Battle of the Nickname: Who Gets to Keep it and Why

Friday, April 22nd, 2011 by Tony Reid

There are more instances of this than you may realize in the sport of MMA. Only one man is worthy of a nickname, it can not be shared with another fighter. It is a growing problem, bordering on an epidemic and there is only one way to resolve this growing issue. Take a look at the fighters’ body of work and bestow the nickname on the more deserving warrior. The other guy will be sent back to the drawing board, searching for a new moniker.

1. “The Hammer” Mark Coleman, Matt Hamill- The edge would have to go to the UFC Hall of Famer and “God Father of Ground and Pound” Mr. Mark Coleman. Not only was the he the UFC Heavyweight Champ but he also won the 2000 PRIDE Heavyweight Grand Prix Title, solidifying the choice here.

2. “The Pitbull” Andrei Arlovski, Thiago Alves- The Belarusian gets the nod on this one. He was the alpha male in the heavyweight division not so long ago. He held the UFC Heavy weight strap until his chin got exposed by “The Maine-iac” Tim Sylvia.

3. “Handsome” Bas Rutten, Matt Wiman- So I took some liberties on this one. “El Guapo” translated means handsome, so we are going with it. And this one is as much of a slam dunk as there could be. Bas takes this one by a landslide, make that two landslides. With the body of work he has left and the amount of knowledge and skills possessed by Bas as well as what he brings to the table in the commentating department he stands as a God among mere mortals. Matt Wiman is, well Matt Wiman.

4. “Assassin” Houston Alexander, Melvin Guillard-There can only be one assassin unless we find a compromise. Melvin can remain “The Young Assassin” and Houston can be “The Old Assassin”. Now we just need a middle aged assassin.

5. “Lights Out” Chris Lytle, James Toney- With all due respect for what James Toney has done in boxing, this one is a no contest. Lytle has made a career of Fight of the Night, Submission of the Night and every other “of the Night” award there is. Lytle also started his combat sports career in boxing and had a nice run in his own right. The same can not be said for Toney in the world of mixed martial arts.

6. “Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz, Leonard Garcia- One is the Huntington Beach version while the other is just generally a bad boy but Tito takes this one. He was once the face of not only the UFC, but possibly the entire sport of MMA. He had a stranglehold on the title at 205 until “The Natural” really started earning his nickname.

7. “The Spider” Anderson Silva, Kendall Grove- Both are tall, lanky, rangy and any other adjective that addresses the tall skinny dudes with long limbs. Anderson keeps the name here. He is undefeated inside the Octagon and has looked flat out untouchable on occasion. He is considered one of the top, if not the top, pound for pound fighter in the world and has had a death grip on the UFC Middleweight title since his second fight with the organization. Kendall Grove won the third season of TUF. Not exactly an even matchup here.

8. “Daddy” Joe Stevenson, Gary Goodridge- This is a draw. Goodridge was very impressive in the early UFC tournaments including an image that is still burned into my mind of him elbowing Paul Herrera into oblivion. Joe Daddy had a successful run on TUF in winning season two and even got a shot at the lightweight strap against BJ Penn. We will continue to have a “Daddy” and a “Big Daddy” even though this is one of the worst nicknames in the sport considering pretty much everyone competing in the sport is a daddy.

If I missed a few be sure to let me know at