MMA: The Lamest Event Names in Each Major American Promotion's History
Before the MMA was "with it" in terms of marketing, each promotion gave their shows a slew of hilariously bad names. Unfortunately, this trend was the worst in the United States and it lasted for over a decade.
For some reason, it took the UFC (and others) a long while to figure out that titling the event after the main event fighters was fine with everybody. There didn't need to be a lame, cliché, over-the-top name attached to every event.
Some names weren't too bad but some were cringeworthy back then and are even worse when looked back upon now.
Each promotion had their own events that were egregiously bad—what are they? Read on and find out!
EliteXC: Heat was the last show that the shady EliteXC organization put on. This was a most fortuitous circumstance, as the MMA community was spared such event names as "EliteXC: Cold" and "EliteXC: Lukewarm."
Sadly, many of EliteXC's event names were thought up with the sophisticated formula "EliteXC + [Insert Random Cool/Epic Sounding Cliché]"
EliteXC: Destiny, was no exception to this rule. Calling your first show "Destiny" might sound cool when your brainstorming, but it isn't.
Ugh! Really no explanation needed here. Remember that formula? This is a perfect example of it. Next!
EliteXC: Return of the King
Did EliteXC really have to tarnish the good name of the Lord of the Rings franchise in order to help promote their event? And the "king" they are referring to? None other than K.J. "King Karl" Noons.
When you have to start ripping off movies to come up with event names and you've only had five major events, that's a real bad sign.
The Entire Affliction Event Library
Affliction: Banned, Affliction: Day of Reckoning and Affliction: Trilogy, these were the names of the two events Affliction Entertainment held and the last one it had planned before it went belly up.
Affliction was trying to play up the fact that the UFC banned them as a sponsor at UFC events when Affliction started an MMA wing, hence the "Banned" title. The second show, perhaps Affliction knew what was in store and aptly titled the show "Day of Reckoning"?
And "Trilogy," if you can't figure out why they would name the third show "Trilogy," you have more important things to be doing than reading a slideshow on Bleacher Report.
"Strikeforce: Revenge" sounds more like a terrible B-movie sequel rather than a mixed martial arts event.
Fortunately, many of Strikeforce's events are smartly named, having the title be either the main event fighters or the name of the city in which the event takes place. There are, however, exceptions...
Strikeforce: Young Guns and Its Sequels
The title is lame and overused enough but did Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker and the rest of the Strikeforce brass really need to do it two more times with Young Guns II and III respectively!?
Strikeforce: Four Men Enter, One Man Survives
While the name was meant to market the tournament Strikeforce was having as part of the event, it made the show sound more like professional "wrestling" than actual legitimate mixed martial arts fighting. The WWE probably uses the same tagline to promote its cage matches and other such nonsense.
The only destruction here is the destruction of creativity.
It's a pretty unoriginal name but maybe they were onto something. This event marked the last time that they used a lame event name like this, maybe Strikeforce was telling everyone that they evolved away from such a foolish practice?
UFC 9: Motor City Madness
The UFC has had so many "named" events (that is to say events that aren't just named after fighters or a location) that the bad names are far too numerous to all be ranked in this one slideshow. Perhaps a top 50 of all the lame UFC event (or even a top 100 of the lamest of all time from all promotions) names will be done one day but for now you will have to make do with far less than that.
Alliteration aside, UFC 9's name is lame because, if you watched the event, there was no madness to be had except for the madness induced from watching such a boring main event.
A grudge match between Ken Shamrock and Dan Severn headlined the event but the MMA rules had been swiftly changed and closed-fisted strikes were suddenly not allowed. What followed was known as the "Detroit Dance," since the fight consisted of Severn and Shamrock circling each other for the duration of the bout.
UFC 10: The Tournament
While calling UFC 10 "The Tournament" technically makes sense since UFC 10 did mark the return to the tournament format, it just seems so unimaginative and boring.
At least Mark Coleman saved the event with brutal beatings of the night's competitors en route to his first UFC tournament win.
UFC 18: The Road to the Heavyweight Title
Hmm, "UFC 18: The Road to the Heavyweight Title," just rolls right off the tongue, doesn't it?
And it has a poster of a guy flexing, now THAT is hardcore!
UFC 19: Ultimate Young Guns
If Strikeforce's "Young Guns" was bad, this is the "ultimate" of bad. The "Young Guns" part is cliché and flat out lame but the convention of putting "ultimate" in front of the event titles is even worse!
In fact, from from UFC 19-27, five events had "Ultimate" in the title. The only thing ultimate about that is the ultimate lack of originality employed.
UFC 22: Only One Can Be Champion
Maybe the title would've been better if it was "UFC 22: There Can Be Only One" after the Highlander franchise because, as it is, the title is pretty awful. "Only one can be champion," did anybody ever say otherwise (keep in mind this was before interim titles ever came about in the UFC)?
UFC 27: Ultimate Bad Boyz
UGH! The two offenses that make this name unforgivable? The "Ultimate" in the title and the "z" replacing the "s" in boys, the second offense is completely unforgivable and one of the most overused gimmicks of all time.
UFC 37.5: As Real as It Gets
Ironically, the title the event was given isn't the problem; the problem is the number! Why 37.5? Yes, the event was thrown together at the last minute to be featured on The Best Damn Sports Show Period and the UFC 38 number was already taken by the next show, but why not just not give it a number at all then?
UFC 82: Pride of a Champion
The title for UFC 82 was a fiendish (and I mean fiendish) play on words. Pride champion Dan Henderson and UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva were unifying the belts at UFC 82, hence "pride" of a "champion." Terribly clever? Just terrible.
What About Pride, Dream and Bellator!?
Many of the Pride events were nameless, as they were only numbered but a title worthy of many an eye rolling was unfortunately attached to them for American audiences; they weren't the original title of the event and I therefore don't really consider them too much.
The rest of the event names are either in Japanese, so I don't know what they mean, or are English names that might sound really cool to the Japanese audience. Either way, I have insufficient knowledge of Japanese culture to know what's cool there and what isn't. That is why the slideshow just features American names.
And Dream, almost all of their events were numbered with the titles (if there were any) being descriptive of what the event literally was (the opening round of a grand prix or what have you). The only example of a really poor Dream name is "Dream 12: Cage of the Rising Sun" which is laughably bad.
Concerning Bellator, they have numbered their events since the beginning and have shown no signs of stopping, nothing to poke fun at there.