No sport has as much direct fan-to-athlete contact as MMA. That's just a great thing for us (though it certainly causes occasional headaches for Zuffa's PR department).
Twitter is the preferred means of communication in this world of fighting people in cages (and sometimes rings).
The thing is, there are dozens of organizations, hundreds of fighters and a boatload of journalists out there that you could hit “Follow” for. Really, though, do you want to be that guy that has 9000 people you're following and 15 followers, made up of your mother, cousin and a few computer-automated Russian hotties?
Of course not! That's why we're here, to help you obtain the most efficient Twitter account possible by picking out the 10 Twitter accounts you have to follow.
Sure, you could follow more, but it's just really not necessary. You only need a few people to really keep track of MMA on the whole, and that's what I'm here to help you with.
Yes, I know. This is more than ten people right off the bat.
That said, there is no better way to keep track of what is happening in MMA than constantly staying at your computer and mashing F5 all day on Bleacher Report's MMA page. The best way to keep track of everything on Bleacher Report's MMA page, though, is on Twitter.
Our top-flight “Caged In” group includes Jeremy Botter, Jon Snowden, Damon Martin and Duane Finley. Other vets of the team include Trent Reinsmith, Scott Harris, Matt Saccaro and Jordy McElroy. We also have Jack Slack. He's pretty decent, from what I hear.
Most importantly, there's me. You can follow me here.
We all keep it real, yo. So check us out!
This one is a bit of a no-brainer, but it would be a pretty crappy list if UFC President Dana White wasn't included.
The UFC's big, bad boss is quick to freak out on fans and unknowingly get in Internet arguments with fighters in and out of his organization. That said, he is also still the first one to announce (or at least, hint at) major developments.
The majority of White's tweets are general hype fodder or one-line zingers at disgruntled fans. Watch this new commercial, “you're fat,” check out the press conference, “man, these guys are going to put on a great fight,” etc.
That said, a huge amount of the sport's news (and melodrama) starts (and ends) with White. Here's his Twitter page.
In addition to us at Bleacher Report, Ariel Helwani is a must-follow.
The Fuel TV contributor and MMA Hour host is downright glued to Twitter. Whenever a huge story breaks, he's always right there in the thick of it. Sometimes, he breaks the story himself. Other times, he asks for clarifications and usually gets them.
This is all on top of the fact that he hosts, perhaps, the best MMA-related show on the Internet.
He is quick to react and has plenty of insiders whispering the latest into his ear. So make sure you give him a follow.
You know those “sources” that seem to pop up in other sports right before something big is about to happen? Those “insiders” that reveal blockbuster trades or coach firings well before they actually happen?
The enigmatic Front Row Brian is MMA's catch-all “source.”
Some of the stuff he puts forward is downright strange (he recently suggested Pat Barry vs. Mirko Cro Cop was fixed). Other stuff would have the Bleacher Reports standards folks all over me.
What makes “FRB” a must-follow, though, is his rich history of breaking news well before anybody else. This ranges from smaller things like injuries to huge, industry-shaking happenings like Nick Diaz's most recent failed drug test and the wheels falling off Strikeforce.
By no means is he 100 percent accurate, but he's correct more than often enough to warrant a follow.
Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall is so popular, and such a pivotal fighter in the UFC's flyweight division that it's crazy to think he just has three fights in the promotion. He also happens to be one of those guys that is crazy-active on Twitter.
Blending a bit of analysis, a bit of idle conversation with fellow fighters and some general wackiness, McCall has basically whatever you could want out of a fighter on Twitter.
He delivers a high volume of tweets a day, so he is sure to be a steady presence on your feed. That's not a bad thing from him, so make sure to follow the 125-pound contender.
Whether or not you like the “American Gangster,” it is absolutely undeniable that Chael Sonnen is the single greatest wordsmith in MMA and possibly the greatest in sports today. Not coincidentally, he ends up among Twitter's must-follow personalities.
Through the years, Sonnen has taken shots at dozens (maybe hundreds) of folks in and out of the UFC. His most common targets included Anderson Silva, Vitor Belfort, Wanderlei Silva and Jon Jones. He has also taken shots at personalities ranging from Octagon Girl Arianny Celeste to now-disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong to actor-turned-meme Steven Seagal to former Pride heavyweight Mirko Cro Cop.
While he does not tweet as much as his fans would like, each block of 140 characters tends to bring laughs. Check him out here.
Girlfriend leave you? Boss just won't quit riding you? Feeling down on life?
The best cure for basically any possible problem that can come your way? A healthy dosage of Pat Barry.
The UFC's king of fun is an all-around awesome dude and puts out more laughs than any fighter in combat sports. Sometimes, it's his awesome analysis of a fight. Other times, it's when he dances on the side of a highway in nothing but his boxers during a blizzard.
Either way, the sheer awesomeness of each of his tweets is enough to make you forget he talks exclusively with his caps lock on. Follow him here.
Joe Lauzon is just generally awesome at everything. He's one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC, and one of the best lightweights there is. He's just as good on Twitter, by the way.
He was the genius behind the day-by-day recovery collage after his fight with Jim Miller. He showed us the highlights of the “Food Decathalon,” where he eats 4200 calories worth of fast food and then horks it into a toilet. He also just does lots of generally funny stuff with prominent New England martial arts figures.
Really, Lauzon is just somebody you need more of in your life. A decent way to get that rolling is to follow him on Twitter.
So we have folks who are funny as hell. We have the best sources for news on Twitter. We have the best darn MMA site on the internet covered.
How about some stream of consciousness-style tweeting? There are more than a few options for that when it comes to this style of social media butterfly.
If you want a guy who puts out crazy stuff, check out War Machine. If you want somebody who throws out lots of philosophy and gives shout-outs to his number-one homeboy, Jesus Christ, look up Ben Henderson.
The best when it comes to all-points tweeting, though, is TUF veteran Nam Phan. He'll talk about ice cream; he'll talk about Dragon Ball Z; he'll talk about movies, and he'll talk about any given big night of fights.
That's just from the last two weeks, by the way. Check him out here.
If you haven't yet heard of Tommy Toe Hold, the animated MMA analyst, then you're probably just generally bad at life. Here's a link. You're welcome.
Well, his Twitter account delivers laughs between videos. He tweeted this during UFC 158:
Mike Ricci looks like Captain America before the super soldier treatment. #UFC158
— Tommy Toe Hold (@TommyToeHold) March 17, 2013
Yeah. Even if it's just to minimize the amount of time between his videos being posted and your eyeballs seeing them, TTH is a must-follow.