3 UFC fighters with incredible natural charisma

UFC 246 McGregor v Cowboy: Weigh-Ins
UFC 246 McGregor v Cowboy: Weigh-Ins
Robert McGlade

As fight fans know, to have any lengthy stint in the UFC, fighters need to win as often as possible. An impressive win-streak can shoot you up the rankings, potentially ending in the proverbial title-shot, the ultimate goal for most mixed martial artists. It seems obvious to say, but to make it that far, a fighter will need an impressively well-rounded MMA skillset, though sometimes this is still not enough.

While winning is encouraged by the likes of UFC president Dana White, the American head honcho has a soft spot for UFC fighters who can sell a fight without even setting foot in the octagon. The UFC is primarily an entertainment business and a "boring" champion - see Demetrious Johnson - is often shunned to make way for someone more marketable.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at three UFC fighters with incredible natural charisma:

#3 Sean O’Malley - UFC career 2017-present

UFC 252 Miocic v Cormier 3: Weigh-Ins
UFC 252 Miocic v Cormier 3: Weigh-Ins

‘Sugar’ Sean O’Malley earned a UFC contract in 2017 after executing a highlight-reel knockout against Alfred Khashakyan on Dana White’s Contender Series. In his six UFC appearances, O’Malley has won three ‘Performance of the Night’ bonuses and one ‘Fight of the Night’. The 26 year old has a penchant for stunning walk-off KOs.

It is rare to see an unranked UFC fighter gain so much popularity, but that is a testament to O'Malley's likeability. Backing up his unique skill set, 'Sugar' has amassed an online cult following through his YouTube channel, Twitch, and regular podcasts with friend and coach Tim Welch.

#2 Nate Diaz - UFC career 2007-present

UFC 263: Adesanya v Vettori 2
UFC 263: Adesanya v Vettori 2

Very few fighters can remain popular with a loss record of over 50%, but then again, very few fighters are like Stockton-native Nate Diaz. The southpaw is arguably one of the UFC’s biggest draws, yet winning doesn’t seem that important for the man representing the ‘209’.

Diaz would rather lose a bloody brawl reminiscent of a street fight to entertain fans than pot-shot from a distance to comfortably win a borefest on points.

Ever since he flexed to the audience while submitting Kurt Pellegrino in 2018, Diaz has been somewhat of a fan favorite. However, what cemented his place in UFC folklore, was his famous “I’m not surprised..” post-fight speech after his shocking victory over ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor. Natural charisma personified.

#1 Conor McGregor - UFC career 2013-present

UFC 229: Khabib v McGregor
UFC 229: Khabib v McGregor

Now the richest athlete in the world, ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor is the most famous MMA superstar in the history of the sport so far. Coming from meager beginnings, the Irishman lived off unemployed social welfare benefits in his native Dublin.

Conor McGregor used his power and skill to regularly knockout his opponents on the road to the UFC, and when he got there, he let his mouth run amok.

Teaching a UFC fighter to be both funny and intimidating on the microphone is impossible; you have these skills, or you don’t. The Irishman has them in abundance.

From “who the f**k is that guy” in response to Jeremy Stephens, to telling Rafael dos Anjos to “break out the red panties,” to “surprise, surprise, the king is back,”; there are too many hilarious moments to fit into one article. McGregor’s charisma and comedy is a tough act for anyone to follow.

Edited by Avinash Tewari


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