Ranking the best and worst nicknames at UFC Fight Night: Costa vs. Vettori

You already know what time it is. With another one of those UFC Fight Night events (which tend to have about three different names themselves) coming up on Saturday, it’s time to dig through all the fighter nicknames on the card to see who’s making us care and who’s phoning that shit in.

(NR) David Onama
Zviad Lazishvili

These two bastards got nary a nickname between them, according to the usual sources. Which is fine. But if you end up becoming someone we actually need to know in this sport? We do reserve the right to give you a nickname and force it upon you. Be advised.

25. Ricky Glenn: The Gladiator

No dude, you can’t be The Gladiator. Know why? Because Tapology lists at least 50 other fighters with some version of Gladiator as their nickname. At this point we could form an actual Roman legion with the dudes who think they’re the first one to go by Gladiator. Might we suggest spicing it up by including where you’re from, some physical descriptor, or a quirk of your personality? Just saying, “The Obsessive-Compulsive Gladiator” would be someone we’d remember.

24. Jeffrey Molina: El Jefe


23. (tie) Mason Jones: Dragon
Jonathan Martinez: Dragon

22. Jessica-Rose Clark: Jessy Jess

The UFC website lists her as having no nickname, but Tapology has this summer camp-ass moniker. Jessy Jess sounds more like someone who will make you a dreamcatcher to hang on your bunk than it does a pro fighter. But maybe when you’re walking around with face tattoos like that you don’t feel the need to do too much more.

21. Paulo Costa: The Eraser

It’s a testament to what a total weirdsmobile he is that you really never even think about him having a nickname. You don’t need to. There’s only one Paulo Costa, and he’s the guy who never seems to have his shit all the way together.

20. Livinha Souza: The Brazilian Gangsta

Where’s that damn shrug emoji…

19. Isaac Villanueva: Hurricane

Just imagine what you’d have to do to become anything more than, at best, the second-most famous fighter with that nickname.

18. Joselyne Edwards: La Pantera

If you could see my face right now you’d know I’m wearing the expression someone gets when you give them a perfectly nice gift that they already have at home.

17. Marvin Vettori: The Italian Dream

I think we all know that the real Italian dream is to own a moped and a little apartment with a balcony from which you can shout at friends and enemies alike as they pass by in the piazza. But I guess this ain’t bad, especially if you insist on starting a “streetwear” brand of the same name.

16. Maria Oliveira: Spider Girl

Either she’s got a sticky guard with long limbs that can snare you from all over, or else she likes to perch in the corner where the wall meets the ceiling and watch people shower. Either way, makes you think.

15. Randa Markos: Quiet Storm

This one is at least half-true.

14. Dwight Grant: The Body Snatcher

Yep, that is definitely one of the available nicknames you can choose in the EA Sports Fight Night create-a-fighter mode.

13. Tabitha Ricci: Baby Shark

Honestly, I hope she sticks around in this sport long enough that the reference is lost on people and they think she’s just out here calling herself a newborn fucking shark, ideally well into middle-age.

12. Grant Dawson: KGD

11. Nicolae Negumereanu: Nicu

I suspect it is not, but I really hope this is pronounced like NICU, as in the hospital intensive care unit for newborn babies. I just think it’d be rad and strangely intimidating if you’re basically telling opponents that you’ll hurt them so badly that they’ll wake up in the infant ward, surrounding by babies with heart murmurs and shit.

10. Francisco Trinaldo: Massaranduba

I know from my old days of doing this feature that this is one of those nicknames that refers to a TV show only Brazilian people know about, which is itself a whole entire nickname genre. This particular character wore a muscle suit under his clothes. Some might call it a goose suit. (It’s an old circus term.)

9. Alex Caceres: Bruce Leeroy

In retrospect, it might have set expectations too high early on. Still pretty cool, though.

8. Gregory Rodrigues: Robocop

Hey remember when Robocop shot that guy in the dick? Actually, fuck it, let’s all take one minute and 49 seconds out of our day to revisit that moment.

7. Laureano Staropoli: Pepe

I mean, the shit is fun to say.

6. Khama Worthy: The Death Star

A command base and weapon constructed for the sole purpose of committing planet-wide genocide from afar. Not bad, but did he not see how that movie ended…?

5. Daniel Da Silva: Miojo

First I Googled this and it told me Miojo was a brand of ramen noodle. No, that can’t be right, I thought. So then I asked Fernanda Prates (she’s back from vacation, finally) and she told me, nope, that’s exactly what it is. Then she even went above and beyond and translated a portion of an interview where he explains it:

“I left my town, at the time I worked at a coffin factory. I had been working there for a while, but then one day I saw ‘Cowboy’ on the TV. I had a friend, Eduardo, who also trained at ATS Tubaroes (where Alex ‘Cowboy’ Oliveira trains). One day I resigned from my job, and the lady felt bad for me because I quit and gave up all of my rights. So she gave me 50 reais. She was a cool lady. So I bought my ticket to Tres Rios and bought miojo with what was left, 25 reais. I was able to buy about 50 packages of miojo. I went to the gym like that, the guys asked me where I’d stay and I said I didn’t know. Eduardo welcomed me into his home, let me stay there. I didn’t want to be an imposition, so I ate only my miojo. Everybody kept saying, ‘You only eat miojo.’ I said, ‘That’s what I have. I’m not gonna eat your stuff, bother you.’ They said, ‘No, you can eat,’ and stuff. But then the story started going around the gym, that I arrived with a huge bag of miojo. And Andre said, ‘You’re gonna be miojo now.’ And it stuck.”

So yeah, that’s a hell of a story. But am I the only one sort of wishing we had done more here, nickname-wise, with the opportunity afforded us by the fact that he USED TO WORK IN A COFFIN FACTORY??

4. Seungwoo Choi: Sting

Fuck yes, bro. I don’t want to know why or how. I don’t want to ruin it by discovering any explanation. I just want you to be Sting, now and forever.

3. Jai Herbert: Black Country Banger

Yep, there you go. This sounds like an extra nickname you could add to Buster Scruggs’ list (San Saba Songbird, Texas Tit, Black Country Banger, etc.) and feel right at home. Even better is that I don’t think there’s much risk of him one day showing up on the same fight card with another fighter by the same handle, nickname, appellation, or cognomen.

2. Jamie Pickett: The Night Wolf

I mean, yeah, this is obviously totally awesome. We all see that, right? We see why this is a great nickname? Fucking night wolf. Hell yeah. Sounds like a show that would come on right after “A-Team” and before “Beretta.” Totally into it.

1. Jun Yong Park: The Iron Turtle

First of all, it’s perfect. It could not possibly be improved upon. I know nothing about this man and already I am a colossal fan. Are there T-shirts I can buy? Please say yes. In a better world The Iron Turtle would already be UFC champ, if not dictator for life. Whatever else happens from here, know that Jun Yong Park just became One of My Guys.

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