Commentary

Five of MMA's premier trash-talkers

Originally Published: January 11, 2011
By Brett Okamoto | ESPN.com

UFC lightweight Jacob Volkmann brought a lot of attention to himself following a recent win on Jan. 1 by saying he'd like to face U.S. President Barack Obama in his next fight. The statement got him a visit from the Secret Service as well as a quick video clip on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno. Volkmann isn't the only mixed martial artist who has created a stir outside the cage. Here are another five:

5. James Toney

James ToneyAP Photo/Gregory PayanRandy Couture demonstrates the best way to shut James Toney up: Punch him in the face.

It was only the one time, but Toney is perhaps the purest example of a man who used his words to help his career. With no experience in mixed martial arts at all, Toney talked his way into a fight in the world's biggest promotion against one of the sport's most iconic figures, Randy Couture. If he ever does so again, he would likely jump to the top of this list.

4. Phil Baroni

Phil BaroniDave Mandel Full of Baroni: "The New York Bad Ass" does a lot more backing up than backing it up these days.

Baroni has an overall record of 13-13, including a 3-7 mark in the UFC. Not once in his career has he won more than three fights in a row. That said, the man made $25,000 for each of his past two losses and only now, at the age of 34, does he appear to be done with the organization for good. What provided him the opportunity? Marketability.

3. Nick Diaz

Nick DiazDave Mandel/Sherdog.comNick Diaz is that rare fighter who can actually back up the trash talk.

Bet half of you know the area code to Stockton, Calif., is 209, don't you? And how? Nick Diaz. He has shown he is here to win fights, not make friends or bring honor to his family's name. MMA is fighting, son. And Diaz is here to represent.

2. Tito Ortiz

Tito OrtizDave Mandel The best two-way action involving Tito Ortiz usually comes before the actual fight.

The Huntington Beach Bad Boy saw the cameras and wanted to be in front of them. You just don't wear a shirt that calls your boss your b----, but Ortiz did, which is why some love him and some hate him. Either way, we all know who he is.

1. Chael Sonnen

Chael SonnenJosh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty ImagesPut a microphone in front of Chael Sonnen, then sit back and enjoy the show.

The UFC launched a marketing campaign in late July that simply featured Sonnen sitting in a chair, running his mouth. And rumor has it the UFC used only about 0.05 percent of what he gave them. Sonnen went from virtually unknown to "that guy who doesn't like Anderson Silva" to Chael Sonnen. If "MMA Live" handed out a Best Talker of 2010 award, it would have been a unanimous decision.

Brett Okamoto covers MMA for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter at bokamotoESPN.