The 25 Worst Nicknames in MMA History

Scott Harris@ScottHarrisMMAMMA Lead WriterAugust 13, 2013

The 25 Worst Nicknames in MMA History

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    In the spring, I published a treatise on the 15 best nicknames among active fighters in this great sport of mixed martial arts. I found writing that document to be quite a struggle, and when I emerged, I knew what Francis Ford Coppola felt after finally completing Apocalypse Now. That is to say, I knew that I had suffered dearly for my art—my slideshow art—but I had emerged on the other side a better man. A man in full, if you like.

    Now, it appears I'm a bit of a glutton for punishment! Or at least someone with the inability to rein in one's editorial. I'm the David Foster Wallace, the J.K. Rowling, the Gregg Easterbrook of MMA nickname slideshows.

    For now, here emerges a second tome, and one even longer than the first. These are the 25 worst nicknames in the history of MMA.

    Fair warning: You're not liable to see a lot of famous faces on here. We're going beyond the usual suspects of UFC Unleashed. We're going deep for this one, friends. We're going full Coppola once again. Will I survive? I like to think I will. But in what form? That's the true question. 

25. Any Nickname with the Word "Pitbull"

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    Patricio "Pitbull" Freire

    Patricky "Pitbull" Freire

    Thiago "Pitbull" Alves

    Andrei "The Pitbull" Arlovski

    Damian "Polish Pitbull" Grabowski

24. Any Nickname with the Word "Assassin"

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    Houston "The Assassin" Alexander

    Mike "The Assassin" Lindquist

    Saad "Assassin" Awad

    Luke "The Silent Assassin" Cummo

    Abel "The Silent Assassin" Cullum

    Melvin "The Young Assassin" Guillard

    Josh "The Babyfaced Assassin" Barnett

    David "The Soul Assassin" Terrell

    "The African Assassin" Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou

    Sam "Alaskan Assassin" Hoger

    Phillipe "The Filipino Assassin" Nover

    Ryan "The Irish Assassin" Healy

    Skep "The Dark Assassin" Palacios

    Hugh "The Smiling Assassin" Cameron

    "The Loudmouth Assassin" Marcus Hicks

23. Brad "The Hillbilly Heartthrob" Imes

3 of 25

    Division: Heavyweight

    Most recent promotion: Titan Fighting Championships/Arena Rumble 

    Record: 13-7

    Age: 36

    Don't tell Brad "The Hillbilly Heartthrob" that he had himself a glass jaw. I just don't think he'd understand. Boom!


22. Cuki "The Flying Cockroach" Alvarez

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    Division: Lightweight

    Most recent promotion: PXC

    Record: 4-0

    Age: 42

    Flying cockroaches blend pure revulsion and, in certain cases, pestilence, with a general and rather complete lack of real, actual danger. This nickname must be terrifying to opponents, not to mention devilish with the female cockroaches.


21. Frank "Twinkle Toes" Trigg

5 of 25

    Division: Welterweight/middleweight

    Most recent promotion: BAMMA

    Record: 21-9

    Age: 41

    Great name for a shortstop, or even for a flyweight fighter. But Frank Trigg, who could knock people out but wasn't exactly a boxing genius or a necessarily "twinkly" person, doesn't do the name justice.

    It's like nicknaming yourself "Sugar." In order to pull off "Sugar," you have to be undeniably, superlatively sweet.

    Trigg was not twinkly. So the name just came off as silly as a result.


20. Jorge "The Naked Man" Ortiz

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    Division: Welterweight

    Most recent promotion: TSC

    Record: 18-9

    Age: 36

    "The Naked Man" has been around for quite a while. His biggest win? Jason Guida, circa 2004. His biggest loss? There are a few: Jon Fitch, Jesse Taylor and Lyman Good stand out.

    But what stands even more is the fact that he calls himself "The Naked Man." Because he's an unprotected warrior reveling in the unvarnished one-on-one athletic competition that is MMA? Or is it because of, eh, some other reason? I don't know.

    Regardless, it's not good.


19. Jules “Cottonmouth from the South” Bruchez

7 of 25

    Division: Middleweight

    Most recent promotion: Bellator

    Record: 1-2

    Age: 35

    My problem isn't the inorganic rhyming, or even the 1-2 record. It's the fact that he's using the term "Cottonmouth" with the "South," as if the venemous cottonmouth snake (a.k.a. water moccasin) needed that sort of add-on to identify its native habitat. Pssssht.

18. Lyle "Fancy Pants" Beerbohm

8 of 25

    Division: Lightweight

    Most recent promotion: World Series of Fighting

    Record: 22-3

    Age: 34

    Don't get me wrong: I'm a "Fancy Pants" fan. And it's extra hard for me to add this to the list, given that his mother creates those namesake shorts for him.

    But, yes. "Fancy Pants" is not a very strong MMA nickname. Whatever is the opposite of "instill fear," that idiom applies to "Fancy Pants."

