25 Random MMA Facts You Probably Didn't Know
Hardcore MMA fans know their sport, but no one knows everything. In a world of obscure-yet-awesome trivia, new fun facts emerge every day.
Who named his son Thor? Which UFC Hall of Famer has an accounting degree? Which UFC veteran gave his own mother an STD? The answer to these questions and more can be found ahead.
Here is a look at 25 random facts about MMA that you probably didn't know. They are presented in no particular order, however who doesn't love a good countdown?
25. Herb Dean Was a Professional Fighter
Before putting on the latex gloves, referee Herb Dean donned a pair of leather ones as a professional fighter. The popular official put together an official record of 2-3 before calling it a career in 2007.
Dean once squared off against UFC notable Joe Riggs. However, he was stopped via strikes less than one minute into the first round.
24. Jason Reinhardt Gave His Mother Crabs
This fun little anecdote was certainly worth the seven minutes it took to watch. Despite being a rather crappy fighter (0-3 inside the Octagon in three different weight classes), Jason Reinhardt is actually a pretty good storyteller.
Watch the video here.
23. John Alessio Is the Only Fighter with a UFC Record of 0-5
Ever wonder who has the worst record in UFC history? Perhaps you thought it was Tiki Ghosn or maybe Ricardo Funch. While their 0-4 records are quite wretched, there is one man who has actually worse: John Alessio.
In five fights across four separate stints with the UFC, Alessio met everyone from UFC champion Pat Miletich to WEC burnout Shane Roller, but was never able to pull off a victory.
22. Heavyweight Travis Fulton Has the More Than 300 Professional Fights
Few fighters live up to the moniker "grizzled veteran" like heavyweight Travis Fulton. With more than 300 fights to his credit, "The Ironman" currently holds a professional record of 247-49-10 (1). Of those wins, an incredible 150 came by way of submission.
Fulton has competed against the likes of Andrei Arlovski, Forrest Griffin, Rich Franklin, Dan Severn and many more. However, nearly every fighter with a recognizable name has defeated Fulton, while he padded his record against unknowns like Abraham Garcia and Austin Sisson.
21. Bad Boy Was Originally a Clothing Line for Surfers
Bad Boy, the iconic fight apparel company became famous in the MMA world after Mauricio "Shogun" Rua began covering himself in their products. Who hasn't previously made the joke that Rua's rear was staring at them as he attacked from within an opponent's guard?
However, Bad Boy originated in San Diego, Calif., as a clothing line for surfers in the early '80s. It wasn't until the '90s when they started making products for combat sports.
20. UFC 103 Main Event Was Scrapped Due to Fan Disapproval
In the summer of 2009, fans were hot on the heels of some of the best events to ever take place in the sport. UFC 100 and UFC 101 were critical and box-office successes and with UFC 102 having a main event of Randy Couture vs Big Nog, things looked to keep getting better.
When the UFC announced the main event for UFC 103, many were perplexed by the booking of a catchweight rematch between Dan Henderson and Rich Franklin.
It was a fight that no one was asking for, had little relevance to any division and with Dan Henderson inches away from a rematch with Anderson Silva, it made no sense to give him a fight with someone he beat only 18 months prior.
The voice of the people was heard loud and clear. The fight was scrapped and Henderson was replaced by a returning Vitor Belfort.
Ironically, Henderson didn't fight again in the UFC until UFC 139, as he opted to sign with Strikeforce due to a breakdown in contract negotiations.
19. Zuffa Is an Italian Word That Means 'Scuffle'
Zuffa, the parent company of the UFC, is a name that directly translates to "scuffle" in Italian. It's a fitting name for those working with combat sports.
I wonder what Kimbo translates to.
18. Tito Ortiz Isn't His Real Name
Tito Ortiz will go down in history as one of the most notable names in mixed martial arts. Too bad that it isn't his real name.
Believe it or not, Ortiz was born Christopher Jacob Ortiz. Tito is a nickname that his father bestowed upon the future champion as a young boy.
17. Terry Etim Is the First Fighter to Earn a Fight Night Bonus
At UFC 70, Dana White and Co. geared up and headed to England for an international card that would be highlighted by an incredible head kick knockout from Gabriel Gonzaga onto Mirko Cro Cop.
Aside from the monumental stoppage, the card is notable as it was the first time that post-fight bonuses were officially issued by the UFC.
Gonzaga took home KO of the Night, Michael Bisping vs. Elvis Sinosic won Fight of the Night and Terry Etim used a guillotine choke to take home Submission of the Night honors.
