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
Tom Gallicchio on UFC Release “It’s Been a Dream of Mine to Fight in KSW”
MMA Latest spoke to TUF 22 and 25 season competitor Tom Gallicchio about being cut from the UFC, and potential promotions that he could sign for in the future.
Gallicchio (19-10) signed for the UFC after reaching the semi-finals of The Ultimate Fighter: Season 25. Losing to James Krause in his debut, “Da Tank” was informed earlier this month that the UFC had parted ways with him.
Q: Before we jump into the whole free agency stuff, talk me through how the UFC broke the news that they were going to release you?
I thought I was going to have another fight, this time at lightweight. I got a letter dated July 7th, saying they were going to keep me, I received it in September. I was getting emails to update my USADA, I never got a cut letter and I got tested by USADA on October 24th. I was hoping to fight sometime in January or February, then they broke the news to me that they need to make a room for new talent.
Q: You made your UFC debut against James Krause in July, then 4 months down the line, they cut you. How surprised were you at this somewhat out of the blue decision?
I’m thankful for my opportunity in the UFC and the fact that they gave me another shot, but it was definitely surprising how it happened. They released a newsletter in September welcoming Jesse (Taylor) Dhiego (Lima) and myself into the UFC, all signs pointed towards another fight. Hearing that I was cut was just heartbreaking.
Q: Have any talks started with a new promotion. I saw you name a few on Twitter, the likes of Bellator, BAMMA, KSW and ACB. Who do you see yourself signing for?
I would love to compete in any of those! A couple of them hit me up, one of which I am very happy to talk with. Since they came out, It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW. They’re taking care of their fighters, I would love to fight for them. I want to travel, I want to see the world, I want to fight. I’ve got a lot of fans overseas and I want to give them a show.
It’s been a dream of mine to fight in KSW.
— Tom Gallicchio (@TomGallicchio) November 15, 2017
Q: Your long time friend Jesse Taylor was victorious in the TUF 25 Finale, but he has since accepted a 1-year ban for failing a USADA test. What is your take on this given how close you two are?
I know Jesse is not a juicer, I’ve known him ever since I came down to (Team) Quest. It’s probably come from some supplement that he’s taking, it sucks for him. I think he went into a little bit of panic mode, he could have done a better job of handling it.
— Tom Gallicchio (@TomGallicchio) November 16, 2017
I don’t take supplements, if there was a way, I’d still keep myself in the USADA pool just because I believe in a clean sport. I think it’s important we keep the sport clean and if we’re cleaning up the supplement companies then good, because no one else is.
Where would you look to see Tom fight next? Let us know below!
2017 IMMAF World Championships: Finals fixtures
After 4 days of non stop action from Monday to Thursday we have our final 14 bouts to determine the 2017 IMMAF World Champions. Most of these fighters have fought four times for their slot in the final and tomorrow will be their chance to finish off what has been a fantastic week of fights.
Kicking off the action tomorrow will be Michele Oliveira vs. Danni Neilan. Both women have looked extremely impressive in their bouts so far, Oliveira has spent less time in the cage than her opponent after finishing two of her fights. Neilan is the Irish teams last chance of a gold in this competition and comes into this after a war of a last fight. She is constantly pressuring and has solid striking with incredible ground and pound from any position on top.
Joel Aronlainen came down to featherweight after testing the water at lightweight in the European Championships. His lanky build and impressive overall skill set has seen him pick up 3 finishes in the competition so far. His opponent Delyan Georgiev is undefeated and will be a tough challenge for him. Georgiev has dominated the featherweight division at amateur, his gold medal at the European Championships could now lead to him becoming a world champion if he continues to perform like we’re used to seeing him do.
At 155lbs, Vitali Andruhovich will take on top American prospect Quintin Thomas for the gold. Andruhovich has been on the right side of two very close split decisions in this tournament so far. His controversial win over Irishman Ciaran Clarke had many people scratching their heads at the decision. He now has the chance to prove himself with a win against Quintin Thomas. Thomas is the UMMAF National Champion and a very experienced amateur fighter. Racking up 13 wins he has been a dominant fighter in most of his fights, his sole losses coming from sustaining an injury and a split decision loss.
For the Middleweight medal we have a battle of the Nordic fighters. Iceland’s Bjorn Lukas Haraldsson has looked phenomenal in his fights so far, finishing each and everyone inside a round. The Mjolnir fighter has been to many the highlight of the tournament, but has a tough task a head of him in Laallam who’s had half the number of fights in this tournament and looked impressive in both.
