Does the Spider make the list?
Fighters are usually given a nickname at the beginning of their career and some nicknames truly stand out. The greatest mixed martial artists of all-time have nicknames including Anderson “The Spider” Silva, Randy “The Natural” Couture, Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell and Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko.
Nicknames should be earned and not self-appointed. A nickname can strike fear in the opponent or give the crowd something to laugh at. Fighters know that when a nickname is given then they have done something special in the game of mixed martial arts. Some fighters don’t even have a nickname, including Royce Gracie, Frank Mir, Forrest Griffin and Chael Sonnen. Jim Miller is another fighter without a nickname, and maybe if he had a nickname he would be more marketable.
A nickname is a must in the world of MMA and fighters without them need to get one as soon as possible. Mike Goldberg is famously known for making Mike Swick’s nickname known as he screamed it after Swick knocked out Gideon Ray in his second UFC fight. Whether appointed by an announcer or by a trainer or another fighter, a nickname is sacred and shows the world what the fighter is all about.
This list is the top 10 nicknames in MMA history.
Dave Herman was blessed with his nickname of "Pee-Wee" simply because of his last name. It also helps that it is a bit of sarcasm because the 6’5" heavyweight is anything but pee-wee.
"Pee-Wee" recently made his UFC debut when he and Jon Olav Einemo fought in one of the most entertaining fights of the year at UFC 131. "Pee-Wee" was on the receiving end of some thunderous blows but refused to hit the ground. He fought back and eventually knocked out Einemo in round two.
"Pee-Wee" Herman holds an impressive 21-2 overall record, and fans all around the world will know his name if he keeps putting up impressive fights. Herman would love to make fans remember him instead of the original creepy Pee-Wee Herman. One suggestion to Herman’s fight game is to do the Pee-Wee Herman dance after a W.
The great Kazushi Sakuraba is truly a fighter who was given his nickname well into his fighting career. "The Gracie Hunter" is a nickname that was earned after defeating a boatload of Gracies. Sakuraba first beat Royler Gracie at Pride 8 then it was an all out war for Gracie blood. "The Gracie Hunter" handed the great Royce Gracie his first career loss in the Pride grand prix finals in 2000. He then defeated Renzo Gracie and Ryan Gracie.
Sakuraba was the man in Japan known for fighting any member from the Gracie family and taking them down. "The Gracie Hunter" did, however, lose to Royce Gracie in a rematch and also lost to the 25-year-old prodigy Ralek Gracie in 2010. A 4-2 record over the Gracie family is still something to boast about and it is a pretty sweet nickname.
The soon to be 42-year-old Sakuraba may be well past his prime, but I’m sure he would still take on a Gracie anytime, anywhere.
Dan Henderson can’t seem to stick with one nickname, but when you are as good as Henderson has been in his illustrious career he can have as many nicknames as he wants. "Hendo" is probably his most common nickname used in MMA and isn’t that creative considering it is just his last name altered a little bit.
He makes the list because he can go by any one of these.
"Dangerous" Dan is truly one of the most dangerous fighters the world has ever seen and brings everything he has into the cage. "Hollywood" is probably the most unusual of his nicknames because Henderson is anything but a Hollywood face. Henderson knows how to excite an audience, and don’t expect anything less when he takes on the former pound-for-pound No. 1 fighter in the world Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko.
"Dangerous Dan Hollywood Hendo" can use whichever nickname he wants because with the gold around his waist, I’m not sure anyone is going to question him.
Dustin Hazelett is a fighter than is probably more known for his nickname than his fight game. The now ex-UFC fighter was given his nickname after the highly regarded movie Super Bad hit it big at the box office. Hazelett’s resemblance to Super Bad star Christopher Mintz-Plasse was the main reason he was dubbed with the nickname "McLovin."
"McLovin" holds a 12-7 overall record and had a 5-5 record in the UFC before his dismissal. The jujitsu ace does hold some submission of the night victories over Josh Burkman and Tamdan McCrory. His incredible step-over armbar submission over Burkman actually got him submission of the year honors by many publications. "McLovin" is one of the most original nicknames in MMA history, but lacks toughness considering the original McLovin, Mintz-Plasse, probably weighs around 150 lbs.
Regardless of how tough it is it has to be considered one of the best and funniest nicknames ever. Let’s hope "McLovin" gets back on track just so we can hear Bruce Buffer say "McLovin" again.
Rick Story is a welterweight who caught many people off guard when he dominated former No. 1 contender Thiago Alves back at UFC 130. Rick “Horror” Story has a clever nickname as he is a nightmare for opponents. He could have went down another path with his nickname with Rick Story “Book," but let’s be honest: That doesn’t strike fear in anyone.
"Horror" Story almost had to change his nickname to Rick “Great” Story after he stepped in less than a month after his previous fight to duke it out with Nate Marquardt. Story, however, ended up fighting late replacement Charlie Brenneman and was upset. Story was on a fast track to stardom until he fought Brenneman, but Story won’t be giving up on his shot at gold.
