Back when I was a kid, (and that was a looooong time ago, trust me) tattoos used to mean something. It meant you were tough. It meant you probably have been jail at least once. It meant that you gave the big middle finger to society’s norms, and decided to march to the beat of your own drum, which was also being played by a tattooed guy. Also, the tattoos used to be awesome tattoos, like the word “MOM” inside a heart, or a snake wrapping around a knife. Nowadays, the 75-year-old woman standing outside your grocery store asking for extra change to save the handicapped whales probably has a flaming butterfly wrapped in barbwire on her lower back. And there’s kanji around it. In the form of a koi fish. Which has a tribal fin band.
When FIGHT! asked me to write about tattoos, I wondered why they chose me…and then I looked down and saw all my horrible tattoos. This is like having Roseanne Barr write an article on the imperfections of the UFC Octagon Girls. Look, I admit it. I have Mike Tyson tattooed on me. I have Evel Knievel. I even have the mask worn by Jason “MayheM” Miller. And yes, these were all done sober…and on purpose. So, walk with me as we go on the journey of MMA tattoos. Trust me, no one is more qualified to make fun of these guys. I have the damn FIGHT! exclamation mark tattooed on me for Pete’s sake. And even Pete is embarrassed for me.
JAMES IRVIN’S BAD BOY TATTOO
If you can, please go back and look at old Bad Boy ads…they feature men in tiny jean shorts, with bandanas wrapped around their calves and lots of neon colors. I know this because my buddy has a poster of theirs in his bathroom. Don’t ask. Now, after you wash away that image by drinking bleach (Editor’s note: Please, don’t drink bleach.) go and look at James’ stomach. All the abs in the world aren’t going to wash away the lameness of that tattoo. I would make fun of Jeremy Horn for having it too, but c’mon, it’s Jeremy Horn. He’s probably fought three times since you started reading this article. He gets a pass. But until James Irvin has over 100 fights, I’m making fun of him. (PS. Please don’t beat me up.)
ALAN BELCHER’S JOHNNY CASH TATTOO
Ok, I THINK it’s supposed to be Johnny Cash…I’m not sure. It’s like Alan went to the tattoo studio with a picture of Johnny that was 25-years-old, been soaked in rainwater, and been run over by a car. You ever see that episode of The Twilight Zone where all the doctors and nurses are ugly, and the really hot girl is actually the hideous one? Yeah, well Belcher’s “Johnny Cash” looks like one of those doctors. Or if you’ve ever seen The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney. It looks like that, but with better hair. Or if you’ve ever seen a pot-bellied pig wearing a hairpiece. Or if…ok, you get my drift. (PS. Please don’t beat me up.)
BROCK LESNAR’S CHEST TATTOO
Apparently, there are some people who think that Brock’s tattoo looks like a certain body part of the male anatomy. I think those people are insane. I think it’s a fantastic tattoo, one that truly embodies the warrior spirit and shows that Brock feels he has a knife to his throat all the time. Ok, hopefully by now Brock has put this magazine down. Yeah, it does look like a penis. But are YOU going to tell him? I sure as hell ain’t. I’m typing this in the safety of my own bedroom and I’m still looking over my shoulder just to be safe. Luckily, I have some hot, random, nameless girl in my bed I can toss at him as a distraction in case he comes charging in. (PS. Please don’t beat me up.) (PPS. If you think that you are the random, nameless girl I’m talking about, don’t worry, it’s not you, it’s some other random nameless girl. You’re special to me. I mean that…whatever your name is.)
FRANK MIR’S HALF ARMBAND TATTOO
Yes, you’re a former UFC HW champ. Yes, you are one of my favorite fighters. But that doesn’t change the fact that your tattoo stops halfway around your arm. And WHYYYYY does it do that? Because it freaking hurts getting tattooed on the inside of your arm. Why do I know this? Well, because I actually man’d up and did it, that’s why. C’mon Frank, you’ve been in there with Nogueira and Lesnar…you mean to tell me that you couldn’t finish it? The armband by itself is suspect enough…but to not have it closed all the way? FOR SHAME. (PS. Please don’t beat me up.)
PAULO FILHO’S PITBULL / MILLION DOLLAR BILL TATTOO
I can’t knock the guy for a Mike Tyson tattoo— it’s in the Mike Tyson Bylaws. But, he got a huge million dollar bill with a pitbull as the centerpiece on his stomach. Ok, let’s be honest…is anyone actually really surprised by this? If you saw Filho vs Sonnen 2 (yes, the fight so nice they had to do it twice), Filho was having a conversation with an invisible person. In the cage. DURING the fight. First off, I don’t even think they make million dollar bills, because if they did, that’s how FIGHT! would pay me for my work. Secondly, even if they did, I doubt that we ever had a dog as an influential historical figure. Trust me, I was a history major, and the only dog we ever had in office was Mary Todd Lincoln. OH SNAP! I’m kidding, she was a very handsome woman. (PS. Please don’t beat me up. Paulo, not Mary.)
WANDERLEI SILVA’S HEAD TATTOO
OK, you know what, that one is pretty badass. (PS. Please don’t beat me up.)
So there you have it, my little breakdown of MMA ink. I’m sure the amount of hate mail will be astronomical. Plus, the dirty looks at the next UFC event that I sit cageside for will be horrible. But that’s ok. I’ll have some hot, nameless, random girl next to me who can keep those people away from me. (No, I’m not talking about you, you mean so much more to me…umm…Vanessa? No wait, Jennifer…)
Well, until then, I’m gonna go get another tattoo…I’m thinking something classy, like a penguin on rollerskates eating a pizza. Wish me luck!