When working on this piece about the debut of the Ultimate Fighter Season Nine and the challenging aspects training mixed martial arts, we figured we'd write up a piece on our favorite nicknames in the world of MMA.
With so many awfuly good nicknames to chose from we had a hard time narrowing down our list of talented and fearful fighters.
We wanted to do a slideshow rankings list, but they've been done before and we wanted to be original.
Once we managed to throw together a short list of our 20 fighters, we than had the impossible task of devising system on which to base on best MMA fighter nickname rankings?
How would a fighter's win-loss record, title fights, longevity, popularity, and how does a fighters' nickname suit their fighting style inside and fighter persona outside the cage.
We only wanted to best nicknames on the best fighters in the sport.
But what about the best nicknames on the worst fighters and the worst nicknames on the best fighters?
We figured we'd best focus our first rankings on the best fighters with the best nicknames, and save the worst nicknames on the worst fighters for our last article in the our series.
Since today is Selection Sunday, we thought it best to pick as many fighters with good or bad nicknames, rank them and have the Bleacher Report readers decide the outcome.
In honor of March Madness, we pleased to announce the first-ever Best Fighter Nicknames Tournament.
Set up like the NCAA Basketball tournaments, the we'll take as many fighters as possible up to 64, put them head to head for YOU to vote on! We're settling for just 32.
Each fighter will randomly be given a seed and a region, and first round match-ups will begin on Monday, March 16.
Each round of voting will last one week, and the winner will move onto the next round. In the end, we'll see who the fan-favorite Mixed Martial Arts fighter nickname is!
Remember these seedings and rankings mean nothing and are only used for comparison and debate of a fighters nickname
Feel free to dispute these seedings, and suggest fighters you wished we'd included in our fantasy tournament.
But please vote our your favorite nickname in the comments and the polls. The rest of the regions will be released this afternoon.
For better or worse, here are the nicknames that were chosen.
And here our the first bracket...
 Fedor "the last emperor" Emelianenko vs  "babalu" Renato Sobral
Fedor may be the best pound-for-pound mixed martial arts fighter in the world. His nickname may be "the last emperor," but he's feared more for Fedor.
The Russian-born fighter inspires other young fighter to use a portion of his names.
Does Baby Fedor, who's been busted for steroids, ring a bell? Such conviction bares no relevance to Fedor as a legit fighter.
But in this fantasy tourney it may be a problem even if it's not he's nickname.
Renato Sobral is also known simply as Babalu. He doesn't have all the allocates as Fedor and he's lost to him in the past.
His controversial choke-out of David Heath at UFC 74 earns no respect in voters minds and costs him votes or gives him an edge over the fan-favorite.
Can Babalu's unpredictability score him an upset over the last Russian emperor? Cast your vote and decide.
 josh "the baby face assassin" barnett vs  Rameau Thierry "the african assassin" Sokoudjou
Toss up here. Both fighters have similar names.
One, a baby-face, and the other an African-American. We have no preference over each fighters' nicknames.
Assassins scare the shit out of us so who cares if one's a baby face and the other one's coming off a loss to No. 8 seed Babulu at Affliction.
Barnett's beaten his last four fighters, including a unanimous decision over the No. 7 seed Jeff "the snowball" Monson. Plus who honestly don't believe Barnett's been groomed as Fedor's next opponent.
 "the iceman" Chuck Liddell vs  Stephan "the american psycho" Bonnar
The Iceman sounds makes more blue-collar and redneck-ish, which Liddell's branded as his pro-wrasslin' like persona. He's a legend in the sport and is one of the most recognizable fighters in the UFC.
Bonnar's nickname sounds like a ficitious serial killer praying on Manhattan business women.
Oh wait...isn't that a movie-adapated from 2000? It's a great fighter nickname, but is it that much better than the Iceman?
 "sugar" Rashad Evans vs  Jeff " the snowman" Monson
Currently sugar 'Shad Evans stands as the UFC light heavyweight champion and faces Lyoto Machida at UFC 98 in May.
Most UFC fighters has original nicknames, we're pretty sure this one's been taken by a boxer. Evans style resembles a boxer at times, and may trouble slinging fists with an MMA legend the likes of the Snowman.
The guy's built like a dead tree, with thick legs for branches, heavy hands for bark, and a stocky body for his trunk roots. Forgetting Frosty, Monson's name is original and fits his fight style.
He's scheduled to fight Roy Nelson on next week's March Badness. Recently, the Snowball was nabbed for first-degree felony when an ESPN the Magazine photo showed him spray-painting graffiti on the Washington State Capitol.
And we thought boxers took too many head shots.
Las Vegas Bracket
 Quinton "rampage" Jackson v.  Vladimir “the janitor” Matyushenko
Not one fighter we know in the UFC, hits as hard and runs as slow as "rampage." He's in line for a light heavyweight title shot soon as Machida and "sugar" Shad. and in The guy's been a champion when cold-cocked "the iceman."
With a nickname like “the janitor” Vladimir Matyushenko, you'd expect the guy to mop the floors with other fighters. He's lost his last fight at Affliction: Day of Reckoning against the other Nog. He's become the first International Fight League light heavyweight champion in 2007, and he's still defending it.
 Franke "twinkle toes" Trigg v.  "big" John McCarthy
A Kurt Angle look-alike, "twinkle toes," knows his nickname is bad—It's real damn bad. Trigg's turn his mixed martial arts fighter career into a personality critic role nowadays. He's won his last four fights, but lost to No. 1 seed Georges "rush" St. Pierre. Everyone loves Trigganomics so this makes up for his feminine like nickname. is touching tribute to Tapout's Charles "mask" can be found here. s touching.
"Big" John McCarthy's a stud. He may not fight in the Octagon, but he's referred some historic fights in MMA history. He's since left the UFC, and now commentates on Affliction pay-per-views. He's name fits him perfect. His presence alone inside the ring earns him all fighters respect. Fighters listen to him when it comes to their safety in during a fight.
 Rich "ace" Franklin v.  Diego "the nightmare" Sanchez
A former math teacher, Rich "ace" Franklin left it all to become a UFC Middleweight Champion. With his losses to No. 1 seed Anderson "the spider" Silva, Franklin put his masters in education to work and signed a catch-weight fight with No. 2 seed Wanderlei "the axe murderer" Silva at UFC 99 in Germany. He's an ace in the classroom and inside the an Octagon.
"the nightmare" beat Joe Daddy in his last fight at UFC 95 and fights again in June, this time against Clay Guida. Guida's brother, Jason replaces Ken Shamrock and fights former WWE superstar Bobby "needs a nickname" Lashley at March Badness. Last time we checked, the nightmare's main squeeze was former Octagon Ring Girl Ali Sonoma.
 Wanderlei "the axe murderer" Silva v  Brandon "the truth" Vera
"the axe murderer" last lost to "rampage" inside the Octagon at UFC 92. He's already beat him twice, and we're pretty sure he wants to fight him again. Who wouldn't want to see that fight. "the truth" has disappointing in his last few fights, but he managed to save his UFC job with a win over Sell. As for his nickname, World Champion Boston Celtics point guard Paul Pierce also goes by the name "The Truth" and well, he's just a little more accomplished than Vera.
The Axe Murderer
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