It’s finally here — the ultimate ranking of dogs owned by people associated with mixed martial arts. I pored over my three initial rankings posts and wrangled some top-notch MMA fans, writers and even a fighter, to provide their dog rankings. As always, there are bound to be some pups that got left out, but don’t worry/ There will probably be another edition of dog ratings.
Every dog that didn’t make the Top 15 should be honored. Actually, all dogs should be honored, they are great!
15. Lee Morrison’s bulldog, Otis: 19.5 points, highest rank — 4th
Andrew: LOOK AT OTIS! LOOK AT HIM! HE’S GREAT!
Katie: OMG IT’S SO TINY!!!
14. Justin Scoggins’ German Shepherd, Stoner: 19. points, highest rank — 3rd
Jonathan: Good name, solid size, a great replacement-level Good Dog. But Stoner really stands out for being the happiest German shepherd I’ve ever seen. Usually, these guys are one of the most serious breeds, but Stoner is all smiles 24/7. Whatever’s in the water at the Scoggins household, he is doing something right raising his dog (it’s weed).
Katie: Another happy car dog! And a cool name.
Chexoid: German shepherds are an extremely top-tier dog, and this guy is no exception. He looks ready to get stuff done. This is a dog you want to have your back.
13. Rashad Evans’ Romeo: 21.9 points, highest rank — 4th
View this post on Instagram
Romeo was acting sick at the house so I took him to the vet. Now he is at the vet's and he is all happy like nothing is wrong! I'm trying to explain to the vet why I brought him in and he is making me look like a liar. Let me find out he played sick to get out the house. Lol
Casey: My Main Man Suga gets his patented stank breath from many puppy kisses from His Main Dog. You can tell in photos how protective he is of his pup, like a mother to a child. Unconditional love puts this little guy on the list
Katie: I love how the dog is just laying on Rashad. I would be completely stuck and unable to move if that dog did that to me.
Jonathan: Another fine example of the maxim “good owner = good dog.” My favorite thing about photos of Romeo is how happy Rashad seems in them. That and how despite becoming a giant lumbering beast, Romeo somehow seems cuter than when he was a puppy. Misses out on the top three due to extreme, world-beating laziness, but his dedication to the art of lounging is itself impressive.
12. Ben Saunders’ Kioko: 22.5 points, highest rank — 2nd
Katie: Total mop dog, which makes him even cuter
Chexoid: I’m pretty sure Kioko is a black Labradoodle, which in my experience is one of the best pals you could possibly have. They are unfortunately hard to photograph because they absorb all light like a black hole. But he’s such a good birthday boy!
Becky: I love when little dogs look like old grandpas. Grumpy octogenarian is one of my favorite aesthetics.
11. Edson Barboza’s Mel: 25.5 points, highest rank — 6th
Casey: Dogs wearing clothing? Big positive for my list. Dogs wearing hoodies? Even better. This little guy looks like he could do about nothing, which is a stark contrast to the dynamic striking of his owner. I bet they both are constantly spinning in circles.
Katie: I really like this dog’s sexy poses and tolerance for outfits.
Andrew: Mel is quite the talent and is a real go-getter.
10. Joseph Benavidez’s Morkie, Benny: 27.5 points, highest rank — 4th
Casey: To paraphrase a quote, Joe-Jitsu’s dog is an eight that he presents as a 10, bringing the whole package down to a seven. I like his dog enough, but the owner makes him out to be more of an accessory than a friend.
Katie: I love Benny! And what a fun bathtub pic!
9. Jason Miller’s dachshund, Gator the Hot Dog dog: 27.5 points, highest rank — 2nd
Katie: Gator is awesome. What a sweet amd well-adjusted dog considering everything that has happened. Go Gator!
Becky: This dog is magical. From his name including the word dog to his onetime haircut resembling alligator skin, this dog is clearly down for anything. Not unlike his owner. But let’s not hold that against him, shall we?
Katie: Gorgeous dog with wonderful composure.
Jessica: It’s really hard to pick between all of Gustafsson’s amazing dogs. I just want to hug all of ’em.
7. Shayna Baszler’s Isis: 28.8 points, highest rank — 5th
Casey: Her doggy doesn’t have a care in the world; at least that’s what it looks like. A happy dog indicates a good owner, so good on Shayna for that. Big dogs aren’t my cup of tea, but there is no denying a good dog.
Jonathan: This dog’s smile is literally the exact opposite of his namesake, and, dare I say, I think it’s enough to take the name back.
Katie: I like big dogs and Isis seems like such a lover!
