Best Trash Talkers in MMA

Nate Diaz

Nate Diaz was never one to talk much; instead, he’d get in his opponent’s face, refuse to touch loves, mug and flex on them, and finish with a Stockton Slap.

Nate produces the majority of his best work on the internet, which may be due to his recent insight that social media buys bouts. I wouldn’t call him an internet warrior, though, because he’s a real warrior who fights in real battles and gets punched in the face.

Yes, I appreciated it when Diaz remarked “You’re playing touch-butt with that moron in the park” in response to video footage of Conor McGregor in an outdoor training session, but a Nate Diaz social media post is a different creature… There’s also some questionable spelling and grammar.

Diaz doesn’t hold back when it comes to social media trash talk, whether it’s about McGregor, Khabib Numagomedov (who he calls “Kabob”), or any other fighter in the lightweight or welterweight division.

Diaz hit back at McGregor on Twitter with a nasty remark that also targeted Numagomedov: “I f****d you up and u never got it back but u acted like u did now u get a rematch every time u get you’re a** beat like a spoiled Little b***h would I’ve done it all and I’m still here plus the guy who just beat us a** is a scared Lil b***h also f**k u both #realfighter. Nate Diaz”

Ronda Rousey

“Rowdy” Ronda Rousey was known for her hostility toward her opponents as well as her ability to knock out her opponents in the first round.

In reality, only one of Rousey’s twelve career victories — all by stoppage – went beyond the first round. This is a major accomplishment for the judo gold medalist, and her abilities, as well as her demeanor on the mic, are likely what helped her move from MMA to professional wrestling so smoothly.

Rousey slammed her UFC 193 opponent Holly Holm AKA “The Preacher’s Daughter” for putting on a “false sweet act,” claiming, “I see straight through it.” I see it’s all a ruse, and you’ll receive it on Sunday.”

When Holm knocked Rousey out in the second round, many speculated that she ignored Holm as a genuine danger to her Women’s Bantamweight Championship when she sneered in a pre-fight interview, “On Monday morning when I beat Holly and I look around, it’ll be the most fantastic feeling.”

Rousey’s most venomous statements, on the other hand, have always been reserved for her fiercest foe, Meisha Tate. Rousey stated Tate’s “chink in her armor” was her inability to face her in the eyes and that she possessed “everything (Tate) desires in life.”

During the eighth season of The Ultimate Fighter, the two coached opposite each other, and the trash talk (and hand signals from Rousey) were quite intense and numerous.

The Rousey/Tate battle will go down in history as one of the most intense in women’s MMA, and that is in no little part due to “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey’s unbridled and raging repulsion for her rival… who most definitely gave as good as she got, despite her nickname being “Cupcake”.

BJ Penn

“I’m going to try and kill you, Georges, and I’m not joking about that.”

CC BY-NC 2.0

Yep. That was truly spoken by BJ Penn.

Jay Dee Penn III, regarded as one of the finest lightweight mixed martial artists of all time, backed up his trash talk with one of his generation’s top all-around skill sets. Penn is a pioneer in the 155-pound class, having defeated former UFC champions Sean Sherk and Matt Serra, as well as two times Matt Hughes.

Penn’s trash talk was usually delivered in an exceedingly stern, deadpan style that, when viewed in reverse, appears pretty crazy. It was a rather terrifying moment when Renzo Gracie was told in an unblinking, robotic tone that he would be left “traumatized” following their 2005 encounter.

Penn returned to the ring after an almost three-year hiatus in 2017 and immediately reverted to his old methods, informing upcoming opponent Yair Rodriguez that their Fight Night match will be “a professional versus an amateur.”

I mean… Penn wasn’t entirely wrong… Twenty-four seconds into the second round, Rodriguez kicked him in the face and finished him with strikes. Penn is on a seven-fight losing slide and has only won one of his last 11 fights, a knockout victory over Hughes in 2010. Penn’s trash-talking has been curtailed considerably since his career’s demise, which is understandable.

But let us not forget some of his most venomous statements about fellow divisional GOAT Georges St-Pierre when he was in his peak.

