Top 5 Memes of Combat Sports in 2021

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With all the wonders that encompass the action of combat sports, one can not help but think of the many memes that come to life with every passing event. In many ways, combat sports, much like everything else, surged back to life in 2021 after a COVID-ridden 2020. With this resurgence, a plethora of memes have swelled into existence.

Top 5 Memes of Combat Sports in 2021

  1. Motivational Michael Chandler

The list starts off with a rather lighthearted meme in that of Michael Chandler. Fans would be hard pressed to find anyone who would claim they actually disliked the 35-year-old lightweight from High Ridge, Missouri. Known for his incredible power and “never say die” attitude, Chandler’s motivational language memed into existence with his rise to stardom in his transition from Bellator to the UFC.

Memes flooded social media pages after his incredible battle with Justin Gaethje at UFC 268.

  1. Sleeping Fighters

This meme first came to life when Dustin Poirier stopped Conor McGregor in the second round of their matchup at UFC 257. With a flurry of strikes setting up the finish, McGregor crumbled into a position that memed him into ‘taking a nap’.

Jorge Masvidal followed in suit on April 24 when Kamaru Usman turned out the lights of the 37-year-old welterweight at UFC 261. After Usman landed a thunderous right hand, Masvidal crumbled to the floor in a lying position that many fight fans memed into sleeping.

Of course, this meme was capped off by none other than Tito Ortiz in his professional boxing debut on September 11. His opponent, Anderson “The Spider” Silva, quickly dismantled the sloppy looking Ortiz and turned out his lights in the first round. As Ortiz fell to defeat, the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion fell face first in an unconscious position that looked…well…like he was sleeping.

  1. Jake Paul

It would be remiss not to mention Jake Paul in this list. To even mention Jake Paul in the topic of combat sports still does not really seem right. In any case, the YouTuber turned boxer has kept busy in 2021. Whether it be trolling the entire internet or knocking out Ben Askren in a professional boxing match, the 24-year-old Paul has kept up quite the pace.

In August, Paul earned a split decision nod over ex-UFC star Tyron Woodley in a boxing match held in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. Paul is set to face Tommy Fury on December 18th in a catchweight bout.

Oh, and what is the meme? Jake Paul. He IS the meme.

  1. Aljo Wins an Oscar

Not too many fans were pleased with the actions of Aljamain Sterling in his fight against Petr Yan for the UFC Bantamweight Championship at UFC 259. As Yan was winning the fight, the then-champ landed an illegal knee on Sterling which stopped the fight momentarily. Sterling, who was flattened by the strike, was unable to continue.

After the fight was over and Sterling was declared the new champion, and the first ever to win by disqualification, the internet blew up with accusations of Sterling “milking” the injury and “acting” his way not only to a UFC championship, but also an Oscar.

  1. Hasbulla Magomedov

The obvious meme of the year is Hasbulla Magomedov. “Mini Khabib” became internet famous in early 2021 with his online antics with his ‘rival’ Abdu Rozik. The pair of dwarfs teased an MMA style match in which one would be crowned the king of the 16-kilogram (roughly 35 pounds) division. This announcement came with backlash from across the globe and was even met with opposition from the head of the Russian Dwarf Athletic Association.

Despite the fight never coming to fruition, Hasbulla and Abdu had a heated altercation at UFC 267. Would you watch a fight between these two?

December Is Around the Corner

There is a month left this year, so that means there is plenty of time for more memes. What has been your favorite meme that has risen out of combat sports this year?

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Brian Knight is a contributing writer and active editor for MMASucka since November 2020. He is currently authoring his first book.

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