Since 1993, the UFC has allowed people to watch some of the toughest fighters in the world step into a cage with each other to see who is the better fighter. In order to bring more attention to the sport, the sport itself as well as some of its fighters have appeared on popular television shows in order to promote the UFC and its athletes.
Whether it is a sitcom, drama, competition, or kids’ show, UFC fighters have made cameos either playing themselves or showing off their acting skills and playing someone else. Overall, many fighters have helped build their personal brand by appearing on various television programs.
ten Tank Abbott
“The One With The Ultimate Fighting Champion” is the title of the friends episode that featured former UFC fighter Tank Abbott.
For 10 years, friends was one of the top sitcoms in the United States. During their third season, the show had an episode dedicated to the UFC. This episode took place during the early days of the UFC and served as a major advertisement for the promotion. In the episode, Monica’s boyfriend Pete decides to fight in the UFC but becomes a victim to Abbott, who demolishes him in the cage.
nine Forrest Griffin
During the ninth season of Law & Order: Special Victims Unitformer UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Forrest Griffin made an appearance on the show.
In the episode, detectives were working on a murder case that involved the world of underground, unsanctioned mixed martial arts. Griffin fit right in playing an MMA fighter. The episode aired in 2007 and helped build the profile of Griffin, who was one of the most popular fighters in the UFC at the time.
eight Chuck Liddell
Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell has appeared on numerous television programs. One of his first television show appearances took place in 2007 when he appeared on the HBO show Entourage.
Liddell has played himself on numerous shows including The Simpsons, Punk’d, Blue Mountain State, Hawaii Five-Oand Bones. He also played fictional characters in shows such as Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior and Workaholics. At one time, Liddell was one of the top stars in the UFC resulting in him being in high demand when it came to television appearances.
7 Randy Couture
Randy Couture, who is a former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion, has made many appearances in various action films, but he has also made a few notable television appearances.
During the eighth season of king of queens, Couture alongside other UFC fighters Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Dan Henderson, and Frank Trigg, played rival delivery drivers. The star of the show, Kevin James, is an avid MMA fan a starred in the MMA film Here Comes The Boom. Couture also had a small recurring role on the show Hawaii Five-O.
6 Keith Jardine
Former UFC fighter Keith Jardine has appeared in numerous dramas. Jardine appeared in an episode of Breaking Bad during the show’s third season. He also appeared on the show Preacher.
Jardine started acting after retiring from the sport of MMA. During his UFC tenure, Jardine earned notable wins against former UFC champions Forrest Griffin and Chuck Liddell. He also has a UFC win against Brandon Vera. He also shared the cage in a losing effort to fighters such as Quinton Jackson, Ryan Bader, and Matt Hamill.
5 Kimbo Slice
In 2008, Kimbo Slice was one of the most popular fighters in the world. This led to him getting a role in the Nickelodeon special Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh.
During this special episode of the Nickelodeon sitcom, Slice, playing a character names Bludge, started off as a jail inmate and eventually found himself dressed as Santa Claus helping foster children. After filming the show, Slice competed on The Ultimate Fighter and fought twice in the UFC. Most notably, Slice earned a victory against Houston Alexander in his UFC debut.
4 Donald Cerrone
Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone played himself in a season 12 episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. In an episode titled Wolf Cola: A Public Relations NightmareCerrone drinks “Fight Milk” to help him cut weight.
In the episode, two characters, Mac and Charlie, create a sell a beverage to help athletes. However, the only benefit of the drink is it causes people to sweat, vomit and have diarrhea. As a result, it is perfect for UFC fighters who are trying to cut weight.
3 Paul Felder
UFC Fighter Paul Felder appeared in the same episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia alongside Donald Cerrone.
In the episode, Felder can be seen puking his brains out after drinking Wolf Cola. In the end, the drink helped both fighters make weight for their upcoming fights. At the official UFC weigh-ins, Mac and Charlie storm the stage to promote their drink. Since the episode, Felder has retired from the sport of MMA. He retired following a split decision loss to former UFC Lightweight Champion Rafael dos Anjos.
2 Paige VanZant
Former UFC strawweight fighter Paige VanZant has found success on numerous competition shows. In 2016, she competed on Dancing with the Stars. VanZant was very successful as a dancer and made it to the finals but failed to win the competition.
In 2017, VanZant won an episode of the Food Network’s Chopped. She competed against athletes to see who could create the best meal. She competed against former NFL player LaMarr Woodley, Olympic gold medalist fencer Mariel Zagunis, and Olympic gold medalist figure skater Dorothy Hamill.
one Ronda Rousey
Since leaving the UFC and the sport of MMA, former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey has begun focussing more on her acting career.
Rousey has appeared in numerous movies and television shows. While she has played herself in some of her early roles, she has put more focus on playing fictional roles as she continues her career as an actress. Rousey has appeared on television shows such as Drunk History and blind spot. She also had a small recurring role on the show 9-1-1.
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