With the UFC's Ultimate Finale airing tonight, I couldn't help but reflect on the season. It was better than I had anticipated, but with one exception: The trash talking between Rampage and Rashad was just horrible! For example, here's an exchange between the two from the last episode:
Rampage: "I want you confident so I can serve your ass."
Rashad: "You will never serve me!"
Rampage: I'll serve your ass."
Rashad:You'll never serve me."
Rampage: "Man, I will serve you!"
Rashad: "Dude, you will never serve me."
Rampage: "I'll serve your ass. I will serve your ass."
I was shocked and appalled to find that fighters who can talk such a great game in interviews had to resort to repeating the same thing over and over and over again in person. It got to the point that I wanted to fast forward past each run-in they had.
So, in an effort to purge my mind of those senseless spewings, I give you an all-time top ten in the art of talking smack. Any one of these guys would at least leave Rashad or Rampage speechless, and at most have them running away in tears.
Joey's been talking trash for what feels like decades. He would just as soon take your head off for catching a pass over the middle as talk your ear off for even thinking about it. And both are equally effective.
Favorite Quote: "I'm going to send him the new plasma black-and-white TV. Hopefully, he's going to get the chance to watch us in our playoff game in Indianapolis.”
Avery is a bit of a newcomer to the trash-talking world, but opponents will testify that he's one of the best at it. His typical shift looks something like this: Run his mouth, hit you, run his mouth, hit you again, run his mouth, take/draw a penalty, repeat. His trash talking has become so epic, the league suspended him for one infamous outburst in Dallas.
Favorite quote: "Typical of most French guys in our league with a visor on, running around and playing tough and not back anything up.”
"Prime Time" took every play and turned it into a performance. One of the most feared cornerbacks in the game, you would never give a thought to throwing in his direction. After a couple quarters of dealing with his smack however, you just wanted to shut him up and prove him wrong. And at that point, he had you exactly where he wanted you. You can now catch him talking a more family-friendly variation of his smack on CBS doing NFL pre-game.
Favorite quote: “I just think I can make plays, ... You know that, everybody knows that. I think fans want to see that . . . I gave everyone a commercial last year. I want to give them a movie.”
Floyd is a guy that, he talks so much and gets so much publicity for it, it feels like he's been doing it for a heck of a lot longer than he really has. The man is only 32, and it feels like he's been in the press for 10. He had enough charisma that the WWE brought him in for Wrestlemania XXIV.
Favorite quote: "To be honest with you, I normally beat guys with my C game and I don’t have to pull my A or B game out."
Try getting through a week during the NFL season and not find cameras in front of Chad. It's impossible. Even before he was Ochocinco, he was putting up lists of cornerbacks, daring them to cover him. He talks so much, doing it in person wasn't enough. He twittered so much, he's the reason NFL banned its use during games.
Favorite quote: "There are two things for Brother (Al) Harris this week: The bad thing is, he has to cover me. The good is that he can save 15 percent by switching his auto insurance to Geico."
The Glove is the epitome of that guy who you hate with your entire being, until he plays for your team. Then he becomes your favorite player ever. His talent was undeniable. He was a fantastic shooter, and one of the best defensive guards the game has ever seen.
What stepped his game to the next level was his ability to talk your ear off and get into your head. It's hard enough trying to dribble upcourt against him, but with him yapping at you the whole way? Good luck.
Favorite quote: “You’re lucky I’m not an A.I. type of player. I would score 50 on you in the first half.”
Esa set the standard for players like Sean Avery. Early on in his career, he had very good offensive numbers. But playing on a line with Wayne Gretzky and Jari Kurri, his role was to play defense and muck it up with the other team.
The Finnish-born forward crafted his own brand of trash talk, labeled "Tikkanese", a mixing of English, Finnish, and Swedish. Why is he this high on my board? Once you've created your own language, you're clearly ahead of the curve.
Favorite quote: "Esa talks twice as much as anybody else. That's because you can understand just half what he says."
-Former Edmonton Oilers teammate Craig McTavish
Iron Mike ranks this high for two simple reasons. 1) Intimidation alone. I don't care if he's telling me a nursery rhyme, I'm scared for my life. 2) He came up with the most absurd, outlandish, yet innovative rants I have ever heard. The video from the Tyson-Lewis press conference was amazing. It contains one of my all-time favorite press conference sound bites.
Favorite quote: "My style is impetuous. My defense is impregnable, and I'm just ferocious."
It's not often that you'll find a sports greatest player to also be one of its best trash talkers, but here you find MJ. He had such a competitive drive, he almost couldn't help himself.
I can't imagine what it had to be like to play against that man. It's bad enough that you couldn't stop him if you wanted to, but then to have to hear about it for 48 minutes? I pitty those who tried to guard him.
Favorite quote: "There is no "I" in team but there is in win."
Ali is by far the gold standard in trash talk. As far as I can tell, he invented the art. No one has done it as long, or as creatively as he has. He had lines that, two weeks later, his target still couldn't think up a response. Ali's mouth was as fast as his fists, and just as deadly. Hail to the king, baby.
Favorite quote: "If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, they can sure make something out of you."