60 Best UFC Nicknames of All Time (Origins & Meaning)

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Are you wondering what the best UFC nicknames are?

In this article, we’ll present the 60 best UFC nicknames of all time, why they’re the best/fitting, and the origins of each if known.

Contents

60 Best UFC Nicknames

Below are listed the 60 best UFC nicknames of all time, along with why their nicknames are fitting, and the origins of each nickname if known. This list only features fighters who’ve fought in the UFC.

1. Deiveson ‘Deus da Guerra‘ Figueiredo 

Translated from Portuguese to English, Deus da Guerra means ‘God of War’ – referring to the God of War gaming franchise. He also has a red strip of hair like the demigod and spartan general, Kratos.

2. Chan Sung Jung ‘The Korean Zombie

The Korean Zombie earned this nickname because of his granite chin and his ability to continue pushing forward despite taking heavy damage. He also enters the octagon to the song Zombie by the Cranberries, and the nickname is so fitting that the majority of MMA fans don’t know his real name.

3. Wanderlei ‘The Axe Murderer’ Silva

Wanderlei Silva was labelled The Axe Murderer after winning the IVC cruiserweight belt. It was given to him because of his vicious, aggressive, and tenacious fighting style of knocking people out with knees and punches.

4. Dan ‘The Hangman Hooker

It’s unknown where or why Dan Hooker is known as The Hangman, but it’s likely because 6/7 of his career submissions were either by rear-naked choke or guillotine. Whatever the reason, it has a great ring to it.

5. Curtis ‘Razor’ Blaydes

It’s unknown how Curtis came to be Razor Blaydes, but it goes well with his surname and how he cuts through the division.

6. Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson

Quinton Jackson’s cousin gave him the nickname Rampage when he was 8 years old, named after a violent video game they played, as well as his bad temper growing up where he’d beat up his siblings when in a bad mood.

This nickname was so fitting, MMA fans forgot his real name was Quinton, with him being known as Rampage Jackson, or simply Rampage, for the entirety of his career.

7. Maurício ‘Shogun’ Rua

Brazilian legend Mauricio Rua was given his nickname early in his MMA career after always wearing a branded Shogun gi. He liked the nickname as it meant commander in chief in feudal Japan, representing his presence in the octagon.

8. Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipovic

Mirko Filipovic’s nickname Cro Cop is short for Croatian cop, a reference to his time with the Croatian anti-terrorism unit before he made it big time in MMA. It was one of the best UFC nicknames as Mirko was purely known as Cro Cop and viewed as the police officer who beat everybody up.

9. Chuck ‘The Iceman’ Liddell

UFC legend Chuck Liddell was given his nickname, The Iceman, by his trainer John Hackleman, who believed Chuck was overly composed and calm before fights. Combined with how Chuck left people as stiff as ice due to the immense power in his hands, it was a very fitting nickname.

10. Keith ‘The Dean of Mean’ Jardine

Keith Jardine picked the nickname because it’s funny and it rhymes perfectly with his name.

11. Alistair ‘The Demolition Man’ Overeem

The origins of the nickname are unknown, but it makes perfect sense as Alistair Overeem was an absolute force to be reckoned with. He was the first fighter to hold simultaneous world titles in kickboxing and MMA, and in 47 MMA wins, he has 42 finishes (25 knockouts, 17 submissions).

He’s also remembered as The Demolition Man because of how he took insane amounts of steroids to pack on a serious tonne of muscle before USADA arrived in 2015.

12. Robert ‘Bobby Knuckles’ Whittaker

While his official nickname is still Robert ‘The Reaper’ Whittaker, the majority of MMA fans prefer his second nickname which is ‘Bobby Knuckles’. Colby Hentges is the man to have come up with the nickname, which is very fitting as Whittaker has great boxing.

13. Mark ‘The Smashing Machine’ Kerr

Mark Kerr was one of the early ground-and-pound style fighters, so the smashing machine was very apt. It became synonymous with Mark Kerr to the point his documentary was named The Smashing Machine.

14. Israel ‘The Last Stylebender’ Adesanya

The Last Stylebender is a reference to the anime series, Avatar: The Last Airbender. Israel has Toph Beifong tattooed on his forearm, one of the main characters. It’s fitting because his kickboxing is a mix of Dutch and Thai and he’s a massive anime fan.

15. Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller

Jason Miller is known as Mayhem Miller because he’s an eccentric character known for causing mayhem inside and outside of the octagon.

He’s been arrested over twelve times since 2011 with crimes such as vandalism, assaulting officers of the law, domestic violence, battery and assault, driving under the influence, and trespassing. Overall, the nickname is one of the most fitting on the entire list.

16. Andre ‘Touchy’ Fili

The exact origins of his nickname are unknown, but in 2012 Megan Olivi recommended Andre the nickname via Twitter, so she’s possibly the originator.

17. Carlos ‘The Natural Born Killer’ Condit

The Natural Born Killer is exceptionally fitting for Carlos Condit as in 32 wins he has 28 finishes. 

18. Yoel ‘The Solider of God’ Romero

If you’ve ever seen Yoel Romero, you’ll understand why he’s called The Solider of God. At 45 years old he still looks like a cyborg developed in a lab. Romero nicknamed himself as he believes he’s a servant and soldier helping to spread God’s word.

19. ‘Ruthless’ Robbie Lawler

Early in his UFC career, Robbie Lawler was labeled Ruthless by Dana White because of his granite chin, and aggressive and relentless forward-pressure style of fighting.

20. Cody ‘No Love’ Garbrandt

Cody Garbrandt was given the nickname No Love by his uncle after he saw Cody beating professional fighters in the gym at the age of 14. It’s a very fitting nickname for Cody as every time he fights he keeps it all business.

21. Tony ‘El Cucuy’ Ferguson

El Cucuy in Spanish folklore is the equivalent of the boogeyman, a monster who lurks in the shadows, torments children, kills people, and feeds on his victims’ fears.

Another one of the aptest UFC nicknames, during his 12-fight win streak, Tony Ferguson literally was the boogeyman as he pressed forward without any respect for his opponent’s ability to hurt him, relentlessly sliced people open with vicious elbows, and ultimately finished opponents one after the other.

22. Brandon ‘Raw Dog’ Royval

Brandon Royval adopted the nickname Raw Dog after a drunk fan kept yelling, “Brandon, raw dog him!” at UFC Vegas 46. It’s one of the best UFC nicknames for one of the most entering fighters on the roster.

23. Jon ‘Bones’ Jones

At University, Jon Jones played American football as a defensive lineman, and due to his long and skinny frame, his coach nicknamed him Bones. Jon Bones Jones has a great ring so he used it throughout his MMA career.

24. Vinc ‘From Hell’ Pichel

Growing up, Vinc was called the Devil’s son because of his mentality, how he was expelled from various schools, and his dabbling in drugs between the ages of 15-20.

After telling his mother he would be fighting for a living, she asked him what his nickname would be, “Pichel From Hell?” The name stuck.

25. Li ‘The Leech’ Jingliang

One of the best Asian UFC fighters, Li Jingliang earned his nickname after leeching onto an opponent’s neck bit by bit to secure a guillotine choke. His friend watching in the crowd shouted out “The Leech”, and the name has been with him ever since.

26. Conor ‘The Notorious’ McGregor

An exceptionally fitting nickname for the most-known UFC fighter of all time, it also became the title of his documentaries. McGregor has credited the rapper, The Notorious B.I.G., as the reason why he uses the nickname. He often uses the rapper’s songs for his UFC walkouts.

Combined with how one of his old coaches once called him notorious for causing trouble at the gym, The Notorious was born.

27. Derrick ‘The Black Beast’ Lewis

It was actually the announcers who made and used this nickname for Derrick, soon after he defeated Nick Mitchell at the 2010 WGC event. The Black Beast is very fitting considering Derrick Lewis is one of the hardest-hitting heavyweights and also the record holder for most heavyweight knockouts with 13.

28. Dustin ‘The Diamond’ Poirier

Dustin Poirier is named The Diamond because of his exceptional mental and physical toughness, he’s a fighter who never gives up and gets better as the fight goes on. He often finds a way to turn a fight around.

29. Francis ‘The Predator’ Ngannou

Francis Ngannous is nicknamed The Predator in homage to the 1987 film featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger. It’s also because he brutally knocks out nearly every opponent he faces.