6. Cub Swanson’s Danger: 45 points, highest rank — 1st
Katie: Everything about this dog is great: super cute with a badass name that doesn’t seem to fit him at all.
Andrew: Danger is great! And I’m amazed this viral moment hasn’t shown up on Uproxx.
Becky: Seeing this dog on Instagram last year was one of the strongest experiences of dog envy I’ve ever had. Those ears! I’m a sucker for a good ear.
Casey: I have a bit of a personal beef with Cub (Don’t Bet On MMA), but there is no denying his dog owns. A little guy like Cub could have easily overcompensated on his canine choice, but the small and fluffy dog works for the man that has tattoos of palm trees on his hips.
5. Nik Lentz’s corgi, Tilly: 45.5 points, highest rank — 1st
Katie: Beautiful dog who sometimes makes funny faces (bonus!).
Chexoid: Last I heard, Nik Lentz only had one extremely good dog, but it appears that number has doubled. Laboon and Tilly are rambunctious and cuddly which is a recipe for some serious good dogs.
Casey: I still refuse to believe Nik Lentz a) exists and b) is a real name, but his Corgi is awesome.
4. Chan Sung Jung’s dog-gi: 49.6 points, highest rank — 2nd
Katie: I don’t think anything is cuter than this.
Jonathan: Now here’s a dog that really armbars above his weight. Faced with the seemingly insurmountable handicap of being 1) a tiny dog 2) wearing human clothes, this guy somehow pulls it off. Oh my lord, this is an adorable dog. Seeing this dog basically short-circuits my brain and now I can’t do anything but think about petting him (assuming it’s a him, info is scarce).
Casey: I have a bias toward small, useless dogs and Chan Sung Jung’s looks like it would fit those categories very nicely. I don’t know what melts me more, the dog in the baby carrier or the dog on the jiu-jitsu mat.
Chexoid: This dog has everything you need to compete at a high level in MMA dogness: Strong background in martial arts, a good look and attitude.
3. Andrei Arlovski’s pitbull, Maximus: 56.5 points, highest rank — 3rd
Casey: The standard bearer for all MMA doggie interactions, “The Pitbull” and his namesake pooch Maximus have been around since Big Timmy Sylvia was sipping froufrou drinks on Blind Date. I prefer when the MMA guy’s dog contrasts with the fighter’s persona, but these two pitbulls could not be any more alike.
Jonathan: Maximus is the quintessential blue-chip fighter dog. He excels in all areas equally, so it’s hard to find anything that really stands out. He’s got the look, he’s well-trained (that play dead!), and he spends time in the gym. He isn’t some flash-in-the-pan, either: Maximus has been putting up solid numbers for years.
Chexoid: I like this dog because he’s exactly as jacked as his owner. They probably run up mountains together, and Arlovski is about to fall but Maximus catches him at the last minute with his paw, and they give each other a curt nod of respect. I’m sorry, this one got away from me.
Katie: Andrei and Maximus look great together. So dapper and dashing. I love them.
2. Hector Lombard’s dog: 69 points, highest rank — 1st (4x)
Katie: This dog makes Hector look sweet and fantastic!
Becky: This dog looks fluffy and happy. What’s not to love?
Casey: They say in the fight industry “Styles Make Fights,” and Hector’s pooch could not be more different than its owner. The stoic, violent Lombard is a complete opposite from his lovable furry friend, and exposes a softer side to the Cuban judoka. Just look at the ruppy rog and tell me I’m wrong.
Chexoid: I’m not even a hundo percent sure this is a real animal. It’s too floofy, and happy, and good. An elite dog in every respect. He looks so happy, and he is probably that happy all the time. An absolutely top-shelf dog. Quite an impressive dog.
1. Julie Kedzie’s Bailey: 80.1 points, highest rank — 1st (3x)
Jonathan: IMO, Bailey is the true backbone of the Jackson/Winkeljohn powerhouse. Despite NSAC’s scandalous refusal to give Bailey a corner’s license, therefore leaving Mr. Jackson to get all the TV time, Baily is the true workdog of the operation. Whether it’s barking encouragement, holding mitts, keeping out intruders, or mopping up the mats, Bailey can do it all.
Katie: How can anyone not love Bailey? They can’t. It’s not possible.
Chexoid: This dog is just a good leader at the gym. This dog could coach on TUF, and spend the majority of the time either asleep or snuffling around the couch in the waiting room, and still be one of the top coaches in the show’s history.
Andrew: Anyone who follows Kedzie on social media is no doubt aware of Bailey. Thanks to the wonderful Daily Bailey posts, we get to see the best dogs around.
An endorsement from Gennady Golovkin is top-notch.