Fighting is a test of your body, sure, but it’s also a test of your mind. Some of the greatest fighters in history have landed blows before the bell even rang. Smack talk is a great way to get in your opponent’s head, and mixed martial artists have learned it can be very effective. In this feature, we’ll spotlight the ten best smack talkers in MMA and share some of their greatest lines.
After making his debut on "The Ultimate Fighter," former collegiate wrestler Josh Koscheck has had some truly unforgettable matches, including his sickening KO on
Yoshiyuki Yoshida at "UFC: Fight for the Troops" and his nasty brawl with Georges St-Pierre. Kos has even talked crap about his former training partners, wishing that the American Kickboxing Academy where he learned much of his stand-up game would burn to the ground.
one quality that characterizes a true trash talker is the willingness to deploy verbal bombshells against any opponent. Frank Mir is a perfect example of that. No matter how terrifying the specimen he’s paired up against, Mir will deliver the abuse. He’s one of the UFC’s most verbally skilled fighters, even doing commentating for WEC for a while, so it should be no surprise that he has a gift for getting under his opponents’ skin. From Brock Lesnar to Junior dos Santos, Mir has zinged them all.
British middleweight Michael Bisping isn’t over the top with his smack talk, which is what makes it so effective. The fighter has an impressive record against some of the toughest men to ever step into the Octagon, and his opponents know that he’s not to be trifled with. When he faced Jorge Rivera, the pre-match trash talk got so intense that the two fighters had to be restrained at the weigh-in, and his pre-match with Vitor Belfort, in which Bisping looked the devout Christian in the eye and said “There is no Jesus,” was epically evil.
Some trash talkers craft their words with care, honing them to a razor focus to cause the most damage. Not Nick Diaz. The Stockton-born welterweight talks smack like a shotgun, blowing up anyone in his vicinity with foul-mouthed tirades. He’s even been known to trash-talk during his fights to really get his opponents flustered. Diaz’s recent salvo against Georges St-Pierre was effective enough to get GSP to demand a fight with him (which Diaz went on to lose).
My home girl, and personal Favorite: Ronda Rousey
The introduction of women’s fighting to the UFC has drawn criticism from long-time fight fans, but these ladies can get it done in the Octagon just as hard as men can. And they can talk trash, too. The female MMA fighter with the most brutal mouth is probably Ronda “Rowdy” Rousey, who puts just about anyone who crosses her path on blast. Her recent explosion on Cris “Cyborg” Santos was epic.
Money Quote: "She can either do the drugs and fight me at 135 and have the drugs be just as much a detriment as a help to her during the weight cut, or she can cut out all the doping
and make the weight easily. As long as she makes 135, I don't care if she's injecting horse semen into her eyeballs but that's the only way I feel it would be a fair fight."
Jason “Mayhem” Miller is one of the sport’s true crossover stars, hosting his own MTV show and taking on movie roles including Kevin James’ "Here Comes the Boom." Part of what got him such notoriety is his motormouth, which lays down the law on just about every opponent he faces. Miller’s 2012 retirement came amidst a flurry of controversy regarding how the UFC and other promotions treat fighters dealing with mental health issues.
The man known as “Rampage” is at the tail end of his UFC career, which is probably a wise move as his last few fights haven’t gone well. In his prime, though, he was a dominant fighter who was also incredibly charismatic on the microphone. Jackson brought a street corner sensibility to his pre-fight interviews, delivering smack talk that sounded like it could have come from running the dozens. He has laid down the law on Wanderlei Silva, Matt Lindland and more.
Let’s close this list with the absolute undisputed trash-talker in the UFC today. Light heavyweight Chael Sonnen is an irresistible motormouth who lets loose on just about everyone he fights, to great effect. One of the UFC’s top five Pay-Per-View draws despite never holding a title, Chael can hype a match like no other fighter. He’s unleashed his verbal beast on targets as diverse as Lyoto Machida, Anderson Silva and Brock Lesnar (who is way out of his weight class).
Money Quote: “Anderson Silva’s got a black belt under the Nogueiras. I think a black belt
under the Nogueiras is saying, like, I got a free toy in my Happy Meal. I don’t really understand what the big deal is.”