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Old 08-15-2010, 04:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Fighters who had exceptionally horrible beginnings

This came to mind as I was reading about Jens Pulver having lost 9 of his 10 fights just now. Most of you know that his father was horribly abusive, and Jens published a book through a small press documenting his formative years. He isn't doing well lately obviously, but the fact that he got as far as he did is (sorry if this sounds trite) a testament to his incredible heart, determination, and the strength of the human spirit.

The Diaz brothers mean muggin' in Stockton comes to mind, of course, as does Huerta's upbringing, which made me tear up like a bitch when I read about it.

I'm sure you all can think of fighters who weathered similar circumstances. How deep did these guys have to dig, and how lucky did they get when they hooked up with some of the people who guided them in the right direction?

Discuss.
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Old 08-15-2010, 06:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Big Nogueira had a rough start with his accident. Getting run over isn't fun, I 've tried it. According to Cro Cop he wasn't expected to walk again, much less play sports. I'd say he's had the hardest time.
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Old 08-15-2010, 06:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ken sharock has to of had among the worst till bob took him in and turned his life around Ken had a hard life. Read kens book to find out just how bad. A real eye opener.
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Old 08-15-2010, 07:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Christina Cyborg proves that any little boy can grow up to be Strikeforce's women's champion
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Old 08-15-2010, 08:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Christina Cyborg proves that any little boy can grow up to be Strikeforce's women's champion
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Old 08-19-2010, 05:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Ken sharock has to of had among the worst till bob took him in and turned his life around Ken had a hard life. Read kens book to find out just how bad. A real eye opener.
I second this. Inside the Lion's Den is an amazing book.

There are a lot of fighters who got into MMA because they were athletes. We know who those guys are: Mark Coleman, Randy Couture and Mark Kerr in their own generation. In the earlier years, Dan Severn.

There are a lot of fighters who got into MMA because fighting is what they know how to do, and for some its their only marketable job skill: the Diaz brothers, Jens Pulver, Ken Shamrock, etc.

I think it's worth mentioning that Fedor is probably one of those guys. The story is that he got into sambo because he was getting into fights as a kid. There's a serious chance he'd have been a low level mob soldier from a poor town, he'd have died and we'd never have heard of him if he hadn't come into sambo and later to MMA. He's not like Karelin, who was bred for sport, and was going to be famous whatever way his life turned.

The same is true, from what I've seen, for King Mo.

Before the last Affliction show (Fedor vs. Arlovski), I was hanging out in the hotel lobby with a friend and a few of the guys who were cornering some of the fighters on the main card, and King Mo was there building hype for himself. This was before people really knew who he was.

An video interviewer who was trying to put together a montage of what fighters would be doing if they weren't fighting asked the question to Mo.

He laughed and said, "you know, I'd probably be homeless right now."

It's the same story as Fedor. This guy is lucky that he found wrestling, or that wrestling found him, and that his success in wrestling led him to MMA, because he might have been into some dangerous and illegal stuff otherwise.

Proof, I think, that even guys who don't wear their being from the streets like the Diaz brothers have had it rough, and are lucky to be fighting instead of hustling. That's part of what I like about the sport.
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Old 08-19-2010, 06:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Iron man, I believe you exaggerated a bit about Fedor, since he was good student(according to his mother) and could have made it into college, probably.

I agree about Shamrock, I wish I could buy his books(ordering over the net is a very difficult option if you are from Serbia).
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Old 08-19-2010, 06:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Iron man, I believe you exaggerated a bit about Fedor, since he was good student(according to his mother) and could have made it into college, probably.
I'm not so sure. Also, I don't consider his mother a particularly objective source of information. He might have been a smart guy, but when you listen to him or his family, or even his priest, talk about how much he fought as a kid, it's hard to believe he'd have ended up in a University, or with a 9-5.
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Old 08-19-2010, 06:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm not so sure. Also, I don't consider his mother a particularly objective source of information. He might have been a smart guy, but when you listen to him or his family, or even his priest, talk about how much he fought as a kid, it's hard to believe he'd have ended up in a University, or with a 9-5.
It's not just his mother, he himself confirmed it.

Around 5:25

I have no doubt he fought a lot, but it's not something that excludes a further education.
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Old 08-19-2010, 07:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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