The hilarious story behind Waldo Cortes-Acosta’s nickname

Waldo Cortes-Acosta’s “Salsa Boy” nickname was not self-appointed – like every proper nickname should be.

His curious fight nickname was earned and given by his teammates after a spicy story behind his cooking, not his dancing. Cortes-Acosta (11-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC), who fights in the UFC’s heavyweight division, hosted a party years ago at which he invited his friends and teammates from Ultimate Kombat Training Center in Arizona.

“I dance well, yeah – but the nickname actually came from salsa I made for a party,” Cortes-Acosta told MMA Junkie in Spanish. “There were guys from Nicaragua, Mexico, Brazil, Colombians – all over the place.”

Training with many Hispanic people, especially those from Central America, Cortes-Acosta knew he had to show out with the salsa given the high standards and high tolerance for spicy food at the party – and he might’ve gotten a bit overboard.

“A friend of mine, who we call ‘El Chimmy,’ and he already fought in the UFC, tried the sauce, and before he was like, ‘Yeah, of course I eat salsa. I’m good for that. No problem.’ Well, he tried my salsa and when he tried it, he had to drink a ton of milk, and he even jumped in the pool. He was sweating and everything.”

Cortes-Acosta made the salsa with a sauce that he had to sign a waiver to buy. It was serious stuff.

“Here in Arizona, I went to a store where they make you sign a document and everything,” Cortes-Acosta said. “The sauce had like 2 million (Scoville) points of potency or something like that. I signed the document, and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to make the most of this sauce,’ because the Mexicans are always complaining saying everyone else’s salsas is not spicy. So I was like, ‘OK, we’ll see how they do now.’”

The sauce was a hot topic even the following day in training, which gave birth to his fight nickname “Salsa Boy.”

“We went to do sparring and I came in and said, ‘Where’s ‘El Chimmy’ so I can give him his salsa.’ And then from there, it stuck and everyone started calling me ‘Salsa Boy.’”

Check out the Hablemos MMA YouTube channel for Spanish-language videos and interviews with MMA Junkie’s Danny Segura.

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