Bahrain’s last hope for a medal lies in the hand of Light Heavyweight finisher Murtaza Talha Ali. Ali has finished all four of his bouts so far, 3 via TKO/KO and his last being by way of submission. Standing in his way of gold will be Pavel Pahomenko from Belarus who’s proven to be lethal with submissions once an opportunity arises scoring two submission wins inside the first round.
Here is the full fixture list for the finals tomorrow:
- Michele Oliveira vs. Danni Neilan 125 lbs
- Anna Astvik vs. Hannah Dawson 115 lbs
- Chamia Chabbi vs. Manon Fiorot 135 lbs
- C. McCrudden vs. Fabiana Giampà 145 lbs
- Gase Sanita vs. Kaycee Blake 155 lbs
- Yernaz Mussabek vs. Serdar Atlas 125 lbs
- Gamzat Magomedov vs. O. Moldagaliyev 135 lbs
- Joel Arolainen vs. Delyan Georgiev 145 lbs
- V. Andruhovich vs. Quitin Thomas 155 lbs
- Sola Axel vs. Benjamin Bennett 170 lbs
- B. Haraldsson vs. Khaled Laallam 185 lbs
- Pavel Pahomenko vs. Murtaza Talha Ali 205 lbs
- Irman Smajic vs. Lev Vins 265 lbs
- Atanas Krastanov vs. Marcin Kalata 300 lbs
Why It’s Time to Cherish Michael Bisping and Stop the Hate
Ever since the Ultimate Fighter 3, Michael ‘The Count’ Bisping has been one of the most hated fighters on the UFC roster. Since he was painted as the big bad Brit against the American hero Dan Henderson, Bisping has been the villain. He has played up to the reputation of being one of the biggest heels in the UFC, with his arrogance, trash talk and often disrespectful attitude.
But nothing has summed up Michael Bisping more than the events of this past week. After losing his Middleweight Championship to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 217, no one would blame Bisping for wanting a few months on the couch whilst sinking a few beers before retiring at UFC London in March.
After hearing that Anderson Silva had tested positive for a banned substance, it was announced that Bisping would fill in for Silva to face Kelvin Gastelum in the main event of UFC Shanghai. A fight that nobody else would have wanted. A fight that he has less than three weeks to prepare for.
The fight does nothing for Bisping. Gastelum is a rising, rejuvenated contender and Bisping knows he can not take him lightly. But he’s also seven places below him in the rankings. Although, this doesn’t matter anymore as Bisping has announced this will be his second to last fight ever before hanging up his gloves.
Nothing sums Bisping up better than his comment on Gastelum’s Instagram post “See you in China. Loser buys the beers”.
He sounds relaxed. Perhaps he’s enjoying his last two fights and is at peace with his impending retirement.
In an era all about money, fighters like Bisping are rare and hard to come by. Fighters that only care about one thing, fighting.
Sure, his title reign wasn’t the best. But the UFC offered him the Henderson fight, to bring back some feeling of nostalgia that has been missing in the modern times of the UFC. And who in their right mind wouldn’t want to face one of the greatest ever in GSP.
It’s easy to forget amongst all the trash talk that Bisping has always played by the rules, and been anti PEDs during a time when a majority of the roster was using some form of performance enhancers. Fighting PED users has given Bisping most of his losses and has even led to him losing sight in one of his eyes.
Most of Bisping’s outrageous acts, have been him using a ‘pro wrestling’ act in order to hype up his fights and put bums in seats. That isn’t an excuse for some of his obnoxious behaviour. But when he’s not in the zone, it’s clear to see what a respectful and humble man he is. Like his moment after UFC 217, where he approached Cody Garbrandt to tell him how proud he was of him, or his post fight respect for Anderson Silva, where they both bowed on their knees to one another.
The truth is, Bisping is an incredible ambassador of the sport and one of the pioneers across the pond.
Bisping should be remembered and appreciated as the workhorse warrior who brought absolutely everything he had to the cage every time he fought. He always comes to fight, whether it’s three weeks notice or more. He’s simply tough as hell.
Believe you me Michael Bisping is a true old school legend of this sport and should be cherished whilst we still have him, cause we will miss him when he’s gone.
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