100 fighter nickname origins
For 20 years UGer ix3623 spoke with fighters and gathered facts, with an eye towards publishing an ebook of no-filler MMA facts to sell on Amazon. Unfortunately, he was told by an Attorney friend that books like these, where you make money and talk about other people, even if they are fact, can get you sued. Since he doesn't want to be sued, he is posting everything he was going to put in the book here for the UG, for free!
1. Matt Serra on how he got his nickname “The Terror” : “I got that in high school, one of my buddies came up with it cause it rhymes with Serra. Guy was a real genius, I guess… haha. But its cool, it’s a little bit different then some of the other ones a lot of people use… not too many Terrors out there.”
2. Ken Shamrock on how he got his nickname “The World's Most Dangerous Man” : “They had this special they came out with, and I’m not sure if it was NBC or ABC, im not sure which one it was, and they were listing the world's most dangerous places, animals, things, people, food, and at that time, I was the world champion, back when it was no holds barred, basic bare knuckles, no rules, I was the guy, and so people looked at that as you know this dude is dangerous, dude's gotta be the world's most dangerous man, he goes in there and fights with no rules, and that's how I got that name because they did a special on me and it was pretty good too because they didn't show the brutal side of the fighting they showed more of who I really was behind the fighting.”
3. Georges St. Pierre on how he got his nickname “Rush” : “I got the nickname Rush because early in my career many of my fights wouldn’t make it past the first round. A TKO promoter at the time told me I was like a rush of adrenaline.”
4. Frank Trigg got his nickname “Twinkle Toes” because he painted his toenails. Trigg : “I was fighting in Japan when a woman in the audience picked me out and said, ‘I like the fighter with the twinkle toes’. My manager heard it and that was the end of it.”
5. David Loiseau on how he got his nickname “The Crow” : “L’oiseau in French means a bird and because I am black, kids at school used to call me Crow – a black bird.”
6. Robbie Lawler on how he got his nickname “Ruthless” : “Dana White called me one day and told me I needed a nickname and suggested “Ruthless.” So I said, “Yeah, whatever. Pick what you want.” So it wasn’t a big deal to me. It was more of a UFC marketing thing. It could have been anything.”
7. Chuck Liddell on how he got the nickname “The Iceman” : “My pulse rate rarely goes up or down, no matter how tens or relaxed the situation. In fact, that’s how I got my nickname: the Iceman. Hackleman gave it to me around my third kickboxing match. We were hanging out in the locker room before the fight, and he noticed that I wasn’t breaking a sweat or shaking out my arms to release some of the jitters and didn’t have any other nervous tics. He told me he had been in countless pro fights and was anxious before every one of them. Meanwhile, I looked as if I were going for a stroll in the park. He thought I had ice in my veins”.
8. Matt Lindland : “He represented the United States in Greco-Roman Wrestling at the 2000 Summer Olympics in the 69-76 kg weight category, winning the silver medal. Before he competed in the Olympics, Lindland was notable for having secured his spot on the US Olympic team through the courts. In the finals of the United States Olympic trials, Lindland lost to Keith Sieracki, who Lindland had accused of tripping him (under the rules of Greco-Roman wrestling, athletes are not permitted the use of their legs for advantage or defense of offensive moves). After appealing, an arbitrator ordered a rematch for Lindland and Sieracki, in which Lindland won 8-0. The USOC however sought to keep Sieracki on the team, and appealed in federal court. A federal district judge, then a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, both decided in Lindland's favor. A request for a hearing by the USOC in the Supreme Court of the United States was denied, which settled Lindland's status on the team. Lindland would later earn his nickname “The Law” from the protracted case. “At first I didn’t want to reopen that chapter of my life, but now I use The Law as a euphemism in the ring and because it’s original,” said Lindland.”
9. Jon Koppenhaver got his nickname “War Machine” from Phil Baroni “due to his bio-mechanical tattoos and his original sparring style which he says at first he “couldn't go light only hard.” Koppenhaver ended up legally changing his name to “War Machine” due to copyright claims much like the Ultimate Warrior did as a way to continue to use the name. War Machine : “SO in case you didn’t notice in my last fight the UFC did NOT use my nickname when I fought. Turns out some gay ass wrestling federation threatened to sue them because they recently named one of their wrestlers The War Machine Rhino and trademarked the name. Too fuckin’ bad that I have been using this name for 6 years, have it tatted on my body and it is what my fans yell out when I’m fighting. If you know my personality then you know damn well I am not gonna let some faggot ass, FAKE wrestler steal MY name. SO 6 weeks ago I filed a change of name request and today I had court to make my name officially WAR MACHINE”.
