The 15 Lamest Event Names in MMA History
After a contract dispute kept him outside of the Octagon for nearly a year, long-time light-heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz would make his return to the UFC at UFC 44. In his absence, Randy Couture defeated Chuck Liddell to become the interim light-heavyweight champion. With two champions, there was controversy as to which man was the best in the world.
UFC 44: "Undisputed" was an aptly-titled event. The main contest was about bragging rights and removing all questions. When the night was over, Randy Couture would no longer be an interim champion. He would be the Undisputed champion of the world.
Unfortunately, due to a lack of intricate backstory or history between opponents, not all MMA events are given such fitting names. Commonly, promoters will use alliteration to make the name catchier, like Victory in Vegas or Battle on the Boardwalk. While it may not be the most clever promotional tactic, it is acceptable.
This is a list at some of the unacceptable, unoriginal and unfitting names that fight promoters have slapped onto their events. Some of them are laughable, while some are just plain sad.
You be the judge.
The Ultimate Ultimate
The UFC has been the chief offender when it comes to terrible event names. During the early days of the promotion, overuse of the word "ultimate" was a primary offense. "Ultimate Force," "Ultimate Japan," "Ultimate Bad Boyz," etc.
No name in MMA history has been less creative or inspired than "The Ultimate Ultimate." What’s worse is that after The Ultimate Ultimate 1995, the UFC decided to renew the name for The Ultimate Ultimate 1996.
UFC 50: The War of '04
Originally scheduled as a light-heavyweight championship bout between Tito Ortiz and Guy Mezger, The War of '04 was an appropriate title. When Mezger was taken to the hospital for stroke-like symptoms, undercard fighter Patrick Cote somehow found himself in the main event.
Ortiz would go on to dominate Cote, and it was a hardly a replacement main event that was worth the price of a PPV, let alone a fight marketable enough to earn an impressive moniker like "The War of '04."
UFC 26: Ultimate Field of Dreams
First of all, Field of Dreams is an excellent film.
If you have the nerve to swipe the title of an all-time classic, you had better provide a guest appearance from James Earl Jones on commentary.
Secondly, why in God's name did this sound like a good idea to anyone in the marketing department? The name doesn’t fit an MMA event of any kind and should be ridiculed accordingly. Thankfully, the boys from Zuffa would take over branding only a few events later.
Strikeforce: Young Guns
How about we name our event after a popular film about Billy the Kid starring Emilio Estevez and Kiefer Sutherland? Never mind that mixed martial arts has absolutely nothing to do with guns.
If the name itself wasn’t bad enough, Strikeforce ripped it off from a UFC event that was at least named with a little more force: UFC 19: Ultimate Young Guns.
Elite XC: Return of the King
OK, by now you understand. Naming your event after a popular film is a bad idea. Don't do it. Ever.
UFC 72: Victory
With an event featuring former middleweight champion Rich Franklin and Ultimate Fighter winner Forrest Griffin, you've got some star power on this card. I can understand not wanting to name the event after your headliners when one of them was a Japanese wrestler who hadn't received much exposure to fans at this point.
In the very least, the UFC should be able to come up with something catchy about the "Belfast Brawl" or the "Beatdown in Belfast." Instead, they landed on one of the most generic options in the book: Victory.
With a name as boring as it's main event, it's hard to give a passing grade to anything about this card.
What exactly about this event had anything to do with evolution? The main event pit UFC veteran Scott Smith against 36-year-old Cung Le in a bout between two strikers who had unevolved ground games.
Perhaps the title was meant to be ironic.
A title like Evolution only makes sense on a card where a changing of the guard is expected. Randy Couture vs Brandon Vera at UFC 105 would have been a nice fit, or perhaps Dan Henderson vs Jake Shields.
UFC 82: Pride of a Champion
Get it? Dan Henderson came over from Pride. And Anderson Silva is the champion. Pride of a Champion! It’s clever. Right?
This event name was so bad that it wasn’t even featured on the promotional poster.
UFC 76: Knockout
Let me be clear about my thoughts on this one. Knockout is not a terrible name for the event whatsoever. As a matter of fact, for an event that features Chuck Liddell and Shogun Rua, it’s quite fitting.
However, the name wound up being ironic as none of UFC 76’s bouts saw a KO or TKO finish.
PRIDE FC: Cold Fury
This event sounds more like a graphic novel depicting the battle between Bruce Wayne and Mr. Freeze than a fight night from the company that brought you Final Conflict.
Apparently, the creative forces in the marketing department didn’t get the memo. Cold Fury would receive a pair of sequels in 2001 and 2002. Why is it called Cold Fury? Most likely because this event took place annually in December.
Elite XC: Heat
Should we just pick one-word cliches for our event names? Maybe after Heat, we can prepare for a fight at Elite XC: Caged or Elite XC: Vengeance
The title of this event ended up fitting quite well, as the aftermath that followed Seth Petruzelli quickly KOing promotional poster-boy Kimbo Slice caused this upstart promotion to go down in flames.
UFC 24: First Defense
The name of this event wouldn’t have been so bad if it weren’t for the fact that no title defense took place on the card.
Originally slated to feature a heavyweight battle between newly-crowned champion Kevin Randleman and Pedro Rizzo, the main event would not take place due to an injury the day of the event. While warming up backstage, Randleman slipped on the concrete, fell and knocked himself unconscious in the process.
PRIDE 20: Armed and Ready
Armed and Ready? What are these athletes armed with?
Keep in mind that the people ordering these events aren't the only ones who see the name. It appears in TV guides and promotional materials that hype the PPV. Even when this event occurred, MMA was not the bloodsport that it used to be, and marketing it as such certainly couldn’t help public perception.
Whoever decided to label these fighters as “armed” was acting irresponsibly on behalf of the sport.
UFC 46: Supernatural
Apparently the UFC planned on hosting of the prequel to Paranormal Activity when they named this event. Boasting the incredible pair of title fights as co-main events, Randy Couture vs Vitor Belfort and Matt Hughes vs BJ Penn, this card deserved a name that reflected its massive significance.
While I understand that this is a play on Randy Couture’s nickname of “The Natural,” nothing about this event was supernatural, paranormal or otherworldly in any way. It’s not like we would call an event featuring Anderson Silva UFC 147: Arachnophobia
Strikeforce: Four Men Enter, One Man Survives
In the early days of Strikeforce, tournaments were held amongst true gladiators. Four men would square off inside of a rusty cage with swords, spears and assorted cutlery. They would fatally assault one another with their tools of mayhem until only one man had a pulse.
Oh wait. Sorry. It was a standard one-night tournament featuring Sean Salmon.
God forbid that Strikeforce give their event a name that had something to do with their Heavyweight Championship bout that took place on this night.
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