Professional tattoo artists critique UFC Fighter tattoos – the good and the horrible

Friday, November 10, 2017

You’d be hard pushed to find many UFC fighters who don’t have tattoos, but what do actual experts in the field think of their artwork?

Bloodyelbow.com took it upon themselves to find out, enlisting the help of three professional tattoo artists, Ronan Gibney, Shannon Hayward and Evan Mackinnon from ‘Imperial Tattoo’ in Toronto, Canada, who have a combined total of 39-years experience in the business.

Former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt’s extensive tattoo work was first up to be scrutinized, with Gibney noting that his neck piece would have been painful, particularly around his Adam’s apple, while Mackinnon suggested it was partially covering up a previous tattoo and also ripped into his Americana-inspired chest piece in no uncertain terms, calling it “awful.”

By contrast, all three experts praised the art Mark Hunt has emblazoned upon his chest, with Gibney being impressed with the shading, Mckinnon calling it, “wicked”, and Hayward suggested that he’d likely paid a lot of money for it.

Megan Anderson’s black and gray sleeve, which goes right down to her fist was also given a thumbs-up, while they were surprisingly generous in their assessment of Darren Elkins, ‘The Damage’ tattoo, which one described as being ‘decent’, despite it often being cited as one of the worst in the sport.

Brock Lesnar’s sword tattoo received a mixed reaction, with the experts admitting that it was “striking” and instantly recognizable, while also admitting that, “it could be better.”

Finally, Conor McGregor’s gorilla chest-piece was generally well received, with Mackinnon calling it, “a mean-lookin’ tattoo,” and Hayward calling it, “well done,” though he added that it wasn’t particularly well balanced and Gibney had similar reservations.

So, after having seen them all, which was the experts’ favorite tattoo?

Gibney and Hayward were both in agreement that Hunt’s samurai skulls chest piece was the cream of the crop, while Mackinnon gave the nod to McGregor.

Next: Top 5 worst tattoos in MMA history