17. Kurt "Batman" Pellegrino

9 of 25

    Division: Lightweight

    Most recent promotion: Bellator

    Record: 16-7

    Age: 34

    Respect to the UFC veteran, but you have to do more than like or want to be Batman in order to don that particular cowl. It's like a scrub wearing a Jordan jersey to the playgrounds. 

    If Jon Jones wants to be "Batman," that's another story. Consider it, Jon. "Bones" doesn't suit you.

16. Dave "Pee Wee" Herman

10 of 25

    Division: Heavyweight

    Most recent promotion: UFC 

    Record: 21-6

    Age: 28

    Wait, wait. I don't get it. Dave Herman fights at heavyweight. So why the "Pee Wee" nickname? Why the...ohhhhhh. Because "Pee Wee Herman." Right? Like the former children's show host who got caught, uh, being decidedly not childlike in a not-childlike theater. 

    Now that I think about it, this one works on a lot of different levels.

15. Ashleigh "Ash Cream Man" Grimshaw

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    Division: Featherweight

    Most recent promotion: UCMMA 

    Record: 14-8-1-1

    Age: 31

    If you're me, when you hear the nickname "Ash Cream Man," you think of two things. First, you think of the person who sells ice cream and stuff like that from a truck. About a third of a second later, you think of "The Trashcan Man" from Stephen King's novel The Stand. Or, just an ash can

    Whatever your own associations, these words aren't exactly great tastes together. No wonder Ashleigh Grimshaw later tried to change his nickname to "Cruiser" and "Thunderball Kid." Nice try, Ash Cream. Nice try.


14. Elvis "The King of Rock N' Rumble" Sinosic

12 of 25

    Division: Light heavyweight

    Most recent promotion: Cage Rage

    Record: 8-11-2

    Age: 42

    During his relatively long UFC run, the Australian was privileged enough to lose to the likes of Forrest Griffin, Michael Bisping, Tito Ortiz, Evan Tanner, Babalu Sobral and Alessio Sakara. That's pretty good. He also beat Jeremy Horn and was known in his day as one of the true good guys of the sport.

    Nevertheless, that's easily one of the most overwrought and overthought nicknames in MMA history. What's more, all that thinking and wroughting didn't even accomplish anything. Because the nickname is very silly, you see.


13. Pedro "The Pedro" Otavio

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    Division: Heavyweight

    Most recent promotion: International Vale Tudo

    Record: 19-8

    Age: 45

    Sometimes you don't have the luxury of focus groups. Sometimes you don't have an opportunity to "think about it" or "give it a second."

    Sometimes, someone asks you what your nickname is going to be, and you panic, because you haven't really thought about it, and you just say the first thing that comes to mind. Take it from me, Scott "The Scott" Harris. There's no way Pedro Otavio calling himself "The Pedro" is as silly as it seems on first blush. It can't be.

    In case your memory fails you, please peruse this account of The Pedro's groin-strike battle with one Gary Goodridge. You can almost hear the boulders crashing into the sea as you read it.

12. Sean "The Muscle Shark" Sherk

14 of 25

    Division: Lightweight

    Most recent promotion: UFC

    Record: 38-4-1

    Age: 40

    In order to try and fully understand this nickname, I had to put on my Ocean Pacific T-shirt and Jamz shorts. But it wasn't enough. So I greased up the T&C surfboard with Mr. Zog's Sex Wax and hit a couple waves to clear my head. And still, I was left wanting. 

    But now, a trip to Brew-Thru and a re-watching of the Hermes Franca fight later, I understand.

11. Scott "Tickle Fight" Thometz

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    Division: Lightweight

    Most recent promotion: Rogue Warrior Championships

    Record: 6-2

    Age: Unknown

    Okay, now we're getting serious. Whenever the dreaded "Unknown" starts to creep into the equation, you know you're going deep.

    But for guys like Scott "Tickle Fight" Thometz, you know it's worth it. Little-known story: Thometz got his nickname during a sixth-grade slumber party*. That's especially interesting given that ol' "Tickle Fight" is apparently an Army Ranger and a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

    *Story may not be true.


10. Marcus "The Irish Hand Grenade" Davis

16 of 25

    Division: Welterweight

    Most recent promotion: New England Fights

    Record: 22-9-1

    Age: 39

    I've made this argument before, and I'll make it again: Marcus Davis isn't Irish. And if he was, or if he had any cares or concerns about the history of that country, he'd probably realize that "Irish" and "Hand Grenade" don't make the greatest team as far as concepts go.

    And yeah, I realize he's probably of Irish descent. But he's not "The Irish-Descended Hand Grenade." It's false advertising.

    Whatever. I'll be at Bennigan's eating an Irish Pizza. Just as they do it in Killarney. 

9. Dan "The Police Officer" Copp

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    Division: Lightweight

    Most recent promotion: Rochester Gladiators 

    Record: 6-8

    Age: Unknown

    I don't know whether Dan Copp is a police officer or not. Either way, though, this is a horrible pun, given that his last name is Copp.

