We love trashtalkers in the sports world, even if we do not want to admit it. Truth be told, some of the greatest athletes that we have ever seen have been some of the best trashtalkers in the history of sports. Michael Jordan, for example, was known to talk trash to his opponents as he was dominating games and leading the Chicago Bulls to National Basketball Association championships. It is possible that we would not remember Muhammad Ali as we do today had Ali not talked trash to fighters such as Joe Frazier and proclaimed to the world that he was, as we know him to be, the greatest.
With all of that said, we have also liked to see trashtalkers get what we feel that they have deserved during certain competitions. Perhaps we just want to believe that karma is a real thing and that it comes back to bite those who are too bold with their claims. Maybe we were, during our younger days, victims of bullies or of trashtalkers, and thus watching such individuals be silenced gives us a sense of satisfaction. There are also sports fans who simply do not like trashtalkers and who like to see people who are humble and who do their talking on the field of play emerge victorious.
Probably the best cases of trashtalkers getting what they supposedly “deserved” have occurred in combat sports organizations such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The reason for this, of course, is that fighters literally get punched in the face during bouts, and some are even choked out to the state of being rendered unconscious. From November 2015 through early March 2016, we have seen multiple cases of fighters who are trashtalkers being humbled in front of international audiences. We hope they haven't learned their lessons, though, because we want the trash talk to keep coming out of their mouths.
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15 Muhammad Ali
Say what you will about the man known as “The Greatest.” Muhammad Ali got what he deserved when he first stepped into the ring to fight Joe Frazier following Ali's exile from boxing. Ali talked trash to Frazier multiple times leading up to the fight, going so far to refer to Frazier as an “Uncle Tom.” It was Frazier who won the day, however, as he was responsible for the first loss of Ali's professional career. Frazier knocked Ali down with a crunching left fist in the final round of the encounter, and Frazier went on to win the match by unanimous decision.
14 Rex Ryan
One could not blame you if you lost track of the amount of times that Rex Ryan guaranteed that the New York Jets would win the Super Bowl while he was the Gang Green head coach. Not only did the Jets fail to complete that mission. Ryan failed to lead the Jets to Super Sunday, as New York lost two AFC Championship Games during Ryan's tenure with the club. Salt was poured into that wound when the New York Giants won the Super Bowl in February 2012, making the Giants the first of the New York teams to win a championship following the opening of MetLife Stadium. Ouch.
13 Matt Hasselbeck
It is arguably the biggest case of “when trashtalking goes wrong” in the history of the NFL. Matt Hasselbeck was the quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks during the 2003 Wild Card Game against the Green Bay Packers when the contest went to overtime. Seattle won the coin toss, and Hasselbeck boldly proclaimed the following: “We want the ball, and we're gonna score!” Hasselbeck did throw a touchdown during the overtime period. He just threw it to the wrong team, as the Packers won the game via a pick-six that put Hasselbeck into the history books for a reason he would like to forget.
12 LeBron James
LeBron James guaranteed that he, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh would win “not 2, not 3, not 4 etc. etc.” championships while with the Miami Heat. James and company did manage to win back-to-back titles for the fans of South Beach, but the Heat also lost in the NBA Finals on two occasions. Any hope that the Heat would return to the NBA Finals for a fifth straight season disappeared when James announced in the summer of 2014 that he was leaving Miami to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. For what it is worth, James has not yet won a championship for what he lovingly refers to as “The Land.”
11 Chael Sonnen
Guys like Chael Sonnen are a must for any combat sport. Sonnen knows how to sell a fight against any opponent and he left no doubt about that when he told the wife of Anderson Silva to have a medium-rare steak ready for him after he defeated Silva. Unfortunately for Sonnen, he was not able to back those words up with his skills in the cage. Silva twice notched victories over Sonnen and Sonnen is now a MMA commentator for shows such as SportsCenter. The shame here is that Sonnen is a better promo than just about anybody working in pro wrestling. Sonnen may have missed his true calling.
10 Eric Bischoff
Remember when former World Championship Wrestling boss Eric Bischoff actually challenged World Wrestling Entertainment Chairman Vince McMahon to a real fight? McMahon, the smart businessman that he is, did not accept Bischoff's challenge. McMahon and the WWE instead beat Bischoff and WCW where it mattered most: In television ratings and in business. The WWE stood tall as the last company standing following the “Monday Night Wars,” as WCW closed its doors for good in March 2001. The final blow to Bischoff came when he accepted a job offer from none other than McMahon.
