Back by semi-popular demand: Ranking the best and worst nicknames at UFC Fight Night: Dern vs. Rodriguez

Silvana Gomez Juarez

Ever since we here at the CME started rattling these damn ol’ keyboards, we’ve been hearing from you the people about what kind of content you’d like to see. Most of those suggestions fall into the category of pornographic fanfic, and we have taken that under consideration.

But the deafening cacophony of literally several of you also asked for the return of the pre-fight nickname rankings I used to do for a former employer. Since that’s easier than churning out 5,000 words imagining a forbidden romance between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Arianny Celeste, I figured sure why not.

And so, without further delay, here’s what we’re looking at in terms of nicknames* for UFC Fight Night 194. (Also known as UFC Fight Night: Dern vs. Rodriguez, as well as UFC Vegas 39, and also UFC on ESPN+ 52. Seriously those are all real. We didn’t make any of them up. Four different names for one mediocre event.)

*nicknames via Tapology, then cross-checked with

  1. (tie)
    Mackenzie Dern
    Marina Rodriguez
    Tim Elliott
    Matheus Nicolau
    Mariya Agapova

Yep, these are the sorry bastards with no nickname whatsoever. It includes both fighters in the main event, which frankly should not be allowed. You’re going to give us a headliner that features zero nicknames?!? Actually yeah, no, that’s probably fitting for this extremely low-wattage card.

  1. Charlie Ontiveros: The American Badboy

No. First of all, not specific enough. America is a big goddamn place, guy. And seeing as how you fight for an American promotion that primarily runs events in America, you’re going to need to dial it way in to get any sort of region-based support. Also, I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but Tito Ortiz has kind of fucked up the “(Place) Badboy” nickname for everyone. It used to be fun. Then he forced us to consider that maybe what he meant by “bad boy” was ‘male who is bad at thinking, talking, and behaving ethically.’ Which is a lot less fun than the irascible scamp-type image it initially conjured.

  1. Steve Garcia: Mean Machine

This is like the name you come up with for your rec league kickball team when you show up for the first game and you didn’t know you were even supposed to have a cool name and everyone else has teams named stuff like “Multiple Scoregasms” and “Swift Kick In The Grass.” So you’re like, uhhhh, “Mean Machine”? And they look at you like, eh fine whatever. Then later when your teammates are looking at the schedule and they’re like, “Wait are we the Mean Machine?” And you lie and say that the league just gave you that name and it’s too late to change it now.

  1. Alexander Romanov: King Kong

Bro, how you gonna walk around with a Russian Czar-ass name like Alexander Romanov and then fuck it all up by going with “King Kong”? Swear to god, heavyweights are the worst when it comes to nicknames. So often they just go with something about how big they are – which, fair enough, most of them are big dudes among the general population – but then they end up fighting some other dude who is also big so it’s usually a moot point. Also, “King Kong” here? He’s like six-foot-two and 260 pounds. Big for normal people, but nowhere near big enough to be worshipped as an ape god by an isolated island people. Just saying.

  1. Jared Vanderaa: The Mountain

See? What’d I tell you. Goddamn heavyweights, man.

  1. Damon Jackson: The Leech

Sorry, but we already have a leech in MMA, and it’s Li Jingliang. One leech is plenty, thank you very much.

  1. Chris Gutierrez: El Guapo
[stares Bas Rutten-ly]

  1. Felipe Colares: Cabocão

No fucking clue. Tried to Google it and only came up with this guy in my results. Normally I’d ask Fernanda but she’s on vacation in Spain and isn’t answering my emails. She really let us down here, is the takeaway.

Update (no thanks to Fernanda):

  1. Charles Rosa: Boston Strong

Very fitting, once you meet the man. But also? This is a guy where you don’t need the nickname to know he’s from Boston. You only need him to open his mouth.

  1. Sabina Mazo: Colombian Queen

Pros: tells us where you’re from, suggests a royal lineage.
Cons: sorry but we all know Colombia has been a republic since 1886 with a duly elected government divided into executive, legislative, and judicial branches.

  1. Jared Gooden: Nitetrain

I’m not sure what you gain by misspelling “night” here. Trying to avoid confusion with the Guns N’ Roses song? Or just don’t want to get sued by the makers of that super classy wine? Still, you tell me I’m supposed to fight some dude they call “Nitetrain” and I do start to have serious misgivings, so it kind of works.

  1. Lupita Godinez: Loopy

See, now this is one of those nicknames that actually feels like a nickname. It’s not the result of her and her coaches sitting around the gym, trying to think of something cool. Her name is Lupita and her friends call her Loopy. It makes fucking sense. Not a lot of razzle-dazzle to it, but so what? It’s ya girl Loopy. Wouldn’t you love to know her well enough that she lets you call her that? Imagine you show up to a house party, you’re looking around to see who you know there, then across the room you see her. You shout, LOOPY! She throws up the deuces and gives you a warm smile and a head nod. You feel like you belong. Life is good.

  1. Randy Brown: Rudeboy

It’s fun to say, connects with his Jamaican heritage, and also invites us to consider him as the possible leader of a ska band, rolling up to fight in a black-and-white checkered suit. All good stuff, really.

  1. Silvana Gómez Juárez: La Malvada

The internet tells me this is Spanish for “The Wicked.” You know something? I dig it. Imagine you’re traveling through Argentina and go out partying with this weird French couple you meet. Things get out of hand. You blackout and come to in a deserted railyard. No money, no belongings, no identification. Shit. But wait, someone tells you they can smuggle you back home, but first you have to do them a solid. See there’s this underground fight tonight and one of the participants just got torn apart by wild dogs. They need you to step in. Well, okay, you don’t have any other options. But who are you fighting? “La Malvada,” they tell you. All right, maybe that’s not so bad. Maybe it’s Spanish for “The Merciful” or something. Then someone reads the confused yet stupidly hopefully expression on your face and decides to fill you in. “It means, ‘The Wicked.’” Oh fuck. Is she good, you ask. But it’s like no one will look you in the eye anymore. They’re all just staring sadly at the ground. “La Malvada,” someone repeats in a somber tone, sadly shaking his head. Another person spits on the ground and crosses himself. La Malvada. Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck.

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