Perhaps one needs to be differently wired to pursue a career in the UFC. Most athletes who get to channel their inner violence inside the octagon end up being soft-spoken outside it.
However, several goofball fighters go beyond the violence, hinting at their eccentricity. It is truly remarkable when some of these oddballs end up on the biggest mixed martial arts stage in the world.
In this article, we look at five oddball fighters who have fought in the UFC.
#5 Jiri Prochazka
Having appeared in just two bouts in the UFC, Jiri Prochazka has already made it to No.2 in the light heavyweight division of the promotion. Jiri has made two things very clear in his little time with the UFC so far: One, he is one of the deadliest fighters on the planet; and two, he is a little different.
One of the standout features of Prochazka is his odd karate stance and fighting style inside the octagon. He also follows a samurai code and meditates deep inside jungles on his off-days. 'Denisa' also sports an enviable hairstyle. It is safe to say that Jiri Prochazka is a UFC oddball.
After finishing Dominick Reyes with a lethal spinning elbow at UFC Vegas 25, Jiri Prochazka said that it was not a planned move but an idea that he had caught off the antenna on his head. The Czech fighter also referred to his odd hairdo as a "Wi-Fi antenna."
Out of 28 career wins in MMA, Prochazka has 27 finishes (25 KO/TKOs, two submissions).
#4 - Mike Perry
Mike Perry made his UFC debut in 2016 against Hyun Gyu Lim. While posing at the weigh-ins with his rival before UFC 202, Mike Perry offered Hyun a hand-shake before taking it back at the last moment and screaming. The encounter encapsulates his oddball personality.
"Thought you had a friend, boy? Arghhhhh!" said Mike Perry to Hyun Guy Lim.
Mike Perry has been at the center of absolutely bizarre interviews and weigh-ins. Speaking in the post-fight interview after defeating Mickey Gall, Perry went on a rant against his haters and the US tax department.
His rivalry with Donald Cerrone had its own goofy moments, too. Ahead of his fight against 'Cowboy' in 2018, Mike Perry put up a social media post explaining the UFC oddball he is. Dressed up as a native American warrior, Perry said he was out to 'hunt' Cerrone. Not only did he receive a ton of flak for the post, but it also put him among the elite UFC oddballs.
#3 - Tony Ferguson
Tony Ferguson, aka 'El Cucuy,' is one of the few fighters in MMA with insane conditioning and endurance. He is also one of the most unorthodox people on the planet. The former interim UFC lightweight champion, who calls himself a 'ninja turtle,' makes headlines almost every time he speaks into a mic.
However, Tony Ferguson can make news even when he is not speaking to the media. His unconventional training methods have gone viral in MMA circles, and for all the wrong reasons. Be it kicking or elbowing metal rods for 'conditioning,' or doing weird flips on different gym equipment; Tony Ferguson is a UFC oddball.
'El Cucuy' has several weapons that can dominate his opponents inside the octagon. For Tony Ferguson, however, they would be incomplete with occasional kung-fu fakes and invisible sand-throwing.
#2 - Diego Sanchez
From the time he appeared on The Ultimate Fighter 9, it was clear that Diego Sanchez would be a UFC oddball. From fighting invisible aliens to doing 'thunderstorm yoga,' 'The Nightmare' has done many questionable things during his MMA career.
In 2020, Diego Sanchez claimed he saw a 'UFO' hovering above his house at night. He said:
"I was doing energy work on my patio as a UFO flew right up on me. I called for my daughter quick, she watched this thing hover only hundreds of feet away. Albuquerque is a trip, sightings are regular here. But this shit was contact tonight it was obvious it was watching me."
He is also known for bizarre walk-outs to his fights, which once included him holding out a cross as if he was fighting a vampire. Diego Sanchez also believed that stevia, a sugar substitute, cured his girlfriend's breast cancer.
Despite being a UFC oddball, Diego Sanchez was competitive and an MMA great. He is one of only two fighters to compete in four different weight classes in the UFC, with the other being Kenny Florian.
#1 - Jason Miller
Jason Miller is one of the greatest UFC oddballs. While 'Mayhem' was about to retire after his loss against C. B. Dollaway at UFC 146, UFC president Dana White publicly fired him for unspecified "backstage antics."
Another moment that proved Jason Miller to be a UFC oddball came on Ariel Helwani's talk show, "The MMA Hour." Promoting his upcoming movie, 'Mayhem' decided to give the interview as his movie character named 'Lucky Patrick.' Upon being pressed by Helwani to give the interview as himself, Miller had a complete meltdown before storming out of the studio.
Watch the encounter below:
Jason Miller is also known for his weird interviews and weirder fight entrances. He has also had several legal troubles, including being charged with assault, battery and being found naked in a church.
Also read: Jason Miller charged with grand theft auto