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5 UFC Fighters Who Need to Up Their Mic Skills

Dan HiergesellFeatured ColumnistJuly 2, 2014

5 UFC Fighters Who Need to Up Their Mic Skills

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Today's mixed martial arts takes a certain kind of individual to stand out and succeed.

    No longer does one elite discipline supersede the rest. No longer does one attribute dictate perennial greatness.

    Instead, fighters need to be equipped from head to toe. This includes their ability to work the mic.

    While nobody in the near future is going to match the overall precision on the mic that the likes of Chael Sonnen did, that doesn't mean they can't make progress.

    Here are five fighters who can walk the walk but need to talk the talk—for their own personal and professional reasons.

Michael McDonald

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    Simply put, bantamweight sensation Michael McDonald is too nice.

    As one of the UFC's most promising young talents, it seems like "Mayday" sometimes gets caught up in the fact that he has accomplished so much so early in his career that he doesn't realize he has the division at his fingertips.

    The future is not a certainty, but from the looks of it, McDonald will one day hoist UFC gold. He just needs to understand that by calling people out and playing the "quick-witted youngster," he'll be able to get there sooner than he expects.

    Once he grasps that mentality, the 23-year-old could talk his way into fights otherwise meant for another top contender. 

Stipe Miocic

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    USA TODAY Sports

    As one of the better up-and-comers to establish himself in the heavyweight division in a pretty long time, rising contender Stipe Miocic needs to adapt and evolve his microphone skills.

    That's not to say that Miocic sounds like a doofus, but he needs to rethink his approach when it comes to being chatty.

    Similar to Michael McDonald and his position in the 135-pound crop heap, Miocic would benefit immensely by loosening up, letting his gut do the talking and stirring things up a bit.

    He's already at the top of the pack, but maybe adjusting his mic work could give Miocic that extra push needed to challenge for a title.

Matt Brown

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Is Matt Brown too gangster?

    It depends.

    Brown is one of the toughest outs in the sport today, so it's difficult to ask him to change the way he approaches a fight. Heck, that hard-nosed mentality is the reason why he is where he is today.

    In any case, outside of his ability to turn any one of his bouts into an absolutely terrifying war, Brown could benefit from a more personal approach on the microphone.

    He doesn't like to talk, he doesn't like to do interviews and he doesn't do any unnecessary badgering.

    However, in today's sport, all of those things lead to bigger opportunities.

    Let's be honest, it couldn't hurt. 

Khabib Nurmagomedov

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Khabib Nurmagomedov already has the cool hat to go along with his divisional dominance, so why not add some serious microphone swag?

    As one of the most punishing lightweights to come through the UFC in recent memory, the young Russian has the 155-pound roster at his fingertips.

    He possesses brutal ground-and-pound, evolving power punches and a motor that Cain Velasquez would be proud of.

    However, as a humble Russian ambassador, Nurmagomedov hasn't seemed to really catch on when it comes to mainstream MMA.

    We know his skills aren't the problem, so it must be his ability to connect with his current and potential fans.

    To truly cash in on his golden ticket, The Eagle needs to amplify his verbal abilities before he gets a shot at the title. 

Jose Aldo

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    USA TODAY Sports

    It's truly difficult to pinpoint why UFC featherweight kingpin and pound-for-pound great Jose Aldo doesn't sell more than he does.

    It could be because a lot of fans prefer to pay out of pocket for bigger matchups at light heavyweight and heavyweight.

    It could be because Aldo has struggled of late to finish his fights, often fading when the opportunity to avoid a decision presents itself.

    Or it could because he just doesn't possess the innate microphone skills to really make prospective onlookers interested in his fights.

    In hindsight, considering how prolific and dynamic Ricardo Lamas and Chan Sung Jung were, Aldo should have sold those featherweight showdowns a little better than he did.

    Chalk that up to an obvious language barrier or his natural nice-guy persona, but it's time for Aldo to step out of his comfort zone and verbally take over the world.

    He's just too darn good to coast.

     

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