While it ultimately comes down to what you do inside the cage/ring in Mixed Martial Arts, there's no denying that a great nickname could help the marketability of a fighter when it comes to stuff outside the cage. If there's one of the things that we learnt from the recent Reebok debacle going on in the UFC it's that fighters usually make more money from sponsorships than they do from actually fighting and having a cool nickname could help with that a lot.
I mean don't take my word for it just look at some of the best fighters and most marketable fighters of all time. "The Prodigy" B.J. Penn, Georges "Rush" St-Pierre, Randy "The Natural" Couture, Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell, "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey and hell even the current UFC Featherweight Champion "The Notorious" Conor McGregor. All those nicknames sound awesome and fit the fighter's persona and/or fighting style.
The same however cannot be said for the 15 fighters on this list. The following nicknames either fall into the trap of being lazy, false, unfitting to the fighter's personality or (especially in the case of number one) just flat out awful. These names have never caught on with fans and often times are just ignored for their stupidity but they will not escape the light of my judgment today! So I present to you the top 15 worst nicknames in MMA history.
Author's note: This list is all in good fun and shouldn't be taken too seriously, because some fighters obviously didn't.
15. Kurt "Batman" Pellegrino
Just because you like a certain fictional character a lot doesn't mean you get the right to make it your nickname.
As everyone knows, Batman is an expert scientist, detective, escape artist and of course, martial artist. Out of all those things, Kurt Pellegrino kinda, sorta not really sniffs the expert martial artist distinction. Any way you slice it, Pellegrino isn't even close to being Batman, Robin or even Alfred. More like the Riddler.
Riddle me this riddle me that... Who has a 16-7 record and thinks they're the Dark Knight?
14 "The Dean of Mean" Keith Jardine
Take a quick look at Keith Jardine. Does anything about this guy scream 'dean'? His facial hair is nasty and out of all the various jobs he's had over his life (including bounty hunter, miner and football coach), dean isn't one of them.
This name actually brings to mind a common problem with nicknames in MMA. Fighters seem to think that if something rhymes, it's an instant sell. No, it isn't. It has potential if it's a cool rhyme, but just rhyming for the sake of rhyming does nothing for me.
And finally if you actually worked as a bounty hunter, why not just make that your nickname?!
13 Jorge "The Naked Man" Ortiz
Come to think of it, "The Naked Man" actually isn't that bad of a nickname. Think about it, what's scarier than a professionally trained naked man running and potentially grabbing you? On second thought, no, it's still an awful nickname.
Just what the hell is being naked have to do with anything relating to MMA? Sure, fighters are half-naked anyway, but we don't need a nickname to remind us of that. Jorge Ortiz, your nickname doubly sucks for being lame and simply false.
12 Ryan "Darth" Bader
Once again like with the Pellegrino entry, I understand that Ryan Bader might be a big Star Wars fan and hey, his last name is one letter away from being Vader but Ryan Bader is not the fighter I think of when I think of the Sith Lord.
I can only imagine if the real Darth Vader were to see Bader and know of his nickname he would not approve. Hell, Bader would be lucky if Vader didn't just force choke him and ensure that the man with a better nickname, Anthony "Rumble" Johnson, wins their upcoming fight.
Unless Bader rocks a lightsaber for his next fight, he stays on the list.
11 Joe "J-Lau" Lauzon
Oh damn, Jennifer Lopez is fighting on the UFC? That's only slightly more ridiculous than signing CM Punk but still, who doesn't want her booty shoot for a double in the octagon... oh, never mind it's Joe Lauzon.
While seeing Lauzon fight actually isn't that bad a deal, it still doesn't change how bad a name this is. Lauzon isn't known for his verbal skills and his fights often end with him being a mash up of scar tissue and ungodly amounts of blood. Definitely not as attractive as the babe that Lopez is.
10 Frank "Twinkle Toes" Trigg
I could actually think of a couple of fighters who would be fitting of the name "Twinkle Toes", specifically the recently crowned UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz. However, Cruz is a 135 pound fighter with little knockouts and tremendous footwork.
Frank Trigg however is a light heavyweight who was mostly known as a grappler and NOT his footwork. Hell, he certainly couldn't use his twinkle toes when Matt Hughes was carrying him across the UFC octagon and slamming him down. It pains me to thrash a judoka, but "Twinkle Toes" sucks.
9 Gegard "The Dreamcatcher" Mousasi
I actually had a dreamcatcher in my room for a number of years. I didn't actually put it in there my parents did but it seemed kind of cool and had an interesting history behind them. Never once though did I think that "Dreamcatcher" would make a great nickname for a MMA fighter though.
