MMA experts gathered in Las Vegas today to release a statement predicting that “at least 15 more” fighters will be nicknamed Pitbull in 2017. The increase, which represents a 37 percent spike on top of last year’s Pitbull numbers, is believed to be related to an overall boost in the popularity of MMA.
“Frankly the whole situation is out of control. If you type ‘Pitbull’ into Sherdog’s Fight Finder you get over six pages of results. That is far too many people with the same nickname,” said MMAfighting.com’s Marc Raimondi. “There are other violent dogs to choose from, but not a lot of fighters want to be known as ‘Alaskan Malamute.’”
Nicknames have been a tradition in combat sports going as far back as “The Galveston Giant” Jack Johnson. They are often an immediate reflection of the fighter’s personality or fighting style.
“I love giving a new fighter a nickname,” said longtime MMA coach Mike Winkeljohn. “Sometimes it is easy to think of one; like say a guy is named ‘Danny Desmond,’ then he could be ‘Demon Danny Desmond.’ See how easy that was? But most of the time we just go with Pitbull so we can all move on.”
Fighters carrying the “Pitbull” nickname were quick to respond to the prediction.
“Everyone knows I am the only Pitbull that matters in MMA,” said former Bellator Featherweight champion Patrício Freire.
Freire’s older brother and Bellator Lightweight contender Patricky Freire also took to Twitter to say “Everyone knows I am the only Pitbull that matters in MMA.”
Arguably the most notable fighter carrying the “Pitbull” moniker is former UFC Heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski, who had a stern rebuke for all the mixed martial artists using the same nickname.
“Technically I list my nickname as ‘The Pit Bull,’ so it is a little different, and when I look at it on paper it doesn’t really make sense,” said Arlovski. “But everyone knows I am the only Pitbull that matters in MMA.”
Experts also warn that there could be a sudden increase in the nicknames “Sugar,” “Cyborg,” and countless variations on “Cowboy” within the next five years.