Nicknames have always played a part in giving sports stars their own unique identity. They help personalize the athletes for the fans and usually the nickname has some meaning to the star, whether it be appearance , personality or reputation . The likes of ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson, ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard, Michael ‘Air’ Jordan, Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson, William ‘The Fridge’ Perry, Brian ‘Wolverine’ Dawkins and Calvin ‘Megatron’ Johnson are all legends of their own sport whose nicknames are well known across the world. In MMA nicknames have become so iconic they have even replaced the fighters name altogether: ‘Shogun’ Rua , ‘Rampage’ Jackson and Mirko ‘Cro-Cop’.
Below is the list of the top 10 nicknames in the UFC today, taking into account the meaning and humour of the names.
#10 RON ‘THE CHOIRBOY’ STALLINGS
The American middleweight made his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 59 as a short notice replacement against Uriah Hall. Stallings (13-7-1) only had 7 days to prepare for that fight and although he lost, he followed it up by defeating Justin Jones in his next fight. Stallings usually spends his Sundays playing piano at his local church in Maryland and it’s how he earned the nickname ‘The Choirboy’. He is expected to face Roe Riggs on September 5th at UFC 191.
#9 ANDERSON ‘THE SPIDER’ SILVA
Silva’s nickname came about when he wore a Spiderman t-shirt before a fight and the announcer labelled him ‘Brazil’s Spiderman’. Silva (33-6-1) is also a huge comic book heroes fan. Many say he gets ‘The Spider’ from his long arms and legs, his ability to wait and prey on his opponents and then attack at speed. Silva recently tested positive for a banned substance, blaming a sexual enhancement supplement he took. He was banned for one year and fined $380,000. Expect to see him back in action in early 2016.
#8 ’12 GAUGE’ PAIGE VANZANT
The no.7 ranked Straw-weight fighter is currently 2-0 in the UFC after wins against Felice Herrig and Kaillin Curran, a fight which earned her a ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus. He father nicknamed her ’12 Gauge’ because of VanZant’s love of shooting and hunting. VanZant fights Australian Alex Chambers on September 5th at UFC 191.
#7 ‘ROWDY’ RONDA ROUSEY
The most dominant female athlete in the world was given ‘Rowdy’ by her friends. She seeked approval from the late ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper before using the nickname and recently dedicated her title defense against Bethe Correia to Piper who passed away in July. Rousey is 12-0 in her career with an impressive 11 first round finishes and her armbar submission is considered the deadliest in MMA. Not only is Rousey an undefeated champion, she also has starred in the films The Expendables 3, Furious 7 and Entourage.
#6 DEMETRIOUS ‘MIGHTY MOUSE’ JOHNSON
Johnson was nicknamed ‘Mighty Mouse’ after the cartoon superhero. He has likened himself to the superhero because whoever he is up against he brings the fight, the shape of his ears and the structure of his body (Johnson is 5′ 3” tall). Currently ranked as the no.3 pound for pound fighter, Johnson will defend his belt against John ‘The Magician’ Dodson on September 5th at UFC 191.
#5 QUINTON ‘RAMPAGE’ JACKSON
The most iconic nickname on the list, ‘Rampage’ got the name from his cousin for his temper when he was younger and how he always played the 80’s arcade classic Rampage. The former UFC light heavyweight champion recently returned to the UFC defeating Fabio Maldonaldo at UFC 186. Rampage is also known for his role as B.A Baracus in the film The A- Team.
#4 TAKANORI ‘THE FIREBALL KID’ GOMI
The Japanese fighter earned his nickname ‘The Fireball Kid’ during his prime years where he would be involved in thunderous slugfests which made him one of the most popular MMA fighters around. Gomi (35-11-1) last fought on the Dillashaw vs Barao 2 under card in July and was defeated by Joe Lauzon.
#3 ‘THE KOREAN ZOMBIE’ CHAN SUNG JUNG
Chan Sung Jung aka ‘The Korean Zombie’ got his nickname for fighting style. His ability to move forward and fight aggressively no matter what shape he is in had fans liken him to a zombie. His last fight was against Jose Aldo for the featherweight title in 2013 at UFC 163. In 2014 it was reported ‘The Korean Zombie’ had enlisted to fulfill his mandatory military service required by South Korean males.
