The world was introduced to the man known as Ugly Man Joe, Joseph Holmes, on Contender Series this past fall. After picking up a nice submission win on the show, he then followed it up with a violent KO on Fury FC: Dana White’s Looking for a Fight. While the two finishes were enough to get fans’ attention on their own, the signature look of Holmes certainly added a couple viewers.
Rocking a mustache that curls up at the end like a turn of the century boxer, Holmes gets recognized right out of the gate. However, as he tells it, the mustache was never his first choice for facial hair.
“I think it’s only been like two years [since I started growing it] maybe. Something like that,” Holmes explained. “I always wanted it to connect here on my beard because I wanted the whole Rick Ross thing.”
The Rick Ross look simply wasn’t meant to be for the Dallas native. So instead, Holmes and his barber started thinking of what else they could make work.
“I’ve been trying and trying and it never worked, so I was like ‘Man, I gotta do something with my face,” he shared. “So my mustache would always get decently long and I’m like ‘I wonder if I can curl it.”
So he and his guy at Modern Image, where he’s been a longtime customer, gave it a try. Not only did the hair take to the new style, but fans of Holmes did too.
“A lot of people took to it well,” he said. “A lot of people now refer to it as kind of like my staple. So it just works, man, and I love it.”
According to Holmes, it was never meant to drive attention to himself. He’s always wanted to do that first and foremost with his skills. However, a few extra views for some sick facial hair certainly doesn’t hurt either.
“It wasn’t even supposed to be a big deal, but when my name is Ugly Man Joe and then you look at me – you see this creative looking character with colored dreads and a freaking mustache,” Holmes said. “It all just kind of works.”
The mustache and Holmes head back to the cage this weekend for UFC Vegas 55. Holmes will face Alen Amendovski as part of the ESPN+ prelims.
You can hear the entire audio of this interview below at 1.56: