11 Famous Actors and Their Embarrassing Early Film Roles

Tag: MMA godfather

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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And Now He’s Retired: Mark Coleman, The Godfather of Ground & Pound, Officially Hangs Up His Gloves

Mark Coleman groping MMA photos funny
(Insert whatever version of a “Ground-n-Pound” sex joke you see fit here.)

When UFC Hall of Famer Mark Coleman stormed onto the mixed martial arts scene in 1996 following a storied college wrestling career and top 10 placing in the 1992 Summer Olympics, he brought with him an economic, workman style of fighting that would lead him to championship glory on his first night out. The event was the aptly-named UFC 10: The Tournament, and after beating the rights to the nickname “The Hammer” out of Moti Horenstein in his very first fight (an agreement that Moti never honored), Coleman would take out veteran Gary Goodridge and UFC 8 tournament winner Don Frye in back-to-back fights to claim the tournament championship. Coleman would repeat this feat in even more dominant fashion at UFC 11 and would unify the Heavyweight and Superfight Championships at UFC 12 the following year by choking out fellow scary wrestler Dan Severn. With the victory, Coleman’s legacy as one of the sport’s pioneers was all but written in the history books.

But Coleman didn’t stop there. Over the next 14 years, Coleman would not only popularize but would be dubbed “The Godfather” of the wrestling-based, “ground-n-pound” attack that would lead him to a PRIDE openweight championship in 2000 and a list of victories over the likes of Mauricio Rua, Stephan Bonnar, and Igor Vovchanchyn to name a few. But as all good things must come to an end, so must the legendary career of the now 48 year-old Coleman. Although he hasn’t fought since his 2010 submission loss to Randy Couture — a bout that would mark the first Hall of Famer vs. Hall of Famer fight in UFC history — Coleman has decided to officially announce his retirement from the sport as of yesterday. “The Hammer,” who is scheduled to undergo hip surgery next week (because that’s what old people do, amiright? *self-fives*), posted the following on his Facebook:

Total Hip replacement next Monday. Ouch.

The hammer is done fighting. I know been done. Just looking for some prayers.

i thank everyone who will help me get through this. Have to pay to play sometimes. Only regret is could have worked harder.

Love you all live your dream.

After the jump: A look back at some of Coleman’s greatest moments, as well as one of his worst.

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On This Day in MMA History: The Godfather of North American MMA, ‘Judo’ Gene Lebell Was Born in 1932


(Video courtesy of YouTube/TheFightNerd)

If the first MMA fight you ever watched was Stephan Bonnar versus Forrest Griffin, chances are you have no clue who “Judo” Gene LeBell is, but pull up a chair because you’re about to learn about the man in the pink gi.

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