UFC 153 goes down this Saturday from the HSBC Arena in fabulous Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Most people are rightly fixated on the main event, a rather odd pairing of middleweight champ Anderson Silva and Stephan Bonnar, fighting at light heavyweight.
But the oddities of the event don't begin with the final fight. In the co-main event, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira squares off with Dave "Pee Wee" Herman, or, as I like to call him, one of the oddest dudes in MMA today.
So it got me to thinking: there's probably some news to be reported here. Some slideshow type of news. Namely, who are the oddest fighters in the sport today? Let's get to the bottom of this.
Ground rules: active and reasonably semi-active fighters only. Inside the cage and outside the cage activities both factor in.
It's not hydration. It's a cry for help. You don't need to act out this way to get our attention, Lyoto Machida. You don't need to drink your own urine for us to think you're special.
Guess which one is Kazuhiro Nakamura.
In his UFC debut—coincidentally, against Lyoto Machida—Nakamura pulled off another one of his trademark over-the-top cage entrances. According to MMA Junkie's account, he carried along, and I quote, "an ornate umbrella that continually poked fans and ringside personnel."
After the fight, it came out he had tested positive for marijuana. He pledged to fight the ensuing suspension, but didn't show for his hearing.
Nakamura got another shot in the Octagon against Rameau Sokoudjou and lost. No word on why he failed to eject lightning bolts from his fingers. He was subsequently released from the UFC.
Brian Ebersole has garnered quite a cult following for his cartwheel kicks and shoot-from-the-hip interviews and groundbreaking manscapes. The "Hairrow" seems to get the most attention, but I personally prefer this total-body masterpiece.
In all honesty, kudos to Ebersole for flying his flag in a sport that doesn't exactly encourage the practice.
It may surprise you to learn that everybody's favorite gold-toothed, mean-mugging, nappy-fro-having, woman-strangling, teammate-attacking, hard-training, backstage-scuffle-losing, I-think-I-saw-him-once-on-Bumfights brawler and repeat felon and Renaissance man is still getting paid to fight and toiling away in the MMA hinterlands. "Krazy Horse" Bennett lost on Sept. 8 to the immortal Johnavan Vistante.
One of his finer and less-illegal career highlights is captured in this video. Let's watch...and remember.
You may know her as the woman whose loss to Cristiane Santos was overturned after Santos was caught artificially enhancing her performance.
Others, however, know her as a former dominatrix. It's very odd. But I reckon it also makes sense.
I don't need to explain this one. Diego Sanchez, whom I love, is eight kinds of insane.
There's the Van Helsing impression pictured. There's the "yes!" screaming, sometimes occurring in cartwheel form. There's the hyperbaric chamber.
And there's the belief that sugar substitute Stevia is a miracle cure-all. But I really don't think it is, you know? That's what makes it so odd.
Welcome to the Tyson Zone, Jason "Mayhem" Miller.
That's the place where athletes go when their behavior permanently loses its ability to shock. When the police find you naked in a church, or you get released from the UFC for doing a bunch of crazy stuff backstage, just as a couple of examples, that could be pretty surprising for some. But it's not for the exceedingly odd Miller, who has been at this stuff for years.
That's probably why a desensitized Internet chuckled, shook their heads and went back to laughing at Stephan Bonnar after Miller's wacky appearance Monday on The MMA Hour. In this appearance, he pretended the whole time he was not "Mayhem" Miller, acting instead like Lucky Patrick, his character in Here Comes the Boom. The whole Kaufmanesque appearance ended with Miller blowing up and walking off the set. Just another day at the office.