Whether we want to admit it or not, mixed martial arts (MMA) is not all about fighting. It’s a business, and with a business comes advertisement, promotion, and hype. However, the promotion isn’t the only one responsible for promotion and hyping up fights, and some fighters have assumed roles as self-promoters with vicious trash talk.
Although sometimes it seems too WWE-like, fans can hardly stay away from the entertaining words and hype we see in MMA. Without further ado, let’s take a look at LowKickMMA’s top 10 trash talkers in MMA history:
Although fairly new to the UFC, the undefeated Dagestani-born wrestler Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov has quickly become one of the best 155-pound fighters in the world. He has also become one of the best trash talkers in the sport, especially via his twitter, where he can constantly be seen calling out other fighters, and I must admit, it’s quite humorous.
He has engaged in twitter wars with oft-scheduled opponent Donald Cerrone, even going as far to call “Cowboy” fake as well as brash tweets regarding Nate Diaz.
“The Eagle” has also not kept quiet about former champion Anthony “Showtime” Pettis. Nurmagomedov bashed Pettis when “Showtime” lost the title last March, and also brings up Pettis’ struggling injury history quite often.
If you want to see entertaining trash talk, be sure to pay attention to “The Eagle”.
A team captain at American Kickboxing Academy. A former Olympic Wrestler. A FOX Analyst. A somewhat humble and usually respectful light heavyweight champion, Daniel “DC” Cormier can surely dish out his fair share of trash talk.
“DC” took part in one of the biggest rivalries the sport has ever seen alongside former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones leading up to their highly-anticipated UFC 182 bout. Cormier repeatedly called Jones fake, and two-faced, and even told “Bones” that he would kill him during their infamous “hot-mic” stunt.
More recently, the newly crowned champion has strung up a rivalry with top-five 205-pounder Ryan Bader, telling Bader to his face that he would be the easiest fight in the division.
“DC” sure knows how to talk!
A polarizing figure with a gigantic sliver chain, and heavy hands, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is one of the most interesting personalities we’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing.
His trash talk was put on full display with feuds with Chuck Liddell and most notably Rashad Evans. Jackson and Evans coached against each other on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): Heavyweights and clearly did not like each other.
“Rampage” left the UFC in 2013, but took his trash talk with him, engaging in a huge rivalry Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal as well.
Now back in the UFC, it’ll be interesting to see who Jackson verbally bashes next.
The women’s bantamweight champion finds herself on this list because it seems as if she finds herself in a war of words with almost all of her opponents, and she never seems to back down from saying how she feels. She’s had a heated rivalry with Miesha Tate over the years that came full circle when the two coached against each other on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 18.
The “Rowdy” one can also be seen making headlines quite often with words about Invicta FC featherweight champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino. Rousey never shies away from speaking about Justino’s history with performance-enhancing-drugs, calling “Cyborg” a cheater and even saying that the Brazilian should be arrested for fighting while using PEDs.
Currently, the bantamweight queen finds herself in the midst of a heated rivalry with title challenger Bethe Correia. The two will meet at UFC 190 in August, and it seems as if the talk will continue until the opening bell sounds.
Michael “The Count” Bisping has remained relevant in the UFC’s middleweight division for years now, and he happens to be one of the most polarizing figures in the history of the sport. A brash Brit, Bisping has never been one to keep his mouth shut. “The Count” has had rivalries with the likes of Jason Miller and Dan Henderson, two men he has coached opposite on The Ultimate Fighter. He has also engaged in trash talk with Alan Belcher, Luke Rockhold, who Bisping called a “pathetic prick”, and even CB Dolloway recently.
I would list more examples, but it’s hard to find an opponent Bisping hasn’t take a shot at. Although the trash talk was more prominent earlier in his career, Bisping continues to run his mouth to this day as one of the best talkers in MMA history.
Known as the “Huntington Beach Bad Boy”, Tito Ortiz is one of the god fathers of trash talk in mixed martial arts, serving as one of the first fighters to really self-promote himself with vicious trash talk. Ortiz has had many feuds over the years including bad-blood fueled rivalries with Ken Shamrock, and Chuck Liddell, even flipping Shamrock off in the cage.
