25 of the Best Tattoos in MMA

Jason Schielke@jasonschielkeCorrespondent IJuly 29, 2011

25 of the Best Tattoos in MMA

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    For some reason, tattoos and mixed martial arts seem to go hand-in-hand. If you are watching a fight, odds are that one of the fighters has some sort of ink on their body.

    In some cases, fighters have tattoos that went horribly wrong somewhere, but that has already been covered, so no need to beat the proverbial dead horse.

    However, there are fighters out there that have some pretty awesome artwork on their body, and some that had something really stupid and got it covered up with something cool. Others have some that may be stupid, but they are such badasses that they can pull it off.

    Seriously, would you ever tell a professional fighter that their tattoo sucked? Didn't think so.

    But anyway, here are 25 of the coolest tattoos in the MMA business.

Charlie Brenneman

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    During his surprisingly strong performance against Rick Story, the MMA media jokingly started to wonder if Brenneman got his "Carpe Diem" tattoo just before he stepped inside the Octagon.

    War the "Champ Stamp!'

Babalu Sobral

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    If you are a fan of tribal ink, you know that Babalu has some of the best to be seen anywhere. Just one of his many pieces, Sobral's tribal art goes from his right ear all the way down to his hand.

    If you are not a fan of tribal ink, you are not alone in this world.

Ryan Bader

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    After staring at Bader's tattoo for nearly three days, I can tell that he has some sort of Celtic band, some wings, and some other stuff.

    I'm still not too sure what that other stuff is, but it sure looks cool.

Bas Rutten

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    Does anyone know what the kanji on Bas' hands means?

    Or to ask an even better question, does it really matter?

    Bas Rutten is one of the greatest fighters in MMA history. When you have clout like this guy does, you can pretty much get whatever tattooed anywhere and it is going to be awesome.

Ben Henderson

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    Did Ben Henderson drink too much Red Bull during his time in between losing to Anthony Pettis and beating Mark Bocek?

    Of course he didn't. But what he did do is get one of the coolest back pieces in the sport.

    On a side note, getting that much work done in four months couldn't have felt very good.

Cain Velasquez

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    Everyone has an opinion on this, but let's not get in to that.

    Let's just give Cain props for being proud of his heritage.

Chris Leben

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    Chris Leben is getting more tattooed by the day, but his best one by far is his back piece.

    If any fighter in the sport can pull off a samurai warrior, it is Leben. If you have any doubts, check out his record sometime. 

Clay Guida

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    If anyone can pull off a bunch of random stuff, it's Clay Guida.

    Nothing he has seems to go very well together, but doesn't that fit a man who drives around the country in a RV perfectly?

Randy Couture

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    Why is Randy Couture's tattoo one of the best?

    First, Randy was 46 (I think) when he decided to get his first tattoo.

    Second, he's Randy Couture.

    Third, it's a piece that holds deep meaning to him.

    Last, he's Randy Couture.

Erin McDougall

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    Not only is Erin a really pretty girl, she is also a very cool person.

    I know I'm in the minority here, but a pretty girl, with a great personality, and some tattoos is a winning combination for me. 

Frank Mir

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    Frank Mir earned a spot on the worst tattoos list thanks to his name on his right arm.

    But since then, he has gotten a half sleeve to cover that up, and added an epic back piece to boot.

Georges St-Pierre

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    OK, we all know there are people out there that have copied GSP's chest tattoo. In fact, there will probably be a few that read this that have a tattoo commemorating their favorite all-time fighter.

    They will never admit it, but you know it's true.

    The tattoo is cool on GSP because of its simplicity. On other people, it is unoriginal. 

    Remember all those people who got the "Goldberg" tattoo back in the late 90's, and now look at their shoulder while asking themselves "Why the hell did I do that?!?!?!" There are going to be drones of GSP fans doing the same thing in about 10 years.

Roger Huerta

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    99.999 percent of tattoos out there are outlined in black.

    Sorry, Captain Obvious took over the keyboard for a moment.

    But in all seriousness, ink stamp tattoos are a breath of fresh air, and Roger Huerta easily has the best one in MMA.

Jake Shields

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    In MMA, Brazilian jiu-jitsu is all the rage. Behind wrestling, most consider it one of the most necessary disciplines in order to have a successful career.

    But Shields, however, has always took pride in the fact that he practices American jiu-jitsu. Judging from his record, it seems to have worked out pretty well for him.

Jon Jones

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    Phillippians 4:13—"I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

    Judging by all the opponents Jones has cruised through on his way to becoming the UFC light heavyweight champion, whoever gives him his strength is doing a pretty darn good job.

Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto

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    Kid has all sorts of tattoos, but this one wins out for a reason.

    After high school, I had a good friend get a tattoo very similar to the one pictured. The only difference is the one Yamamoto has is freakin' sweet; my friend's looks like crap.

Luke Stewart

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    Ya know, all the money Luke spent on the hundreds of hours it had to have taken to get all that work done could have bought him a pretty decent car.

    But, it was money well spent, as he has a really cool back piece and pair of sleeves to show for it.

Gray Maynard

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    This one is sort of iffy, but most would say it is much cooler than his other tattoo.

    Moving along...

Joe Rogan

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    Even though Rogan has never fought, he has been around the UFC longer than most people have been watching it.

    But one has to wonder how much influence the "kush" had when he came up with the idea for his sleeve.

Chuck Liddell

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    Were there any doubts that you would NOT see this in here?

Scott Jorgensen

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    Jorgensen must have spent some massive cash on all of his vibrant ink. But the fact that he has some solid work alone does not get him a spot on the list.

    A few days ago, Scott felt like getting an impromptu tattoo. Not sure what to get, he reached out to his followers on Twitter for some ideas.

    Does anyone know what he ended up getting?

Shane Carwin

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    Carwin was another fighter with a lame tribal piece. Well, that was the case up until a few months ago.

    Shane wised up, pulled a Frank Mir, and got a half sleeve full of awesomeness to hide the lameness of his old tattoo.

Thiago Alves

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    What started off as just a tattoo of his nickname has turned in to an epic sleeve for Alves.

    Yeah, having your nickname tattooed on you is still pretty dumb, but he made up for it in leaps and bounds with everything he has added to it.

Wanderlei Silva

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    So what do you do if you are a below-average to average looking guy who makes pretty good money who found a really hot woman (who just so happens to be a doctor) that is willing to marry you?

    You go get her tattooed on your forearm. Then, you plan on how you're going to cover it up after the divorce.

Wanderlei Silva, Again

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    Wanderlei Silva's head tattoo is easily the most recognizable tattoo in all of MMA.

    Just seeing it brings up fond memories of head stomps and soccer kicks.

    Ahhh, back in the day.