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Tag: Bruce Lee

Who’s the Real “Father of MMA”? — 10 Fighters More Deserving of the Title Than Bruce Lee


(Dat. Pizza. Dough.)

By Seth Falvo

Though current bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw will not be a playable character in EA Sports UFC when it hits the shelves two weeks from now, Bruce Lee will be. Perhaps equally ridiculous is that Bruce Lee isn’t being treated as a novelty addition to the roster, but rather as “the father of Mixed Martial Arts,” something Dana White has also called him. Giving credit to only one person for the creation of MMA is absurd enough, but painting Bruce Lee as that person is just preposterous.

Then again, it really isn’t hard to understand why Zuffa would want to make someone like Bruce Lee an ambassador for our sport. Lee was — and still is — an instantly recognizable celebrity. His body was ripped and athletic. He knew how to wrestle, sure, but also understood that most people would rather watch him throw flashy kicks. His affirmations were deep enough to look good on playing cards and posters, but not too profound for the bros curling in the squat rack to comprehend. In other words, he appeals to a much larger audience than Edward William Barton-Wright and Tommy Tanaka do.

Even with all that in mind, there are figures in combat sports history who not only did more to mold modern MMA than Bruce Lee, but can also be worked into the charmingly revisionist Zuffa account of history just as well. The following list will focus on the accomplishments of these individuals, as well as the arguments for why they should be repackaged as the fathers of MMA. Let’s start with the oldest candidate, and work our way towards the modern era…

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The 27 Most Persistent Myths in MMA


(“I’m telling you people, this is the most stacked UFC card OF ALL TIME!” / Photo via Getty)

Like price sticker residue on a prized picture frame, these myths refused to be scrubbed away. You’ll encounter them on forums, barroom discussions, and even from the mouths of so-called experts. What myths are these? We’re glad you asked…

By CagePotato.com Staff 

1. MMA wouldn’t exist without Dana White. Wrong. See here.

2. Royce Gracie was a humble, respectful warrior. [Ed's note: Hopefully there's been enough recent evidence to put this falsehood to bed until the end of time.]

3. Chuck Liddell in his prime would have destroyed ________.

4. MMA has nothing in common with professional wrestling.

5. [Celebrity with zero combat sports experience] would make a great MMA fighter!

6. Motivated BJ Penn could/still can beat anybody.

7. Healthy Shogun could/still can beat anybody.

8. Brock Lesnar could’ve held the belt forever and a day had it not been for diverticulitis.

9. The UFC is not a sports entertainment company.

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Ring Girl Booty-Shot of the Day: Jade Bryce Offers Bruce Lee Some Pizza


(Click image for full-size version. Props: Jade’s Facebook page)

Mmm, yes. A fitting tribute to the man who kinda, sorta, but didn’t really invent mixed martial arts — from the woman who made pizza sexy again.

A few more recent photos of Jade Bryce are after the jump, just because she’s the best.

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A Brief History of MMA — The Real Version, And the Zuffa Version


(Commodus: The original Just Bleed Guy.)

Note: This timeline of MMA’s history is extremely abridged for the sake of brevity. If you’re interested in the topic, Jonathan Snowden’s Total MMA and Shooters, and Clyde Gentry’s No Holds Barred cover MMA history in detail better than I ever could.

By Matt Saccaro

MMA History

684 BCE: Pankration—a hybrid martial art whose name means “all powers”—is introduced into the Olympic games.

19th century: Various mixed rules contests take place throughout the United States, ultimately morphing into what we now call professional wrestling. (Seriously, I can’t recommend Shooters enough for information about this phase of combat sports’ evolution.)

1898: Edward William Barton-Wright invents Bartitsu–a martial art combining boxing, judo, savate, and stick fighting and one of the first dedicated “mixed martial arts” in the entire world. This mixing of styles occurs 42 years before the birth of Bruce Lee, the so-called “father of MMA.”

1905: President Theodore Roosevelt conceptualizes MMA on a whim in a letter to his son, Kermit. “With a little practice in [jiu-jitsu], I am sure that one of our big wrestlers or boxers, simply because of his greatly superior strength, would be able to kill any of those Japanese,” he says in reference to watching a Japanese grappler submit an American wrestler named Joseph Grant.

1914: Judo ambassador and all around tough guy Mitsuyo Maeda arrives in Brazil. In the coming years, he’ll begin teaching the Gracie family judo techniques, planting the seeds for BJJ.

Early-mid 20th century: Vale Tudo competitions emerge in Brazil, and ultimately gain popularity. The Gracie family rises to prominence and enjoys success in these “everything allowed” contests.

1963: Gene Lebell fights Milo Savage in North America’s first televised mixed-rules fight.

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28 Signs You’re Not a “REAL” MMA Fan


(“So, did you find a stream of that UFC fight we bought tickets to, or will we have to show up halfway through the main event to play on our phones during it?”)

by CagePotato.com staff

1.You use “UFC” and “MMA” interchangeably.

2. You don’t know how to score a fight under PRIDE rules.

3. You boo fights the second they hit the ground.

4. Your “MMA training” consists of curling in the squat rack, shadowboxing while watching MMA (despite having never hit pads in your entire goddamn life), and picking fights at Buffalo Wild Wings.

5. You don’t have the UFC Fight Pass, security issues aside.

6. You don’t have Legacy FC and Titan FC fight cards committed to memory.

7. Your pathetic DVD collection doesn’t even have any events from Rumble on the Rock.

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Video Tribute: It’s Bruce Lee’s Birthday, So Watch These Super Rare Interviews

On Bruce Lee’s would-be birthday last year, we took a teary-eyed look back at some of the martial arts legend’s greatest fight scenes and real-life demonstrations, and even checked out a couple of documentaries devoted to his life and career. Not wanting to retread any old ground, we thought it would be appropriate to showcase another side of Lee’s personality this year — mainly, the thespian, the filmmaker, and the philosopher.

