By Jared Jones
It is a widely-accepted fact that any MMA fan who discovered the sport circa 2000 A.D did so thanks to the release of Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo 64. Whether any of us who grew up in the 90′s realize it or not, Smash Bros. is almost solely responsible for our infatuation with mixed martial arts and the modern era boom of the UFC. Smash Bros. is in our DNA, as the Baldfather would put it.
Ye, the similarities between SSB and the UFC run deep, my friends. Both pitted competitors of all shapes and sizes against one another in a tournament-style battle of wills, with the ultimate goal of proving which fighting style could truly defeat the rest. Both have also drawn harsh criticism for being an excessively violent and harmful influence on the fragile minds of our nation’s youth. Super Smash Bros. was released (in Europe) on November 19th, 1999. UFC 23: Ultimate Japan 2 went down on November 19th, 1999. I rest my case.
It was the glaring similarities between Smash Bros and the UFC (along with Ben’s thrilling take on the Buffalo Wild Wing sauces and their fighter equivalents) that ultimately led to the creation of this article. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, will be to join me in this skull-shatteringly stupid escapade into the world of Super Smash Bros, then tweet at me how much you loved it/hated it with the hashtag #WeekofDanga. Enjoy (or don’t)!
Wiki description: “Donkey Kong is one of the most powerful characters in the game, with the downside of being one of the slowest as well.”
UFC Fighter Equivalent: With his freakish proportions and serious KO power in his right hand, DK’s gotta be Antonio Silva, and not just because they stand next to one another on the evolutionary scale.
Wiki description: “He’s balanced in virtually every way, which is understandable since he’s the mascot of Nintendo.”
UFC Fighter Equivalent: If Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira isn’t the poster boy for all that is great about MMA, I don’t know who is. Whether it was his ability to recover from being run over by a truck as a child or his comeback wins over Bob Sapp, Cro Cop, or Tim Sylvia, Nogueira’s career stands as a testament to the triumph of human will. As someone who once spent three days straight trying to defeat Bowser in the Sky on Mario 64, I can pretty easily identify with Big Nog’s struggle.
Wiki description: “Luigi is an odd character since basically he is so similar to Mario, yet dramatically underpowered.”
UFC Fighter Equivalent: Sorry, Rogerio, but this can’t be the first time you’ve heard this, right?
Wiki description: ”Yoshi is another complicated character who is fantastic in the hands of those who know how to use him. One of his greatest strengths is the fact that he has the highest and farthest double jump in the game.”
UFC Fighter Equivalent: A laid back islander with some amazing hops? “Yoshi-esque in his appearance is BJ Penn, Joe.”
Wiki description: ”Captain Falcon is the fastest character in Super Smash Bros., and is perhaps best known for his ability to perform a variety of combos.”
UFC Fighter Equivalent: Speed and combinations might not be his strong suits these days, but I’m going with Dan Henderson, if only because the H-Bomb is identical to the Falcon Punch in terms of its setup and destructive capabilities.
Wiki description: “Samus Aran has a great resistance to attacks. Despite her high defense, she is also one of the fastest characters in the game and has some of the most devastating special moves.”
UFC Fighter Equivalent: Ronda Rousey’s armbar > Samus Aran’s charge shot
Wiki description: ”Fox McCloud is one of the faster characters in the game, though he’s very weak. Nevertheless he’s one of the game’s better jugglers and can reflect.”
UFC Fighter Equivalent: Dominick Cruz. Fast and efficient while lacking true KO power, and prone to injury. Not to mention that we will sooner be flying Arwings to work than seeing Cruz in the octagon again.
Wiki description: “Jigglypuff is a Pokémon character who was included because of its popularity in Japan.”
UFC Fighter Equivalent: Lame, ineffective, and only being kept around to please local fans, Jigglypuff could be anyone of the nameless, subpar fighters shuffled between Fight Pass undercards in recent months. It’s ability to put opponents to sleep mid-fight, however, can only make it Jared Rosholt, whose UFC tenure has been excruciatingly dull thus far.
Wiki description: “According to pro players, Pikachu is the best character in the game.”
UFC Fighter Equivalent: Fedor Emelianenko. Doi!
Wiki description: “He specializes in both close up combat and ranged combat, but he’s not very powerful.”
UFC Fighter Equivalent: Georges St. Pierre, obviously. Link is well-rounded, wholesome and inoffensive, and hero to an entire nation of peaceful, forest-dwelling nymphs. In other words, Canadian.
Wiki description: “Ness’ recovery, while unique and powerful, is hard to execute. When this move is used against enemies it’s very powerful yet dangerous.”
UFC Fighter Equivalent: To this day, I have no understanding of where Ness comes from. I don’t *want* to know, quite honestly. I only know that his soulless, beady little eyes cast a shadow on my soul and force me into a ferocious internal debate over his origins whenever he is onscreen. Who are Ness’ parents? Do they willingly allow him to compete in such a violent game, or does he lead some sort of secret double life? If it’s the latter, how has he developed such incredible fighting skills at such a young age? Is he some kind of sleeper cell agent with Benjamin Button disease? And what exactly is he carrying in the backpack? Drugs? Severed heads? A collection of butterfly knives? Do those severed heads belong to his parents? Does Ness grow up to be one of the killers in The Strangers? So many questions.
Only Colin Fletcher has ever made me feel so physically uncomfortable while watching something I love, so this honor goes to him.