Being a successful mixed martial artist isn’t all about winning fights, titles, and earning big-time win bonuses. It is about being the better man or women when you step inside the cage. It is about putting on a show for the fan that spent their hard earning money on their tickets, pay per views, and merchandise. One of the best ways to encourage fans to spend their money on you and your brand is to give everyone a show. This means during interviews and especially inside the cage. You need to be a major character, which depending on how crazy you become, could also make you one of the most hated men in the sport.
In the long history of MMA, who are the top 10 biggest characters in the sport’s history?
Watching Clay Guida fight can often make the viewer tired, but somehow, the native of Round Lake, Ill. finds a way to never stop coming forward. Currently fighting in the UFC featherweight division, Guida is known for his long hair and his ability to never stop moving. He is often referred to as one of the nicest men in mixed martial arts, but those fans that get dizzy watching him fight are left to wonder what he was taking as a kid to make him bounce so much.
When Junie Browning competed on The Ultimate Fighter, he made it easy to hate him. He always had something to say and it didn’t take long to see that he was trying to make it more about him than the show. He didn’t win the show, but did get a chance to compete in the UFC, going 1-1 with a loss to Cole Miller ending his time with the company. In 2011, he reportedly got into a fight at a bar in Thailand and was hospitalized for his injuries. He has since given up drinking, but for now, remains one of the biggest characters in the sport.
One of the most talked about MMA fighters in the world right now is former TUF contestant War Machine, but it is for all the wrong reasons. He was originally known as Jon Koppenhaver, but changed his name to War Machine after disputing with professional wrestler Rhino and Total Nonstop Action about what was then just his nickname. In recent weeks, he has been in the discussion because of his alleged assault of girlfriend, Christy Mack. Whether or not he is proven guilty of these charges remains to be seen, but his MMA career may be over and he will always be known as a character.
Another former contestant on TUF was Josh Koscheck. The talented wrestler has had problems with just about everyone in the sport for various reasons. From issues with Stephan Bonnar about the use of his image to drunkenly attacking Chris Leben on TUF, Koscheck has made it so easy to not like him. When Paul Daley punched him following the conclusion of a fight in 2010, instead of fans being upset as they would normally be after an act like that, they were happy to see Koscheck get what he had coming to him.
“JT Money,” Jesse Taylor will go down as one of the biggest wastes of talent from the UFCs hit reality show, TUF. He had fought his way to the finals, but was kicked off the show because of his actions which included kicking out a window of a limousine. He was later brought back into the UFC to fight the man he was supposed to face off with in the finals of TUF, C.B. Dollaway, lost, and was released. He may have turned his life around in the time since, but his actions will never be forgotten.