Penn responded when asked about his comments about wanting to – yup – “kill” St-Pierre ahead of their UFC 94 fight:

“If you’re not thinking that in your head, then what are you doing in that ring? If you’re not thinking that you’re going to go across and you’re going to kill this guy — and you’re going to annihilate this guy — what are you doing there?”

“We’re going to go to the death”. BJ Penn, UFC 94

Nick Diaz

You do realize that the creator of “Don’t be scared, homie” had to make the cut, right?

Nick Diaz enjoys a good conversation. Before, after, and during a battle, he enjoys chatting. He also likes to give the finger and lay down, sometimes at the same moment, before, after, and during fights. Seriously.

The older Diaz brother got himself into a title fight against Georges St-Pierre, probably the best pound-for-pound fighter in history… following a defeat

He was dominated by GSP during their UFC 158 fight, and he afterwards stated in a post-fight press conference that he wanted a rematch, flexing a little… and it was being discussed as a genuinely possible option!

Despite the fact that Diaz hasn’t won a fight in over a decade, you still get the impression that he’s only a grimace and a couple of gang-signs away from a title shot. When you think about it, that’s insane.

With this one, the trash talk has a lot of power.

Colby Covington

Colby Covington admits that he will say anything to promote matches.

He has claimed that “This isn’t the feelings championship, this is the fighting championship.” He has stated publicly that he wishes for people to despise him and that this is his “business model.” He’s clearly someone who received straight A’s in the MMA school of “How to Trash Talk. And those A’s stand for Antagonistic, Aggravating, and Arrogant.

He said about Jorge Masvidal, a former training partner and now bitter rival:

“Jorge Masvidal is a piece of s**t father, he’s a piece of s**t fighter”.

And has made notable other comments about countless other fighters, such as:

“Are you guys talking about Marty Juiceman’s (Kamaru Usman) hair? He’s got 30-percent of is hairline left, isn’t that disgusting?!” and “Everybody knows I’m the greatest of all time. GSP’s a bum, he’s out in Canada eating Poutine, I’m out in America eating Poontang!”

Conor McGregor

As if we would leave out the “Notorious” Conor McGregor!

CC BY-SA 2.0.

Conor McGregor is in a class by himself when it comes to trash talk, and it’s because of this that he’s the, with a net worth of around $200 million. When he first entered the UFC, McGregor would choose the round in which he would finish his opponents, earning him the moniker “Mystic Mac.”

He stole Jose Aldo’s featherweight belt from in front of him, yelled the names of his opponents’ children, referred to Khabib Numagomedov as a “filthy Dagestani rat,” and mocked his late father.

The best trash talk from McGregor isn’t his recent trend of extreme bile, which is based of his frustrations with his inability to find any consistency in the Octagon, having only won one fight in the last five years. Indeed, I don’t think McGregor’s best work is petty jibes like the ones he hurled at Dustin Poirier in a voice message he gave him on his phone, repeatedly calling him “Pea-Head”… There isn’t even close to Muhammad Ali’s level of oral dexterity there.

Vintage McGregor, on the other hand, was the greatest.

“Who the f**k is that guy?” — a phrase given to Jeremy Stephens after Stephens publicly chastised McGregor at a UFC press conference – is still one of the Irishman’s most basic, effective, and low-key deadly lines. McGregor has an uncanny ability to get under his opponents’ skin and into their heads.

McGregor is at his finest when he’s being humorous, whether it’s telling Chad Mendez that he can rest his balls on his head, telling Urijah Faber that he looks “like a 50-year-old retired surfer,” or telling Dennis Siver that he’s a “Midget, German steroid-head.”

As McGregor put it so poetically himself, “the king speaks however he pleases.”

So Much Trash Talk, So Little Time

There are a ridiculous number of truly great trash talkers in amateur and professional MMA.

While unfortunately we certainly can’t get to all of them, we can definitely appreciate the top few that made this brief list. And we will continue to look forward to more awesome antics in the future from some of the classic fighters and some up and comers as well.