Since Etim's fight occurred earliest in the evening, he becomes the first fighter to ever earn a UFC Fight Night Bonus
16. UFC Veteran Emmanuel Yarborough Holds the Only MMA Win Via Smother
You read that correctly, 700-pound Emmanuel Yarborough literally laid on top of his opponent and used his enormous belly to (for lack of a better term) swallow his head.
It's not a video you want to see, but in case you are a glutton for punishment, here it is.
15. Matt Serra Is the First American to Earn a Black Belt Under Gracie Family
With jiu-jitsu being the base of every mixed martial artist, it was only a matter of time that an Amercian fighter would earn a black belt from the notorious Gracie family.
The man who holds this distinction is none other than Ultimate Fighter 4 winner Matt Serra, and he achieved this feat on May 23, 2000
In March of last year, Serra was promoted to a 3rd dan black belt by longtime trainer Renzo Gracie.
14. The Man Who Holds the Longest Winning Streak in MMA History
Although Fedor Emelianenko was considered by many to be undefeated in his first 33 professional fights, the fact remains that The Last Emperor did suffer a controversial loss via cuts five fights into his career.
Some may think Renan Barao holds this distinction, as he is without a loss in his last 30 contests. However, he doesn't quite measure up to the man who holds the record.
PRIDE veteran Igor Vovchanchyn won 32 consecutive fights over the course of three years. His streak ended after a victory over Mark Kerr was overturned to a No Contest following an illegal knee. However, the Ukranian went 37 fights without suffering a loss.
13. Joe Rogan Can Wreck You in Three Different Disciplines
Fans are aware that Joe Rogan has a fantastic technical knowledge of jiu-jitsu, which allows him to analyze grappling situations on the spot while commentating for the UFC.
What many are not aware of is the fact that Rogan trains with 10th Planet, has a green belt in judo, a black belt in jiu-jitsu and a 2nd-degree black belt in tae kwon do.
12. New York Is the Only State to Ever Ban MMA
The longstanding myth is that MMA was once banned in most states. However, as exposed by a 2008 article from Yahoo Sports!, this was simply never the case.
Despite the fact that John McCain and members of Congress were appalled by the tremendous violent in the early days of MMA, legislative action to ban the sport was only taken in one state: New York.
To this day, New York is the biggest thorn in Dana White's side.
11. B.J. Penn Once Fought Lyoto Machida
UFC legend B.J. Penn has been to the top of the mountain at 170 pounds and also held gold in the lightweight division. The accomplishment gives Penn claim to the title of greatest smaller fighter in history.
However, in an attempt to prove that technique trumps size even after the barbaric early days of the sport, the 5'9" fighter actually competed as a heavyweight against then-undefeated Lyoto Machida.
The 2005 bout saw Penn go three rounds against a future UFC light heavyweight champion, although he ultimately lost a decision.
10. Bruce Buffer, John McCarthy and Tank Abbott Guest Starred on FRIENDS
In May of 1997, if the UFC were trying to get fans away from the barbaric perception of the company, they certainly weren't getting much help from primetime television. Popular sitcom FRIENDS focused on the organization in the episode creatively titled "The One With the Ultimate Fighting Champion."
The episode saw a charismatic millionaire (portrayed by Jon Favreau) decide to see if he could conquer the fighting world. With cameos from UFC ring announcer Bruce Buffer, referee John McCarthy and popular brawler Tank Abbott, the episode left fans with an image of absolute brutality inside the Octagon.
Monica: ...he’s gonna compete is some ultimate fighting competition thingy.
The Guys: Pete?!
Rachel: Why?! What is it?
Monica: I don’t know exactly. It’s-it’s sorta like wrestling.
Phoebe: (intrigued) Oh?!
Monica: Yeah, but without the costumes.
Phoebe: (disappointed) Oh.
Joey: And it’s not fake, it’s totally brutal.
Chandler: Yeah, it’s two guys in a ring, and the rules are: “They’re are no rules.”
Monica: So you can like, bite, and pull people’s hair and stuff?
Ross: Yeah, anything goes, except ah, eye gouging and fish hooking.
9. Matt Serra Was to Fight in PRIDE, but His Opponent Was Injured by Pyro
At PRIDE 9, Matt Serra was scheduled to compete. However, when his opponent was burned by pyrotechnics, the fight was scrapped at the last moment.
This event predates Serra's original tenure in the UFC. "The Terra" would move to that organization at UFC 31 nearly one year later.
