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Top 5 worst tattoos in MMA history, outside the UFC

The Flying Unicorn Cat spirit animal is only #4.

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Demented boxing promoter Bob Arum once ranted to journalist Ariel Helwani about the ubiquity of tattoos in mixed martial arts, among other issues that are offensive to dinosaurs.

"Our audience in boxing is ethnic," he said. "Hispanic, Filipino, Puerto Rican, Mexican, and the hardcore boxing fan who can't watch ... like me ... can't watch UFC. UFC are a bunch of skinhead white guys watching people in the ring who also look like skinhead white guys."

Helwani, who is Jewish, took offense at the skinhead characterization. And Arum continued to spew.

"You don't have any tattoos," said the promoter. "Ninety percent of the people in the audience wear tattoos. For me, and people like me, it is not something they ever care to see. They've watched it. It's horrible. Guys rolling around like homosexuals on the ground. It is not a sport that shows great, great talent."

Truth is, lots of fighters do have tattoos. And, for the record, some are homosexual as well; there is of course no need to apologize for either. Some of the ink is spectacular. Some, not so much. A sampling of the latter follows.

#5. The Lunatic

Adrian Perez is for some reason nicknamed, "The Lunatic." Now retired for a decade, Perez fought repeatedly for King of the Cage, going 1-5, and getting the name of the promotion inked prominently across his forehead.


#4. The Flying Unicorn Cat

Umeå, Sweden's David Haggstrom has a legendary Norse animal tattooed on his chest - The Flying Unicorn Cat. This fearsome beast strikes fear into the heart of all who see it.

Haggstrom was asked about the ink once.

MMAViking: You got a badass chestpiece tattoo - a flying unicorn cat! I’m curious, what's up with that?

David Haggstrom: It’s my power animal, the animal that gives me extra speed and strength!

David Haggstrom

#3. The Fighter With The Mike Tyson Face Tattoo

For years Paulo Filho has engaged in a series of puzzling actions. In one incident, he barged into the GracieMag office, to clarify reports from an article that announced he was broke. He showed off a new Mike Tyson-esque tattoo to an audience of confused journalists.


Filho also Venni Vetti Vecci tattooed on the back of his neck. That's kinda cool.


And it says cartoon on his arm.

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And there's more ...


#2. Tattooed WHAT??!?

Pawel “Popek” Rak, AKA “Popek Monster” and “The King of Albania,” fights and raps out of London, England. Rak is 4-5 as a heavyweight, on the mixed martial arts side. And on the recording artist side, his 2013 release “Monster” was certified gold in Slovakia, Czech Republic, and his birthplace of Poland.

One day he decided to get his eyeball tattooed. 

“When I’m gonna do the eye tattoo, which is f***ing crazy, I’m gonna be complete," he said. "I’m scared and excited as well, but yeah… f*** it... I can’t understand my decision, and for the first time in my life, I can’t understand myself. So f*** this, I don’t know. I’m a freak. I must be a freak.”

In the beginning.


Then he became a fighter.

Popek rak

Then he tattooed his eyeballs.

Popek Rak

He said before the eyeball tattooing, "I’m gonna be complete." But he wasn't done. Next was massive scarification.


Ladies and gentlemen ... Popek Rak.


#1. I Have a Small WAT??!?

Melvin Costa has a swastika on his chest, for starters.

Melvin Costa

If you focus on Costa's belt line, it reads "I have a small penis."


In an old interview with Sam Caplan, Costa talked about his ink.

Sam Caplan: There have also been claims that some of your tattoos are jail tattoos. Is that correct?

Melvin Costa: Yep.

Sam Caplan: So you have served time?

Melvin Costa: Uh-huh.

Sam Caplan: How much time have you served?

Melvin Costa: I've pretty much been locked up since I was 15 up until 18 months ago.

Sam Caplan: What were you sentenced for?

Melvin Costa: A variety of things. Mostly fighting; bodily injuries, assaults, a couple of burglaries. Mostly fighting though and that's why I'm in the cage now, trying to direct my energy in a positive path.