Friends, Romans, countrymen, welcome to the most star-studded — and foolishly ambitious — CagePotato Roundtable in history. This week’s topic is “Who’s the Baddest Motherfucker of All Time?” and we have two very, very special guests to help us out. They are…
- Ben Fowlkes, the former CagePotato senior editor who abandoned us in April 2010 and has been writing incredible features for MMAFighting.com ever since. Last month, he and fellow CP veteran Chad Dundas launched a hilarious and thought-provoking weekly MMA podcast called The Co-Main Event. Do yourself a favor and subscribe to the show on iTunes right here, right now.
- Jason Ellis, the professional skateboarder, author, MMA fighter, truck racer, boxer, singer, and actor who hosts The Jason Ellis Show on weekday afternoons on Sirius XM Radio’s Faction channel. Jason’s best-selling autobiography — the appropriately titled I’m Awesome — details his triumph over drugs, personal tragedy, and being Australian, en route to becoming “the new voice of action sports in America”? Go buy it.
I’m sure some of you have already passed out from shock and excitement. As for the rest of you, pack a canteen and follow us into the abyss. Warning: It’s gonna get weird…
You want to talk old school badasses? I mean really, really old school? Like pre-Rickson Gracie old school? Look no further than Julius Caesar, son. Right about now you’re all like, ‘Who, dude with the cheap pizzas?’ First of all, that’s Little Caesar’s, which sucks. Second of all, shut up. I’m trying to teach you something here.
Those of you who actually studied in order to get that GED might know my man Gaius Julius Caesar as the guy who kind of, sort of brought an end to that whole republican system of government that ancient Rome had going for it, then got murdered by a bunch of politicians for his trouble. And yeah, I admit, initially that doesn’t sound so badass. After all, what modern man couldn’t fight his way past Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid, whether they’re toting switchblades or not? But the badass thing about Caesar was not that he was some muscled up He-man — he may (or may not) have suffered from epilepsy — but rather that he was a cold-hearted S.O.B who was also kind of insane in his desire to be number one.
For instance, when Caesar was a young man and the political mood in Rome was looking dicey under the rule of Sulla, Caesar decided it might be a good idea to skip town for a little bit. Shortly after doing so, he was captured by pirates, which were real pains in everybody’s asses back then. According to Plutarch, when the pirates demanded a ransom of twenty talents of gold before they’d let him go, Caesar literally laughed in their faces, then proceeded to big-time them by volunteering to pay fifty talents, since clearly they didn’t realize who they’d captured. They agreed, but while Caesar’s peoples were off raising the money, he had to hang out with these pirates, who were “about the most bloodthirsty people in the world,” according to Plutarch. No problem for Caesar.
For thirty-eight days he chilled with these dudes on an island, treating them “just as if he was their leader instead of their prisoner.” He joined in their exercises. He told them to shut up and stop talking so loudly when he was trying to sleep. He wrote poems and speeches and made them all listen as he read them aloud, “and if they failed to admire his work, he would call them to their faces illiterate savages, and would often laughingly threaten to have them all hanged.” Good times, in other words. When his ransom finally came through and the pirates released him, Caesar immediately went and got some ships of his own, then rolled up on the pirates, captured them, and threw them in the nearest jail. When the local magistrate didn’t act quickly enough to suit him, Caesar “took the pirates out of prison and crucified the lot of them, just as he had often told them he would do when he was on the island and they imagined that he was joking.”
The point is, Caesar took no shit from nobody. That was also true in his personal life, as his wife Pompeia found out when there was a scandal involving her and a playboy named Clodius during a religious observance. Caesar divorced his wife almost immediately, but later, at Clodius’s trial for sacrilege, said he didn’t think she’d actually been unfaithful to him. So why did he divorce her? Because, he explained, Caesar’s wife should be free even from suspicion.