10. Michael Bisping on how he got his nickname “The Count” : “My old manager told the ring announcer to introduce me as The Count. I said no at first, but I’m actually a Count in Poland (grandfather was a Polish Count). It embarrasses me a little bit. I made the mistake of telling someone at school and I was subsequently made fun of.”
11. Randy Couture on how he got the nickname “The Natural” : “Joel Gold called me that after I beat Vitor Belfort the first time because I kind of adapted to his style and beat him standing up, which nobody expected. He said I naturally adapted to his style. He asked me if it was okay to call me the Natural and I said ‘I’ve been called a lot worse’. ” Randy has also been called “Captain America”, a nickname given to him by Joe Rogan.
12. Gary Goodridge on how he got the nickname “Big Daddy” : “Well you know something I was going around to my friends before I went in the first UFC saying, well everyone's got to have a nickname, give me a nickname. So, I asked friends, what can I use, what can I use? Must have been about twenty different friends and everybody got together and finally a friend of mine named Coleber Rhodes came up with “Big Pimp Daddy”. And that day I was reading a story about, I forget the player’s name, but the “Big Daddy” football player, so I dropped the pimp and took the “Big Daddy”.
13. Quinton Jackson on how he got his nickname “Rampage” : “My cousins gave it to me when I was 8 years old, They used to get me spun up on purpose and watch me rampage around the house destroying things and getting into fights. I would even hyperventilate and have to breathe into a paper bag to calm down.”
14. Anthony Johnson on how he got his nickname “Rumble” : “I was in Big Bear training for a four man tournament. I was riding down the mountain after my training camp and I was like, I’ve got to figure out a nickname for me, one that sticks out. I was like, they’ve got a Shogun, they’ve got a Wanderlei, they’ve got a Rampage, a Cabbage, you know? I wanted to start calling myself the Southern Rambo because I’m originally from Georgia. But I was like, that sounds kind of corny. When I was little I used to always say, ‘Let’s get ready to rumble,’ before a football game and stuff. The name ‘Rumble’ has sort of been stuck with me. I liked it; (it) was something different. So I stuck with it.”
15. BJ Penn's real name is Jay Dee Penn. His family called him baby Jay because all of his other brothers are also named Jay, hence the name BJ. The speed in which he achieved a jiu jitsu black belt plus the gold medal he managed to take home from the World Jiu Jitsu Championships in Rio de Janeiro earned him his nickname, The Prodigy. Steve DaSilva, one of John Lewis's students nicknamed BJ Penn the Prodigy.
16. Rich Clementi got his nickname “No Love” after a messy divorce.
17. Ikuhisa Minowa got his nickname “The Punk” because of his love for Punk Rock music.
18. Marcio Cruz got his nickname “Pé de Pano” by his friends at the Gracie Barra academy in Rio, It is the Portuguese version of the name of Woody Woodpecker's horse, Sugar Foot.
19. In his native Portuguese language, Luis Cane's nickname “Banha” translates to “lard”. It was given to him, because as a child he used to be fat. “They gave me this nickname when I was more or less nine years old. As an adolescent I began training and stopped being fat, but even so the childhood nickname stayed and now I can not change it anymore,” said Cane in the interview to the UFC.
20. Jeff Monson got his nickname “The Snowman” after his performance at the 1999 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championship. The Brazilian fighters at the tournament gave him the nickname because he came in as an unknown, but beat four Brazilians in a row to win the 88-98 kilogram weight class. As he went along in the tournament and continued to beat his opponents, they said he was like a snowball (white, compact, and rolling and getting bigger and stronger as the tournament went on).
21. Matt Brown on how he got his nickname “The Immortal”: “I came really close to dying,” Brown said. “I [overdosed] on heroin. … They said I was clinically dead for over a minute.” Brown believes his recreational drug use came from feelings of being trapped in a small town outside of Dayton, Ohio. “I was in that mindset that there was nothing else to do,” Brown said. “I could get drunk everyday and I'll still be (stuck) here, or I could go to college and I'll still be (stuck) here.” “[Overdosing] was one of the best things to happen to me. When that happened it woke me up and I was like, 'Man, I got to do something.'” Brown's near-death experiences from drugs and street fights led to his friends dubbing him with his eventual fighter nickname: “The Immortal.” “My friends were like, 'Man, you are [expletive] immortal, huh?” Brown said. “And I thought, 'If I could beat all of that stuff, I could beat anything.'”
22. Lyoto Machida on how he got his nickname “The Dragon” : “My name Lyoto comes from the meaning of Dragon in Japanese”
23. Alexander Gustafsson was given his nickname “The Mauler” by mma coach August Wallen : “It was natural to give him something related to striking, if Alex doesn’t knock people out directly he just mauls them down over a round –I thought it was fitting. A maul (noun) is a special hammer/sledge to split wood, to maul (verb) is either to split wood with a maul or to injure someone badly by beating.” says Wallen. The veteran fighter and respected coach gave Gustafsson the nickname back in 2006, after meeting the Swede whom he immediately recognized due to his “natural talent” and “great killer instinct”.
