The Best and Worst Nicknames in MMA

Sunday, April 24th, 2011 by Tony Reid

The Best:

This can be a very subjective topic and defining the “best” of anything can mean a number of different things to different people. The best could mean the nickname is such a good fit that it takes on a life of its own and you only know the fighter by that nickname and nearly forget his government name. It could mean that it personifies and represents the fighter well. Or it could just be flat out cool. Bottom line, to be a truly top of the line nickname it has to personify the fighter inside or outside the cage and have some legitimacy behind it on different levels.

“The Smashing Machine” Mark Kerr-Does it get any more badass than being a smashing machine? Especially if, at the time the name was given, it was completely true? If for some strange reason you have yet to see the documentary by the same name, do yourself a favor and go watch it right now…Seriously, stop reading this and go get the movie!

“The Irish Hand Grenade” Marcus Davis-How could his nickname be any more fitting? It sounds really cool, he’s a proud Irishman and his hands are pretty much made from explosive devices. It works!

Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic-You know a nickname is good when it replaces part or all of your real name. When is the last time you heard Filipovic when someone is referring to Mirko? Again, it is a true representation of Mirko. He was indeed a Croatian Police Officer and the name just works as he is very stern and all business inside the ring or cage.

Roy “Big Country” Nelson-He’s definitely big and he’s definitely a “country boy”….In Las Vegas… Enough said.

Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell- Again, another great example of a nickname personifying a guy. Is there a better way to describe his demeanor leading up to and during a fight than “having ice water in his veins” or being “as cold as ice” or any other reference to frozen water?

Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva– Backed by his performances in the rings and cages all around the world, he truly exemplifies this nickname.  His style is consistent with that of a serial killer or psychopath and what that type of person might do when given the opportunity to face another human being locked in a cage. I mean this in the most positive way possible and as the highest compliment I could give Wand.

The Worst:

Just like the best, the worst can be just as subjective. Is the name so dreadfully bad because it just doesn’t fit the guy? Is it bad because the name just doesn’t make sense? Is it bad because years after it was given that it might even take on a different meaning than originally intended?

Jeremy “Lil Heathen” Stephens- This sounds like a nickname your grandmother would give you. Why not just go with “The Nasty Whippersnapper” or “Lil’ Son of a Gun” while you’re at it?

“The Barn Cat” Tamdan McCrory- I would assume this refers to a cat that lives or hangs around a barn. My second assumption is that this animal would not be much more vicious than your average house cat. I know Tamdan is a unique cat himself but I know with his imagination and personality that he can do better than this for a moniker.

Sean “The Muscle Shark” Sherk– I get the muscle part and I even, though it’s a stretch, get the shark thing but together it just sounds really odd. Some might like this name but I think we can do better for Sherk.

Gabe “Godzilla” Ruediger– I fail to see that how Gabe Ruediger resembles Godzilla in any way, shape or form. A guy that is 5’8” and fights at 155lbs, that isn’t even in the top 50 of his weight class on a good day, being compared to Godzilla is a stretch to say the least.

“Suga” Rashad Evans– Mike Van Arsdale coined this moniker in reference to Rashad’s standup skills and in homage to Sugar Ray Leonard. But sugar might not be the most bad ass nickname ever. Rashad is a fan of hip hop, so I’m sure we could come up with something much more dope from the likes of Immortal Technique, Pharoahe Monch or KRS-1. Can’t we steal something from a line from one of their tracks instead of stealing the name of Ray Leonard?

Nick “The Promise” Ring– This guy seemed a little too feminine during his appearance on TUF. And now after hearing his nickname it just solidifies my opinion of him.

Joe “Daddy” Stevenson– You have kids and you are a great dad to them. That’s awesome but it might not make for the best nickname ever. Basically everyone in the sport is a daddy. It’s kind of like having the nickname of “Man” or “Brother”…although I guess it’s better than being “Step Daddy”.

This list could go on and on and I could include a seemingly endless number of much more obscure individuals like Joseph “The Ho Bag” Bochenek, Ulysses “Useless” Gomez, or Mike “The Math Librarian” Martelle but I tried to keep it as mainstream as possible. Feel free to add your .02 and give me your best and worst at