Who doesn’t love and respect Georges St-Pierre, Randy Couture or Lyoto Machida? Those guys ooze respect, honor and sportsmanship. They seem, by all accounts, great guys and fine ambassadors for the sport.
But the world isn’t all smiles and handshakes. The world needs its villains, and MMA is no different.
Who wants to watch the same stagnant clone of a persona take the microphone after brutally pummeling another man into submission every fight?
Bad boys, or rebels if you’d prefer, are a necessary counter the sport’s good guys. They keep the eyes wide and the ears cocked, and they keep butts in seats. If you’ve got your doubts, take a look at this list, and think for a moment about how many of these men are major financial draws.
Mike Kyle once attempted to turn Brian Olsen into a corpse inside the WEC cage. Thankfully there was enough man power lingering about the cage to rush in and save the poor guy’s life.
Kyle’s lost his temper on more than one occasion, and opted to exhibit the exact opposite of sportsmanship.
He’s cleaned his act up over the years, but you cannot deny his status as one of MMA’s most notorious bad boys.
Paul Daley snaps, and when he does all logic seems to fly out of the window, as evidenced in the immediate moments following his UFC 113 bout with Josh Koscheck.
Daley lost control of himself after Koscheck whispered one sweet nothing or another in his ear. The final bell sounded and Daley hurled a blatantly illegal shot at a disengaging Koscheck.
Daley’s had his fair share of troubles outside of the cage to boot.
Omitting the intense trash-talk that Diaz favors during combat, he’s fairly sportsmanlike during his fights. It’s prior to fights and afterwards that frequently involve electricity.
Diaz has drilled Jason Miller in the face on cable television, openly disrespected Dana White on more than a single occasion, chucks the bird at anyone who happens to offend him and isn’t above sparking some friction outside of professional combat.
This is one bad dude who completely embodies the term bad boy.
Oh boy...Gilbert Yvel. I don’t need to invest too much time in this specific slide, that’s for damn sure.
Yvel has bitten foes, eye gouged and even once knocked a referee unconscious. Sounds like a bad dude, no?
Ortiz has quietly hinted at a possible return to competition, although his mind seems far more focused on his new role as manager to the infamous Chris “Cyborg" Santos.
However, seeing Ortiz fight perhaps once more doesn’t look entirely out of the question, and that’s why he’s landed a spot on this list.
When it comes to MMA, Ortiz practically invented (with the help of the inspirational “Tank” Abbott) the bad boy persona.
With his expletive ridden t-shirts (apparently fans had gotten “Guy” Mezger’s name wrong early in his career, and apparently both he and Dana White are Tito’s bi... well, we’ll call them his “property” and avoid any profanities), street brawls and public feuds, the man understands what it takes to remain relevant in the eye of the general public, even if it is often annoying.
Nate’s practically a carbon copy of his elder brother. However, he exhibits a greater level of control than Nick...but it doesn’t go all too far in taming his wild nature.
Nate fears no man, and he’s happy to make it known at submission grappling tournaments, conventions, hey, he might even let you “know what’s up” at a grocery store if you were foolish enough to insult him.
Throw that patented Diaz middle finger and the penchant for chatter in the cage in the mix and you’ve got a top contender for biggest bad boy in the game today.
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson has taken his gaudy truck through crowded streets cluttered by potential victims while multiple squad cars pursued.
He’s sexually harassed (I’m not certain any of his “victims” were actually offended) multiple female reporters and he’s had a few mental breakdowns that have given way to some pretty outrageous statements.
Jackson seems to be toning the outbursts down as he ages, but he still qualifies as one of the sport’s OG bad boys.
Michael Bisping’s greatest tool might be his mouth. The guy has a knack for climbing under the skin of his peers, and it tends to lead to genuine drama inside the cage.
Bisping could probably benefit from the occasional visit to a sports psychologist, as illegal strikes, flying loads of phlegm and belittling handicapped opponents doesn’t seem to have endeared him to all too many fans.
I’m convinced Falcao is a psychopath. The man has a legal history in Brazil that somehow seems to remain—in large part—a mystery, and he absolutely erupts in rage from time to time while competing.
Falcao is an extremely talented mixed martial artist, but he’s a bad boy whose unpredictable ways could inflict long-term career damage.
Josh is an interesting specimen. I’m not wholly convinced that incorporating him in this list is appropriate; he’s more bully than bad boy.
Just the same, Koscheck’s personal insults tossed in the face of Chris Leben during the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter, coupled with frat-boy antagonizing and a generally abrasive demeanor earn him a comfy spot in this article.
Are we considering Julian Lane a professional fighter? Well, for the sake of good fun, let’s say he classifies as a “pro”.
Lane isn’t likely to be heard from in the MMA community ever again now that his run on The Ultimate Fighter season 16 is over. The kid lacked physical talent, but made sure to aim to provoke an out-of-the-cage fight with nearly every member in the TUF house.
He drank like a fish, talked more smack than you’d hear from both Diaz brothers after being thrown in a room with Josh Koscheck, all but bragged that he sat on his tail while his pregnant girlfriend worked two jobs to support him and birthed the most embarrassing MMAism known to man.
No Julian, we will not let you bang bro. If there is a God, no one will ever let you bang again, in any manner imaginable, bro.
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