24. Matt Wiman's nickname “Handsome” was given to him by his friends when they overheard his mother call him a handsome pup.
25. Nick Thompson got his nickname “The Goat” after being knocked out with some regularity during training, so his teammates named him after the fainting goat, a species of goat that will faint if startled. Nick got better but the nickname stuck.
26. Dustin Hazelett on how he got his nickname “McLovin” : “The way I came about having the nickname was a couple of days before I fought (Jonathan) Goulet, we were staying at the Palms because that's where I fought him at. And they have a movie theater there, and this was when Superbad was still in theaters. Myself, Jorge Gurgel and my other cornerman went to the movies to watch Superbad and when we were walking out, I was quoting McLovin lines. I was like, “McLovin' is sweet. I might have to change that to my nickname.” And Jorge was like, “Ha! You can't go back on that!” So he called Bruce Buffer and had him put it on my card that day. That's kind of how I got the nickname. But then everyone knew me as McLovin' right then from that point on, so I was like “I'll just stick with it.”
27. Demetrious Johnson on how he got the nickname “Mighty Mouse” : “We were training, I’m the smallest guy in the gym, and there’s a lot of big guys. I’m just going after them like it ain’t nothing,” Mighty Mouse is short in stature, I have big ears — my ears stick out and my structure is compact. The nickname ‘Mighty Mouse’ just landed with me, it just stuck and everybody seems to like it.”
28. Ian McCall on how he got the nickname “Uncle Creepy” : “I hate nicknames. Nicknames are stupid, especially people who give themselves nicknames. One night I was trying to teach my friend’s son to skateboard … and then he said ‘Uncle Creepy’ in front of everyone. Everyone noticed and it stuck.”
29. Chan Sung Jung was given his nickname “The Korean Zombie” by his training partners at Korean Top Team because of his move-forward-at-all-costs philosophy.
30. Ronda Rousey was given her nickname “Rowdy” by her friends. She originally opposed using the nickname her friends gave her, feeling that it would be disrespectful to pro wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper. After meeting him through Gene Lebell (who helped train both), Piper gave her his approval.
31. Phil Davis on how he got his nickname “Mr. Wonderful” : “I had a cat in college and his name was Mr. Wonderful. So I decided to name myself Mr. Wonderful, well not necessarily me, my friends decided to name me Mr. Wonderful after my cat after just after I started fighting.”
32. Marcus Davis on how he got his nickname “The Irish Hand Grenade” : “It started in 1994. An elderly man who use to come into the boxing gym I trained out of started calling me [the Irish Hand Grenade]. He said he knew someone with the same moniker and I looked and fought like him. One night I fought and they announced me as the Irish Hand Grenade because my manager had them do it. Stuck ever since”.
33. Rashad Evans on how he got his nickname “Sugar” : “Mike Van Arsdale gave it to me. We were training and the way I was moving and sparring one day he was like ‘Man, you know you kind of look like Sugar Ray Robinson. And he just kept saying it, and kept saying it and it was kind of like – it kind of stuck.”
34. Mirko Filipovic's nickname “Cro Cop” is short for “Croatian Cop”, which comes from his membership in the Croatian police's Anti-Terrorist Group ATJ Lucko.
35. Spencer Fisher on how he got his nickname “The King” : “My mother was an Elvis fan. My sideburns and nickname are in memory of her. I even used to do the Elvis salute at my fights – that’s how I got the nickname.”
36. Dean Lister on how he got his nickname “The Boogeyman” : “It was given to me after my first fight because the guy I was supposed to fight got injured, and they went through a list of eight replacements before they got someone. My trainers said I scared them all away like the Boogeyman. The only reason I allow myself to be called that is because it’s goofy and there isn’t another one. My guys wanted to call me The Machine, but I don’t think the tough sounding nicknames do anything for a fighter.”
37. Mauricio Rua on how he got his nickname “Shogun” : “My friends gave it to me. They started calling me that 6 years ago and it stuck. My brother was called Ninja so they thought of a Japanese name for me. I was wearing a Shogun-brand gi at the time so that's why they called me Shogun.”
38. Shogun on how his brother Murilo Rua got the nickname “Ninja” : “Honestly, I don't remember. We've called my brother Ninja since we were kids. From what I've heard, Chute Boxe Japan's coach gave him the nickname. We didn't think we would be able to fight in Japan at the time, so it turned out to be a great nickname.”
39. Ricardo Almeida on how he got his nickname “Big Dog” : “The lifeguard back home gave me the nickname when I was young, I was surfing and some days I used to kick the surfers out of the water, as I thought the beach was mine as a young kid, so the lifeguard started to call me Big Dog and so did the guys at the academies when I started to train jiu jitsu.”
