Inside the Octagon, Ian McCall is a force to be reckoned with. For anyone who tuned in on Friday night to see the debut of the flyweight division, you can clearly see that McCall is not just a fighter, but an entertainer as well.
Between his in-cage antics and his own personal brand of humor, McCall will always stand out from the pack. One of the tools that McCall uses in order to be remembered is his unusual, but undeniably memorable, choice of nickname: Uncle Creepy.
This is a look at some of the best nicknames in MMA. Some of the monikers on this list qualified because they are tremendously fitting. Some make the list due to pure badassery. That’s a word, right? If not, it should be.
Anyway, here we go!
Think fast! What was the name of the guy who fought Joseph Benavidez last weekend? How about the first name of Japanese legend KID Yamamoto? Unfortunately, the names of a lot of Asian fighters are forgotten by English-speaking fans due to the lack of commonality in our culture. The fighters from the Far East who are best remembered have amazing nicknames.
Takanori Gomi is The Fireball Kid. Norifumi Yamamoto is best known as KID Yamamoto. Kazushi Sakuraba has a badass nickname that I will touch on later. However, no Asian fighter has a more memorable and better fitting nickname than The Korean Zombie, Chan Sung Jung.
His fight of the year performance with Leonard Garcia back in 2010 threw him onto the radar of fight fans instantaneously, but his memorable and marketable nickname is what stopped him from forever being known as “That Asian guy who fought Leonard Garcia.”
Minotaur – n.: “mythical creature with the head of a bull and the body of a man”
Known for his ability to absorb an inhuman amount of punishment, the man also known as Big Nog lives up to his nickname every time that he steps into the Octagon.
Even after being blasted repeatedly by former Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, Antonio Nogueira sat up immediately following the TKO, as if he were impersonating WWE superstar The Undertaker.
The only difference between Nogueira and the actual Minotaur is that only one is fictional.
With his strengths firmly based on the ground, the man known as “little tree stump” is one of the shortest middleweights in the UFC. Don’t think that bothers him, though. Middleweight Rousimar Palhares has used his impressive grappling to secure 10 submission victories in his 17 fight MMA career, including a 7-2 stint inside the Octagon.
It also speaks volumes about his ability to hang with the best, as Palhares has only lost to Dan Henderson via decision and suffered a bizarre TKO at the hands of perennial contender Nate Marquardt.
Chaos, anarchy, pandemonium, a feeling that anything and everything could happen at any moment…
When Jason Miller is on camera, you’d better believe that he lives up to his nickname of Mayhem.
When Jake Shields outgrappled former dual-champion Dan Henderson at Strikeforce: Nashville, who could have predicted that Mayhem would pop into the cage unannounced and somehow steal some microphone time? Despite being on the wrong end of a Bully Beatdown, Mayhem enjoyed some time in the limelight when his attack, live on CBS, made national news.
How will he rebound from his December loss to Michael Bisping? Your guess is as good as mine, but I'd bet my last dollar that it's going to be entertaining.
Remember the allusion I made earlier to Kaz Sakuraba’s excellent nickname? After defeating four members of MMA’s first family, Sakuraba was christened with the moniker “The Gracie Hunter.”
The first man to beat Hall of Famer Royce Gracie did so in a 90 minute bout in which there were unlimited rounds and no referee stoppages. Additionally, Sakuraba was the first man to take out Royler and Ryan Gracie. Not only that, but he was also the only man to submit Renzo Gracie.
It’s a shame that somebody beat Ronda Rousey to this nickname, although he has her beat. Giva “The Arm Collector” Santana defeated ten consecutive opponents via first-round armbar.
Losing only once in his professional career, Santana made his Bellator debut in October of last year, where he secured his thirteenth career victory with his namesake maneuver.
Wanderlei Silva could have easily been ripped straight out of a horror movie. For eight years, he stalked the best fighters in the world and claimed several victims along the way with no man being able to stop him. While opponents Mark Hunt and Ricardo Arona found ways to defeat Silva during this time, just like Jason Voorhees, Wanderlei was only down temporarily. After all, he's got sequels to make.
With the monstrous amount of damage that Silva has delivered with his bare hands (24 career knockouts), I shudder to think of what he could do with an axe.
His name loosely translates into "great general who subdues barbarians." For a guy who has knocked out Lyoto Machida, Forrest Griffin, Rampage Jackson, Chuck Liddell and Allistair Overeem, Mauricio Rua could very well possess the most fitting nickname in the history of the sport.
Despite losing four of his last eight bouts, Shogun is widely regarded as one of the best light-heavyweights in the world. His most recent fight, a November battle with Dan Henderson, may end up going down as the greatest fight in MMA history.
Does he fight wildly sometimes? Absolutely. Stephan Bonnar began his UFC career swinging for the fences like a maniac in the Ultimate Fighter Finale against Forrest Griffin. However, it wasn’t until his UFC 116 victory over Krzysztof Soszynski when fans were able to see why Bonnar is nicknamed The American Psycho.
Look deep into the eyes of the man pictured above and you won’t find any fear. I doubt you’ll find any remorse in there either. Speaking of that, Bonnar’s TUF teammate Jason Thacker has been missing for quite some time. If any of you are brave enough to check Stephan’s freezer, I'm sure that the Thacker family would be greatly appreciative.