The UFC is renowned for its exciting, action-packed fights, big rivalries and plenty of trash talk. Here, RT Sport looks back at some of the most iconic utterings from the UFC’s stars down the years.
“I’M NOT IMPRESSED BY YOUR PERFORMANCE” – GEORGES ST-PIERRE
It wasn’t supposed to be a withering put-down, but Georges St-Pierre’s in-cage assessment of Matt Hughes’s victory over BJ Penn had the crowd gasping in amazement.
The usually super-polite Canadian throwing low-level shade at dominant UFC welterweight champ Hughes was big news at the time, and helped book ‘Rush’ into a title fight, which he went on to win by second-round TKO.
St-Pierre has since admitted that he regretted his words that day, saying it was “very low class from my part”.
But that moment remains part of MMA folklore, and is a statement people still use to mock other people’s efforts to this day.
“WHO THE F*CK IS THAT GUY?” – CONOR McGREGOR
Conor McGregor was doing what Conor McGregor does – dominating proceedings at the UFC onsale press conference for UFC 205 when he uttered the best unscripted riposte to a fighter’s trash talk we’ve heard in years.
After Jeremy Stephens suggested that he was the man to halt the McGregor hype train, an incredulous McGregor picked up his mic, looked over his shoulder and uttered the phrase that is now part of MMA folklore.
“Who the f*ck is that guy?!”
It’s become a go-to put-down for people on social media, and is one of the most replayed moments of trash talk in UFC history.
“ANDERSON SILVA… YOU ABSOLUTELY SUCK!” – CHAEL SONNEN
Chael Sonnen has a well-deserved reputation as one of the best talkers in MMA history, with the American king of the soundbyte making a tidy sum of money through his ability to sell his fights.
And, after bouncing back from defeat against Silva with victory over Brian Stann, Sonnen moved on to his post-fight interview, where he totally ignored the question about his performance in the fight and turned his attention on one man sat at octagonside – Silva.
It’s one of the most gripping post-fight interviews ever because it was direct, to the point and laid the groundwork for one of the biggest rematches in UFC history.
“IF YOU’RE COMING ON… COME ON!” – HAROLD HOWARD
Back in the early days of the UFC, where the rules were few and the characters were many, one man stood out for his ability to sell a fight.
Canada’s Harold Howard looked like someone the UFC had plucked from a 1990s WWE developmental program, with his mullet, goatee beard and some cheap-looking supermarket sunglasses.
And, to use pro-wrestling parlance, he loved to “cut a promo”, too.
His most memorable soundbyte came before UFC 3, when he did a pre-recorded piece to camera to hype his upcoming appearance, saying: “We have a saying back home that, if you’re coming on… COME ON!”
It’s pretty tame compared to some of the expletive-laden stuff we’re used to these days, but it has a certain charm to it, nonetheless.
“I’M GOING TO BEAT YOU INTO A LIVING DEATH” – KEN SHAMROCK
The rivalry between Ken Shamrock and Tito Ortiz was perhaps the first really big rivalry in the UFC, with Shamrock’s old-school intensity coming up against Ortiz’s cocky, trash-talking demeanor.
And the contrast between the two characters was no better illustrated than during the press conference ahead of their bout at UFC 40, an event that was aptly titled “Vendetta”.
And during some super-tense pre-fight remarks at the dais, Shamrock turned to his opponent and told ‘The Huntington Beach Bad Boy’: “I hope to God you come ready, because if you don’t I’m going to beat you into a living death.”
Ortiz paused, before bursting into laughter, which only wound up Shamrock even more.
But what will stick in the craw the most is how Shamrock fared when they met inside the octagon. In all they fought three times and, on each occasion, Ortiz won by TKO stoppage.
“I’M NOT SURPRISED, MOTHERF*CKERS!” – NATE DIAZ
The build-up to the first clash between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz at UFC 196 was filled with plenty of trash-talking moments, but perhaps the most decisive verbal blow came after the bout was all over.
Diaz had just stunned McGregor on the feet before submitting him in the middle of the octagon with a rear-naked choke. And as the MGM Grand Garden Arena erupted to celebrate one of the most epic wins in recent UFC history, Diaz’s first words to Joe Rogan during his post-fight interview said it all.
While McGregor’s huge fanbase and plenty of others around the world believed the Irishman would smoke the Stockton native, Diaz knew better.
His response was perfect.
“YOU HAVE SEEN NOTHING YET… MWAH HA HA HA HA HA!” – BEN ROTHWELL
UFC heavyweight ‘Big’ Ben Rothwell has always cut a slightly awkward figure inside the octagon, but there is no denying the man’s effectiveness.
And after picking up a lightning-quick submission victory over Matt Mitrione at UFC New Orleans in 2016, the ‘King of Kenosha’ gave one of the most bizarre, but brilliant, post-fight interviews in UFC history.
Words can’t really do justice to Rothwell’s incredible interview, so just sit back and enjoy!