These days, the UFC is home to some of the world’s most recognizable athletes, with the likes of Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz famous all over the world. The UFC’s top stars might be instantly recognizable, but sometimes, it’s still easy to confuse them for other celebrities or athletes.
So which UFC fighters have doppelgangers? And are some of these fighters famous enough to the point that the doppelgangers are mistaken for them instead?
Hilariously, the answer is almost certainly yes. On that note, here are five UFC stars and their doppelgangers:
#5. UFC lightweight contender Paddy Pimblett and Jay from 'The Inbetweeners'
This weekend's UFC Fight Night card marks the debut of former Cage Warriors champion Paddy Pimblett. And thanks to his mop-top haircut, ‘The Baddy’ has compared himself to fellow Liverpool product 'The Beatles'.
However, Pimblett has a far closer – and funnier – doppelganger than John Lennon or Ringo Starr. While he might not like the comparison, given the character’s infamous reputation, Pimblett, with his mop of blonde hair, means he’s a dead ringer for Jay from the comedy series 'The Inbetweeners', played by James Buckley.
It’s a joke the UFC were clearly in on when they took to Twitter to announce that ‘The Baddy’ had signed with the promotion. They used the tagline 'Cage Warriors? Completed it mate' in a clear reference to one of the character’s funniest – and most well-remembered – lines.
It was a joke fans in the US perhaps missed out on, given that 'The Inbetweeners' never really exploded in popularity there as it did in the UK. However, even UFC observers who've never seen the series before would easily be able to see the resemblance.
Like the character of Jay, Pimblett definitely has the ability to talk a good game. However, UFC fans will hope that the character’s tendency to exaggerate hugely isn’t a penchant ‘The Baddy’ shares – particularly as he’s already claimed to be the UFC’s signing of the decade.
#4. UFC middleweight contender Darren Till and John Stones
Current UFC middleweight contender Darren Till might hail from Liverpool, but if you asked football fans which shirt he ought to be wearing, they’d probably say a Manchester City one. That’s because ‘The Gorilla’ has a doppelganger in the form of England and City centre-back John Stones.
Comparisons between the two have been made on numerous occasions, and it’s easy to see why. Till and Stones could easily have been separated at birth, particularly when ‘The Gorilla’ allows his hair to grow out into a slightly shaggier style.
And incredibly, the two men have similar styles when it comes to the way they go about their business on the pitch and in the octagon. Both Till and Stones are renowned for their combative nature, but are also much more technically gifted than they’re often given credit for.
Hilariously, both men have also been compared to a third well-known character, albeit a fictional one this time.
Given they both hail from the north of England and not the Midlands, they may not like it. But it’s easy to see where the comparisons to Tommy Shelby from 'Peaky Blinders' come from, even if neither one sports the extreme haircut of the Birmingham-based gangster.
#3. Former UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and Alfonso Ribeiro
Former UFC heavyweight and light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier might be retired now, but he’s still one of the promotion’s more beloved fighters.
Part of the appeal around ‘DC’ is the fact that unlike muscle-bound fighters like Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane, Cormier never looked like one of the baddest men on the planet. Instead, with his less-than-svelte frame – particularly at heavyweight – he was often compared to an average dad.
That’s why Cormier’s celebrity doppelganger is so hilarious. Where some other UFC fighters have been compared to other athletes, ‘DC’ has instead been mistaken for actor Alfonso Ribeiro, who once starred in 'The Fresh Prince of Bel Air'.
Now 49, Ribeiro looks much less fresh-faced than he did in his 1990’s heydays. But he has proven with his appearances on 'Dancing with the Stars' that he can still move like a much younger man.
The same could easily be said for Cormier, who – until his 2020 retirement – would regularly destroy fighters who were often a decade younger than him. Whether or not ‘DC’ could bust moves on the dance floor quite like Ribeiro, though, is another thing entirely.
#2. UFC light-heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson and Charlie Hunnam
It’s hardly surprising that UFC fighters aren’t often compared to Hollywood pin-ups. After all, it’s not easy to look good when your job involves you being punched in the face for a living.
But despite being involved in some of the UFC’s most memorable wars, Swedish superstar Alexander Gustafsson has a face that is hardly covered in scar tissue, nor does he sport a crooked nose.
In fact, if you were to remove his cauliflower ears, ‘The Mauler’ would be a dead ringer for British actor Charlie Hunnam, who famously starred for years as Jax Teller in 'Sons of Anarchy'.
The two men share the same blonde locks, piercing eyes and neatly-trimmed goatee, and at a glance, it’d be easy to confuse them for the same person.
Sure, Gustafsson might pride himself on his Viking heritage – meaning he’d probably prefer to be compared to a character from 'Vikings' or 'The Last Kingdom'. But there’s no disputing that the man he resembles most is someone who plays a biker from California.
#1. Former UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor and Mark Nye
Easily the funniest instance of a famous UFC fighter having a doppelganger involves former UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor. The biggest star in UFC history, ‘The Notorious’ is probably one of the most recognisable athletes on the planet. Unfortunately, McGregor’s doppelganger turned out not to be another athlete or a Hollywood actor, or even a character from a popular TV show.
Instead, Surrey, England native Mark Nye went viral earlier this year for impersonating ‘The Notorious’ while operating as a high-level drug dealer. Nye was stopped by police and was not only found to be carrying class-A drugs, but also, incredibly, he was using business cards labelled ‘McGregor Enterprises’ to front his illicit business.
Unsurprisingly, the drug dealer’s mug shot instantly went viral all over the internet, giving him far more fame than he would probably ever have hoped to have.
And unfortunately for Nye, unlike McGregor, he was unable to avoid jail term for his legal indiscretions, as he got slapped with a three-year custodial sentence for his actions.