It should come as no surprise that the UFC has ignored Mousasi's nickname throughout his current run with the promotion. In Native American cultures the Dreamcatcher symbolizes protection against bad dreams, not exactly sure how it applies to punching people in the face and that's why Mousasi finds himself at number nine.
8 Ron "H20" Waterman
This may not be the worst nickname of all time, but it definitely is the laziest. Think about this for a second, Ron Waterman could have had so much potential for nicknames. Of the top of my head I could think of "Tsunami", "Typhoon" and "The Storm".
But nope, Ron Waterman has got a better idea: H20. Urgh. I could see it maybe working if it was a lighter weight fighter who wanted to follow Bruce Lee's famous "Be Water" speech but Waterman is a mountain of a man, he ain't gonna be light on his feet anytime soon.
Waterman may be able to crush my head into powder, but his nickname most definitely sucks.
7 Hector "Showeather" Lombard
I want to enjoy Hector Lombard so much but he just keeps giving me reasons not to. Firstly, I love his fighting style but he popped for anabolic steroids so now I can't support that. Secondly his nickname "Lightning" used to be awesome. Now? Urghh.
The basis around this nickname according to Lombard is that he is ready for any life situation and will do his best no matter the weather. Cute idea, but your nickname still sucks. Also, how ready were you Lombard when you had to piss in a cup hmm?
6 Logan "The Pink Pounder" Clark
Ever seen the Pink Panther movies? Yeah, they were great. While you never actually see a live action pink panther (bummer), they were still clever and funny films. Now take all the cleverness and throw out the window when creating a MMA nickname and you get Logan "The Pink Pounder" Clark.
It's a damn shame that Clark's parents named him Logan and yet he didn't take advantage of it and call himself Wolverine when he became an MMA fighter. Would it be predictable? Maybe, but it's worlds better than whatever the hell "The Pink Pounder" is supposed to mean.
5 Dave "Pee Wee" Herman
Ha ha ha ha I get it, Dave Herman is a heavyweight. And his nickname is Pee Wee, implying that he is an 11-year-old who plays football. Oh no wait I'm mistaken, it actually is supposed to be a reference to a television show where Paul Reubens plays a man-child who lives in a house almost literally composed of LSD. Are you laughing yet?
No? Huh, then it's probably a bad nickname for MMA. Now I'm not saying it's impossible for humor to be out of the question when having a nickname in MMA, but fighters have to try a little harder than that for it to be any good.
4 Marius "Whitemare" Zaromskis
Let's take a break from all of these awful nicknames to speak about one of the best nicknames in MMA. Diego Sanchez's "The Nightmare" moniker sounds badass and it fit his style (at least when he was in his prime).
Now let's look at a poor attempt of turning "nightmare" into something clever! As far as I know, Zaromskis isn't a white supremacist or anything like that, so why did he feel the need to bring his skin color into his nickname? Also, like Diego Sanchez going from Nightmare to "The Dream", Zaromskis went from the awesome "Raging Demon" (Street Fighter reference for those unaware) to this travesty.
If it ain't broke don't fix it, or else you wind up number four on the list of worst nicknames.
3 "The Preacher's Daughter" Holly Holm
The only person to hold a UFC championship on this list, Holm's amazing victory over Ronda Rousey at UFC 193 doesn't give her a free pass on her awful nickname.
Holm's nickname is awful on a couple of levels. First off, being the daughter of a preacher shouldn't strike fear into the hearts of any professionally trained martial artist. Also, is that your great accomplishment Holly? Being the daughter of a preacher? Surely you have some better feats than that.
Maybe Dana White didn't seem thrilled that Holm beat Rousey at UFC 193 because he was thinking about how the hell he could promote a champion with such a terrible nickname.
2 Corey "Beastin 25/8" Anderson
Damn, I had no idea that Corey Anderson had the power to manipulate space and time. With that ability he should be able to go undefeated via stopping time, wailing on an opponent and unstopping time to have him fall down.
Wait a second, he isn't a mutant? He has that nickname because he supposedly trains harder and longer than everyone else? Umm... that is unfathomably dumb. It is literally impossible to do that.
Finally, just say that whole name out loud. Go ahead, do it. Does your brain hurt? Of course it does, because it's the second worst nick name in MMA history.
1 Joseph "The Ho Bag" Bochenek
While Corey Anderson's nickname makes zero sense, at least the intent was to show just how much of a hard worker he is. You know, pairing positive qualities to show how good of an athlete you are. Just what in the blue hell was going through Joseph Bochenek's head when he decided on "The Ho Bag".
I've been sitting at my screen for 15 minutes trying to think of a joke for this and I can't do it. Bochenek just did it for me. He called himself a slur, just flat out, no subtlety or anything. Worse yet, his record stands at an abysmal 0-10. Rest well Ho Bag, you now and forever will have the worst nickname in MMA history.