Ok, it really is too hard to just come up with one or two so here is my top ten:
4. Cro Cop
5. Frank Shamrock
10. Bas Rutten
Honourable mentions: Mark Coleman, Royce Gracie, Brock Lesnar, Forest Griffin, Don Frye
His zen-like calm, respect for the art and overall beauty of his fights will forever be unparalleled.
Add in don frye and genki sudo as well.
Every fighter who has been named so far are ones an MMA fan would expect to be mentioned. Great picks. To all the members who have posted so far, tell about at least one moment in any of their victories you remember clearly or that stuck with you throughout the years. It could be something they did in the fight, their walkouts, their celebration, even something the cornermen or announcers said. Or even just something about them, like Jack mentioned, or something they once said. Anything you can recall and your own sentiments. I want everyone to add at least one memory or picture on any fighter they miss these days if you mention one or see one in here you want to talk about.
Almost every fighter named are ones I eventually wanted to mention, too.
Unfortunately, I started watching MMA in only 2012. Yeah yeah, UFC is where I started. So I missed what many others were fortunate enough to follow. By now, through this forum and surfing MMA for years, I have read and watched many videos and highlights of who everyone considers to be legends, icons, and many others. I'm reluctant to say that there is still also a lot of fights that I haven't seen, ones I won't even admit to, and ones I can't remember much of since it has been so long.
I want to find good gifs for them all (fighters being mentioned) but I don't really know where to find quality ones.
There are so many fighters I want to talk about, along with the ones already mentioned, but I am going to start with another one you'd expect to hear on of the first couple pages...
The one and only, Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell.
This guy was my first real favorite fighter from the first time I saw him which I want to say was either against Vitor or Sobral. At that time, I was just a kid who loved to watch fights with my buddy who split the PPV's with me once a month. I didn't know anything except the guy with the badass mohawk, 'stache, and tattoos looked crazy, fought crazy, and I wanted him to win. He is definitely one of the fighters responsible for reeling me into the sport. I seriously loved Chuck growing up and all those years he was on top. He was a hell of a fucking fighter from the very beginning of his prime all the way to the end. He had his own thing to his punches and he hit guys with them like he was trying to put his fists through concrete. You got that? I feel sorry for anyone who missed watching Chuck, just like any of the older guys would feel sorry for someone like me.
When Chuck Liddell walked out... man... what I would do to see that live one more time. Anyone remember his songs? Or can find a good video?
Chuck, the fighter. Chuck, the Iceman, Chuck, the UFC LHW Champion of the world. Chuck, one of the greatest LHW's ever in MMA. Chuck, the legend. Chuck, UFC VP of Business Development... and Chuck, the billy badass, wild, party animal.
You can never forget Chuck getting into that cage with Tito and laying a brutal, violent, straight ass whooping on him, twice.
I wish I had a clip of every single right overhand bomb he landed in his career in succession.
Knocked out Randleman, Mezger, Sobral twice in the first round, Overeem, Tito twice, V. White, Couture twice, and Horn. Great fights with Wandy and Vitor.
Then there was the day I never would have dreamed to happen in my life. The UFC event I went to, Johnson VS McCall, who my buddy got me into with Harley Davidson tickets, I actually met him, shook hands with him, and took a couple pictures. It was in the VIP room where only maybe 20 people were in. I remember drinking at the bar, not believing I was in the same room as Chuck (and Condit, Lombard, and Chiesa). He ate some appetizers there like crackers and cheese. I was completely starstruck. He gave me a quick staredown as I walked up to him.
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Mute the video. Unless you like U2. In which case, punch yourself in the face.
All of the above. Any time a Chuck, Randy, Tito, Hughes, etc would fight.
Tops for me though, has to be Brock Lesnar. I miss the big white ape, penis-chest-sword and all.
I was into watching wrestling for years growing up, and watched Brock walk through the ranks of WWE and become their biggest superstar throughout the years. Meanwhile I was just getting into MMA back in 05, or 06 maybe before (a bit before the TUF debut), and it was before Brock even started competing in MMA. Then when he announced he'd be going into MMA I was ecstatic. Although by the end of his career he wasn’t the best fighter out there, when a PPV headlined by Lesnar came up I was more excited than any other. Him walking away from the sport sucked. He still outsold 99% of other PPV headliners, maybe all of them, and had less than 10 MMA fights. He just had this badass aura around him, although he wasn't the most technically skilled fighter. Love him or hate him, everyone was buying into a PPV to watch Brock fight.
