Adam Hunter’s UFC Comedy Jam was far from your normal night of standup comedy. The LA Comedy club was packed wall to wall with some of the most dangerous men and women on the planet, all to watch one professional and three comedy rookies put on a show.
The name Adam Hunter is reason enough for fighters and fight fans to get off the couch and down to The Strip, but when Hunter brought three of the most entertaining fighters in the history of the sport to join him on stage for a full-on Comedy Jam, it became top priority.
Hunter took the stage first before passing the microphone off to Henry Cejudo, then Din Thomas, before Chael Sonnen would wrap things up for the night.
According to the man himself, Sonnen has never had a losing fight and he has certainly never had a boring interview. His comedy debut was deemed a success by the crowd, as well as Hunter. He claims he was there for one joke and one joke only, but “only one joke” packed one hell of a punch and Sonnen was worth his weight in gold.
Thomas, the only other person with standup skills, was one part poet, one part comedian for the night, he and had the personality to dominate both categories.
Henry Cejudo wore yet another crown when his set was over. Social media, fans in attendance and Hunter himself awarded Cejudo with the unofficial MVP of the Night honors after surprising everyone who may know him as simply “The King of Cringe.”
“Hopefully, we can do some more of these,” Hunter said. “I think it would be a lot of fun for people to see these different sides of these fighters in a way where we can make people laugh.”
Have the flood gates opened?
Will Hunter begin getting as many guests on stage with him as he gets on his podcasts?
That may be a stretch, but it’s fun to think about, so while we’re here, who else would Adam Hunter like to share the stage with?
“Colby would be fun because there would be zero filter.”
Humor Spotlight: “The only thing you’re losing faster than your hairline is that Power Ranger belt.”
Strengths: There would definitely be plenty of punchlines ready to go. Love him or hate him, you can’t say he doesn’t come to the microphone with things to say.
Weaknesses: Punchline delivery. He’s made his mission very known. He’s been out to ruffle feathers every trip to the microphone for a while now. Problem is he doesn’t sell some of his punchlines.
Pre-Performance Rating: Covington would be one of the most notable fighters to give comedy a try, for better or worse, but it may be something he’s not willing to try while he’s chasing after a world title.
“I think Dominick Cruz would be really funny.”
Humor Spotlight: “There’s no validity to that. You don’t even know what that means. Spell it without stuttering; try to just not stutter spelling it.”
Strengths: Good luck to any hecklers. No fighter has ever seemed to get the better of Cruz in an argument and they’re paid to try to. Drunk hecklers or people without a microphone would be no match for Cruz.
Weaknesses: Cruz is as witty as they come, sure, but it seems to be most utilized in heated conversations. There may be a secret hilarious side to “The Dominator” but most of the proof would indicate he’s too serious to murder the stage.
Pre-Performance Rating: Dominick Cruz is one of the biggest wild cards on the list. Confidence wouldn’t be an issue; wit wouldn’t be the issue. Comedy just doesn’t seem to be an interest of his but when has Dominick Cruz not perfected something?
“I know Angela Hill would be good. We were supposed to get Angela for this one but then something happened and she had a fight coming up. She would be great.”
Strengths: Hill has had lots of broadcasting experience, so while standing in front of a captive audience expecting a laugh isn’t the same, there’s a built-in comfort in public speaking. Hill’s personality also shouts humor. She’s never too serious, never without a laugh. Hill would make it easy to laugh with her or at her, however she wanted the crowd to react.
Weaknesses: We’ve never seen much verbal sparring from Hill to know if she likes to get into a back-and-forth battle. But she did have a minor spat with Stephen A. Smith that resulted in a hilarious video re-enacting his boxing. Is standup her style, though?
Pre-Performance Rating: Would the affable Hill have a safe routine? And if so, would that mean others would overshadow her or will that make her a breath of fresh air? It’s a toss-up.
“I think Julianna Peña would be fun. She’s just a big comedy fan.”
Strengths: With a noted interest in comedy from a professional comedian, Peña would be coming into her standup debut with a likely high amount of knowledge on joke setups and formulas, and let’s not forget the supreme confidence that has been validated by the TUF winner turned world champ.
Weaknesses: Not being as big of a personality as DC, Chael, Triple C and others may cost her some interest. Would she be able to win a crowd over as strongly as she did at UFC 269?
Pre-Performance Rating: Call it crazy but after overthrowing one of the most intimidating champs in the history of the sport, Peña would have the confidence and attention of everybody if she landed on the first few seconds on stage. Adam Hunter hints that she would do just that.
“DC would be fun. I think DC would be great.”
Humor Spotlight: “I can look like a crackhead with a suit on but I’ve never been a crackhead like you, though.”
Strengths: Few fighters have been placed in the spotlight in recent memory more than Daniel Cormier and there’s a reason behind it. Everything he does is hilarious. Whether it’s some of the funniest lines in press conference history, the funniest coaches’ challenge in TUF history or his commentary hilarity, there’s plenty of reason to believe Cormier would be hilarious on stage.
Weaknesses: Between commentating almost every UFC card, the weigh-in show, DC & RC, coaching at every wrestling class in California and everything else on his plate, when would Daniel Cormier have time to prepare material?
Pre-Performance Rating: Cormier benefits from being a flat-out funny person. The same way Chris Farley could get a laugh with the bare minimum of effort, Cormier would be able to make the crowd laugh even if his material was lacking.
