UFC 265’s Jamey ‘The Afro Samurai’ Simmons Doesn’t Even Like His Hair This Way

UFC Vegas 13 Giga Chikadze Jamey Simmons
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 07: (L-R) Giga Chikadze of Georgia kicks Jamey Simmons in a featherweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on November 07, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Every nickname has its origin story. Many fighters carry nicknames from their childhood into the cage with them. Others throw down random ones when a regional promoter ask for it on a form. For Jamey “The Afro Samurai” Simmons, it came somewhere between there.

“I’m sure most stories like this start the same way,” Simmons said. “But it’s kind of a funny story.”

And that funny story starts with hair that looks nothing like his current hairdo. Then, after finishing up a wrestling season, he decided to try something knew.

“I’ve grown up my whole life with short hair – nice little taper on the side, good lining. Never been the kind of kid that grows my hair out,” he said. “Then, my last year of college, after wrestling, I grew my hair out, just to be funny – like maybe I’ll get dreads, but I just wanted to see what I looked like with it.”

The look was what we see today for Simmons. His hair grew out and curly. Despite the fact that it wasn’t his favorite, he kept it for the time being. Little did he know, he’d suddenly become tied to his new curls even more.

“I moved to Milwaukee and started training to fight and I immediately got labeled the “Afro Samurai,” he explained, in reference to the Japanese manga. “I got stuck with the nickname and it pretty much became my brand.”

With it as his brand for his early fights, and because it’s something unique, he felt like he had to stick with the name and the hair.

“I have to keep this hair now because that’s my brand… If it were me, I would still like the short hair and a nice little tapper,” he said. “But, I mean, I do like the nickname “The Afro Samurai” and I’m proud to own it.”

Simmons will hear that nickname called in the octagon for the second time this weekend at UFC 265. He fights Johnny Munoz on the first prelim of the night on ESPN+.

You can hear the entire audio of this interview at 26:53.