan of MMA and a fan of dogs has allowed me a unique position to rank fighter dogs. Let it be known, though, that despite the numerical ratings assigned, all of these dogs are great and I want to be best friends with each and every one of them. The criteria is simple: there must be at least one sourceable picture of the dog and the athlete.
Before we get into the meat of the list, there are some honorable mentions, as a list is only as respectable as the entries it was forced to snub.
Hector “Sick Dawg” Ramirez
First of all, I would never celebrate a dog that is ill (Unless it has the proper licensing). Secondly, Ramirez is the wrong type of dawg entirely. Get healthy, become a real dog, and try harder next time, Hector.
Bas Rutten’s rabbit, Peanut Butter
If I was compiling a general list of rad pets owned by people involved in fighting, Rutten’s rabbit would make the cut. Unfortunately, bunnies don’t count for diddly-squirt in the fighter dog power rankings. Sorry, El Guapo.
Rugs, Lyoto Machida’s monkey pal
Again, loses points for not being an actual canine. However, holy cow, this is probably top three of my favorite MMA GIFs of all time. Wanna hug that monkey so bad. I am convinced world peace would be attained through strategic deployments of monkey hugs.
On to the actual rankings!
13. Alan Belcher’s tiny dog
Alan Belcher is a pretty cool dude (With one of the most hilari-bad tattoos in MMA history, which is saying something), and his tiny little dog is pretty great. This little pooch is a nice change of pace considering most fighters have big, hulking dogs with “pit” somewhere in the name of the breed.
12. Jason Miller’s dachshund, Gator the Hotdog Dog
Wiener dogs are pretty great, and frankly, the only reason Gator gets docked points is because of who his owner is. Miller’s a lunatic (And not in the good way), and should probably not be in charge of caring for himself, let alone another living creature. Stay safe out there, Gator! Also, at one point, I’m assuming Mayhem decided to dye Gator green and shave a scaly, diamond pattern into the poor little guy’s fur. Stop being a terrible human, Mayhem.
11. Chael Sonnen’s Mr. Danger Waffles
I’m a sucker for an intriguing name, and nothing really tops Mr. Danger Waffles. According to unrepentant liar, Chael Sonnen, the “danger” part comes from Chael’s concern regarding the dog’s ability to navigate stairs while he was a puppy. “Waffles” comes into play because the dog would steal waffles from the kitchen table. Combine the two concepts, and you have a great name for a pretty adorable dog.
10. Benson Henderson’s Akita
Bendo has a pretty snazzy pup, though maybe the advanced jiu-jitsu techniques can wait.
9. Ronda Rousey’s mastiff, Mochi
If you’ve seen the Metro PCS commercial, you’ve seen Mochi. An adorable, gigantic beast of a dog (Big dogs best dogs)
8. Julie Kedzie’s Bailey
Kedzie’s dog, Bailey, is the unofficial mascot of Team Jackson/Winklejohn, and it’s obvious why. Any poor sparring sessions can easily be assuaged by hugging that awesome dog.
7. Rashad Evans’ dog, Romeo
6. Andrei Arlovski’s pitbull, Maximus
Maximus, like Arlovski himself, is kind of the old guard when it comes to fighter dogs. He’s been around for a while, and maybe has been replaced in some people’s minds as being “too old”, but dang it, Maximus is still a good looking dog. Plus, he can do this fun trick.
5. Pat Barry and Rose Namajunas’ Mishka
Pat and Rose are one of my favorite MMA couples (Possible next power ranking I do?), and with the addition of a cute little puppy, things are only looking up for them.
4. Gabriel Gonzaga’s bulldog, Bruce
Gonzaga is a fun guy, and has taught me a lot through his vlogs. I wasn’t really aware of his bulldog until I started putting this list together, but Bruce quickly shot up the rankings and into my heart. After I’m done with Rashad’s dog, I’m going to spend so much time playing with Bruce’s jowl flaps because that’s the best thing.
3. Joe Lauzon’s American Staffordshire Terrier, Grip
“Creepy” Joe Lauzon is a fun fighter, and he’s got himself one swell AmStaff. I can only assume that Lauzon is slowly teaching Grip how to play Call of Duty, so it’s only a matter of time until pre-teens are cursing out a dog online.
2. Rener Gracie and Eve Torres’ mini Australian shepherd, Tioki
This cute little puppy is what set this list in motion. Holy cow, Tioki (Pronounced “Chokey” because geddit, Rener Gracie likes to choke people) is roughly nine thousand adorables, and it is hard to not just look at pictures of him all ding dang day. I wanna steal that dog, put him in a papoose, and carry him with me all day, everywhere I go. Tioki, please be my friend. Sadly, Tioki does lose out on the top spot because neither Rener or Eve are actual mixed martial artists, though they have close ties to MMA.
1. Alexander Gustafsson’s dog
I assume this handsome fellow’s name is something exceedingly Swedish, like Meatball, or BORK-BORK-BORK. Regardless of what he’s called, the Gustafdog is so very adorable, I would give him hugs forever.
So, how do you rate my rankings? To be honest, I had a hard time placing dogs in any kind of order, but I thought post that was just “HERE ARE DOGS I LIKE OKAY BYE” wouldn’t be as fun. At least now we can do the one, true, actual thing the internet was made for – debating the merits of dogs!