When it comes to fighters’ nicknames, it’s truly a case of the good, the bad and the ugly.
So, with no big fights on the horizon and no big news since Sean ‘The Muscle Shark’ Sherk and Hermes Franca tested positive for steroids, here’s a light-hearted look at mixed-martial arts monikers and how they came to be:
• Chuck ‘The Iceman’ Liddell: “I had a trainer who was amazed how I showed absolutely no emotion before fights. No fear, no hesitation, no anything. He said I was cold so he called me the Iceman.”
• Georges ‘Rush’ St. Pierre: “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.”
• Randy ‘The Natural’ Couture: “Joe 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.’” Couture also goes by the nickname Captain America which he got from UFC commentator Joe Rogan.
• Anderson ‘Spider’ Silva: Through an interpreter, Silva explained that as a young boy, Spiderman was his favourite superhero.
• Andrei ‘The Pitbull’ Arlovski: “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.”
• Jason ‘The Athlete’ MacDonald: “I took the name because ever since I was young, and later in college, I was always good at sports.
• David ‘The Crow’ Loiseau: “L’oiseau in French means a bird and because I am black, kids at school used to call me Crow. A black bird.”
• ‘Sugar’ Rashad Evans: “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 like 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”
•Referee ‘Big’ John McCarthy: 'Big John' came about because of his stature. He stands 6'4" and weighs 260 lbs making him larger than many of the athletes he monitors in the cage. The nickname was given to him by one of the old UFC co-founders.
• Jeff ‘Snowman’ Monson: Fighters in Brazil gave the pasty-white Monson his nickname in 1999. At Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Grappling Tournament he beat 4 Brazilians in a row to win the title. They said he was like a snowball gaining momentum with each fight
•Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral: His nickname comes from a brand of bubblegum that he used to chew as a kid.
• Mirko ‘Cro-Cop’ Filipovic: Cro-Cop is short for Croatian cop. When he’s not swinging his tree trunk legs at opponent’s heads, the former Pride champ works as a member of Croatia’s anti-terror squad.
• Mike ‘Quick’ Swick: The former middleweight contender, who recently dropped down to the 170 lbs. class, got his nickname after disposing of his opponents early. He scored first-round victories in his first four UFC fights. In those fights he fought a combined five minutes and 10 seconds.
Now, let it be noted that there is no shortage of really bad nicknames.
Among them, Jimmy ‘Psycho Bulldog’ Dean, Hector ‘Sick Dog’ Ramirez and the worst cage name of all time, Ken ‘The World’s Most Dangerous Man’ Shamrock.
• As you read here two weeks ago, Chuck Liddell’s first fight back since losing the belt will be against Keith ‘Dean of Mean’ Jardine at UFC 76. The fight will take place Sept. 22 in Anaheim, Calif. The card will also feature the debut of Pride standout Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua who will take on Forrest Griffin.
• It’s hard to keep the teacher away from the books. Former high school teacher turned fighter Rich ‘Ace’ Franklin is co-author of a book called the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Ultimate Fighting. It his stores Sept. 4.
• King of the Cage lightweight champ Mac Danzig will be part of the cast of The Ultimate Fighter Season 6.
For the latest in mixed-martial-arts news log on to The Scrapyard blog at canoe.ca.