10 Most Influential Figures in MMA
I know this discussion may of have been done to death, I still think with many events happening in MMA recently I thought this now a good time to discuss this. Remember this my opinion so Post your own top 10 (starting from "lowest" 10 to "highest" 1) influential figures who helped create MMA.
10. Tito Ortiz: When MMA was on the rise, Tito Ortiz was the man who was on everyone's mouth.
9. Ken Shamrock: The first time I discovered MMA was because of Shamrock's venture in the WWF.
8. Dan Severn: Truly a legend who proves pro wrestlers aren't wussies in MMA. He was the first to hold both a major Wrestling title (NWA) and a major MMA title (UFC) at the same time.
7. Sakuraba: His legacy is what got me really interested in MMA, at the time he was the total package in MMA.
6. Dana White: Love him or hate him, you have to respect his achievement and how he defended MMA against closedminded idiots like the Billy O'Reilly of Fox News.
5. The Fertittas: They rolled the dice and came up big. They have turned this sport from a bloodsport being held in dingy convention centers, into the biggest draw in Vegas.
4. Bas Rutten and The "Shooters": Bas Rutten is also an influential figure, he started in Pancrase and is now one of the best MMA fighters ever as well as the greatest Dutch fighter ever. Dreams of a MMA fed started to come true because of wrestlers who hated to job. Guys like Masakatsu Funaki, Akira Maeda, Sayama and Nobukio Takada who although not serious MMA fighters opened the door to MMA when they founded UWF which led to UWFi, Rings, Shooto and Pancrase. Along with them were shootfighters like Bart Vale who helped spread MMA in the US. Among those 5, I like Funaki better because he made the better effort when fighting in a real legit MMA fight while Takada totally screwed up in his matches. Also because i don't about Bart Vale's record or if he had any legit matches.
3. Gotch, Inoki and Catch Wrestling: Catch wrestling is arguably the ancestor of modern professional wrestling and mixed martial arts competitions. Catch wrestling's origins lie in a variety of styles, most notably the regional wrestling styles of Europe, particularly the British Isles (eg. Collar-and-elbow, Lancashire catch-as-catch-can submission wrestling etc.) and Asia (eg. pehlwani). The term is sometimes used in a restricted sense to refer only to the style of professional wrestling as practiced in United States carnivals just before and after 1900. Under this stricter definition catch wrestling it is one of many styles of professional wrestling, specifically as practiced in carnivals and at public exhibitions from after the US Civil War until the Great Depression. Karl Gotch, a wrestler who was unforunatly ignored in the US because of his stiffness, Gotch spread Catch Wrestling into Japan that would help create Strong style wrestling. Catch would also create great MMA fighters like Sakuraba and the Shamrocks. One of Gotch's proteges is Japanese pro wrestling legend Antonio Inoki, who had a series of MMA matches (whether they were legit or worked isn't known) at the peak of his career in the 70's and 80's. Although Inoki's match with Ali was boring, it still should be considered an influence. Inoki had fought other MMA fighters, some say they were legit and others were worked. He also helped train good MMA fighters like Fujita and promotes MMA events like the highly successful Jungle Fight founded by Wallied Ismail.
2. The Gracies and BJJ: Love them or hate them, gotta respect their legacy and the fact they helped put MMA where it already is now. Other BJJ fighters Walied Ismail are important to mention as well.
1. Martial artists of all centuries including Bruce Lee: Bruce Lee was definetly the most influential Martial artist of the 20th century. The JKD process could be seen as the first MMA system. Although Lee wasn't the first to come up with crossing styles, he revived the idea as the idea has been around for centuries thats how different Martial art styles came to be, they borrowed from eachother plus there are ancient stories of MMA tournaments that took place pitting warriors of different styles against each other.however masters of different styles have too much pride in their styles in the later years to the point of looking down on each other's styles.
Last edited by The Elemental Warrio; 08-20-2007 at 09:06 PM.