“A guy like Ngannou; a guy you wouldn’t expect it from would be really fun.”
Strengths: Ngannou’s massive frame and booming voice has set him up to be the most serious, intimidating person alive. Stepping away from that at all and putting himself in a position to be funny would likely make most things he said a little funnier.
Weaknesses: Ngannou doesn’t come off as a standup comedian. He can make you laugh with his responses and with context around things but he’s still not one to initiate in funny banter.
Pre-Performance Rating: It wouldn’t take much for a guy known for launching heads into orbit to get a crowd saying, “I can’t believe he just said that!” in between laughs. Problem is that while he’s publicly a pretty light-hearted guy he’s given little indication that he would have the comedic instincts to come on stage and hold a crowd.
“Gerald Meerschaert is a guy who’s super hilarious but nobody knows because he’s super dry, but it’s, like, really funny.”
Humor Spotlight: Paul Felder: “Gerald, you don’t know any other way to come in here other than get hit a few times and then get a finish, what’s going on?”
Meerschaert: “Well, you know, we trained together for so long, Paul, I inherited some of your habits.”
Strengths: He’s not the most studied fighter when it comes to his personality. People tend to focus more on his submission skills and “anyone, anytime” attitude about fighting but snuck in there is a very present, but dry, sense of humor that likely kills with his inner circle.
Weaknesses: Dry humor is up a lot of people’s alley but there’s a chance the casual comedy fan who thinks it’s nothing more than *setup, joke, setup, joke, setup, joke* would find his dry sense of humor “boring.”
Pre-Performance Rating: The bar would be low for Meerschaert but not because he’s known for being dull. People haven’t been too exposed to his humor and personality and he’s ok with that. The more ok with that he is, the more under the radar he goes. Meerschaert would likely be on the right end of “I didn’t know he was funny” comments when all was said and done.
“Frankie Edgar would be really good.”
Strengths: Good luck finding a guy more skilled at “busting balls” than the New Jersey native who has lived in gyms and been cage fighting since before it was held in high regard. Fighters from the East Coast seem to be born with a chip on their shoulder that makes them quick with a right hand and showstopping comeback.
Weaknesses: Frankie Edgar has been around since UFC 67 and we don’t have a large number of quotable, funny moments. That’s almost impossible.
Pre-Performance Rating: He could be good, and every fan watching would be holding out high hopes that he would be good, but would Frankie Edgar have interest in standup comedy? Most of the evidence the common man has would indicate no.
Overall Score: 4/10
“I know Urijah Faber wanted to do it.”
Humor Spotlight: “Is Ireland known for their cantaloupes? The massive head this guy’s got on looks like a cantaloupe on a toothpick.”
Strengths: Urijah Faber seems to be good and watchable at almost everything he does. He would be one of the most comfortable on stage and he would most likely come prepared as he always does.
Weaknesses: Urijah is a funny person and adjusts well to almost everything. It’s hard to nitpick but there haven’t been too many wars of words where he’s dropped the hammer. Not a lot of hilarious tweets, either. Urijah seems to be more cool than funny. (Even when he loses, he wins)
Pre-Performance Rating: Urijah would do well in a room where there were no hecklers to throw him off so keep Octagon adversaries away. He’s been almost impossibly likable his whole career, and standup seems to be the perfect setting for him. The “cool over funny” vibe might cost him a little but “The California Kid” would do just fine.
“I think Chase Hooper would be really funny. Chase Hooper’s a really funny kid.”
Humor Spotlight: “Why’d you do that to my dad?”
Strengths: Chase Hooper is somehow built for comedy. When he’s trying to be funny it usually seems to work and when he’s bombing it is just as funny and you don’t feel like you’re laughing at him in a malicious way.
Weaknesses: Few people on this earth have “I forgot my joke” or “never look at the crowd” written on their forehead more than Chase Hooper.
Pre-Performance Rating: This would be a very interesting one and would make everybody laugh no matter how you slice it. Nobody could goof on themselves more than “The Dream” outside of Cejudo during his set. Nothing about him is “built for the stage,” so everything from the jokes to the red face to the ”oh shoot, that joke didn’t land the way I thought it would” expression would be as authentic and funny as possible.
“I don’t know if O’Malley would do it but it’d be really fun to work with him.”
Humor Spotlight: “Of course that’s real. If you don’t have a tattoo of yourself on yourself, do you even love yourself?”
Strengths: O’Malley has one of the best dry deliveries. Whether it was telling Barstool Sports he’d fight Khabib if it meant not having to fight Hasbullah or asking Cody Garbrandt why he would cut to 125 to fight him at 135 he’s more comedically engineered than his “back off” facial expressions would indicate.
Weaknesses: There’s only a small sample size of O’Malley at this point but his humor may not fully translate to the crowd that was in attendance at Adam Hunter’s UFC Comedy Jam. He may have more of a podcast or Twitch sense of humor.
Pre-Performance Rating: O’Malley has found his comfort zone and it’s in his podcast studio, the gym, the Octagon and the Twitch streams. Standup comedy seems pretty far outside of “Suga’s” comfort zone or interest. The product he would deliver might reflect that. Being proven wrong by one of the most exciting bantamweights is always a possibility though.
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