Though, in the past few years, many a solid MMA fighter has emerged from the king-sized bog known as Great Britain, this demographic’s greatest contribution to the sport may lie outside of the caged enclosure we’ve all come to know and love. The true British invasion of MMA has come not in the form of dominant fighters, but rather, hands down, the best trash talkers the sport has ever seen. This became startling clear to me after reading a transcript of Paul Daley’s pre-fight analysis of his up coming bout with Josh Koscheck. Now, lets be clear, I have absolutely nothing against Josh Koscheck, but the following quotes may be some of the funniest I have heard in my entire life. After a brief assessment of Koscheck’s skill set (or lack thereof, according to the Brit) Daley proceeds to state that, should Koscheck stand with him, he (Daley) “...fears for (Koscheck’s) well being.” Though I can’t quite put my finger on it there is something about the unmistakably British condescension here that made me nearly wet myself. He follows this up with “If he (Kos) grounded and pounded me in my sleep he’d barely have enough power in his punches to wake me up.” What?! That is downright hilarious! A few sentences later: “People with glass chins shouldn’t throw stones”- this stuff is freaking gold! Did Monty Python reform and start writing material for Paul Daley? Who’s training this guy, Ricky Gervais? As I continued, attempting to regain my breath, I came across the claim that Paulo Thiago, in his KO victory over Josh, nearly “...decapitated Kos like a geek in a horror film.”
After collecting myself and changing my pants I realized that Daley was not the first British martial artist to crack me up. GSP’s most recent victim, Dan Hardy, also possesses the gift of gab, a talent that (along with wins over respectable welterweights) gained him notoriety enough to garner a title shot. If you don’t believe me, swing on over to youtube, watch any entry of Dan Hardy’s Video Blog and prepare to bust thy gut.
Before Hardy, the funniest guy in the UFC was none other than British kickboxing sensation Michael Bisping, who is personally responsible for the most watchable moments in the history of the UFC’s reality show (excluding fights). In fact, the only American fighter who can be compared with this stable of Cockney comedians is Quentin Jackson...and where does he train? At the Wolf’s Lair Gym- In England! Its as though he had an epiphany in the middle of one of his post fight laugh-ins, surveyed his relatively un-funny “New World” surroundings and decided to head for more clever pastures in the land of right-side steering wheels and perfunctory royalty.
Now you may have noticed that of all of the jokesters mentioned, the American is by far the best FIGHTER of the bunch. British MMA is still developing (as is MMA all over the world for that matter) and has yet to reach the level of quality of MMA in the U.S. or, say, British boxing. However, there is no doubting that the former colonial power is a hot bed of hilariousness and that British fighters have and continue to make an important contribution to the culture of MMA by infusing it with a much needed comedic presence. I don’t know what they’re putting in the Gatorade over there, but drink up British MMA and keep the clever comments comin’.