When you're talking about something like professional fighting, crazy and even downright unlikeable characters are going to come with the territory.
Though the huge majority of its athletes are humble and respectful law-abiding people, it's still a sport (like pro football or boxing) that essentially involves paying men for behaving badly.
It's a highly testosterone-laden environment, as evidenced by what happened when a transgender athlete was thrown into the pool; that feeding frenzy is somehow still going. In any case, here are the top 10 most unlikeable characters in mixed martial arts today.
Steven Seagal is a special blend of Hollywood and MMA, a potent concoction of the arrogant and the ersatz.
Did he really teach the front kick to Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida? Who knows. But the prickly, self-satisfied former movie star is the butt of jokes around MMA for his Hall of Fame-level unlikeability.
It's easy to appreciate from afar Frank Mir's personal intelligence and studious approach to the fight game. But it's just as easy to detect that unmistakable aroma of unbridled jerkdom.
He always seems to take the trash talk juuuust a bit too far. And of course, there's the little matter of that half-smirk, half-sneer that will be forever known to fight fans as The Frank Mir Face.
When you're as big and bad as Alistair Overeem, everyone probably starts to look like a little person. The Smirking Dutchman got a little vision check recently from Antonio Silva, much to the delight of fight fans everywhere.
Oh, and he's also been caught cheating.
It's more than just the fact that he fights in his undies. It's that he has consistently resorted to dirty tactics in the cage while displaying plenty of apathy toward those around him. Want more details? My colleague Jonathan Snowden summed it up rather nicely a few months ago.
The ultimate heel, Josh Koscheck's career may be hitting its downslope. But this central-casting high school bully figure is still loathed by most fans, and he still remains the only UFC fighter that I'm aware of who was dissed by his own college wrestling coach. You have to work pretty hard for a college wrestling coach to throw perhaps his most talented charge to date under the team bus.
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson clearly has a good sense of humor, but it would be great to see him mix a little more self-deprecation into his routine. And hey, if he needs more time to hone that particular aspect of his craft, he could always cut out the harassing of the female reporters.
This could have probably gone to any number of other people in the wake of this ongoing tempest in a teapot that is transgendered fighter Fallon Fox's attempt to find a foothold in pro fighting.
It could have gone to former welterweight champion and current UFC front office window treatment Matt Hughes, who referred to Fox as "it" during a public question and answer session.
It could have gone to Bellator's War Machine, a convicted criminal and recent Fox ranter.
There are others. But Matt Mitrione takes the cake not only because he is the most high-profile example of someone who ripped Fox, but because of the premeditated and entirely unnecessary nastiness with which he laid into Fox.
Reasonable people can disagree and they can debate, but calling someone a "disgusting freak" unprompted during a major interview was in no way designed as a thought-provoking comment or even a "strong opinion." It wasn't a random tweet or an off-handed comment, either. It was intended as yet another destructive and divisive verbal grenade hurled into an increasingly destructive and divisive debate for one reason and reason only: because he could.
And now we go from words to actions. Brett Rogers has an unlikeability advantage in this department thanks to that domestic violence conviction stemming from an incident with his wife.
Yep. Pretty easy to dislike that.
The guy who, along with his twin brother, served prison time for involuntary manslaughter after a fight that left a young man dead. He was signed to Bellator, and pulled from Bellator 81 after a public outcry over the signing. Dan McGuane has been quiet since, but he is still hard to like.
Jiu-jitsu coach Lloyd Irvin is losing his mini-empire after a strange and long-running string of sexual assault allegations, including rape.
As if that weren't enough, Irvin has been noticeably self-righteous about the whole thing. He's even buying various web domain names (including "Lloyd Irvin rape") and directing them back to his own sites. The phrase I'm looking for is "stay classy."