30. Kyle ‘The D’Arce Knight’ Daukaus

Kyle Daukaus is known as The D’Arce Knight because he has 5 d’arce choke submissions in his MMA career, but only 1 has come in the UFC. He took the nickname from Tony Ferguson, who used it as a secondary nickname.

31. Luis ‘Violent Bob Ross’ Pena

Luis Pena was given the nickname by fans on the internet because he looks like the American painter, Bob Ross.

32. Kazushi ‘The Gracie Hunter’ Sakuraba

An iconic Japanese fighter with an iconic nickname, he labeled himself an enemy of the entire Gracie family. Living up to his name, Sakuraba beat four members of the Gracie family: Royce, Renzo, Royler, and Ryan.

33. Alex ‘Poatan’ Pereira

Poatan translates from Portuguese to English as Hands of Stone. Pereira is absolutely huge for middleweight and was given the nickname by his first kickboxing coach. He has a tattoo of pebbles and rocks on his left hand and is well known for his knockout power, especially with his left hook.

34. Tim ‘The Dirty Bird’ Means

Before an amateur fight at 17 years old, Tim Bird had a bad haircut which was made worse by his dying his hair. His teammate said he looked like a dirty bird and the name stuck.

35. Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza

Jacare translates from Portuguese to English as ‘Alligator’. The nickname Jacare has become so synonymous with Souza, most people don’t know his first or second name. When he walks out to the octagon, everyone does the gator clap in honor of his nickname.

36. Lyoto ‘The Dragon’ Machida

Lyoto’s father, Yoshizo Machida, was also nicknamed The Dragon. In honor of his father, Lyoto Machida adopted the same nickname and carried it onto the biggest stage in mixed martial arts.

37. Rose ‘Thug’ Namajunas

More commonly referred to as ‘Thug Rose’, she was given the nickname when she was younger by her neighborhood friends because she always looked menacing.

38. Paul ‘Bearjew’ Craig

Bear Jew is a member of The Basterds, a Nazi fighting group in The Inglorious Basterds movie. Tarantino based Bear Jew on a World War I veteran called Sam Dreben. In the movie, Bear Jew uses a baseball bat to kill Nazi enemies, and Paul Craig is clearly a fan.

39. Marcus ‘The Irish Hand Grenade’ Davis

Before his MMA career, Marcus Davis was a professional boxer who received his nickname from a fan watching one of his sparring sessions.

40. Jorge ‘Gamebred’ Masvidal

Masvidal’s brother gave him the nickname Gamebred. Game stands for how he can push through any mental or physical barriers and continue fighting, and bred refers to how he was built up from a young age to fight for a living. 

It’s a very fitting nickname for a fighter with 52 professional MMA fights and having only been knocked out twice.

41. Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley

Paul Daley earned the nickname Semtex after he and some friends were watching his early fights. It’s a very fitting name because of the explosiveness in his strikes – and he’s certainly lived up to it. In 43 MMA wins, Semtex has 35 knockouts and 0 submissions.

42. Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson

Anthony Johnson became known as Rumble Johnson because of his one-punch knockout power. Rumble was well known for being absolutely huge and having to cut extreme amounts of weight to make the welterweight limit of 170 lbs.

43. David ‘Tank’ Abbott

Tank was a great nickname for David Abbott because he was built like a tank and his dirty boxing fighting style resembled a tank using its size to push forward. He became known as Tank Abbott or Tank to MMA fans.

44. Stephan ‘The American Psycho’ Bonnar

Stephan Bonnar was labeled The American Psycho because many of the fights he was in saw a lot of blood, much like in The American Psycho movie.

45. B.J. ‘The Prodigy’ Penn

B.J. Penn’s nickname The Prodigy came before his time in MMA. After only 3 years of training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, B.J. Penn won the World BJJ Championships, an unheard-of achievement at the time.

When Penn joined the UFC, his nickname became very apparent because he was unlike any other lightweight or welterweight. He had skills many of his opponents hadn’t seen before, and he was one of the most well-rounded early MMA fighters.

46. Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis

Anthony Pettis earned the nickname Showtime because of his flashy and explosive nature style of fighting. He once performed a running kick off the cage against Benson Henderson which later became known as the Showtime Kick. 

He also knocked out Wonderboy with a Superman punch off the cage. Overall, Showtime is an extremely entertaining fighter who tries techniques other fighters wouldn’t dare.

47. Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva

Antonio Silva is known as Bigfoot because he has size 15 feet and he’s an absolute giant. Bigfoot is so big because he has a condition known as acromegaly (gigantism), which causes too much growth hormone during adulthood and the growth of bones.

48. Jalin ‘The Tarantula’ Turner

Jalin Turner became The Tarantula because when he was younger he was an arachnophobe. To defeat this fear, Jalin started to collect spiders and at the time of his UFC debut, he had over 200 as he was buying, swapping, and breeding them.

It’s also a brilliantly fitting fight name because he’s a 6’3” tall lightweight with very long legs.

49. Jai ‘The Black Country Banger’ Herbert

The Black Country Banger refers to the city of Birmingham in England, where Jai’s from. Birmingham became known as the Black Country around 1850 because of the thick smoke in the air caused by the thousands of coal seams and iron foundries and forges.

50. Kamaru ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ Usman

Usman believes the nickname The Nigerian Nightmare symbolizes the elite athlete he is. Usman is one of the best UFC welterweights of all time with 5 title defenses, and his wrestling is always a nightmare for his opponents.

51. Darren ‘The Dentist’ Stewart

Darren Stewart is a British UFC fighter who got his nickname The Dentist by knocking people’s teeth out. Darren explained every opponent he faces gets drilled.

52. Ian ‘Uncle Creepy’ McCall

Ian McCall became Uncle Creepy after his friend’s son called him it in front of the family. The name stuck ever since.

53. Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva

One of the best MMA fighters of all time, The Spider was a very fitting nickname for Anderson Silva because he was faster, more technical, and used a variety of attacks from a variety of angles against every opponent. It was almost like he had 8 legs.

The nickname came from his early MMA fights when he was wearing a Spiderman t-shirt. The female announcer at the event announced him as the Brazilian Spiderman, so Anderson decided to adopt The Spider.

54. Chidi ‘Chidi Bang Bang’ Njokuani

Referencing the brilliant film based on a flying car ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’, it fits perfectly with his first name Chidi and also his knockout style of fighting (22 wins, 14 knockouts).

55. Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson

Stephen Thompson has simply become Wonderboy to all MMA fans so he has to make the list of best UFC nicknames. He also walks out to Wonderboy by Tenacious D, so he fully embodies his nickname.

56. Leon ‘Rocky’ Edwards

Leon Edwards became a real-life Rocky when he landed a 5th-round knockout against Kamara Usman despite being bullied for all rounds except the first. Leon was given the nickname by his childhood friends as he was always up for a scrap, and he adopted the nickname because he loves the Rocky franchise.

57. Jamahal ‘Sweet Dreams’ Hill

An exceptional UFC nickname very fitting for Hill as he was very underrated until fight after fight he sent his opponent’s to sleep and became the light heavyweight champion.

The nickname came from his first amateur MMA fight, when the promotion asked him for his fight name, and Beyonce’s lyrics, “You can be a sweet dream or a beautiful nightmare” were playing in the background. He put Sweet Dreams down and knocked out his opponent in 42 seconds.

58. Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson

Hilarious and very fitting for Roy Nelson as he’s always been known as being a heavy-set fighter who could lose weight and make light heavyweight. Big Country became his nickname as his early MMA training partners thought he was from a large wrestling state like Iowa because of his grappling skills.

59. Alexander ‘The Great’ Volkanovski

Referencing the former Ancient Greek emperor, Alexander The Great, who’s known as one of the best military strategists of all time and who built the largest empire in ancient history. This is very fitting for Volkanovski as he’s the best-ever UFC featherweight with 4 title defenses and 3 wins against Max Holloway.

60. Vladimir ‘The Janitor’ Matyushenko

Matyushenko is a former Belarusian MMA/UFC fighter who was given the nickname by Dave Schultz – a member of the American wrestling team. After Matyushenko beat members of Schultz’s team, they referred to him as The Janitor because they first met him when he was cleaning mats in the gym.

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