40. Andrei Arlovski on how he got his nickname “Pitbull” : “One of my trainers was breeding pit bulls and had two of his own. They are the best fight dogs! So they call me pit bull.”
41. After beginning his training at a young age, Paul Buentello earned his nickname “The Headhunter” during high school due to the frequency of the head kicks that he delivered during training.
42. Steve Cantwell on how he got the nickname “The Robot” : “About five years ago, my first day of sparring kickboxing — me and a friend of mine were sparring — I was extremely stiff. Phil Baroni and Jay Hieron started calling me “The Robot” and my coach, One Kick (Nick Blomgren) thought it fit appropriately, so he kind of kept it going. I remember my first WEC fight being in the ring, and they asked me before the fight what my nickname was. I told them I didn't have one. And (before) they announced me in the ring, my coach went behind my back and told them my nickname was “The Robot” and they announced it as “The Robot.” And it's just stuck since then”.
43. Jeff Curran on how he got his nickname “Big Frog” : The name “The Big Frog” came about, oddly enough, about 10 years ago during warm-ups at Pedro Sauer's school (Jeff is a first-degree black belt under Sauer) where two Brazilians kept calling him “big frog” in Portuguese. When Curran asked why, he was told he looked like the amphibian while doing frog-like warm-up exercises and he had a tattoo of a tree frog on his back. Even though the two occurrences were never linked, the name stuck.”
44. Paul Daley's nickname “Semtex”, which is a plastic explosive, used to blow things up, take down buildings, bridges…, was given to him due to his explosiveness and devastating ko power.
45. Anderson Silva on how he got the nickname “The Spider” : “Before a fight, I was wearing a shirt with Spiderman on it when an announcer came up and joked that I looked like the superhero on the shirt. To my surprise, when I entered the ring, she announced: “Anderson Silva, Brazil’s Spiderman.”
46. Junior Dos Santos on how he got the nickname “Cigano (Gypsy)” : “When I had long hair, I used to tie it back. So the guys would say I would look like the 'gypsy.' I used to hate that, but the less you like a nickname, the more it sticks. Sure enough, that's what happened.”
47. Bas Rutten said in one interview that he got his nickname “El Guapo”, which means “The Handsome One” in Spanish, after being the self-proclaimed most handsome fighter in the world. He said he wanted to promote himself with a brief nickname that described that, and Ken Shamrock's ex-wife Trina was playing the movie “Three Amigos” during lunch at a PRIDE show where a dirty guy in the movie was named “El Guapo” and he liked it. From that day on he was in love with the name and everyone called him by it. He said rumors about him going as far as to have “El Guapo” listed as his name on his driver's license are untrue.
48. Hector Lombard on his nickname “Showeather” : “Showeather stands for, ‘I’m ready for any weather. I’m ready to show you all.”
49. Jon Jones on how he got his nickname “Bones” : “I was a football player that couldn’t catch,” he said. “I couldn’t throw but I was really tall and skinny. They put me on the defensive line with these huge shoulder pads and really big helmet. When you look at my upper body I looked like a really big guy, but I had these little chicken legs coming out of the uniform. So everyone start calling me ‘Bones’ and my brother ‘Beefy’ so I kept the name.”
50. Gabriel Gonzaga's nickname “Napão” literally means “big nostrils” in Portuguese. “Napão is a common expression in Brazil,” said Gonzaga's jiu-jitsu coach, Marco Alvan. “It means you have a sixth sense; you smell what's about to happen. Gabriel is always anticipating, always ahead of his opponent. That is how he became Napão.”
51. Jonathan Goulet earned his nickname ” The Road Warrior ” after taking a fight on very short notice, traveling without his trainers or cornermen and by winning the fight at the TKO14 Road Warriors.
52. Clay Guida had been working as both a unionized and non-unionized carpenter while training and fighting in his spare time earning the nickname “The Carpenter”.
53. Dan Hardy on how he got his nickname “The Outlaw” : “When I first started training for MMA, I was working with a coach I didn’t see eye-to-eye with. After a disagreement, I decided it was best to train elsewhere and in the following days I was calling up training partners and they had all been told to stay away from me. That is where the nickname originated from and because I am from Nottingham [Robin Hood country], it worked well.”
54. “Short Fuse is perfect for Ed Herman because he has such a quick temper,” says Herman’s teammate Matt Lindland. “He was easy to nickname.” “My nickname “Short Fuse” was given to me by my two good friends Chris Leben and Chael Sonnen at the beginning of my career. And it is not related to the size of my johnson.”
55. Heath Herring on how he got his nickname : The fans in Japan came up with the nickname Texas Crazy Horse after seeing his cowboy hat, occasional crazy hairdos and raucous fighting style. “I definitely adopted it and I try to live up to it,” he said of the nickname.