9 Bethe Correia
Bethe Correia talking trash to Ronda Rousey before their UFC 190 showdown was not wise. Correia mentioning that she hoped Rousey wouldn't kill herself after that fight was both dumb and classless considering that Rousey's father legitimately committed suicide years before Rousey was a household name. Rousey taught Correia quite the lesson inside of the cage, pummeling and then knocking out her over-matched opponent. Correia was not yet on her feet when Rousey looked toward the fallen fighter and sarcastically said: “Don't cry.” Even the biggest Rousey critic had to be satisfied with Correia receiving the beating that she deserved on that night.
8 Tom Brady
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady let out a chuckle during a press conference upon learning that New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress suggested that the New York defense would hold the New England offense to only 17 points at Super Bowl 42. Burress was wrong, as the Giants kept the Patriots to only 14 points before Eli Manning connected with Burress in the corner of the end zone for what would be the game-winning touchdown. The 18-0 Patriots ended the campaign at 18-1, while Burress and the Giants enjoyed a Super Bowl parade through the Canyon of Heroes that February.
7 Bryce Harper
Goose Gossage recently hit out at players such as Bryce Harper because of Harper's personality and his desire to become a star. Harper earned himself some criticism in 2015 after he proclaimed in spring training that he wanted to know where his ring was after the Washington Nationals had acquired ace pitcher Max Scherzer. Harper is still looking for that ring as of March 2016, as the Nationals choked away the division lead to the New York Mets during the summer of '15. The Mets went on to win the National League East and then the pennant, while Harper and the Nationals were left watching at their homes during October.
6 Richard Sherman
Michael Crabtree and Tom Brady are just two examples of victims of Seattle Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman, one of the biggest trashtalkers the NFL has seen in many years. Sherman got his, however, when Russell Wilson threw that infamous interception in the closing moments of Super Bowl 49. Television cameras caught Sherman's reaction as the Patriots secured the football and victory, and his face was similar to one would expect to see from a kid hoping to get a puppy for Christmas only to then learn that he instead received a pair of socks. Some moments really are priceless.
5 Mike Tyson
“My style is impetuous. My defense is impregnable, and I’m just ferocious. I want your heart, I want to eat his children.” Those, as you probably know, are the words that Mike Tyson spoke leading up to his fight with Lennox Lewis. Tyson did not, in fact, eat Lewis' children. What Tyson instead ate was punches to the face before he was knocked out by Lewis in a dominant performance by one of the most under-appreciated fighters of his generation. Tyson has since admitted that he regrets saying he would eat Lewis' children. Truth be told, we are somewhat surprised Tyson remembers much of anything from that entire ordeal.
4 Cam Newton
Admit it. Those of you who do not like that Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton dances when he scores a touchdown or gets a first down found some satisfaction in Newton and the Panthers being dominated by the defense of the Denver Broncos at Super Bowl 50. Newton then did himself no favors when he pouted and refused to offer real answers to questions while speaking to reporters following that defeat. The reigning NFL Most Valuable Player will hopefully learn from that experience and continue to mature, and we also hope that he will continue to dance and be himself on the field during games.
3 Ronda Rousey
Ronda Rousey, formerly the “baddest woman on the planet,” has not been afraid to talk trash to opponents and even to boxing champion Floyd Mayweather. Rousey got into the face of Holly Holm before their UFC 193 encounter, and the “Rowdy” one even went to Instagram to call out “The Preacher's Daughter” before the fight. Holm let her fists and her feet do the talking on the night of the fight, as she knocked Rousey to the mat with a kick to the head in the second round. Rousey was likely already out before Holm landed hammer fists that finished the fight and there are some out there who believe that we will never again see Rousey in the cage.
2 Nate Diaz
The irony here, of course, is that Nate Diaz was responsible for silencing one of the great trashtalkers in all of MMA in March of 2016. Those who do not actively follow the sport other than when major stars are fighting may have missed when Diaz, who has been known to show the middle finger to just about anybody he wants, was put down by Josh Thompson in April 2013. Thompson closed Diaz's mouth with a punishing kick to the head and with punches, but it is Diaz who could have the last laugh following the events of March 2016. Could Diaz be a future UFC champion? We shall see.
1 Conor McGregor
Somebody was eventually going to silence Conor McGregor, one of the best trashtalkers in all of the UFC and a man who doesn't turn down an opportunity to put himself over via a television interview. The man to do the job was Nate Diaz and McGregor's silencing came at UFC 196. McGregor, who had moved up from featherweight to 170 pounds to fight Diaz, talked trash during press conferences and interviews, but the Irishman was unable to say anything once Diaz locked in a rear-naked choke during the second round of the fight. McGregor, beaten up and beaten down, was forced to submit, and he was left speechless for at least a few seconds.
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