Hall Of Fame
Only a select few times have sports superfans turned into somewhat superstars. The NFL has Fireman Ed, MLB has Zack Hample and so on and so on. Now it appears MMA has found its Fireman Ed.
He may be a bit more strange and he may be a bit more inappropriate than the aforementioned superfans, but the Washington landscaper known (somewhat) affectionately as “Boogerbeard” may have already eclipsed the heights of the viral superstardom of the typical celebrity fan.
After defending his middleweight strap at UFC 263, Israel Adesanya made a pit stop to hand his belt off to Boogerbeard and celebrate with it momentarily before heading to the back. In the MMA world that seems like a “pretty cool” act, but in the grand scope of sports it’s unheard of.
Never in Hample’s wildest dreams would an MVP or World Series winner seek him out in the crowd and hand the trophy over. His real name may not be out there, and he may be a mystery, but in a short amount of time he can probably accurately describe himself as the most decorated sports fan out there.
“Growing up, I used to catch the reruns of PRIDE when they would air,” Boogerbeard said. “I’d watch them in that era, and then moving forward I went through a time where I probably didn’t watch any at all for about ten years because I was watching boxing. I was a way bigger boxing fan, and then probably seven years ago is when I started getting really into MMA. I wouldn’t say that I knew much about it; especially with ground exchanges I was the guy that was like, ‘stand ‘em up.’ Then gradually over more and more time I got more into it all.”
Boogerbeard “found his niche,” so to speak, by making videos on Twitter roasting fighters that were so over the top he found a way to cash in, but not for himself, but for people in need.
“People were sending me screenshots of their donations to The Good Fight Foundation and I’d do a video talking s*** to whoever they wanted,” Boogerbeard explained. “Mark Henry saw those and ordered five of them for Frankie Edgar, DC and a few others. From there, more and more people saw them and I don’t know, man, fighters just have a good sense of humor. They don’t get offended by anything.”
After scrolling Mark Henry’s account for close to an hour to verify it was, in fact, the Mark Henry, Boogerbeard made the videos and before he knew it, they were taking off even further.
A particularly over the top video aimed at bantamweight champion, Aljamain Sterling caught the most traction of his early run of videos. The followers came flooding in, the requests came flooding in and before he knew it, he had raised over $7,000 for The Good Fight Foundation and had placed a good amount of pressure on himself to impress his growing audience. Afterall, he went from buying pizzas for crews to taking requests from some of MMA’s biggest stars almost overnight.
“When I started getting more and more orders, I started getting nervous about it, like, ‘Am I still going to be funny? Am I even funny now?’ All that stuff,” he explained.
One fighter he has taken an extra shine to since his climb to the public eye is the two-time UFC FIGHT PASS Journalist of the Year, Chase Hooper.
He boasts unverified claims of living under Hooper’s porch and has had multiple UFC fight companions with Hooper, co-appearances on Hooper’s second home, Extra Rounds, and regular social media interactions with him. Of all of the fighters who have shown love to the mysterious and odd social media figure, Hooper blurs the line for Boogerbeard of “fighters who enjoy me on social media” and “real friend.”
“A lot of these guys are kind of internet guys or some are internet buddies, I guess, but Chase is a friend, man,” Boogerbeard said. “Chase is awesome.”
In only two short years, he has gone from casual fan to hanging out with some of his favorite fighters or, in the case of Gerald Meerschaert, receiving gear and handwritten letters. Life has gotten in the way of being present for Hooper’s Fight Night bout with Felipe Colares, but he’ll be the loudest landscaper on Earth the whole way through and looks to have Hooper in his corner in his next venture into the MMA space.
His professional debut.
It’s hard to tell how serious he is, as we’ve learned, but with Hooper sure to serve as his BJJ coach and Israel Adesanya sure to serve as his striking coach, he would, at the very least, have the most famous corner in the game.
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