/Door creaks open.
It is Hallow's Eve once again, boys and ghouls, and as such we have a "SPOOK"tacular scarefest in store for you. Following forthwith are the 10 creeeeepiest, craaaaaaawwwliest, scaaaariest professional mixed martial artists currently alive. Or aaaaare they?!?!
These are active (or at least semi-active) fighters only. Creepiness based on public persona and in-cage style or behavior (as opposed solely to rap sheet, etc.)
Enjoy the show...if you dare. Muahahahahahaaaa!
Amazing fighter, amazing athlete, fine young man.
But, you know, the Chucky giggling and the silliness and the permagrin? It's all a little much. I mean, you want guys to show personality, but in the case of the UFC's second-best flyweight, maybe there are different ways of channeling all that childlike moxie, or whatever you call it.
The former Shooto lightweight champ and current (if slumping) ONE FC lightweight contender makes the list for two things: his resemblance to a hit man in a Haruki Murakami novel and his terrifying nickname: "No Face."
I hear tell that the nickname came from a character in "Spirited Away," a very surreal and highly acclaimed Japanimation film.
Look at Dana White to the right there. He hates this stuff!
Love it or hate it, Colin "Freakshow" Fletcher was on the fast track to the pantheon of creepy, thanks to his ghoulish walkout getups (toned down when he entered the UFC), disturbing ink tapestry and teeth filed to fangs(!).
Then it came out that he was an incredibly nice person. Then it came out that he wasn't a UFC-caliber fighter. After he herky-jerked his way to an 0-2 record in formal UFC bouts, Fletcher left the promotion and now plies his trade back in his native Britain.
Word is Japan's Katsunori Kikuno, DEEP's former lightweight champ, recently signed with the UFC. The 32-year-old is pretty darn good, at least when he's swimming in Japanese waters, where he has won five straight overall and four straight by stoppage.
So what makes him creepy? Only moving pictures do it full justice. So check out the highlight reel included here and notice his eminently creepy tendency to stalk down opponents with his arms held out limply in front of him (examples start at the 2:08 mark). Imagine Nick Diaz has developed a taste for human flesh, and you'll have your basic image.
Fedor likes sweaters and ice cream. Aleks likes bar fights and disturbing religious imagery.
The Last Emperor's kid brother shares the elder's vacant, bloodless stare, if not the sparkling résumé. But Aleksander Emelianenko has his elder sibling lapped in the creepiness department, thanks to the homeless-level facial hair, checkered personal life and vaguely alarming body art that round out the I-must-do-violence gaze that never completely departs his face.
And also, what the hell is he doing here? Maybe I should've ranked him higher.
Diego Sanchez is on the right.
When you're creeping out John Dodson, you know you're doing it right.
If the bizarre and almost superhumanly intense Diego Sanchez wasn't one of your favorite fighters before UFC 166, his Fight of the Year short-lister with Gilbert Melendez probably got him there.
The man has a bottomless well for punishment. He's pouring blood and begging for more. It's easy to forget how abnormal that is. He would have been winking at Melendez if his eyes hadn't been swelling shut.
So, yeah. No denying that Diego is creepy as all get-out, but it shows that good guys can be creepy, too. And crazy.
Benjamin Brinsa looks normal enough on the surface. He appeared so clean and talented, in fact, that the UFC signed "The Hooligan" (13-0) back in August.
But looks can be deceiving. After the UFC signing, a report came out that the 24-year-old had ties to various neo-Nazi groups in his native Germany. The UFC cut him soon after, despite Brinsa's denial of the report.
If it's not true, here's hoping the truth comes out. If it is true, he, like all those of his ilk, is a creepy guy who deserves never to see the light of day in a professional MMA promotion again.
OK, no more Nazis. Now we turn our focus to less serious situations, namely convicted felons named War Machine.
As the Bellator marketing operation would be quick to tell you, War Machine is fueled by hate. Never mind the rap sheet or the jail time; have you read his Twitter? Check it out if you don't feel inclined to take my word for it. It's all there, and there's no one out in cyberspace he doesn't hate and attack accordingly.
That includes any fan or media member, who, he reasons, are simply envious of the alpha-male, adult-film-actoresque lifestyle he insists on essentially live-tweeting, sometimes on the NSFW side of things. You know, when he's not talking about the kids' martial arts classes he's teaching. Great times.
OK, sorry, one more Nazi. And if you thought Brinsa was bad, try this guy on for size.
It seems Melvin Costa may have tried to ink over those lovely Nazi symbols he had tattooed in prominent places on his body. But I don't believe I've seen him renounce his outspoken views on the related subject matter anywhere. Rather, he seemed motivated to do it because no promotion, rightly so, seemed to want anything to do with him, including his rather permissive promotional home, California's King of the Cage.
You were expecting someone else?
Jason Miller is number one with a bullet here in creepy fighter land. Having the kind of year he's had will do that for you.
Getting arrested three times in a year (all under bizarre circumstances) is just a starter. There are also the media meltdowns, and the small matter of hurling racial epithets at a current UFC fighter and getting yourself sucker-punched.
There's also the matter of his patently, entirely incoherent and paranoid Twitter account, a virtual window into the mind of a genuinely disturbed person. Disturbed enough, in fact, that at first you almost feel sympathy for him. But at this point, you have to guess that he's been offered help and turned it down. Here's hoping he does the right thing (or the right thing is done for him) before others get hurt or he further hurts himself. No one wants that. Either way, he's the creepiest fighter out there right now.
Scott Harris is a writer with Bleacher Report MMA. Follow him on Twitter for more MMA and other stuff.