However, his words didn’t stop with just fighters, as Ortiz has been very outspoken on his former employer Dana White, who he clearly dislikes.
To this day, Ortiz has never been afraid to speak his mind, even now fighting with Bellator. At last Friday’s (June 19, 2015) Bellator 138, it was announced that Ortiz will take on light heavyweight champion Liam McGeary next September, and the “Huntington Beach Bad Boy” jumped on his chance to take a shot at the British champ, riling up the crowd in the process.
It seems as if the talk will never stop from one of MMA’s most outspoken stars.
4. Josh Koscheck
One of the UFC’s original bad boys and heel fighters, Josh Koscheck made a name for himself as early as the first season of The Ultimate Fighter with his feud with fellow house member Chris Leben. He’s continued to be one of the most entertaining trash talkers throughout his whole career including a feud with another member on this list in Tito Ortiz. “Kos” may also be remembered for his war of words with former welterweight kingpin Georges St. Pierre ahead of their UFC 124 title fight, even insulting thousands of Canadian fans in Montreal at UFC 113.
Although he has fallen on extremely rough times lately, the former title challenger has always talked a big game. Dana White even once said, “Koshcheck’s so good at being a d*ck”, and for his way with the mic, he deserves his spot on this list.
It’s hard to talk about trash talking without mentioning the Diaz Brothers. Two outspoken, and brash brothers from Stockton, Nick and Nate have always said what’s on their mind. Older brother Nick can be known for his feuds with Paul Daley and and more recently Georges St. Pierre in 2013. His famous “Where you at Georges” line will forever be remembered, and Diaz was one of the only ones to ever get under the skin of the usually calm and collective St. Pierre.
Younger Brother Nate can usually be heard complaining about his employers, and talking down upon fighter pay, and he actually popped up after June 13’s UFC 188, calling out Anthony Pettis, and Eddie Alvarez, while saying many fighters are afraid of him. He even cursed out Alvarez in an interview.
The interesting thing about both brothers, however, is that their talk doesn’t stop once the cage doors close. Both fighters can be seen taunting and talking trash to opponents even during the fight.
It seems as if they actually talk more than they fight now a days, but when it comes to trash talking, the Diaz brothers are amongst the best.
It honestly took a lot for me not to put Chael Sonnen at No. 1. To me, his talk was different than others, and possibly even more entertaining. “The American Gangster” brought trash talk to a whole different level as he constantly called himself the best fighter in the world, and was able to talk himself into multiple title fights.
Whether it be insulting the Brazilian culture, bashing long-time rival Anderson Silva, calling himself the middleweight champion after technically losing to Silva or claiming that Wanderlei Silva was scared to fight him, Sonnen played by his own rules, saying whatever he wanted.
Although it seemed too pro wrestling-like and planned at times, the self-proclaimed “Bad Guy” absolutely changed the game forever with his talk, and when speaking of trash talkers in MMA, Sonnen will always come to mind.
When it comes to trash talk, the brash, and outspoken Irishmen does it the best, and it shows as he has become one of the biggest stars in UFC history in just a few years. The “Notorious” one is never afraid to proclaim his talents, constantly predicting first-round knockouts, calling this time period “The McGregor Era”, and calling the 145-pound division “The McGregor Division”.
McGregor also has made a habit of getting under his opponents skin, taking shots at each and every one of them. He called Diego Brandao a broken man before they fought, Dustin Poirier a hillbilly with a deteriorating chin, Dennis Siver a midget German steroid head, Ricardo Lamas a “pu**y”, Cub Swanson a fragile old man and he’s even blasted Chad Mendes.
And now scheduled to fight for the title against Jose Aldo, the talk has only increased as the “Notorious” one recently called the champion a cheating weasel. McGregor has also sprinted into the stands after a bout to confront Aldo, and has told the champion to “spit shine” the belt before Aldo hands it over to him.
McGregor has a way with words, always saying what’s on his mind, and never being afraid to tell an opponent that he will take their head clean off. When it comes down to it, the Irishmen is the best trash talker mixed martial arts has ever seen.