Top 20 UFC memes of all time

UFC fans have a great sense of humor. While it has gained much

more mainstream appeal over the past few years, the sport as a

whole has mostly been watched by a dedicated fanbase who make up a

large internet community. The interwebz is a breeding ground for

sarcasm, absurdist humor, and, most of all, photoshops. The

target="_blank">messageboard-centric fans mixed with a litany

of ridiculous characters who fight in an eight-sided cage for a

living is really the perfect recipe for some hysterical and

enduring inside jokes. From knocked out faces to over-used phrases,

it was difficult narrowing down so many funny concepts and images

from over the years. Here are the top 20 UFC memes.

#20: Brock Lesnar, Frank Mir, strawberries

Every single thing that Brock Lesnar did became a meme. The

former UFC heavyweight champ only fought seven times inside the

Octagon in three years, but every second of it was memorable.

Pre-fight interviews, post-fight interviews, the fights themselves,

his weigh-ins, the secrecy of his training camps, his acclaimed

collegiate wrestling, his controversial professional wrestling, his

chest tattoo, his back tattoo, his entrance music, and really

anything we knew about Lesnar made him that much more interesting.

The man’s name “Brock” “Lesnar”

sounds like it should have been the UFC heavyweight champion.

Even with a limited amount of fights, Lesnar won the belt and

had a rivalry with Frank Mir. Their feud started in Lesnar’s

UFC debut when Mir subbed Lesnar right after Lesnar almost knocked

out Mir. The destined rematch happened at UFC 100 in a title

unification bout. Obviously a more mature fighter than he was the

year prior, Lesnar used his wrestling, size, and strength to keep

Mir where he wanted him and beat out a TKO finish in the 2nd round.

And as soon as it was over, Lesnar showed there was no love lost

and got right into Mir’s bloodied face with an extended


#19: Tito Ortiz’s head

A lot of reverence has been paid to fighters being born with

heavy hands, but only one fighter was bestowed with a heavy head:

former UFC light-heavyweight champ Tito Ortiz. For much of the

company’s existence, if one mentioned the UFC then one

thought of the dyed dome of Ortiz. “The Huntington Beach Bad

Boy” and his big head wore the crown for the 205 pound

division for three years and successfully defended it five times.

Whether it helped him absorb punches in the Octagon, helped him

stick out in the crowd or was just big enough to house his

notorious ego, Ortiz’s head was a staple in and out of the

UFC’s cage for an incredible 15 years. It’s been

commonly photoshopped to appear grossly disproportionate to his

body or been made relative to the size of a planet in other


#18: Fighters catching other fighters sleeping

The UFC is a business and, like other companies, they have their

employees go to work conferences to learn more about their job. For

the UFC, it’s called “The UFC Summit” and its

Twitter hashtag is #UFCSummit and it’s hilarious. The Summit

started a few years ago and lasts a few days, the entirety of the

UFC roster is split into two groups and those groups sit through

lectures and presentations ranging from saying no to steroids to

saying yes to Instagram.

It’s pretty much UFC school and, as one would expect,

people who choose to fight in cage for a living do not make the

best students. It’s a roster full of class-clowns trying to

make each other laugh or UFC fans laugh through the Twitter

hashtag. The funniest is when a fighter falls asleep during a

presentation and the cast of The


Fighter season 5 all take pictures of it and post it to Twitter

like they were taught to do earlier that day.

#17: I train UFC

Those three letters have become synonymous with the toughest

athletes in combat sports and the most vile posers to ever rock a

t-shirt with a glittery cross. The UFC has a broad appeal from

conventional martial artists to all the meatheads who think

they’re “The Situation”. Actually, “The

Situation” has been at a couple UFC events. It’s a

melting pot of people who do train martial arts and those who say

they do but don’t. For the truly ignorant, UFC is a martial

art that one trains and not a company name for a sport that is a

blending of all martial arts into a hybrid combat sport. So to all

the tough guys at the club who don’t know Brazilian jiu-jitsu

or Muay Thai or have never wrestled, we all fully believe that you

train UFC because of course you do.

#16: Anthony “Rumble” Johnson is the


Fight fans are riveted by weight cutting. It’s fairly

non-existent in team sports and is mostly a product of the American

wrestling system, but the idea is that a person walks around at one

weight, will cut a drastic amount of weight prior to weigh-ins,

rehydrate the next day, and have a size advantage in the match. On

average, fighters cut 15-20 pounds, so a guy who fights at 185

pounds walks around at 205 pounds perhaps. But there are those

outliers, those mythical stories about a fighter weighing 30 or 40

or sometimes 50 pounds heavier than what they’re fighting at.