At the same time, he was pretty much batshit when it came to seizing power. To simply be among the most powerful men in Rome wasn’t good enough for old J.C. According to one story, when he and some troops were riding through a miserable little village in the Alps, one of the officers jokingly remarked that even here there were probably people battling over who got to be in charge, to which Caesar is said to have replied: “As far as I am concerned, I would rather be the first man here than the second man in Rome.” Not surprisingly, this same man was not content to share power with his old buddy Pompey, and so he plunged Rome into a bloody civil war that destroyed his enemies and left him as numero uno. Kind of a dick move? Yeah. But he also fixed the calendar, so maybe it evens out.
What really made him a badass was that, even after a group of Roman senators stabbed the hell out of him on the Senate floor in 44 B.C., Caesar still managed to screw them over from beyond the grave. These dudes thought people would be glad to be rid of the tyrant who had seized power and eviscerated the republic, but it turned out that most Romans really liked him. They liked him even more when they realized that he left each citizen some money in his will, and so they rioted, scaring the bejesus out of his killers, who fled the city.
After that, nothing good happened to anyone who had participated in the assassination. One even ended up killing himself with the same knife he used to stab Caesar. If you believe Plutarch, who was known to get a little carried away with the supernatural crap from time to time, the entire damn planet suffered Caesar’s wrath, even after his death: “For the whole of that year the sun’s orb rose dull and pale; the heat which came down from it was feeble and ineffective, so that the atmosphere, with insufficient warmth to penetrate it, lay dark and heavy on the earth and fruits and vegetables never properly ripened, withering away and falling off before they were mature because of the coldness of the air.” Bad. Ass.
Bethany because a 12-foot sea monster bit off one of her limbs, yet she still swims in the ocean and dangles the other three. And instead of bitching about her arm, she went to Malaysia and helped starving children
Dan Henderson because he’s the only guy from the old school that’s still dangerous. He has a concrete face, and he switched off Wanderlei back when Wanderlei was a full-on steroid monkey. Also, I used to train with Dan, and one time a tractor tire exploded in his face and took his eyebrows off — but he still came to the gym.
We live in a culture of the double entendre, of the secret meaning. We speak in metaphors, homonyms, and an incomprehensible slang that has muddled our very language down from the poetic elegance it once embodied to three letter idioms like “LOL” and “OMG.” Words, mind you, that despite their lazy compositions and meaningless meanings, have been validated by the hebetating dolts responsible for the Oxford English Dictionary.
So you can understand my apprehension whilst attempting to not only determine a choice for this week’s roundtable, but to determine the true meaning of the word “baddest.” For if I were to interpret the term to mean the person I would least like to run into in a dark alley, then the answer would undoubtedly be Charles Bronson. Sure, he’s been dead for nearly a decade, but the fact is, even in his current, mummified state, “Il Bruno” could still play Lee Murray to any man, woman, or beast’s Tito Ortiz in a street fight if they eyeballed his tombstone the wrong way. But in order to stay true to what I feel the word “baddest” truly means, I decided I should choose someone who personified the satanic, primordial evil inherent in the word. Someone who was so utterly twisted, so abhorrently macabre, that when we look back at his place in the history books, we not only turn the page, we tear it out, light it on fire, and piss on the ashes.
In all of the psychological, historical, and religious texts I have ever studied, I have never come across anyone that defines the term “bad” quite like Herman Webster Mudgett, known to the general public as H.H. Holmes.
Combining equal parts Jigsaw and Hitler, with a charming demeanor and a mustache that would make Magnum P.I. commit seppuku in disgrace, Holmes not only went down as the first true serial killer in modern American history, he did so through a level of meticulous planning and plain dedication that was so shocking for the time period (or any, really) that even the Devil himself would stand up and applaud his effort.
Let me set the scene for you: The year was 1893. In order to accommodate the massive celebration commemorating the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s rape and genocide of the Native American people discovery of America, the city of Chicago literally built a city (dubbed “The White City”) within itself to host The World’s Columbian Exposition, which would in turn see over 715,000 visitors from over 40 nations partake in the festivities on the first day alone. And at the center of this ceremony, which not only served as a celebration of Columbus’s accomplishment, but as a symbol of Chicago’s recovery from the fire that had nearly consumed it, was a man with a “Murder Castle.”
