The UFC has an abundance of people that simply want to go about their business, fight their fight, and go onto the next one. The concept of press conferences, media days and even post-fight interviews clearly make them uncomfortable. How many times have we heard Joe Rogan interview the victor and yell into the microphone: "SO WHO DO YOU WANT NEXT?!" This is a clear message that they want the fighter to call someone out and make things interesting. Most of the time this question is met with a meek: "whoever the UFC chooses to put me up against." Well isn't that cute... perhaps the greatest of all-time operated in a similar manner as George St. Pierre was so polite and non-confrontational (with the rare exception of the "I'm not impressed by your performance" fiasco with Matt Hughes).
Ah, but there are token fighters that have taken the exact opposite approach and have gone out of their way to create a buzz. Sometimes it's a case of simply stirring the pot to get attention but not actually having the substance to back up their claims, and there are other cases of them seeking attention and backing up every single world. A certain Irish fellow comes to mind...
As much as sportsmanship and class is a virtue, it's always a little more interesting when there's some eccentric personalities and trash-talking in the mix. Ladies and gentlemen, no stone will remain unturned here as will have a look at the top 15 attention seekers in UFC history!
14 Rashad Evans
13 Josh Koscheck
12 Tom Lawlor
Lawlor is known as a 7 year UFC vet fighting for team Syndicate MMA. He also gets much recognition for his wins over the likes of Jason McDonald, C.D. Dollaway, and Gian Villante.
11 Tank Abbott
First of all, let's not get it twisted, Tank Abbott was a dreadful fighter, finishing his career with a 10-15 record. He also showed that he was a jerk right from the start. In his debut against John Matua, he ended up slugging him in the back of the head (legal at the time, but can still be a career ending shot). Matua was clearly knocked out but that wasn't good enough for Tank as he had to throw in another shot, and would have kept going had John McCarthy not thrown him off. Oh yeah, he also mocked his unconscious opponent after the fact
10 Phil Baroni
9 Junie Browning
Nobody even watches The Ultimate Fighter anymore, but everyone has heard of Junie Browning. We are now at season 22 and there has been a lot of "crazies" that have come in and out of that house. Now, they're put in a bit of an unfair situation. It's 16 fighters put in a house with no T.V, internet, cell phones or video games...oh yeah, and the liquor cabinet is fully stocked. It doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to figure out that there is going be trouble.
8 Chris Leben
Chris Leben narrowly beats out Junie Browning because he was an "unintentional attention seeker." It just seemed like trouble had a way of finding him, despite his best efforts to clean up his act. Leben also went on to have a decent UFC career whereas Browning faded off into oblivion as he went 1-5 after leaving the promotion.
7 The Diaz Brothers
Where to start with these guys...similarly to Leben, they're unintentional attention seekers. We mean that in a sense that they're not seeking attention as a means to further their careers, they're just genuinely crazy people with erratic behaviour that march to the beat of their own drum (we love them for it, by the way). The UFC is filled with "suck ups" and "yes men" that won't utter a word in fear of repercussions, meanwhile Nate Diaz openly tweeted that Dana White and the UFC are full of s**t.
The brothers also took part in a full on brawl after the Jake Shields vs. Dan Henderson fight in Strikeforce. They didn't like how "Mayhem" Miller stormed the octagon after the fight and saw that fisticuffs were about to break out between he and their buddy Shields. The brothers were right on the case as they proceeded to tackle Miller and land some solid punches and kicks in the process.
Nick Diaz even went as far as attacking Joe Riggs in the hospital after their fight at UFC 57. Riggs' version of the events are hilarious, even stating that it was bloody and his intravenous flew out of his arm during the scuffle.
6 Jason "Mayhem" Miller
Speaking of Mr. Miller! This guy was/is a walking disaster, and his life is a train wreck. He is a unique case of a fighter seeking attention to further his notoriety as well as seeking unwanted attention by just being a screw-up.