#2 IAN ‘UNCLE CREEPY’ MCCALL
McCall’s nickname comes in as one of the more stranger nicknames on the list. He got his nickname after one of his friends sons, while trying to teach him to skateboard, randomly called him ‘Uncle Creepy’ and it stuck as everyone heard. McCall is currently 2-3-1 in the UFC and was meant to fight Dustin Ortiz back in UFC Fight Night 73, but pulled out due to injury.
#1 ANDRE ‘TOUCHY’ FILI
Coming in at No.1 is the featherweight fighting out of Team Alpha Male, Andre ‘Touchy’ Fili. The nickname was given to him by UFC host and reporter Megan Olivi who is girlfriend of Joseph Benavidez(Fili’s teammate). ‘Touchy’ Fili (14-3) was expected to fight Clay Collard on September 5th at UFC 191 but was forced out of the fight due to injury.
Honourable mentions : Ryan ‘Darth’ Bader , Rick ‘The Horror’ Story, Paddy ‘The Hooligan’ Holohan, Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva, Dong Hyun ‘Stun Gun’ Kim.
Disagree with the picks? Come have your say on your Top 10 nicknames at forum.mmalatestnews.com
Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz in the works for UFC 223
UFC 223 looks to add a variety of intriguing bouts. With Paul Felder vs. Al Iaquinta reportedly set for the unannounced UFC 223 card, the promotion looks to add a high stakes female flyweight match-up. According to MMANYTT.com, sources confirmed a bout between Felice Herrig and Karolina Kowalkiewicz, is in the works for the pay-per-view card.
Assuming the match-up does come to be, both women have much to gain from a victory. For Herrig, she currently sits on a four-fight win streak. A streak in which the strawweight contender defeated Kailin Curran, Alexa Grasso, Justine Kish, and Cortney Casey. The MMA veteran, Herrig, began fighting professionally in 2009. As of late, her issues with the marketing machine that is the UFC have intensified.
After demonstrating her technical prowess over Justine Kish at UFC Fight Night 122: Chiesa vs. Lee, Herrig put her emotions on display. She stated at the post-fight media scrum, “Sometimes, I feel like, I’m not young and beautiful enough for the UFC to want to promote me. And it’s sad because I’ve really worked so hard to be here and it’s hard to see these people who’ve not been through what I’ve been through. Who just got into the UFC at the right time. They’re getting all these opportunities and I see how hard I work to get here and it’s just like, it doesn’t matter. I just feel like, ‘I’m not pretty enough and I’m not getting any younger'”.
A frustrated Felice Herrig then spoke to MMAJunkie.com in December. She claimed, “Aside from (former UFC women’s strawweight champ) Joanna (Jedrzejczyk), I’m the only strawweight who’s gone on a four-fight winning streak. That’s a fact. At this point, I want to fight someone in the top 10. It doesn’t really make sense for me to keep fighting girls that are ranked below me. That’s the whole point. If I want to keep working my way up. I fight the most dangerous girls outside the top 10”. The #9 ranked women’s flyweight has a point. In her UFC career, she recorded one loss in six appearances. Yet, she has one co-main event booking, while fighters like Michelle Waterson, booked the main event in her second UFC bout. In Waterson’s third bout, she received a co-main event scheduling. Understandably, Felice Herrig is upset with her situation.
Later in her interview, Herrig brought up Kowalkiewicz as a potential next opponent. “For whatever reason, I really want to fight Karolina. I just think that would be an exciting fight… Stylistically, I really like that fight. She’s ranked above (me), and it may be a good gauge for me,” she stated. Right now, it looks like Herrig is close to getting what she wants.
Kowalkiewicz last fought in her native country of Poland on the UFC Fight Pass card, UFC Fight Night 118: Cowboy vs. Till, in October. The Polish star defeated Jody Esquibel, after losing consecutive contests to former UFC female strawweight champion, Joanna Jedrzejcyk and Claudia Gadelha, respectively.
A win for either makes a good case for the next or an eventual title challenger. Kowalkiewicz holds a victory over current division champion, Rose Namajunas. While a win for Herrig would further establish her impressive win streak and undoubtedly give her the boost in the rankings she deserves.