56. James Irvin originally got his nickname “The Sandman” for the crushing tackles he delivered while playing football, first at Del Oro High School, and later at Asuza Pacific University.
57. Martin Kampmann on how he got his nickname “The Hitman ” : “I got that nickname from Tue Trnka (a Danish MMA reporter). He gave it to me in one of his fight articles because he thought I was always cool and all business when I fought. To be honest with you I didn’t really like to get a nickname to begin with but it kind of stuck and I thought ok, let’s use it. “
48. Kurt Pellegrino on how he got his nickname “Batman” : “Short story, I was running late to a wrestling tournament. I always came in second place; I had never won one at this time. And I didn’t pack my bag like my father told me to the night before. Like I said, we were running late, so I pulled a t-shirt out of the closet and a pair of sweatpants—not thinking, it was like four in the morning. By the time we got to the tournament, I saw that it was a Batman shirt and a pair of sweatpants. So I said, Dad, I can’t walk around here — I’m in like seventh grade — with a Batman t-shirt on and a pair of sweatpants at a wrestling tournament. He’s like, well, we’ll go buy you one thing, either a pair of shorts or a shirt. So I kept the shirt, turned it inside out, bought a pair of shorts, and that was the first tournament I ever won. To this day, it’s the same shirt I wear to every fight, every grappling match, the Abu Dhabi’s, whatever. That’s the shirt I wear.”
59. Pete Sell's nickname “Drago” came for his resemblance to bad guy Ivan Drago in “Rocky IV” : ”I had it back in the day, since I was about 13. It has nothing to do with my fight career. It’s just something that stuck with me. I actually used to hate it. And my friends kept calling me it; they thought it was funny at the time. And it just stuck after awhile.”
60. Alessio Sakara's nickname “Legionarius” means a member of the heavy infantry in the ancient Roman army in the period of the late Roman Republic and the Roman Empire : “The legionnaires were the soldiers of the ancient Roman Empire that traveled the world to fight.”
61. It was in Japan that Sean Sherk's nickname “The Muscle Shark” came to be, stemming from the Japanese word ‘katakana’ which means both Shark and Sherk in that language.
62. Krzysztof Soszynski on his nickname “The Polish Experiment”: “Before I started doing Jiu-Jitsu about six years ago, I was doing pro wrestling and was really jacked, really muscular. But when I started rolling with the guys, they noticed my cardio was great for somebody 295 pounds. Somebody said, ‘man, you’re like an experiment,’ and the name just stuck.”
63. At The Ultimate Fighter finale, Mike Swick defeated Alex Schoenauer by knockout at 20 seconds into the first round, earning the nickname “Quick” from UFC announcer Mike Goldberg.
64. Josh Neer on how he got his nickname “The Dentist” : “I knocked this kid’s teeth out in an amateur fight and then I did it the next week as well. The announcer said I was always knocking people’s teeth out, so he started calling me ‘The Dentist.’”
65. Yoshihiro Nakao was involved in a memorable MMA moment on December 31, 2005 during K-1's Dynamite 2005 show. During the pre-fight staredown with opponent Heath Herring, Nakao leaned in and kissed him on the lips. Herring reacted, delivering a right hook to the jaw of Nakao, knocking him out cold. Herring was immediately disqualified and Nakao was carried from the ring. Shortly thereafter, Nakao's cornermen attacked Herring and a brief melee ensued. The fight result has since been changed by K-1 from a disqualification loss for Herring to a no contest, as K-1 judges ruled that Nakao's kiss and Herring's subsequent knockout punch were both fouls. And the nickname “Kiss” still haunts Nakao to this day.
66. Cole Miller on how he got his nickname “Magrinho” : “It means “skinny” in Portuguese. I came to ATT and (Ricardo) Liborio just called me “Magrinho.” And that’s the way it goes.”
67. Travis Lutter on how he got his nickname “The Serial Killer” : “Well, it really hasn't stuck too well. On the show, Patrick Cote was drawing (pictures of) everybody. You would come down there in the morning with a cartoon of you on the fridge. The one that he put on there was me, which was my cartoon face with a grim reaper and red blood on it, and he wrote below “The Serial Killer”. It was because I didn't talk much. I think I kind of freaked him out because one day he came upstairs and he came into my room. And I was talking about how it was like jail and whatnot, but with the language difference he thought that I said I had been in jail and that I had hurt somebody. So the next day there was this rumor going around the house. Guys were coming up to me like “Travis, were you in jail? Did you kill somebody?” I was like no why do you say that? They were like “Well, Patrick said that you were talking about it yesterday.” And we kind of slowly figured it out that it was the language barrier. He thought I was saying one thing, but I was just rambling on about the freakin' house, and cussing a lot. I think it was the first time that I had talked to him. I just happened to walk into the room and was pissed off at that moment. I was just rambling on about having to be stuck in that house. Venting would be a good word, I guess. So that's how I got the serial killer nickname. All of the guys on the show like it. But I teach jiu-jitsu, and a lot of the parents of the kids’ class that I don't teach didn't like it. (The kids) look up to me and the parents didn't like the serial killer nickname, so I got some phone calls and emails about it. It really didn't sit too well (laughs).”
