Most Clichéd Shirt: Fedor Emelianenko‘s ”Affliction: Banned” Walkout
Imagine it’s 2008, and you’re in charge of designing a t-shirt for the baddest man on the planet, Fedor Emelianenko. You could come up with something that plays off of his “Last Emperor” moniker. You could come up with something “Russian”, like a khokhloma design. You could come up with something insanely awesome, like a guy who kind of looks like Fedor choking out a dragon. You could pretty much come up with anything, charge sixty bucks for it and it will sell like hotcakes.
That last sentence is the only one Affliction bothered looking at when they made Fedor’s “Affliction: Banned” walkout shirt. Complete with skulls, wings, a cross, foil and Old-English font, it’s practically a Hall-of-Fame for MMA t-shirt clichés. And before you comment, it’s not a mistake that the skulls magically disappear and the wings change shape when you view the design from the back. Fedor was just that awesome.
Most Disappointing Follow-Up Shirt: Clay Guida’s UFC on FOX Walkout
Clay Guida has arguably had the coolest walkout t-shirt ever- his Iron Maiden inspired UFC 107 shirt- so it’s only natural that every follow-up design would be more disappointing than that other Guida. Each of Clay’s walkout shirts since UFC 107 have been worse and worse until…tragedy.
Worst Execution of an Otherwise Good Idea: Chael Sonnen’s UFC on FOX 2 Walkout
As soon as Chael Sonnen uttered the phrase “You are an immigrant from Brazil. I am a gangster from America,” it was obvious to all that he had just uttered the most memorable, quotable statement in mixed martial arts this side of “Do you want to be a fuckin’ fighter?”. It’s not exactly surprising that Tapout tried to take advantage of this while designing his “UFC on FOX 2″ walkout shirt.
What is surprising is the shirt that Tapout came up with. Look, Chael Sonnen is a Republican on TRT who was once convicted for money laundering. If he was depicted as a scowling mobster in a $5,000 suit, a la the recently deceased Henry Hill, I would have actually bought one. Instead, he was depicted as O-Dog/Meth Head biker/Reggaeton Artist/Whatever the balls that bandana wearing skull is supposed to be, making it just another tacky Tapout tee.
Worst Execution of an Already Terrible Idea: Joe Brammer‘s UFC 106 Walkout
At UFC 106, Joe Brammer walked to the cage wearing a shirt made by Hoelzer Reich- a company responsible for putting more Nazi stuff in MMA than a Strikeforce undercard. We don’t need to revisit the ”Ban the offensive/Freedom of expression” debate, so let’s not do that. Rather, lets just state the obvious: Nazi-themed shirts are a terrible idea, and every single thing about Hoelzer Reich’s shirts is ugly.
Craziest Ugly Shirt: Matt Horwich’s Fist First Athletics Walkout
Matt Horwich is a non-steroidal hippy version of The Ultimate Warrior who spends his spare time writing about the infinitely accelerating current of creativity. So of course his signature walkout shirt depicts a ”multiverse surfing sabertooth river dolphin” uppercutting a shark. Naturally, said uppercut knocks out the shark’s tooth, and, oh yeah, the dolphin is wearing MMA gloves and has human arms. That I get.
But giving the dolphin Matt’s signature haircut? That’s just preposterous, I say.
Lifetime Achievement for Ugly Walkout Shirts (Fighter): Brock Lesnar
Believe it or not, the guy with a full blown in-your-face phallic tattoo running smack down the middle of his torso isn’t the guy you should be asking for fashion advice. Write that down in your little notebook.
Clay Guida’s aforementioned UFC 107 walkout is the exception that proves the rule, as literally every other walkout shirt that Silver Star has produced has been an abomination. I’m sure whoever designed this mess that Lyoto Machida wore to the cage at UFC 104 felt they made a totally sick shirt, bruh. In our reality, it just looks like the I Hate Myself Motel is missing its shower curtains.
I don’t care whose name is on the shirt, there is no excuse for you to own a shirt that looks like this. Or this. Or even this. Or especially this. Or this (you get the idea). Unless overcompensation is your thing. If that’s the case, save your money for a Corvette or something. At least then people will think you’re a rich douchebag.
Did I block an especially ugly walkout shirt out of my mind while writing this? Probably. Let me know in the comments section.