You see, dating back three years prior to the fair, Holmes began constructing a labyrinthian death chamber in a building he had purchased across the street from the Englewood drugstore at which he worked. The building housed nearly one hundred rooms (some of which were soundproof, all of which contained alarms that notified him if a victim had managed to escape) that in themselves contained gas chambers, lime pits, trap floors, false doors, iron walls, and blowtorch-like devices fitted to said walls. How did Holmes manage to pull off such a feat right under everyone’s noses? By hiring, then firing various construction crews in charge of renovating the castle, so that no one other than himself would truly understand the overarching design of such a malicious structure.
And when it was complete, he used the proceedings to lure tourists (mainly women), families, and anyone looking for a place to stay into his fortress, where all of them would meet a horrific and untimely demise. When the authorities eventually caught on to his ruse, Holmes burned the castle to the ground and fled. He was captured some two years later, and amongst the ashes of his former death chamber, the remains of nearly 200 bodies were found in various states of decomposition. Although only four murders could be pinned on Holmes due to the fact that police could simply not identify most of the bodies left behind, he confessed to the deaths of 27 people, and was sentenced to death by hanging shortly thereafter.
I could get into all of the mysterious deaths that occurred after Holmes’ death, mainly to those involved in carrying out his conviction, but I’ve already spent enough of your time. Suffice it to say, H.H. Holmes is simply unlike any other person this world has ever witnessed, an original in the worst possible way. He was a plague of Biblical proportions, one that came during a time of renewal, of renewed hope, to remind the world that evil still walked among us. He was not only the baddest motherfucker to ever walk this earth, but the baddest daughter, father, and brotherfucker as well, because he was not one to discriminate while carrying out his dastardly deeds. And neither Bundy, nor Gacy, nor Dahmer or Gein or Berkowitz, could even hold a candle to this motherfucker, hence my choice to place him on this list.
Doug “ReX13” Richardson
(Bullfighting: You’re doing it…right?)
Ok, Nation, real talk: they just don’t make badasses like they used to. Sure, we have some combat sport champions today that occasionally deliver some impressive beatdowns, but when it comes down to it, is anyone really terrified of catching a world-class wrestlefuck?
No, to qualify as an all-time, truly Bad Motherfucker, you need to really stand out. Learning multiple fighting styles would be a plus, so that you aren’t caught outside of your element. If you can establish your own style, all the better. You should have healthy doses of toughness and tenacity, and a li’l dash of crazy. Go out and perform some impressive physical feats that no one will believe, and if you can beat up enough people/trees/demons, Hollywood will eventually make a movie based on your life, because no one in Hollywood has had an idea since 1989 (right, Vince?)
So, Nation, submitted for your approval: asskicker extraordinaire and father of Kyokushin karate Masutatsu Oyama. Born Yong-I Choi to an aristocratic family in Japanese-occupied Korea in 1923, Oyama volunteered to be a WWII Kamikaze pilot by writing a letter to Japanese generals using his own blood as ink. Dash of crazy? CHECK. After the war, Oyama began a lifelong search for a karate style that wasn’t for pussies. He would never find it, leading him to start his own dojo for people who weren’t little fucking pansies afraid of breaking a nail or whatever.
Even in his new school, Oyama was forced to go to great lengths to challenge himself. By sparring with multiple partners consecutively, Oyama was able to get closer to the honorable death in battle that he so obviously sought. He conceived and demonstrated the idea of the hundred man kumite, fighting a hundred dudes in a row because sometimes you just can’t sleep without a good asswhupping, then took that concept to a whole ‘nother level by doing a three hundred man kumite, because what, you bitches want to live forever?
