Chad Ochocinco changes last name

Updated: July 24, 2012, 2:08 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Chad Ochocinco's new wife had no interest in taking a numerical last name, so the outspoken Miami Dolphins wideout is back to being just Chad Johnson.

OCNNReport.com reported Monday that Johnson officially changed his name back due in part to his marriage to Evelyn Lozada. The pair preferred Lozada's last name to be a real name rather than the gimmick last name Johnson had adopted several years ago, the report said.

Johnson changed his name on his popular Twitter account weeks ago not long after signing with the Dolphins.

"I'm refocused and locked in. Time to get back to the old me," he told ESPN.com by phone Monday, adding that his uniform will say 'Johnson.' "I'm just doing it for the marriage. It has nothing to do with football. Ochocinco is still in me. It's just my middle name."

The 34-year-old wideout has made mention of dropping the "Ochocinco" moniker several times previously, including during a January 2011 appearance on ESPN's "NFL Live." He also said before a regular-season game in January 2010 that he would change his name back to Johnson if Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis shut him down. After tweaking his knee in pregame warm-ups, he was held to zero catches for zero yards in the game. When the teams met again a week later in the playoffs, he had just two catches for 28 yards.

He kept his name but later said the comments were made in fun and he was never serious about a name change.

The wideout originally changed his legal surname from Johnson to Ochocinco before the 2008 season in order to wear his nickname on his jersey.

Johnson originally gave himself the Ocho moniker in 2006 as an allusion to his No. 85.

Johnson was a six-time Pro Bowler for the Cincinnati Bengals and averaged nearly 80 receptions for seven seasons. Ochocinco never lived up to those expectations following the name change, averaging just 51.75 receptions in four seasons, including a career-low 15 for the New England Patriots in 2011.

Johnson signed a one-year deal with the Dolphins in June after being cut by New England.

Information from ESPN.com's James Walker and Lynn Hoppes and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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