    Really. It's not good. In fact, it's so bad, it's downright "arresting." Know what I mean?

8. Ron "H2O" Waterman

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    Division: Heavyweight

    Most recent promotion: Born to be Bad 

    Record: 16-6-2

    Age: 47

    Speaking of bad name puns, here's perhaps the worst. You're better than this, Ron Waterman. Everyone with your last name is better than this. You were Shane Carwin before Shane Carwin was Shane Carwin. Why did you go with that moniker? Say it ain't so, H2O.


7. Marius "Whitemare" Zaromskis

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    Division: Welterweight

    Most recent promotion: Bellator 

    Record: 19-8-1

    Age: 33

    I hope I don't need to explain why this is a bad nickname. But in case I do, here goes: Pssst, it could be construed as racist! It's also, in accordance with the emerging theme here, a rather terrible play on words.

    In all fairness, he's an insanely good striker. He didn't have much luck against Andrey Koreshkov, though (pictured). I'm sure he'll bounce back in one capacity or another.

6. Gegard "The Dreamcatcher" Mousasi

20 of 25

    Division: Light heavyweight

    Most recent promotion: UFC

    Record: 34-3-2

    Age: 28

    I'm concerned for Gegard Mousasi, vis a vis his nickname selection. Perhaps something got lost in the translation? Perhaps he didn't realize that a phrase which meant "going after my goals" to him meant "wacky rear-view mirror accessory" to most North Americans.

    It's unfortunate, really. Here's hoping he figures something out.

5. Kenny "Ken Flo" Florian

21 of 25

    Division: Lightweight/Featherweight

    Most recent promotion: UFC

    Record: 14-6

    Age: 37

    Exhibit B that the "Combine-First-Letter-And-Or-Syllable-Of-First-Name-With-First-Syllable-of-Last-Name" nickname formula was not the world's most sustainable of formulas. Exhibit A, now and forever, is Kenyon Martin.

    In any case, to repeat a joke I've made before and will surely make again, Ken-Flo is a particularly virulent strain within the nicknaming subgenre.

    Why? Because it sounds like a brand of catheters. Prostate difficulties? Unstable urine stream? Bladder or urethra constriction? Let's talk about your problem. And then let's talk about your solution: Ken-Flo Catheters.

4. Logan "The Pink Pounder" Clark

22 of 25

    Division: Middleweight

    Most recent promotion: Brutaal 

    Record: 18-5

    Age: 28

    As a fighter, Logan Clark is actually pretty good. His nickname, though, is not. He should get rid of it.

    I'm assuming it's some kind of misguided play on "The Pink Panther," except they used "pounder" instead of "panther," you know, because he punches people. But let's take a look at the forest for the trees, Team Logan Clark. I don't want to make you uncomfortable, but...well, the nickname has vulgar overtones.

3. Hobert "The French Tickler" Cornett

23 of 25

    Division: Featherweight

    Most recent promotion: Premier Sports 

    Record: 0-2

    Age: Unknown

    See previous slide. Except in this case, there's no semantic fig leaf behind which to make oneself modest. 

    I assume that Cornett is of French descent, despite the fact that he is a Kentucky native according to any and all public bios. So this one's a combination of bad word play and tackily graphic innuendo, with a twist of Marcus Davis syndrome. It's like a perfect storm of bad nickname rationales.

2. Joe "J-Lau" Lauzon

24 of 25

    Division: Lightweight

    Most recent promotion: UFC 

    Record: 22-8

    Age: 29

    Exhibit C that the naming formula originally mentioned in the Ken-Flo context should, indeed, be shelved forever. 

    Joe Lauzon's nickname, J-Lau, is spelled differently than J-Lo, which is the nickname of singer-celebrity Jennifer Lopez. But it's pronounced the same, you know? Kind of confusing, and perhaps a potential (and unwarranted) wellspring of ridicule for one of the toughest and best fighters in the UFC's lightweight division. Actually, that's all the more reason to hate the nickname.

    But hey, if he sticks with it, maybe they'll give him a fragrance. That would be nice. I bet I could detect the notes of Jim Miller's mucus.

1. Joseph "The Ho Bag" Bochenek

25 of 25

    Division: Unknown

    Most recent promotion: XCF

    Record: 0-10

    Age: Unknown

    Take a moment. Let it wash over you. And never forget that you were once at least somewhat in the presence of the unknowable god of terrible nicknames, Mr. Joseph "Ho Bag" Bochenek.

    He exists, though. Trust me. Even if there's no confirmed picture or significant promotion or biographical information for Mr. Bag on the Internet. His fight record is clear enough. And so is his place in history. He's the greatest, and he's the greatest for one reason and one reason only: because his nickname is "The Ho Bag."

    Dear Ho Bag: if you're out there, I want an interview. Tweet me?