NFL superstar Chad Ochocinco has gone back to his roots. The wide receiver has legally changed his name back to Chad Johnson so that his new wife, reality star and author Evelyn Lozado, wouldn’t have to take on his Ochocinco surname.
“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,” Johnson, now a Miami Dolphin, told ESPN.com.
The 34-year-old athlete, who has also played for the Cincinnati Bengals and the New England Patriots, wed “Basketball Wives” star Lozado on Independence Day. The couple stars in a forthcoming VH1 spin-off this fall documenting the journey to their nuptials called “Ev and Ocho.”
The change was made official at a hearing at the Broward County courthouse in Florida and only cost the “Dancing with the Stars” finalist $401 to finalize the switch.
Johnson announced his was making the switch to Ochocinco in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month in October 2006 as a tribute to his jersey number, 85. (The actual number in Spanish is actually ochenta y cinco.) He made the change legal in 2008. But because of his deal with Reebok, Johnson waited until the following year, and then wore “Ochocinco” on his jerseys instead of Johnson.
For related stories, read: Evelyn Lozada: Working With Iyanla Vanzant To Change Her Life