It’s insane!

The star of a lot of those stories is Anthony Johnson who fought

11 times in the UFC with most of those bouts at 170 pounds, which

he routinely didn’t make. A possible reason why were the

rumors that Johnson walked around at 220 to 250 pounds. With that,

pictures or gifs of Johnson being bigger than Godzilla to bigger

than the universe began flooding in for everyone’s


#15: “Harlem Shake” at MMA gyms

Practically, everyone and their mother made a “Harlem

Shake” video, which most definitely includes MMA gyms ranging

from Jackson-Winkeljohn’s in Albuquerque, New Mexico to

Allstars Training Center in Stockholm, Sweden. Actually, it was in

the latter’s video that Alexander Gustafsson called out UFC

light-heavyweight champ Jon Jones, which Jones responded to. Not to

say their UFC 165 title fight, which was one of the best title

fights in UFC history was because of their “Harlem

Shake” videos, but it could’ve been. MMA fighters from

Australia to America produced their own 30 second peculiar dance

remix showing that even the toughest cagefighters know how to have

fun too.

#14: Kiai Master vs. MMA

If there’s one thing that UFC/MMA has done, it removed the

mysticism from martial arts and replaced with the truth of what an

actual trained martial artist is. If you walk into a gym

that’s in some way associated with the UFC or its

current/former fighters, you will be taught how to throw punches,

kicks, take people down, control them, choke them out et cetera.

But there are gyms out there where it’s a hoax about what

techniques they’re teaching and some of those places do

practice a crazy idea that the top guy in the gym has more or less

super powers.

Such was the case with Kiai Master Ryukerin who claimed to have

200-0 record and is shown in the over 10,000,000+ viewed video

immobilizing attackers by waving his hands at them. Apparently,

this delusional old man wagered $5,000 that he could beat any MMA

fighter and, sadly for him, some random guy accepted. In front of a

live audience, the expected happens and the hand waving

doesn’t deter the anonymous MMA fighter from grabbing the old

man and punching him in the face until someone stops it. By the

way, the kid genuinely shows remorse about shattering this old

man’s world of falsehoods.

#13: Hipster MMA

All it takes is adding a pair of horned-rim glasses and a

condescending one-liner to a photo of your favorite UFC fighter.

Sometimes a scarf is applicable as well. An offshoot from the

“hipster barista” meme, but with jokes an average

cagefighting messageboard lurker would enjoy. One of the originals,

a portrait of Gabriel Gonzaga wearing the trademark glasses and the

phrase, “I high-kicked Cro Cop, just because it was

ironic”. What makes it funny? Cro Cop was famous for head

kick KOing his opponents and Gonzaga did just that to him, and

hipsters love irony.

#12: Chael Sonnen barrell roll

The most hyped title defense in company history was Chael Sonnen

vs. UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva at UFC 117. It was a year

long taunting from the challenger, which turned Sonnen from a

fighter to a celebrity. The heat and anger and passion built into

this fight was palpable for months and when the two were finally

locked inside the Octagon together who knew what was going to

happen next. No one could’ve guessed the clash would’ve

ended the way it did with Silva’s fifth round submission of

Sonnen, but no one could’ve guessed it would start with a

“barrell roll” escape from Sonnen either.

About 40 seconds into this title fight for the ages, Sonnen

threw out a right low kick which Silva caught. The quick thinking

Sonnen pivoted and did a somersault away from Silva, turned and got

back to standing, and went back to engage with the champ. If those

two were so focused on punching a hole through each other’s

head, they probably would have laughed like the rest of us who saw

it live. A barrell roll! That maneuver has been worked into many

videogame gifs like “Street Fighter II” and “Star


#11: Frank Mir face

The man’s got an expressive face. Former UFC heavyweight

champion Frank Mir has a certain air about him and sometimes he was

wears it with his eyebrow raises, quizzical smirks, and head nods.

Like he’s John Krasinski from “The Office”, Mir

needs no words to get across what he’s feeling and only needs

a specific look. The creator or the pointer-outer of Mir’s

wonderful facial expressions is UFC lightweight Danny Castillo who

really pushed the idea through the popular Twitter hashtag

#FrankMirFace. Whether it’s condescending or it’s

withdrawn or it’s nodding along to music with a pair of

oversized headphones, the greatest submission artist in UFC

heavyweight history has a face for it that perfectly encapsulates

that moment.

