After any major win, UFC commentator makes his way into the cage and asks fighters about who they have in mind as their next opponent. There is no answer less satisfying than "I'll fight whoever they decide to put in front of me."
Not only do fans want to hear a callout, but it behooves a fighter to call his own shots.
When declining to name the next guy in your cross-hairs, you are passing up a golden opportunity. Not only are you given the chance to request a favorable stylistic matchup, but you can jump a few rungs on the divisional ladder by knocking down the right door.
However, be careful what you wish for. By calling out a fighter who can give you a mighty thrashing, some combatants end up falling on their faces.
Here is a look at 7 MMA callouts that backfired.
The art of the callout isn't complicated. Essentially, you're just looking to get a favorable matchup against someone with some name value and/or notoriety. When Jorge Rivera called out Michael Bisping, that's exactly what he was doing.
In late 2010, Michael Bisping was the most popular middleweight striker not named Anderson Silva. That's why the heavy-handed Jorge Rivera decided to call out "The Count" in hopes of earning the biggest win of his career, which was running on fumes.
Rivera clearly got under the skin of Bisping with a series of YouTube videos (Warning: NSFW) that questioned the TUF winner's bravery, fighting skills and character.
The fight itself is marred by a tremendous illegal knee that landed when "El Conquistador" was a downed opponent, but because Rivera chose to fight on, he was not awarded the DQ victory that he deserved.
Bisping had the last laugh at UFC 127, as he pummeled Rivera and scored a second-round TKO.
If you're going to call out one of the most gifted strikers in MMA, it's a good idea to avoid the standup game.
Unfortunately, nobody sent Donald Cerrone that memo before he entered the cage against Anthony Pettis.
The pair of WEC standouts exchanged words, but Cerrone was adamant about wanting to show "Showtime" the hurtin' of his career.
Pettis had been accused of ducking Cerrone, but once the cage door was locked, there was no sign than the final WEC champion was fearful. In fact, it was Pettis who delivered the beatdown when he gave "Cowboy" the first TKO loss of his career only 2:35 into the first round at UFC on Fox 6.
Many fans aren't sure what Melvin "I have nine submission losses" Guillard was thinking when he called out jiu-jitsu ace Jim Miller in 2011.
Guillard was only hours outside of a knockout win against WEC import Shane Roller before challenging New Jersey's finest lightweight.
"Whenever I get my shot, I'll get it. I'm patient. Jim Miller, definitely, that's the fight I want. That's a fight I need to get. I need him to stay undefeated, though, for me to fight him."
Perhaps it was little more than a sign of cockiness from a fighter whose self-image has been inflated on more than a few occasions. Maybe "The Young Assassin" had done enough work on his submission defense that he would be able to pull off the victory.
Regardless of the reason, Melvin was quickly and easily dispatched by Miller in the main event of UFC on FX 1 in January 2012. The loss came at 2:04 in the first round when Guillard succumbed to a choke for the sixth time in his UFC career.
UFC matchmaker Joe Silva watches your interviews and tries to book fights anytime that someone on the roster goes out of their way to ask for their next opponent.
At UFC 128, heavyweight Brendan Schaub was on top of the world. Following a tremendous knockout win over PRIDE mega-star Mirko Cro Cop, the Ultimate Fighter runner-up was asked about who he wanted next. The answer: Antonio "Minotauro" Nogueira.
It makes sense that Schaub wanted to get into the cage with a legend like Nogueira after besting Cro Cop. "Big Nog" represented a major challenge that carried name value as well as a realistic chance of winning when you consider that the Brazilian was well past his physical prime.
Nogueira is a submission artist, but he let his hands fly when meeting Schaub at UFC 134. The move paid off in the first round when Schaub found himself on the receiving end of a KO.
Schaub's career has yet to recover from this loss.
Few fighters have made their name from trash talk the way that Chael Sonnen did against Anderson Silva. Utilizing his now-famous gift of gab, Sonnen went from being a solid middleweight to a household name almost overnight.
The only problem with calling out Anderson Silva is that you might end up having to fight Anderson Silva.
Sonnen did a spectacular job in the first fight, but got caught halfway through the final round. When "The American Gangster" pounded down Dana White's door and pleaded for a rematch, it turned out to be a very painful mistake.
In the main event of UFC 148, Sonnen found out exactly why the standup attack of "The Spider" is the most feared in MMA today. Anderson scored a knockdown in the second round before unloading a brutal knee to the body that made fight fans around the world cringe.
Author's Note: After UFC 159, this slide might be edited to include Chael's boneheaded calling out of Jon Jones. I would have included it now, but it felt too much like prematurely writing someone's eulogy.
When UFC 153 lost its main event and co-main event on the same day, the Brazilian card was in dire need of some rebuilding. Not only was homegrown boxer Fabio Maldonado willing to offer his services, but he made the mistake of calling out white-hot prospect Glover Teixeira as an opponent.
How in the world Maldonado thought this was a good idea is beyond me, and his mistake was obvious the moment that he tasted leather from Teixeira.
Glover delivered one of the most difficult-to-watch beatdowns in the history of mixed martial arts, and were it not for Maldonado's unflinching chin, it would have been over quickly.
Unfortunately, Fabio's ability to take a punch was matched only by his unflinching desire to keep pushing forward and the Brazilian received some of the most brutal punishment to ever take place inside the Octagon until the cageside doctors mercifully called a stop to the action after the second round.
Only one call out in MMA history has ever blown up in someone's face without them even getting the fight they wanted, and that dubious honor belongs to Jason "Mayhem" Miller.
Shortly after Strikeforce champion Jake Shields defended his title against Dan Henderson, fellow middleweight Miller snuck his way into the cage and interrupted the post-fight interview.
Mayhem, who fought earlier in the evening during the preliminary card, got in front of the microphone and called out Shields for a rematch from their November 2009 contest.
Shields didn't have the opportunity to respond before his fight team, which included Nick Diaz, Nate Diaz and Gilbert Melendez, pounced on Miller and delivered a gang-style beatdown to the man who dared disrespect their friend during his big moment.
Not only did Miller not get his rematch, but he never fought for Strikeforce again and got pummeled on network television.