The social media machine that is Instagram has been growing steadily in popularity ever since it arrived on the scene in 2010, and as of September 2017, it was boasting over 800 million users. It’s no surprise then that celebrities and famous sportspeople use Instagram almost relentlessly, both to keep their fans in the loop and to push their own brands.
The UFC is no different, and some of its fighters are massively popular on Instagram, drawing in millions of followers. For fighters desperately trying to push themselves into the public eye and become bigger stars, Instagram is arguably the perfect platform – and these 10 UFC fighters have taken advantage of it more than most.
#10 Cody Garbrandt – 1.6m followers
Initially, I was surprised to find out that former UFC Bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt had so many Instagram followers – he’s almost a million ahead of title rival and current champion TJ Dillashaw, for instance, and even has more than ultra-popular female fighters Cris Cyborg and Rose Namajunas.
But in hindsight, it’s not really a shock that ‘Cody No Love’ would be popular on Instagram. Not only is he one of the most instantly recognisable UFC fighters thanks to his wild tattoos, but the image he portrays in his fighting life – one part thuggish, one part humble and loveable – comes across incredibly well in his photos; his shots range from pictures of his young child to photos of him posing like a gangster.
And of course, before he became a UFC champ he was involved in a relationship with fellow UFC – and Instagram – star Paige VanZant, which probably helped up his number of followers.