Oyama’s students weren’t particularly found of these marathon mudhole-stomping parties, because Oyama hit harder than Debo in Friday and he was breaking dudes’ arms and sending them home crying and shit. Faced with a lack of puny human beings to pound on, Oyama was forced to take up bullfighting, in which he amassed a reportedly unblemished 52-0 record. By the way, this isn’t that fruity Spanish bullfighting, where you get cute pants and lawn darts and a sword and a magic cape: Mas Oyama punched bulls in the face and made them die. (PETA did not exist at this time, because PETA was terrified that Mas Oyama would fucking kill them.) After Oyama demonstrated the ability to one-punch a bull to death and shear off its horn with his bare fucking hands, people started calling him “The Godhand,” which is without a doubt the most boss fighter nickname ever.
Oyama would eventually succumb to cancer, an opponent that cannot be stopped by inhuman punching ability, but his life story would be celebrated and translated to film, where he would be portrayed most famously by Sonny Chiba (even the movies based on his life would be batshit-crazy: Karate Bearfighter, anyone?). Oyama would also be the inspiration for video game bad mofo of all-time Ryu from Street Fighter fame.
Basically, all the fantasies you had as a ten year old, Mas Oyama lived those fantasies. It’s enough to make you forgive him for coming up with the whole “OSU” thing at the dojo, which people are still doing today without knowing where it comes from.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is a truly bad motherfucker. Mas Oyama, we salute you.
RX’s Honorable Mentions:
Don Frye: Combine the DNA of Jesse Ventura from Predator and The Outlaw Josie Wales, incubate in a vat of bourbon. Teach the result to wrestle and box under the unforgiving Arizona sun. When he develops a Glorious Moustache of Absolute Victory (probably by age twelve), you may release him into the wild. Give him a good woman to rein him in, because the world cannot handle an unrestrained Predator. Don Frye is rough, tough, and deliciously old-school, and watching his Pride bout against Ken Shamrock will destroy connective tissue in your knees, ankles, and heart. The original MMA Bad Motherfucker.
Rasputin: The Russian mad monk (who coincidentally looks a lot like Fedor’s priest bro) was (allegedly) stabbed, poisoned, shot at least four times at close range, beaten, and finally tied up and thrown into the Neva River, where he eventually died OF HYPOTHERMIA. People still think his giant weiner is magic. Bad Motherfucker status: confirmed.
Alexander the Great: Conquered the known world at an age when you were still struggling with balancing your checkbook; Alexander was the baddest of the ancient Bad Motherfuckers, no matter what Fowlkes says.
Batman: he’s the goddamn Batman.
Maybe it’s just me, but I just don’t see how someone from a privileged upbringing or someone who controlled one of the world’s best armies can be considered a badass. Did they accomplish totally badass things? Well, yeah…it’s hard not to when you have such amazing tools readily available at your disposal.
To me, the baddest motherfucker to ever live has to be someone who was widely regarded as a badass, despite having so many obstacles in the way. Someone who overcame social class prejudices and racism in order to achieve more than most of us can hope to. And to me, nobody embodies that better than Frederick Douglass.
Douglass was born into slavery — the lowest social class possible — at a time when it was widely accepted that slaves lacked the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens. Yet Douglass would go on to not only escape slavery, but serve as living proof that this racist mentality was extremely flawed. His best-selling autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, is widely considered to be one of the most influential books in American history.
Not satisfied with just being an extremely badass former slave who fought for the freedom of all men, Douglass was also an outspoken advocate for women’s rights. He was the only black person to attend the Senaca Falls Convention, claiming he could not accept the right to vote as a black man if women were not also granted that right.
The icing on the cake for Frederick Douglass as the baddest motherfucker in history? In 1852, the city of Rochester, New York invited Douglass to speak about freedom as part of their Fourth of July celebrations. It was pretty damn stupid for them to ask a man who was born into slavery — and has dedicated his life to fighting for the rights of his fellow men and women, mind you — to speak about freedom (or not being a slave, if you happen to be slow). Rather than just say no, Douglass agreed to give them a speech, and proceeded to call them all hypocrites to their faces. My favorite passage:
What to the American slave is your Fourth of July? I answer, a day that reveals to him more than all other days of the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mock; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy – a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation of the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States at this very hour.
