After UFC Vegas 11, UFC President Dana White told the media: “One of the things we’ve never done here in the UFC is stop people from expressing how they feel about certain things inside or outside the Octagon.”
Athletes can be fined for controversial comments in most American sports organizations like the NBA and NFL. But mixed martial arts is like no other sport in the world. From politics to dark humor, fighters can speak about whatever they want. This luxury has led to fighters being their true authentic selves in the public eye and on social media.
Here are 5 of the most entertaining social media of fighters in the UFC:
Joaquin “New Mansa” Buckley
With a victory celebration that consisted of screaming like a dying cat while blinding himself with a bottle of Prime, it is no surprise that Joaquin Buckley is on this list. He is equally animated in real life and on social media. After breaking the internet with a highlight reel knockout of the 2023 PFL light heavyweight finalist Impa Kasanganay, Buckley added to his momentum by growing his social media profile. He often posts animated reactions to memes and fails, which have fans cackling. Recently, he posted a post-weigh-in video instigating former opponent and rival Abdul Razak Alhassan with the background song “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” by Randy Newman.
“New Mansa” has grown his Instagram following to almost 200,000 and has featured vibrant callouts to fight rising stars, including Khamzat Chimaev and Jack Della Maddalena. His captivating personality has built friendships with former opponents who share the same level of originality, including UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland, who has earned himself a spot on this list. One of his most viral videos below features a female golfer bending down, wherein he appears shortly after and teases his fans to stop focusing on her. “Don’t be thinking about them buns,” he pleaded. “Come go for a run.”
“The Notorious” Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor is truly an internet star. His ascension was lined up perfectly with the rise of social media. Very few in the world have been able to harness the power of social media as well as Conor has had from promoting his multiple business ventures to always keeping the fans entertained. The Double Champ uses his socials as a way of being in the headlines even when he’s not fighting.
With more than 55 million followers on his Instagram and X account, fans should always be looking for a Conor post since the “Notorious” is notorious for deleting his posts often. Conor never holds back whether it’s about some other fighter’s family or their career. One recent feature that Conor has utilized beautifully is the audio notes on X. He has mimicked other fighters and cartoon characters in his audio notes and all of them are hilarious.
Sean “The American Psycho” Strickland
Sean Strickland might be the most out-of-pocket athlete on the plane and would be canceled if he played any other sport. From fantasizing about murder to mocking his peers, he has earned his unofficial nickname, “The American Psycho.” Despite this, many of his peers respect him due to his work ethic. Additionally, he is beloved by the “common man” for staying the same since winning the title. He typically sports a plain white shirt and emphasizes that he does not desire fancy accessories despite having newfound money.
There are millions of posts to pick from, but below is a recent spectacle. A man who runs a fan page for Strickland tweeted about feeling lonely on his birthday. In an awkward but real moment, Strickland used his humor to encourage the struggling fan to find a partner to spend the day with. He cited his moments of isolation as motivation to help others.
Paulo “Borrachinha” Costa
Social media is truly a boon for international fighters to connect with a worldwide audience. And nobody has done it better than Paulo Costa. The muscular marauder was only known for his intense persona and highlight reel knockouts until he started to have fun on social media.
Banned multiple times from his Instagram account, Costa mostly plies his trade on X. He has more than 1.5 million followers combined over both platforms. Along with an Only Fans account to boot. Costa has made “Secret Juice” into merchandise that people clamored to buy from his social media itself. He has often made videos dedicated to memes and thought he often pokes fun at Khamzat Chimaev and Charles Olivera on his social media. It is mainly for laughs.
Sean “Suga” O’Malley
Much before becoming a champion, Suga has always been fun on social media. Considered to be UFC’s next big star, Sean O’Malley has the numbers to prove it. With almost 5 million followers on Instagram and X, O’Malley keeps them entertained at all times.
The bantamweight king knows how to be the butt of jokes and that’s refreshing. So apart from posting one-line zingers as replies to other fighters’ posts. O’Malley makes hilarious videos at his own expense as well. Truly a next generation of fighters, he doesn’t shy away from anything.
Honorable Mention: “Super” Sodiq Yusuff
Sodiq Yusuff runs a hilarious “Unprofessional Breakdown” segment for every fight week. He makes predictions for bouts based on random reasons, including phonics. 2023 has been a wildly successful year for him, leading to tons of social media engagement.
What other UFC fighters belong on this list? Let us know in the comments below.