A true renaissance man, Lee studied philosophy and drama while attending the University of Washington — where he would meet his future wife, Linda Emery — in the early sixties. Throughout his career, Lee exuded a wit and charisma that often left those interviewing him at a loss for words (that many of these interviewers were self-contentious imbeciles to begin with only made his intelligence all the more apparent). But more than anything, it was Lee’s succinct, thoughtful, and level-headed approach to the criticism constantly being thrown his way, justified or not, that made him a star.

After the jump, we revisit some of Lee’s rarest and most revealing interviews. Check them out, then pay your respects to the father of mixed martial arts.

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Video Tribute: Looking Back at the Defining Moments in the Film (and Tennis) Career of Martial Arts Pioneer Jim Kelly


(Two legends in their primes, filming the greatest martial arts movie ever made.)

With surprisingly little reaction from the MMA blogosphere, martial arts pioneer Jim Kelly passed away over the weekend at the age of sixty-seven years old. Odds are pretty good that you recognize Kelly as Williams from Enter The Dragon, but his legacy is far greater than just that one role. Armed with his signature afro, one-liners and arsenal of kicks, Kelly broke the color-barrier for black actors in martial arts films at a time when the genre was almost exclusively reserved for Asian martial artists.

Aside from being one of the most instantly recognizable martial artists on the planet, Kelly also found the time to become a professional tennis player, an enthusiastic MMA fan, and a popular draw at conventions such as San Diego Comic-Con International. So in memory of Kelly, we’ve compiled videos of some of his greatest fights, interviews, and even some footage of him playing tennis. Enjoy.


Kelly and Lee working on fight scenes for Enter the Dragon.

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UFC 161 + ‘Enter the Dragon’ Fight-Picking Contest: And the Winners Are…


(Enter The Dragon 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition cover image via Facebook.com/EnterTheDragonFilm. Buy a copy right here!)

The fact that Rashad Evans and Dan Henderson fought a tightly-matched, 15-minute battle on Saturday didn’t come as a surprise to many of you, who guessed some variation of a decision result in last week’s UFC 161 caption contest. But the first two people to guess that Evans would win by split-decision (29-28 x 2, 28-29) were Smitty and Ringo, who will both be receiving a copy of the Enter the Dragon 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition on Blu-ray, with all the exclusive documentary footage and collectible memorabilia and stuff. ‘ETD’ is a stone-cold classic no matter what format it’s in, so enjoy, and please send your real names and addresses to contest@cagepotato.com.

The other two people to submit exactly-correct guesses were Jason Moles, who is disqualified based on the rule that people who work for CagePotato aren’t eligible to win contest prizes — i.e., “ReX‘s Law” — and knuckleup101.2, who’s just out of luck, pretty much. But we appreciate you guys, really. (Okay fine, knuckleup, if you want a CP t-shirt, shoot your info to contest@cagepotato.com.)

Thanks to everybody who played, and props once again to Warner Bros. for the hookup!

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UFC 161 Fight-Picking Contest: Win a Copy of ‘Enter the Dragon Ultimate Collector’s Edition’ on Blu-ray!


(Enter The Dragon 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition cover image via Facebook.com/EnterTheDragonFilm. Pick up a copy right here.)

In 2008, we declared Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon to be the Greatest Fight Movie of All Time, and our opinion hasn’t changed much since then. Here’s what we wrote about it at the time:

Perhaps the most perfect martial arts movie ever made. Bruce Lee infiltrates the secret island lair of an evil mastermind by way of entering his martial arts tournament. Not only does this film have all the prerequisite elements — faceless crowds of henchmen, evil dude with deadly hand attachments, philosophical digressions — it also features a cast that’s a who’s who of martial arts movies, including Black Belt Jones himself, Jim Kelly, as well as Bolo Yeung and Jackie Chan (uncredited). If the plot seems cliché, that’s probably because it’s been copied so much since then. Because it works.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1973 classic, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has just released a re-mastered “Ultimate Collector’s Edition” of Enter the Dragon, which includes three new featurettes, a ton of vintage documentary footage, commentary by producer Paul M. Heller and writer Michael Allin, and collectible art cards, among other extras. And guess what? We’ve got two copies of the set to give away. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s fight-picking time.

This Saturday, Rashad Evans and Dan Henderson are meeting in the three-round main event of UFC 161. All you have to do is tell us who will win and how. Your entry should look something like this…

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Video Tribute: It’s Bruce Lee’s Birthday, So Watch Him Kick Some Ass


(Fighting, film, and Movember pioneer Bruce Lee)

Today would have been the birthday of martial artist and television and movie star Bruce Lee. Lee died tragically young, but still made an indelible mark on the world during his short life by demonstrating his unique abilities as a fighter, instructor and showman.

Part philosopher, part fighter and part entertainer, Lee did much to draw attention to martial arts in a more practical way as well as blow up stereotypes of Asian people around the world. As a practitioner and teacher, Bruce did not limit training to one set of dogmatic forms or a single style. Rather, he studied any and every style he could, from wing chun to western boxing to Judo and Jiu Jitsu. He took what worked from each and jettisoned what did not. He also was a pioneer in his emphasis on strength and conditioning.

To commemorate the man Dana White calls “the father of mixed martial arts,” we’re going to get out of the way and let you enjoy some videos of him tonight. One is a collection of grainy films showing Lee during demonstrations, a couple others are clips from films of his where he’s kicking butt in style and we’ve also included a couple full-length documentaries that we enjoy on the life and careers of Lee.

Enjoy and then get out there and train, like Bruce would have you do!

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