The word wasn’t even invented yet, yet the entire city of Rochester knew what just happened. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how it’s done.
Jefferey “Karmaatemycat” Watts
I didn’t have to look far for the “Baddest Motherfucker on the Planet,” as I have several portraits of him hanging around my apartment. If you’ve ever listened to the Johnny Cash song “A Boy Named Sue” then you know the toughest men often have a childhood full of torture. Some would attribute this to having a girl’s name. Marion Mitchell Morrison is no exception to this rule.
Marion was born of humble beginnings, however his life was never really his own. He was born to instill vigor, inspire others, and light fires under asses. All of which he was very very good at. Marion’s resume puts guys like Harrison Ford, Dean Martin, and Sean Connery to shame. His exploits have taken him far from the great state of Iowa where he was born, to the open savannas of Africa, to Japan, and back to the United States.
Marion was there when the West was won! He was the only survivor of the Alamo. When it came to meeting guys like Marion on the field of battle you just never knew what was coming or where it was coming from. Marion was known to wear a single pistol on his hip and keeping his Smith & Wesson rifle not far from reach. The man has hunted rhino, Native Americans, and more outlaws then I can count. He even fuels Chuck Norris with ambitions of greatness. A pioneer from the first breath, Marion was destined to be a bad motherfucker.
Without beating around any more bushes, Marion Mitchell Morrison is also known as John Wayne and he is the Baddest Motherfucker to have ever stepped foot on this planet. A righteous patriot in his own right and a frontiersman for the cinematic industry, he is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. John Wayne made over 200 movies, winning numerous awards and earning the respect of his peers. So often you hear people crediting Clint Eastwood or Chuck Norris as emblems of masculine greatness, while John Wayne tends to get overlooked. All I ask is the next time you hear someone make a Chuck Norris joke, just imagine Rooster Cogburn charging into battle against The Parmalee brothers and Ned Pepper (Robert Duvall) screaming “Fill your hands you son of a bitch!”
Honorable mentions: Bill Clinton, Jonathan Goldsmith, Mr.Smith (Shoot ‘Em Up), Chuck Norris, Frank Dux, Neo, Jesus, Ben Goldstein, KimCotureisaCunt, Heath Ledger, Hillary Clinton, George Bush, Aladdin, Batman, Evel Knievel, The Hulk, FDR, Xenophon!
No matter how many impressive names these jabronis rattle off at you, none can compare to the Son of the living God. Yeah that’s right, I’m talking about Jesus Christ. Do you know Him? The God-Man possesses a very particular set of skills; skills that astonished crowds and forever changed the world. Skills that make Him a nightmare for anyone foolish enough to pick a fight. But the question is, what makes one a “badass”? If it has anything to do with intelligence, consider this: Christ was holding his own with the elders in the temple at age twelve. Maybe it’s the ability to lead an army and wage war on whomever looks at you the wrong way or talks bad about your momma. Need I remind you that Jesus commands twelve legions of angels, set to wage war on Satan and his demons? That probably isn’t the attribute most essential to being a certified BA, though, and we both know it. At the end of the day, it’s all about power, am I right?
“The Carpenter” (not to be confused with Clay Guida — although some have said they look alike) may have appeared ordinary to the common man back in the day. Who could blame them? It was an easy enough of a mistake to make, after all. His body was made of flesh and bone like the rest. However, they soon realized He was anything but ordinary. Jesus claimed to be one with God in Heaven and proved it by performing miracles in front of crowds that numbered in the thousands. At His command, violent seas went still, the sick were healed, and the dead came to life. While many denied His claims, no one could deny His power over nature, sickness, death, and the supernatural. Now that I think of it, maybe that would explain why Randy Couture was able to stick around for so long or why Dan Hardy still has a job. But I digress…No one in their right mind would ever challenge a guy who could read their mind or turn them into a pillar of salt for disobedience. Not even with the help of Spielberg and Tarantino could any other these other guys be gnarlier. His strength is unmatched, His knowledge unrivaled, and His power is unparalleled. All this and more, is reason to give credit where credit is due and crown the King.