#10: Who is Lyoto Machida?

Before he was “The Dragon” and before he stepped

inside the Octagon, former UFC light-heavyweight champ Lyoto

Machida was famous for one thing: he beat Rich Franklin. There was

a time when former UFC middleweight champion “Ace”

Franklin was seen as the absolute best by UFC fans. Franklin was

7-0 in the UFC and was an overall 22-1, 1NC before Anderson Silva

ever arrived. If fight fans only watched the UFC then checking out

Franklin’s record led them to one question and one question

only: who is Lyoto Machida? The lone loss of Franklin’s

otherwise flawless record was a knockout to an undefeated striker

with only a few professional fights including a TKO over Stephan

Bonnar and a decision win against BJ Penn. Countless messageboard

threads were made with the purpose of understanding one dire query,

who is this guy?

#9: Old Vitor

Only 19 years old, Vitor Belfort blew the roof of UFC 12 with

back-to-back TKO wins in the span of 2 minutes time inside the

Octagon. In February 1997, Belfort debuted and won the UFC

heavyweight tournament like an unstoppable juggernaut of punches.

Belfort was a star pre-dating Zuffa’s purchase of the company

and left to fight in Japan after two more wins in the Octagon. From

there, Belfort’s career meandered and so did his performances

for the first half of the 2000’s.

What happened to the furious punches and quick pace? Was it all

a dream? A common thought by fight fans, what if Vitor Belfort

found his stride again and started fighting like the “Old

Vitor”? This theory that if Belfort could return to his

previous form then no one would be able to stop him went of for

years and was thought to be a joke. Then the most unexpected thing

happened, at 32 years old Belfort began fighting like “Old

Vitor”. Now in his mid 30’s and actually considered old

as a fighter, Belfort is 5-2 in the UFC and with the same knockout

power as before. The “Old Vitor” prophecy came


#8: Jacob Volkmann wants to fight Barack Obama

Yes, the President of the United States of America was called

out by then 12-2 lightweight Jacob Volkmann in an interview with

Ariel Helwani following a mediocre split-decision at UFC 125.

Volkmann was asked who he wanted next, and he responded with Obama

because he disagreed with the President’s policies and added,

“Someone needs to knock some sense into that idiot.”

This interview went viral when NBC Tonight Show host Jay Leno

played an altered video where Obama walks up and slams

Volkmann’s head into the wall, knocking him out. The result

was minor fame for Volkmann including a visit from, not joking, the

Secret Service as well as Volkmann selling orange t-shirts that

said “Volkmann for President”.

#7: Dana White’s shocked face

The UFC President Dana White is arguably the most quotable and

most memorable character in the company. The Prez wears his

emotions on his sleeve and doesn’t hold back when he thinks

something is right or wrong or if a knockout was “f***ing insane”.

Forget about the millions in the bank, White is a fight fan just

like all of us. He screams, he curses, he gets frustrated, and when

something amazing happens he jumps out of his seat with an

involuntary “OHHHHHHHH!!!” look plastered on his


There have been a bunch of these reactions over the years, but

this one is from the first episode fights to get into the house for

season 14 of The


Fighter. It’s gone on to be shooped and gif-ed as a

reaction to about every knockout that has happened since in the UFC

to more comical situations like reacting to Alistair

Overeem’s hulking body.


6: Matt Hughes defending against Georges St-Pierre’s


In the passing of the torch main event, UFC welterweight champ

Matt Hughes took on Georges St-Pierre in a much anticipated rematch

of their title clash two years earlier. It comes down to taking a

picture out of context can be awfully funny as Hughes tried to

defend a kick from GSP, which resulted in a dainty stance, his

hands up, and a more than awkward face. Probably the most

unflattering photo of the UFC Hall of Famer ever taken including

ones of him being knocked out or anything. The photo has lived-on

on web boards in hundreds of photoshops, but the best may be

incorporating Hughes into the faceplant gif from “So You

Think You Can Dance” tryouts.

#5: “Just Bleed” guy

To those who don’t like or understand the UFC, we’re

all the “Just Bleed” guy.

In Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, while panning the crowd prior to

the semi-final bout between Mark Kerr and Greg Stott, the cameraman

found the most indelible image and personification of every

terrible UFC fan. He was sans shirt, equipped with beer in hand,

“JUST BLEED” painted in red and white on his chest, and

a neon green “UFC” painted on his forehead. If that

wasn’t enough, the “Just Bleed” guy was in mid

shoulder and neck popping flex mode and his mouth movements were

either denoting how intense his flexing was or that he was being

secretly disemboweled at that very moment.

Actually, UFC 15 was quite a nice little event with Randy

Couture vs. Vitor Belfort, Maurice Smith vs. Tank Abbott for the

heavyweight strap, and, as mentioned, “The Smashing

Machine” Kerr fought and won the night’s tournament.

Also, it showed an improvement in rules with groin strikes,

headbutts, and hair pulling all became officially illegal.

Nevertheless, the most overused image is that idiot in the stands

grimacing with “Just Bleed” neatly written out on his


Such an iconic moment it was, UFC middleweight Tom Lawlor

reenacted it at the weigh-ins to a cheering crowd at UFC 100. Also,

it makes for a great, cheap and easy Halloween costume.

#4: Steven Seagal’s lessons

At UFC 126, former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva

front-kicked Vitor Belfort in the face and knocked him out. The

kick was a revelation and started a revolution of fighters throwing

front kicks to their opponents’ faces hoping for the same

highlight reel result. What came next no one could have guessed,

“Under Siege” action star Steven Seagal took credit for

teaching that kick to Silva. Seagal was at the event in a black

leather coat, black hat, and yellow tinted shooting glasses and was

there with Silva. A couple months later, Lyoto Machida defeated

Randy Couture with a jumping front kick (“Karate Kid”

crane kick) and Seagal quickly took credit for that as well. A meme

was born about how the mother of all invention is actor/director of

“On Deadly Ground”, none other than Seagal.

#3: Sexyama

He wasn’t always known as “Sexyama”, but in

some way he always was. A decorated Judoka turned life icon,

Yoshihiro Akiyama was a very successful MMA fighter in his native

Japan going 12-1, 2NC with all of his victories via finish. In

2009, Akiyama signed with the UFC and has gone 1-4 inside the

Octagon, but did win 3 consecutive Fight of the Night bonuses. But

that’s far from the whole story of Akiyama because his pro

record doesn’t talk about the man’s undeniable sex

appeal. The persona of “Sexyama” is from his modeling

career, his music career, his dyed hair, his fantastic fashion

sense, his operatic entrance to the cage, his impeccable tan, his

buff physique, that winning smile, and the soulfulness in his eyes.

At first, it was an internet craze that morphed into a self-fulling

prophecy as Akiyama took on the mantle that always was his and

accepted the nickname “Sexyama”.

#2: Dan Henderson knocks out Michael Bisping

The H-Bomb! Dan Henderson has had a marvelous career winning

tournaments, winning belts, making Olympic teams, and so on and so

forth, but all he ever had to do was KO Michael Bisping at UFC 100

to be immortalized. The two coached as national rivals on The


Fighter: USA vs. UK with their coaches collision set for the

UFC’s pay-per-view centennial. The whole fight was Henderson

stalking with his right hand loading up to catch the quicker

Bisping just one time.

A little more than halfway through the second round, Henderson

dropped the “H-Bomb” overhand right, which nearly took

Bisping’s head off. With the ref out of position, Henderson

literally dove on top of Bisping to deliver a second

“H-Bomb” for good measure. Easily, one of the most

replayed, most photoshopped, and most gif-ed knockouts in UFC

history. At least, it is in the USA as many pictured it as an

Octagon account of the Revolutionary War.

#1: Rashad Face

THE GREATEST UFC MEME EVA! If you can only see one UFC meme this

year then invest your life into the ‘Shad Face meme. No one

image has been more loved and taken care of and shooped into so

many other images with such thoughtfulness than that of the knocked

out face of Rashad Evans from UFC 98 at the hands of Lyoto Machida

in their UFC light-heavyweight title fight.

There are memes and there is the ‘Shad Face. Whether it is

partially hidden in the background, made transparent as if an

ethereal spirit, put on anyone’s body in any situation, or on

a zombie’s head in the Michael Jackson “Thriller”

video, this meme is simply the gift that keeps on giving. Both its

ridiculousness that it’s real and the overall goofiness of

former UFC light-heavyweight champ Evans’ expression is

always topical and forever timeless.