Serra was never invited back to the Japanese organization, although that's probably a good thing. The road he traveled eventually led to a UFC welterweight championship.
8. Brock Lesnar Won His First WWE and UFC Champion from the Scorpion King
Any hardcore pro wrestling fan can spout off the details of Brock Lesnar's first championship win. Despite some detractors arguing that Lesnar hadn't paid his dues to earn the opportunity, he defeated The Rock at SummerSlam in a match that solidified Lesnar as the future of wrestling.
Any MMA fan worth his salt knows that Brock Lesnar won the UFC championship from Randy Couture. Despite some detractors arguing that Lesnar hadn't paid his dues to earn the opportunity, he defeated Randy Couture in a match that solidified Lesnar as the future of MMA.
The mirroring situations are connected even more so when you look at the unusual connection shared between The Rock and Randy Couture.
When producers of The Scorpion King elected to make a sequel, The Rock elected not to return as the title character. The man who filled his shoes was none other than "Captain America" himself, Randy Couture.
7. Alistair Overeem Was in the Music Video of LMFAO's 'Sexy and I Know It'
Personally, I like to think that The Reem just showed up on set one day and no one on set had the courage to tell him he couldn't be in the video.
6. Chuck Liddell Has a BA in Accounting
Believe it or not, certified knockout artist Chuck Liddell is also a certified accountant.
In 1995, Chuck Liddell graduated from California Polytechnic State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Business and Accounting.
So much for the stereotype that all accountants are pencil pushing nerds.
5. Wanderlei Silva Has a Son Named Thor
Wanderlei Silva might be known as "The Axe Murderer," however, the most dangerous weapon in his arsenal is the mjolnir.
All 18 of the comic book fans who read that last sentence sprung from their chairs and found a way to high five me through their computer monitor. The rest of you might be confused.
You see, mjolnir, commonly known as the Thunder Hammer, is the beloved weapon of Thor. And Wanderlei Silva named his son Thor.
4. Chris Leben Has the Most Fights in UFC History Without a Title Shot
Ultimate Fighter superstar Chris Leben is a mainstay in the world's biggest fight promotion. Since losing to Kenny Florian on the show's inaugural season, "The Crippler" remains one of the most popular members of the UFC middleweight roster.
Leben has competed in the UFC on 20 different occasions, which gives him the record for most UFC appearances without a title shot. At UFC 155, Leben made his most recent UFC appearance in a decision loss against Derek Brunson.
Additionally, retired fighter Chris Lytle competed 20 times inside the Octagon, although he somewhat received an opportunity for a title shot when he competed on the Comeback season of The Ultimate Fighter. A title shot against Georges St-Pierre hung in the balance in the tournament final against Matt Serra.
Other stars who come close to this distinction are Melvin Guillard (19), Michael Bisping (18) and Cheick Kongo (17).
3. The First TUF Contestant to Get a Title Shot Wasn't a Show Winner
Matt Serra, Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, Diego Sanchez, Joe Stevenson, Nate Diaz and John Dodson have all parlayed their Ultimate Fighter championships into a crack at the UFC championship.
However, the first contestant from the show to fight for gold didn't win the tournament. In fact, he didn't even compete on the show. The man in question is none other than Nate "The Rock" Quarry.
Quarry was the unfortunate victim of an accidental injury at the hands of coach Randy Couture. Forced from the show, Nate was brought into the UFC, where he quickly picked up three first-round knockouts to earn a crack at the UFC middleweight championship.
Unfortunately, Quarry was in over his head against TUF 2 coach Rich Franklin, who knocked him out halfway into the first round.
Fun Fact: Patrick Cote, Gray Maynard, Kenny Florian and Josh Koscheck also received title shots, despite losing on their season.
2. Nate Quarry Was a Zombie in Video Game Left 4 Dead 2
How do you make a UFC fighter even scarier? Apparently by killing him, making him a zombie and having him eat human flesh.
Nate Quarry makes his second appearance in our fun facts list for his appearance in first-person shooter Left 4 Dead 2.
Check out an interview with Quarry on G4. He talks about the game, fighting zombies with MMA skills and his desire to beat down Steven Seagal.
1. Nick Diaz Is a Beast with Nunchucks
Of all of the fun facts on this list, this one is simultaneously shocking and not shocking in the least. When you consider the crazy personality of Nick Diaz, why wouldn't you expect him to be a master of nunchaku?
There are few things as awesome as watching Nick Diaz show off his monstrous skills with an obscure piece of weaponry. Enjoy the video.