There are two types of people in this world. Those like me, who inflict pain and adversity on themselves out of stupidity, laziness, or sheer over-indulgence. Then there are the others who, for one reason or another, life decides to shit on constantly without much rhyme or reason. The man I’m about to tell you about falls into the latter category, but didn’t let the bullshit stop him. I for one believe that overcoming adversity and still making something of yourself is the epitome of a bad ass motherfucker, and when I look at the majority of people that came to mind, for my money, no one has done that better than Louis Lamour.
For all of you out there who don’t know who this bastard is, and the two of you who do, allow me to elaborate. In short, he is more man than I have any inclination of ever becoming. For the long version, one needs to look no further than the book jacket in any of the 80-plus novels he’s written. The following is a transcription of his life as a whole, taken from said book jacket:
“As a boy growing up in Jamestown, North Dakota, he absorbed all he could about his families frontier heritage, including the story of his great-grandfather who was scalped by Sioux warriors…Mr. Lamour left home at the age of fifteen and enjoyed a wide variety of jobs including seaman (refrain from the childish jokes you bastards),lumberjack, elephant handler, skinner of dead cattle, assessment miner, and an officer in the tank destroyers during world war two…he also circled the world on a freighter, sailed a dhow on the Red Sea, was shipwrecked in the West Indies and stranded in the Mojave Desert. He won fifty-one of fifty-nine fights as a professional boxer and worked as a journalist and lecturer.”
Holy shit, I’m not sure where to start. Since this is a site that focuses solely on combat sports, I guess I’ll start with his professional boxing career. 51-8 is a ridiculous record, and when you add in the fact that most, if not all of those fights occurred under London Prize Ring Rules, it makes the feat even more improbable. Beyond that, the whole “shipwrecked in the Indies, stranded in the Mojave” — in addition to the handful of under-paid, bullshit jobs — sounds like a walking hell on earth. And tank destroyer unit? God damn, I would have business cards made up to highlight that title from now until the end of days if it were me. That’s a panty dropping line if I ever heard one. I find that title to be more badass than President of a country, astronaut, or Scarface style drug- kingpin. Beyond all the bullshit, he had 105 works go to print (according to the most trusted internet resource, Wikipedia), each of which was not published until his later years.
So what I’m trying to say is that life shit on this man constantly, but he not only embraced the situation, but seemed to thrive on it. He’s an old guy, and the facts are hard to pin down, but honestly if even half the shit he claimed is true, I would never have the balls to question the man, and neither should you. He is clearly the most badass motherfucker to ever grace the planet Earth, at least in my opinion.
I already know what you’re thinking: “Chris, you’re a great writer — my favorite, actually — but I’ve seen 300 a dozen times, so save it for someone who cares.” First off, thank you for the kind words. They motivate me to write more and share my gift with the world. Secondly, I beg you to set down your graphic novels if only for a minute. This is the tale of a megalomaniacal dictator hell-bent on spreading his vision of combat across the globe, laying waste to all those who might challenge him. Yup, that Xerxes was one of a kind.
The Persian king had no qualms with the forceful suppression of any peoples, but he especially loved killing him some Greeks. If you’ve seen one dictator’s thirst for blood you’ve seen ‘em all, but what made Xerxes so special was the lengths he would go to just for a chance to wage war. Ruling mankind wasn’t enough; Xerxes set out to make geography his bitch.
