What does ‘Ocho vs. Science’ mean: Chad Johnson’s boxing shirt explained


Former NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson made a statement by holding his own in his boxing debut against Brian Maxwell on Sunday. 

But was he trying to make another one with his wardrobe?

As he walked out to the ring, Johnson and his crew wore shirts reading “Ocho vs Science.” 


After the fight, several others chimed in and shared the message, including LeBron James. 


MORE: Ochocinco holds his own early, gets knocked down late

Some background on the shirts:

For those who don’t know, Johnson is a big fan of McDonald’s, so much so that he ate the fast food consistently during his NFL career. 


On the podcast “I Am Athlete,” a weekly show where he talks with former wide receiver Brandon Marshall, former linebacker Channing Crowder and former running back Fred Taylor, Johnson got into a heated discussion with Marshall about whether it was important to eat healthy or if an athlete could eat McDonald’s and continue to perform at a high level on the field. Johnson described it as putting a callus in his body, and that as long as he trained hard, he was going to be built for the NFL. 

In a later episode of the show with NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace as a guest, the discussion came up again, with Marshall asking Wallace where he comes down on the “Ocho vs. Science” debate.


“Is it Ocho winning, or science?” Marshall asked. 

The athletes discussed their eating habits during their NFL careers and whether it is important to listen to the science behind food. Johnson argued that the research that indicates which food is healthiest for athletes is conducted by people who don’t have the personal experience to know what food works best for athletes.

“I’m trying not to say the wrong thing because I don’t want to offend anybody, but the people doing the research telling Brandon what he should eat to perform up here when they’ve never been there,” Johnson said.


He later added: “How about knowing your body specifically and not allowing researchers and scientists that don’t know s— about you to tell you what you need to perform at your highest peak?”

Marshall said that he agreed to an extent that athletes need to do their own research to understand what works best for them, but he also noted that through case studies, scientists know generally what ensures that human bodies will operate at their best. 

“Everybody’s body is different. So that’s why you’ve got to understand,” Marshall said. “What I put in my body, I can eat chicken and I can be allergic to chicken and I don’t know. So what ended up happening is now I’m walking around with four or five extra pounds of inflammation. Why is that important? Because the inflammation is where sickness and disease is at. Cancer, certain types of heart disease because we’re putting stuff in our body that our body doesn’t respond to. Think about medicine. Medicine, when you put some in your body, you have a chemical reaction.”


The phrase “Ocho vs Science” became popular among listeners to the show, to the point Marshall’s lifestyle and wellness company, House of Athlete, began selling the T-shirts at its store.

So, can Johnson’s performance Sunday be attributed in part to McDonald’s? Well, according to the Orange County Register, he cut it out of his diet in the lead-up to the fight.


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