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
UFC Announces Liverpool Event, Darren Till Main Event
Scousers are drowning in celebration this evening. Earlier today, UFC officials announced the addition of a Liverpool show to their 2018 event calendar. Liverpool’s, Echo Arena, plays host for the event, which takes place on May 27th.
Liverpool’s own, Darren Till made the announcement this afternoon with Dan Hardy at the UFC Fight Night: Werdum vs. Volkov, ceremonial weigh-in. When asked by Hardy what it means to have the UFC in Liverpool, he had this to day, “Words can’t describe it. It doesn’t do it justice, words. So, it’s coming and I’m going to be the first Scousers to ever have done it. In 200 years they’re going to remember my name in combat sports in Liverpool. I’m gonna take someones chin off in Liverpool, that’s what’s happening”.
He was also quoted in an release from the promotion saying, “I can’t believe UFC is finally coming to Liverpool and I’m going to be headlining Echo Arena. My name is going to be remembered in 200 years time for being part of this historical event and I can’t even describe how much that means to me”. Till will headline the card, his opponent is yet to be announced.
In the official release, it quotes David Shaw, Senior Vice President International and Content, claiming, “The stars really aligned for the Octagon to touch down in Liverpool. We have seen such phenomenal demand from fans in the region for a live event. Pair that with having such a rising, local star in Darren Till it made absolute sense to bring our first live event to this historical combat sports city in 2018”.
UFC Liverpool lands on a date speculated for a different venue, in a different country. Reports swirled last month, specifically one from MMAFighting.com, which claimed the May 27th date belonged to the UFCs return to Dublin. A return to Dublin doesn’t seem to fall completely out of the realm of possibility. For now, it remains to be seen.
The UFC also announced two bouts, both in the Middleweight division, booked for the event. Elias Therodorou takes on Trevor Smith, and Daniel Kelly goes up against England’s Tom Breese.
Marco Reyes Flagged for Potential Anti-Doping Policy Violation
Earlier today, UFC officials announced that Lightweight, Marco Reyes was flagged for a potential UFC Anti-Doping Policy violation. The potential violation hails from a sample collected on March 8th, 2018, in an out-of-competition test.
Reyes made his way into the UFC through The Ultimate Fighter Latin America, season 2. Competing in the lightweight bracket, Reyes defeated Christhian Soto by 2nd rd. TKO of a preliminary round bout. He then went onto to face Horacio Gutiérrez, in the semifinals of the tournament. Gutiérrez defeated Reyes in the opening round by TKO.
Following his elimination from the tournament, the Mexican fighter met Cezar Arzamendia on the series finale, The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 2 Finale. Reyes impressively defeated Arzamendia, whom was the first overall pick for Team Gastelum, by 1st round KO.
From there, Reyes defeated Dong Hung Kim (rd. 1, KO), and Jason Novelli (Split Decision) respectively, before falling to rising contender James Vick. Most recently, the Lightweight fighter dispatched Matt Frevola in the opening round, ruining the Long Islanders promotional debut. His bout against Frevola took place at UFC Fight Night: Stephens vs. Choi, on January 14th of this year.
The UFC statement on the matter reads as follows:
The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Marco Reyes of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collected on March 8, 2018.
USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case involving Reyes. Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full and fair legal process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.
Dillon Danis to make Pro debut against Kyle Walker at Bellator 198
Mixed Martial Arts officially adopted another incredibly talented jiu-jitsu practioner today. Bellator officials announced today the long-awaited debut of Dillon Danis, whom the promotion had signed in the year previous. After zero amateur and countless jiu-jitsu matches, Danis makes his debut at Bellator 198: Mir vs. Emelianenko, against Kyle Walker.
Kyle Walker enters the match up also making his Bellator debut. Walker recently made a resurgence in 2016 after taking off, almost exactly, 3 years. Since returning to the professional scene his record is 0-3, losing each fight by stoppage (2 Sub, 1 KO).
Walker looks to snap his streak yet, his opponent could provide a major challenge. In terms of advantages for Walker, he has a massive and obvious one. His experience. Walkers opponent fights for the first time in the sport of MMA. While Danis competed in many top-level jiu-jitsu tournaments and matches, comparing the competition would stop and end upon examining the rule sets. It is quite obvious, the difference. Danis will have a bit of adversity to overcome, in that respect.
In spite of this, Danis’ team, he trains out of the highly regarded SBG Ireland. Even before his MMA training, he trained under Marcelo Garcia. He earned his black belt in April of 2015, following an incredible 2014. In that year, Danis became UAEJJF World Champion, winning gold in the 82 kg (181 lb.) Brown belt category.
The prospect of what that could look like inside the cage is exciting. He may have developed some striking techniques but, the lack of time dedicated to that training in undeniable. Experience and time is required to develop skills of any kind.
Bellator 198: Mir vs. Emelianenko, takes place on Saturday, April 28th from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. Bellator 198 features the third of four preliminary bouts in the promotions Heavyweight Grand Prix, Fedor Emelianenko takes on Frank Mir. It serves as the nights main event. Other bouts on the card feature; Emmanuel Sanchez against Sam Sicilia, Neiman Gracie faces Javier Torres, Rafael Lavato Jr. vs. John Salter, and more.
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