My favorite Brock moments were the back-flip punch on Herring, the post-fight at UFC 100 trash talk on Mir as well as the re-arranging of Mir's face, and the come-from-behind victory over Carwin. Even the Couture fight was good, as much as I love both guys, it became apparent that Couture was not meant to fight guys that big anymore. Oh almost forgot the best one, that post UFC-100 interview he gave, absolutely classic.
"Frank Mir had a horseshoe up his ass. I told him that a year ago. I pulled it out of him and beat him over the head with it. I'm going to drink a Coors Light. That's right a Coors. Bud Light don't pay me nothing. I may even get on top of my wife tonight."
Like who else could bash UFC’s main sponsor at the time and have no repercussions from it?
Wow... so many to mention... being a fan from UFC 2 i got to see all the old school guys...
Gracie, Shamrock both Ken and Frank, Severn, Fry, Hackney (the infamous nut shot on the rapist Joe Son!), Abbot, Couture's schooling of the pro wrestler Tony Halme (WWF's Ludwig Vorga or something), Oleg Taktarov, and obviously, who can forget El Guapo, Bas Rutten... just too many to mention...
Damn... but I just have to add Fedor, CroCop, Saku and all the great Pride ones...
I'm a TUF noob. I started following MMA closely around when Chuck defended against Jeremy Horn. I remember because I recall having a conversation with someone about the fight when I was 'training' (taking beginner classes) at Team Tompkins' gym. Sam Stout was my instructor, but I had no idea who he was. My roommate looked him up and told me he was the TKO champion, which seemed cool but meant nothing to me.
Meanwhile I was trying to catch up on my UFC (and later MMA) history. It was funny because I was watching them out of order and completely out of context. I would think one guy was unbeatable (Tito) then see someone beat them (Chuck), then see someone beat THEM (Couture). It taught me MMA is very unpredictable and no one is invincible very early on. Eventually I got to Matt Hughes, and especially his comeback win against Trigg; that was amazing to see. That taught me to respect fighters even if I wasn't a fan.
The first GSP figth I saw was his title loss to Hughes. Since I wasn't yet a GSP fan, and Hughes was the massive favourite (at least in my head) seeing him lose was not that disappointed, especially since he looked pretty good in the loss and was young. Then I watched his fights against Trigg, Sherk, Karo. I was completely hooked! His fighting style, his backflip celebration, the fact that he was Canadian...
Meanwhile I finally get around to checking what TKO was. Turns out it was basically the top Canadian MMA organization. I looked up the list of champions and saw that Stout was the LW champ, that GSP was the WW champ (which seemed weird since he fought in UFC), and that someone named David Loiseau was the MW champ. So I looked HIM up.
That Charles McCarthy spinning back kick finish. Wow.
Right away I hitched my wagons to these two guys. I told myself I'd stick with GSP and Crow as my favourite WW and MW no matter what. It was liek they were brothers from another mother, and my dream as a fan was for them to become longstanding champions in their respective divisions.
Well, my dream came HALF true. After finishing Tanner with elbows on one of the first UFC events I ever watched live, Crow got his title shot. Unfortunately, Franklin was just on another level. Although Loiseau had one bright moment in the third with a knockdown, he basically got outclassed by Franklin. Joe Rogan wondered who was left for Franklin now (...).
I still had high hopes for Loiseau, but basically the McCarthy and Tanner wins were his peak.
The only UFC event I ever attended was Machida vs Shogun II in Montreal. I got basic tickets but my buddy worked security and hooked us up with floor seats at the last second. I barely remember the fights because the view from the floor isn't that great, and between buying beer, trying to talk to Joe Silva, giving dirty looks to Yves Lavigne sitting behind me, and making 100 trips ot the bathroom because of said beer, my attention was diverted.
HOWEVER, at one point I saw The Crow standing about 15 feet away on the other side of the barrier from where fighters walk in. He was supposed to fight at that show but the Quebec atheletic commision screwed him over last second. I yelled to him 'David! Fuck the atheletic commision David!'
...I think all he heard was a drunken kid yelling 'David...Fuck...David'. So he gave me a sad look and walked away.
Don frye ,Paul Varelans, jason thatcher ,Mark kerr,oleg taktarov