68. Origin of the Kimbo Slice nickname : “In his first taped fight against a man named Big D, Ferguson left a large cut on his opponent's right eye which led Internet fans to call him Slice, becoming the last name to his already popular childhood nickname, Kimbo.”
69. Hayato Sakurai's nickname, “Mach”, pronounced ma-ha in Japanese was taken as a tribute to his childhood professional wrestling hero, Higo Shigehisashi, better known as Mach Hayato, the first Japanese professional wrestler to completely embrace the Mexican style of Lucha Libre and was also among the group of professional wrestlers who made the transition to shoot wrestling as part of the original UWF movement.
70. Matt Hammill got his nickname “The Hammer” after wrestling in a match for a deaf audience. He slammed his opponent to the mat and some people from the audience indicated that the slams felt like a big hammer striking down onto the mat.
71. Carlos Condit on how he got his nickname “Natural Born Killer” :“I was like 18 years old, a fresh-faced young kid but I was finishing all of my opponents in the first round by knockouts or submissions.That's where it (the nickname) kind of came from. As I've gotten older it's like a tattoo you get when you're young, when you get a bit older you grow out of it but you can't get rid of it. What I would say about the nickname is it describes what I'm about when it comes to competition. “Just to take care of business… Beat the man across the cage from me until he stops moving so I can be done with it and go home.''
72. Ron Waterman on how he got his nickname “H2O” : “Well my last name is Waterman, get it? My wife actually came up with the idea.
73. Yoshohiro Akiyama on his nickname “Sexyama” : “Personally, it makes me happy that people are complimenting me like this, and I think it means that I’m becoming well-known and respected by the fans abroad. I think that regardless of whether it’s men or women saying so, to be called sexy by anyone is high praise.”
74. Origin of Vladimir Matyushenko's nickname “The Janitor” “Now retired, this Belarusian UFC fighter got his nickname courtesy of US wrestling star Dave Schultz. When the Russians took on the US at a meet in Siberia, Matyushenko beat the rest (including Olympian Kevin Jackson) and was spotted cleaning mats before a practice, hence the nickname “The Janitor.” Although it doesn’t seem like the fiercest of UFC nicknames, it could also take on the meaning of a fighter cleaning out the octogan and ruling over his opponents – which is far more fitting for Matyushenko.”
75. Dennis Hallman on how he got his nickname “Superman” : “When I was an amateur, I used to have a lucky sweater that I wore before each fight. A local promoter by the name of Aric Wiseman was promoting an amateur event and put my photo on his event poster with my name simply written as “Superman.” I have carried the name ever since.”
76. Grey Maynard on how he got his nickname “Bully” : “It comes from my dog Hank, a bullterrier that I rescued from a place that was neglectful. I knew a guy who had a couple pitbulls and a bullterrior and they would fight them. They were being abused. At the time his name was TANK and I would change it to HANK. So, I had to change him! I was like, what do you with a dog while in college? He was a bully, I had to train him and for me, every time I train, I train hard! So, we are BULLIES! “
77. Cezar Ferreira on how he got his nickname “Mutant” : “Master Mao Branca’s academy is called Capoeira Gerais. It’s one of the world’s best capoeira groups. When I was training there, tourists from other countries would always come to see us. Around that time, I was teaching a group of Germans. They saw a couple of my photos, one where I was thin and another where I was stronger. So they jokingly decided I was a mutant.”
78. Jeremy Horn on how he got his nickname : “'Honestly, that is not my nickname. Or, it is not a nickname that I chose. That got tagged on me, early on, in one of my fights because I am pretty flexible. I have been fighting it ever since that day, it somehow keeps reappearing. It is not exactly the most intimidating nickname' ”. During Horn's fight against Frank Shamrock at UFC 17, Jeff Blatnick referred to Horn as “a Gumby” due to his flexibility. It stuck ever since.
79. According to match maker John Perretti, he was the one who nicknamed Wanderlei Silva the Axe Murderer. Prior to that, Silva's nickname was Cachorro Louco (Mad Dog).