For example, when he stormed the octagon at Strikeforce and interrupted Jake Shield's interview and screamed: "HEY WHERE'S MY REMATCH?!" He was obviously trying to score himself a fight with Shields even though he didn't deserve a rematch in any way shape or form. This was obviously a case of him trying to stir the pot. He's also garnered attention with the fans because of his flashy entrances and exciting fighting style.
But there's been other examples of where he's brought unwanted attention to himself through his lunacy. In 2012, he broke into an Orange Country church and was found sleeping naked. He also caused over $400 to the church in the process.
5 Kimbo Slice
Kimbo straight up made himself a millionaire with his attention seeking methods. He would show up to random locations and have street fights with civilians that would challenge him and then post the fights on YouTube. It was almost unbelievable as they would fight in parks, random street corners, and even in a backyard where they had to avoid crashing into a barbeque.
It was so taboo that people wanted to see how Kimbo would do in the octagon against real fighters. He attracted so much attention and had so much momentum behind him that he was main eventing Elite XC events within a year. He even received an open invitation to compete on The Ultimate Fighter 10 and was immediately demolished by Roy Nelson.
4 Rampage Jackson
3 Tito Ortiz
Who is he kidding with this new "People's Champ" nick name? Tito is "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy!" His attention seeking antics are part of the reason the sport gained so much notoriety and went mainstream. The Baldfather (Dana White) will never admit it, because he hates Tito, but he's a big part of why the UFC is where it is today. The UFC was stuck in limbo as it was not considered "cock fighting" anymore because more rules were implemented as well as weight classes. But there was also an entertainment aspect that was lacking, people didn't quite understand the ground game yet and couldn't really relate to any of the fighters. They all seemed cut from the same deck and came out to the same stupid entrance song that sounded like Star Trek music.
2 Chael Sonnen
Chael Sonnen made his UFC debut in 2005, and nobody knew who in the blue hell he was until 2010. Sonnen was always a very capable fighter, but in 2010 he finally realized the recipe to success...win fights and take advantage of his gift of gab. It's very easy to go out there and "talk trash," but it's not always that simple. A lot of fighters have tried to talk trash and it's met with crickets. Sonnen simply promoted his fights better than anyone for a few reasons. For one, he's a smart guy and a very good talker. He was also backing it up at the time as he was on an absolute tear in his career, rattling off wins over Dan Miller, Yushin Okami and Nate Marquardt. Most importantly, he chose to go after the toughest kid in the school yard in Anderson Silva.
Once the Silva vs. Sonnen match was officially announced, Sonnen's compilation of trash talk was fantastic. It was so far "out there" that even people that weren't necessarily fans of the sport were turning their heads and saying: "is this guy serious?" Silva had barely even lost a round in the UFC at this point, and Sonnen was talking about him as if this was going to be the easiest fight of his career.
He went on to dominate Silva for 4.5 rounds, beating the champ like he's never been beaten before as he out struck him 320-64! We all know Silva pulled off a miraculous submission in the 5th round, but it was still a magical performance by Sonnen.
1 Conor McGregor
As mentioned above, Sonnen basked in the glow of his first fight with Silva and cashed in on it for the rest of his career, even though he produced mediocre results. While Sonnen "talked the talk," McGregor did the exact same and is the epitome of "walking the walk." Take it back to his fights with Dustin Poirier and Dennis Siver as he annihilated both of them. People then claimed that his outlandish comments and promotion meant nothing because he hadn't fought anyone...no problem. He then knocked out #2 contender Chad Mendes (after Aldo pulled out, and had only 2 weeks to train for a completely different style fighter) and then knocked out champion Jose Aldo in 13 seconds, even predicting the manner in which he'd do it.
In just under a year, he's turned himself into the biggest star in the UFC (yep, move over Ronda). The way he promotes fights is simply second to none as he steals the show (and even Aldo's championship belt one time) at every single press conference.
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