Douglas Lima found out about change to co-main event at Bellator 192 from the internet
Bellator 192 fight card has gone through a shake-up over the past week. Bellator president Scott Coker revealed last week that the scheduled welterweight title fight between Rory MacDonald and champion Douglas Lima will now be serving as the co-main event and the heavyweight matchup between Chael Sonnen and Rampage Jackson would instead take top billing. At the time no explanation was made for the change. Monday Douglas Lima was a guest on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani to discuss this change.
“I was little bummed, but it is what it is, it’s business you know. I was pretty excited you know? Being the main event, having Rampage fight as the co-main event, I was happy there. Then I was bummed out that they changed it back to the co-main event. It’s not going to change a thing for me, I’m just focusing on the fight.”
Lima has been notoriously looked over in the eyes of fight fans. A longtime member of Bellator and a two-time champion has not gotten the notice he deserves and hopes to get.
“I found out through the internet, nobody tells me anything, I didn’t know. the same thing happened in New York, I thought my fight would be before the two main events there, but it ended up being the first fight of the night on Pay-Per-View. Hopefully, it doesn’t take anything away from the fight, you know spotlight and stuff.”
Lima is looking to make all the naysayers take notice at Bellator 192 that takes place at The Forum in Inglewood, Califonia on January 20th.
“This is the fight I’ve been waiting for for a long time. To get my name out there, to get people to know who I am. I’ve been delivering a lot of good fights, fights fans like to watch but no attention yet. I’m hoping though that after a win over Rory this week it will really put my name out there and show all these welterweights out there that I am for real.”
Al Iaquinta vs. Paul Felder rescheduled for UFC 223 in April
MMA fans around the world wept in deep sorrow when Al Iaquinta withdrew from a bout scheduled for UFC 218 against Paul Felder. Weep no more, for Paul Felder faces Al Iaquinta at UFC 223. Rumblings behind the match-up, first reported by FloCombat.com, came Sunday night before MMAFighting.com confirmed the bout scheduled for unannounced pay-per-view card, later in the evening.
The original bout fell through due to a severe knee injury to Iaquinta. He spoke to BJ Penn Radio about the injury nearly a week before the December 2nd, PPV event in Detriot. The Long Island real estate agent claimed, “I tore my PCL and my MCL maybe three or four months ago… for me to really put in a full training camp and do what I need to do, I would’ve had to just focus on fighting and physical therapy… it was the kind of thing where all roads led to me not kind of taking a risk and fighting on December 2nd”.
Iaquinta went on to say, “I kind of accepted the fight, but I never signed a bout agreement… I was kind of told I had to give them an answer pretty quick. It was a fight I thought I really wanted. I thought it was a good stylistic match-up for me, so I accepted the fight, and then thinking about it over the course of a day, we realized it probably wasn’t a smart decision for my health, for everything”.
An outspoken lightweight, he is not the first of his kind. Al Iaquinta is no stranger to idly waiting on the sideline for the UFC to make a move. Contract disputes and other bad strokes of luck left the Serra-Longo with three octagon appearances since 2015. The feud between Iaquinta and the promotion comes as a surprise when looking at the credentials of the aforementioned fighter. With an octagon record of 8-2, he earned notoriety as one of the best lightweights in the world. During his time in the UFC, he defeated Kevin Lee, Ross Pearson, Joe Lauzon, Jorge Masvidal, and most recently Diego Sanchez.
His opponent, “The Irish Dragon”, Paul Felder, holds an impressive UFC record of his own. At 7-3, Felder defeated tough competition as well. His record notes wins over Daron Cruickshank, Jason Saggo, Stevie Ray, and Charles Oliveira. Even more impressive than his record, his knockout ratio. At this stage of his career, Felder knockouts 55% of his opponents (10 knockouts in 18 career pro bouts).
Like his opponent Iaquinta, Paul Felder has a separate career outside of fighting. As many should notice, Felder found a role as a color commentator with the promotion he fights for. Following the footsteps in a long line of fighters before him, Felder announced multiple events alongside another new addition to the UFC broadcast team, Brendan Fitzgerald.
PPV card, UFC 223 and its location are not official yet. Despite a lack of an announcement, the event takes place in Brooklyn, New York at the Barclays Centre, according to multiple reports. Currently, the card features no official bouts. Reports state Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (per Jim Edwards), and Evan Dunham vs. Mairbek Taisumov (per Farah Hannoun) are both in the works for UFC 223.
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