80. Tank Abbott on how he got his nickname : “When I was stomping around in the streets, they didn’t have anything like an mma or cage fighting or anything like that. I showed up at Ultimate Fighting and said, ‘Hey, I want to fight.’ And they said, ‘You have to be a black belt’ or something like that. I said, ‘I just got out of jail for beating somebody up. A cop’s son, in fact. Isn’t this supposed to be about fighting?’ And they said, ‘Yeah, but you’ve got to have some kind of black belt or something.’ And I said, ‘That’s not what I’m about. I’m about fighting in the streets.’ They called me a couple days later and said, ‘We came up with this thing called Tank Abbott.’ It’s from the Every Which Way But Loose movie with Clint Eastwood. There is a guy in there who’s a street fighting legend by the name of Tank Murdock, and Clint went and fought him. But that’s where the nickname Tank came from.”
81. Fabricio Werdum was given his nickname from playing soccer, where he was so quick, opponents would yell “Vai Cavalo” or “go horse”.
82. Myles Jury on how he got his nickname “Fury” : “My nickname was given to me when I was younger. It rhymes with my last name and represents my fighting style.”
83. Johny Hendricks explains the origin of his nickname and why his name Johny is spelled with one “n” and his nickname “Bigg Rigg” is spelled with two g’s : ” My real name is John, and in middle school, I just added the y because everybody’s name was John. But by the time I wanted to change it back to John, everyone in the wrestling world already knew me as Johny. The nickname came because I drive an F350; I pulled up to go to practice one day and a guy said, ‘That looks like a big rig.’ And beforehand Marc Laimon, my jiu-jitsu coach, said I hit like a Mack truck, so the nickname was born. (on the double g’s) I was playing World of Warcraft and big rig was already taken so I did bigg rigg and it worked. That’s how we got the spelling.”
84. Duane Ludwig on how he got the nickname “Bang” : In most cases, a fighter will have a nickname given to him, but I wanted to make sure that I had a nickname that I liked and no one was using. Duane Bang rolls off the tongue, and it helps describes my standup style.”
85. Jamie Varner on how he got his nickname “C-4” : “After my WEC Title Fight people started talking about how explosive I was so my training partners picked up on it and started calling me C4. I didn't mind the nickname, so we stuck with it!”
86. Donald Cerrone on how he got the nickname “Cowboy” : “I wear boots and a hat”
87. Travis Browne on how he got his nickname “Hapa”: “It originated with Asians and what that was, it meant that you were Half Asian and usually Half White. In Hawaii, where I'm from, I'm Hapa Haole. It's pretty much if you're mixed blood or have two different ethnicities or even more, you're considered Hapa. It really means half but now it just means mixed.”
88. Frankie Edgar on how he got his nickname “The Answer” : “My buddy Chris Lig ouri who I train with everyday, he gave it to me. It kind of goes good with Edgar, they say I'm always answering back, so I guess that's where it stems from.”
89. Jorge Luis Patino's nickname “Macaco” means monkey. It was given to him by a friend when he was a child because he was always climbing up trees and jumping around.
90. Jose Landi-jons on how he got his nickname “Pele” : “I think I'm special because I do everything I do in a special way 100 percent. When I had my first kick knockout people shouted 'Pelé Pelé'!! But I did not know who Pelé was. You have the opportunity to see the Pelé fight you forever remember and speak to your grandchildren and great-grandchildren about me. The people yelling my name because I come for a fight, the great show. My heart my soul in the fight.”
91. Muhammad Lawal on how he got the nickname ” King Mo ” : “King Mo came from my brother Kenny, a guy I've known for awhile. He was like, when you start MMA, you'll be a king. We'll call you King Mo. In wrestling, I was called twenty five-eight. I like that. I still go by that. You know, 25 hours a day, eight days a week. But then King Mo, I actually like that better. . . I love Coming to America, my favorite movie. I was like, King Mo, yeah, I like that.”
92. Josh Barnett on his old (baby faced assassin) and new nickname “The Warmaster” : “I had a nickname that was somewhat contingent on being very youthful looking. While I don't think I look entirely my age, I don't look baby-faced any more. I'm not that kid that was going out there just swinging and kicking, breaking stuff on people. This is a different guy, and with that, I felt that a change was necessary to represent that and show that to the public.” He was given the name “The Warmaster” by the British death metal band Bolt Thrower. “Not only is it the name of a song and an album of theirs, it's also a reference to a character from a role-playing game and universe called Warhammer 40,000.One of the main evil characters of this universe is a guy called Horus. He turned against the emperor, who is the biggest good guy of this whole thing, and in doing so, he creates this legion of evil individuals. Before that, he was called “The Warmaster.” It was a title given to him by the emperor, and he traveled across the stars, reuniting lost nations of man that had been disconnected over the millennia from the home base of Earth.”
93. Shayna Bazzler on how she got the nickname “Queen of Spades” : “I'm into slight of hand card magic. The spade is the best card and I did this trick for Josh Barnett concerning the queen of spades so he started calling me that.”