Rick “Horror” Story doesn’t back down from a challenge, but maybe he should have because now he has a long road back to contention. One last suggestion for Story would be Rick “Bedtime” Story if he starts knocking more opponents unconscious. The possibilities are endless with a name like that!
Ed Ratcliff is a very boring name and doesn’t sound very tough at all. Ed “9 millimeter” Ratcliff, however, is about as tough of a nickname as there is. "9mm" Ratcliff holds a 7-3 overall record with five of those wins coming by (T)KO. The nickname "9mm" is a very fitting one for the exciting lightweight as he is always gunning for the finish.
Ratcliff’s most notable fight was against Donald Cerrone at WEC 45 when the two headlined the event. Ratcliff, however, was submitted by the cowboy in the third round of that fight. Ratcliff has currently lost three of his last four fights, all in the WEC. "9mm" Ratcliff was one of the more exciting fighters in the WEC and don’t be surprised if he finds himself in the UFC one of these days.
Ed “9mm” Ratcliff is no slouch at lightweight and is a gunner in the cage. If Ratcliff could fight as good as his nickname then he would be a top five fighter in the world. Would you want to mess with a guy that goes by "9mm"?
Pat Audinwood is a little-known mixed martial artist, but he undoubtedly has a fantastic nickname. "Awesomely Awesome" Audinwood actually got his nickname from his cousin, WEC veteran John Franchi. Franchi told a ring announcer to say it and since then it has stuck. Audinwood actually served as a model for Abercrombie and Fitch before he started fighting and would pose in their calendars.
The New York kid holds a 9-2-1 record and fought in the UFC on two occasions. He was choked out by Thiago Tavares at UFC 119 and lost a decision to John Makdessi at UFC 124. The 25-year-old has much to learn, but if he truly is awesome then we could see him back in the octagon eventually.
A guy named Pat “Awesomely Awesome” Audinwood sounds like he should be in the WWE teaming with The Miz, but this guy knows how to fight and has plenty of time to grow. Audinwood’s nickname is about as cocky as you can get, but it truly is an awesomely awesome nickname.
Jeff Monson looks like a snowman; therefore, a nickname was born. Monson looked like a snowman in his last fight against Daniel Cormier as he pretty much stood there and got punched in the face for three rounds. He got snowplowed, if you will. At least Monson’s nickname is fun because his fights are not that fun to watch.
The 5’9" heavyweight—soon to be light heavyweight—has a very good record at 42-12, but he isn’t going to be getting any knockout highlights as he has just two KOs in his entire career. Monson’s game plan is usually to get the fight to the ground and either submit his opponents or grind them out for the decision victory. Maybe his nickname should be "the Blanket" instead.
The Snowman isn’t flashy by any means, but hats off to him for the great nickname. The one problem a snowman has is that they eventually melt away. Monson is now 40 years old, so his career might be melting away as fast as a snowman in Arizona.
Lyle Beerbohm has a very unique and interesting nickname, to say the least. Beerbohm fights with very colorful fighting shorts, hence the name fancy pants. He has his pants made by his 70-year-old mother.
Beerbohm actually has a documentary out about his life and how mixed martial arts saved him. “Fancy Pants” was in prison for a year as he was an addicted meth user and started watching The Ultimate Fighter while behind bars. From there he knew that he wanted to start fighting. Beerbohm’s new addiction is MMA and he has been very good so far in his career.
Lyle Beerbohm holds a professional record of 15-2 with 13 of those victories coming via stoppage. He is coming off a loss to Shinya Aoki back in April.
A unique nickname for a unique story that we all hope ends someday with a championship.
The artist formerly known as Jon Koppenhaver is an interesting guy, and that is putting it lightly. Koppenhaver legally had his name changed to War Machine in February 2009, and that is the main reason he checks in at No. 1 on the list.
He was so obsessed with his nickname he changed his real name to his nickname.
Chad Ochocinco soon stole that dumb idea.
War Machine holds a professional record of 11-4 and has only seen the judge’s scorecards on one occasion. War Machine earned fight of the night honors in his first UFC fight with Jared Rollins then suffered a first round loss at the hands of Yoshiyuki Yoshida.
War Machine joined the pornographic industry in 2009 and solidified himself as the first ever part-time porn star, part-time fighter.
War Machine had a warrant out for his arrest after he allegedly “went crazy” at a porn star party then proceeded to write on Twitter that “last night was NOT good, I will probably be going to jail.. when they find me.. haha!”
War Machine was then arrested after he assaulted anyone and everyone at a San Diego bar after a bartender asked for a second form of I.D. because she didn’t believe his name was War Machine. He was then arrested again for suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. War Machine was sentenced to a year in jail last July.
Jon Koppenhaver showed the world that if you don’t like your birth name then just change it to a name that no one else has.
War Machine takes the cake when it comes to MMA nicknames.