Having lost much of the Persian navy sailing around the treacherous coastline of Mount Athos in 492, Xerxes ordered his men to carve a more direct path to Greece. It took three years, but his engineers (and a whole lot of slaves) dug a mile-long canal through the isthmus. Three years — that’s a lot of time and manpower to devote to a war before the first spear is even chucked, not to mention a long time to cool off and change your mind, particularly when things aren’t going your way.
Another of Xerxes’ engineering marvels involved the transport of his men across the Hellespont strait. The brilliant design called for over three hundred war vessels to be tied together across the waterway. Planks and earth were laid down atop the boat-bridge to create a suitable surface for his troops and horses to cross, but a storm would annihilate the bridge before they’d ever arrive. Outraged, Xerxes not only beheaded the engineers, but he threw iron shackles into the waters to ‘enslave it’ and had his troops whip the sea 300 times for its defiance. Yeah, dude whipped a sea. But the setback wasn’t enough to deter Xerxes, who commanded that two more bridges be built where the other one had fallen. Inspired by the fate of their headless counterparts, the engineers of the second pair of bridges got things right, allowing for Xerxes’s men to carry forth with their mission of blood.
Nothing can stop a tough guy from finishing a fight; nothing can stop a bad motherfucker from starting one. Xerxes was the baddest motherfucker of all time. When he wanted you dead, he really wanted you dead, and he wouldn’t let anything get in his way.
Nathan “the12ozcurls” Smith
Trying to pick the single baddest dude ever is like choosing the greatest guitarist in history. Whether it’s Hendrix or Clapton or Van Halen (as Jared Jones screams “DIMEBAG!” while reading this), there is no correct answer. Rather than reaching into the annals of history I decided to choose a living breathing ass-kicker who is affiliated with the sport of MMA, and has trained the likes of Chuck Norris, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, and Ronda Rousey. It’s obvious that “Judo” Gene LeBell is the single toughest mother fucker walking the Earth right now.
Let’s face it. If your mom is the only woman to be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame the chances of you being a pussy are about the same as Clint Howard winning Sexiest Man Alive honors. I don’t want this to sound like a parochial school book report but Holy Shitballs has Ivan Gene LeBell accomplished some pretty extraordinary things since landing on this planet from Krypton in 1932.
For starters he won the AAU National Judo Championships back to back in 1954 & 1955 and competed around the world capturing numerous titles accomplishing most of the feats while wearing a PINK Judo Gi. That’s right, not Nick Ring-esque pink, but due to a laundry mishap (involving what I can only imagine was a huge red jockstrap to support his giant set of balls), Gene’s pearl white gi came out of the washer the day of a competition pink. Being secure in his own bad-assery, he wore it, won the tourney and used the pink Gi as his trademark for the rest of his career because he doesn’t give a shit what anybody thinks.
Although he did not wear the pink gi, in 1976, LeBell was the referee for the legendary Muhammad Ali vs. Antonio Inoki contest in Tokyo, Japan. Being a gentleman, Judo Gene officiated the bout impartially probably because he knew he could kick both their asses.
Beyond being a competitor and training some of the martial arts’ elite, LeBell has also appeared in over 1000 films, TV shows, and commercials as an actor, stunt coordinator, stuntman, or a combination of all three. He worked with Elvis Presley on three different movies and became friends with the immortal Bruce Lee when LeBell worked on the set of the Green Hornet TV show. He’s still waiting for his rematch with Steve Martin. To fill out his repertoire as a true Bad Ass Renaissance Man, LeBell has authored at least a dozen books.
You don’t earn nicknames like “the Godfather of Grappling” and “the toughest man alive” for nothing. Unfortunately, Steven Seagal ignored the lore of Gene and an alleged encounter between the two has become legendary. I don’t know anybody that likes Seagal, and to hear reports that my man Gene LeBell, the Baddest Mother Fucker on the Planet, choked Seagal unconscious causing the actor to shit his pants makes me smile every single time I think about it.
If you actually read this entire column, you might be one of baddest motherfuckers on the Internet. Please send your ideas for future Roundtable topics to firstname.lastname@example.org.