94. Roger Huerta on how he got the nickname “El Matador” : “I got the nickname from my trainers back in the day. I used to be called “The Texas Kid” cause I was a nineteen year old kid beating a lot of the men. But eventually my trainers didn’t like that name so they started calling me El Matador. I didn’t like it at first because I thought the matadors were these guys who wear pink tights and what not. Pat Mene told me that the reason they called me the matador is because I fight so methodical and that I fight very cool and collective.”
95. Dan Henderson on his numerous nicknames : On his “Dangerous”,”Hendo”, and “Hollywood” nicknames : “You know, I've never given myself any of those. I don't really like “Hollywood” but people continue to call me it for some reason. I never know which one they will call me at my next fight. You guys haven't heard the Japanese nicknames, there's more. There's like 2 or 3 more. They call me the American Athlete. I didn't know it for a while. Then they shortened my name to Dan Hen.And then they called me Middle Nice or something… a nice, middle aged guy. Before one of my fights, they put it up there. Way up on the big screen. A lot of people just call me Hendo, Dan Hen, or American Athlete.”
96. Joe Lauzon on his nicknames “Creepy” and “J-Lau” : “I don't like that “Creepy Joe” one. I don't like J-Lau, but I'm not going to trade it for another terrible one. You don't get to pick your own nickname. A couple of guys that I train with and have known since high school-they're the ones who started the “J-Lau” thing. I can't get away from it. It's been so long now. That's how people know me. Not everyone is an expert and could say 'Oh, he changed his nickname, you can't call him that anymore.' They know me as “J-Lau” so it's still going to be “J-Lau” to them. I'm stuck with it. it's a terrible nickname. Whatever. I hated j-lau at first because of the whole Jennifer Lopez reference. It kind of sucked and I tried to hate it at first. It was the same thing with‘Creepy Joe.’ I kind of liked ‘Baby Joe’ though. For BJ to be talking so much good stuff about me and for Rudy [Valentino] to say that I remind him of BJ, it was something else.BJ’s name comes from ‘Baby Jay’ and for him to say so many good things about me and then use a nick name for me that is kind of like his name was pretty cool. But ‘J-Lau’ stuck so it’s fine. At least it gets them to say my name right. ”
97. Marco Ruas on how he got the nickname “King of the Streets” : “When I was 16 years old I became very respected in my neighborhood. I went out with my oldest brother, Otavio, to a bar to watch a soccer match… There were two much respected security guards. They were the strongest black men in my neighborhood. They approached me and said, 'Get out of here you little f****t.' So I told them to go meet me outside. “Once I was outside, one of the guards grabbed me from the back and locked my arms. My oldest brother tried to punch him from the back. It was enough of a distraction that I was able to get my arms free. Although I had taekwondo training, my biggest strength at the time was boxing. “I was able to punch the guy's face many times to knock him down. At the same time the other guard came from behind and tried to knock me out with a pool stick. Luckily I ducked down just in time for him to miss my head. I turned around and beat him up and left the bar with my brother. Before this fight these two men were the most respected and fierce in the neighborhood but they got beat up by a 16-year-old boy so that title was passed down to me.” Fun fact, “Ruas” in Portuguese also means streets.
98. John McCarthy on who gave him his nickname “Big” : “My mother had called me “Big” John all the time when I was younger, but it was Art Davies who reintroduced it at the WOW offices in Los Angeles. Art and I had gotten into a little back-and-forth discussion. I don’t remember what we were talking about, except that I told Art to shut up and when he wouldn’t, I lifted him off the ground and over my head. “Big John, Big John, let me down, let me down,” he yelled, until I obliged him. In this playful interaction between two smart-asses, I was marked for life. “‘Big’ John. That’s what you are from now on,” Art said. And sure enough, each time he introduced me, a few other people would start calling me it, until the name finally etched its way into the sport’s vernacular. “
99. Gegard Mousasi on his nickname “Dream Catcher” : “My friend came up with it, so blame it on him. I don’t like nicknames, to be honest. I have a lot of nicknames. They called me Kingo in Japan, they called me the Young Vagabond, but that sounds bad, then Soldier of Fortune, now they call me the Dream Catcher. He said that’s a good name. It’s original. I read on the internet that people don’t like the name. I’d rather have no nickname, but with my style, you can’t really put a name on it. A good nickname for me hasn’t come up. I told Strikeforce that I didn’t want to use a nickname, but they put it up anyway.”
100. Rose Namajunas on how she got her nickname “Thug” : “I got it from my neighborhood friends. When I was little, I was the only white girl, I was smaller than everyone else, and for some reason I just acted harder than everybody else — just fearless, you know? So they kind of dubbed me that because of the intimidating scowl I always had on my face. That's what gave me that name.”