- Royce, for getting this whole thing started. 2.Tank, for the gloves and showing that a brawler can compete. 3.Coleman, for ground and pound. 4.Don Frye, for being well rounded. 5.Fedor, because he is the greatest ever. Who are your top five picks and why?
Bas Rutten for being so damned handsome.
Fedor for being indestructible.
Mirko for having such explosive striking.
Sakuraba for being such a respectful warrior.
(Young)Frank Shamrock for being so gifted.
Off the top of my head:
1) Fedor- Most dominant HW ever, possibly when all is said and done the best ever.
2) Hughes- Most dominant 170 lber ever, possibly the single most dominant fighter in ANY weight division ever.
3) Sak- Played a huge turning point in MMA history with his run of wins, especially over the Gracies.
4) Ken Shamrock
5) Royce Gracie
4 & 5 are not based on ability, but rather popularization of the sport.
It really depends on the criteria you're using, because neither Royce or Ken would even be in my top 30 fighters of all time.
Ken Shamrock's influence on MMA should not be undervalued. He is one of the first to show well-rounded skills in more than one discipline.
Just your favorite legends and why they are your picks.
Dan Henderson x 5.
mark kerr was the 1st dominant force in mma fellas!!!!!!!!
At different times, they were the face of MMA to me.
thee smashing machine
Here are the ones who pop out to me as "legends," and not necessarily strictly as the best fighters:
Royce - the Babe Ruth of MMA, built the UFC, revolutionized the entire world of martial arts
Sakuraba - destroyed the myth of Gracie invincibility, sent Pride and MMA to the stratosphere in Japan
Fedor - the most dominant MMA fighter and champion ever so far, has the best claim to being the greatest fighter in human history
Randy - the greatest and most popular UFC and American MMA fighter, and the most inspirational
Chuck - the most popular American fighter along with Randy, who has become the image of MMA's popular explosion in the U.S.
Minotauro - before Fedor, was the best MMA fighter ever, a dominant champion who pulled off some incredible epic victories
Wanderlei - was the most explosive and exciting fighter in the world during a long and dominant championship reign
Ken Shamrock - not for his in-ring accomplishments, but his popularity in the WWF when pro wrestling was at a peak in the U.S. gave the UFC and MMA unprecedented exposure
Rickson Gracie - also not as much for his actual in-ring accomplishments, but used his legend status to launch Pride with his fights with the popular Takada, and before that helped introduce "vale tudo" to Japan as the centerpiece of the Vale Tudo Japan Opens
Tito - was the first face of the new resurgent UFC and the first poster boy for the "sport" of MMA in the U.S.
Mark Kerr - Not since Fedor has someone seemed so indestructible, at least for a short time.
Jeremy Horn - A natural gifted fighter, always a pleasure to watch.
Vitor Belfort - Brought so much to the game, one of the first true breakout stars of MMA.. Such a shame he's faded so hard.
Sakuraba - The rivalries, the heart, the tencity and force of will.. So many epic fights to remember, so much great MMA action.
Tito - For raising the bar on MMA, for building extreme excitement, and he always brought his A game..
If you don't think Tito played a large part in growing MMA in USA then you're deluding yourself.
A "legend" is not necessarily the same as being a great fighter.
Ken Shamrock is a much bigger "legend" than his brother Frank. Tank Abbott is a bigger "legend" than Jens Pulver.
Doesn't mean they actually accomplished more in the ring/octagon as fighters.
Royce Gracie: actually proved what is obvious today - that martial arts can consistantly work against heavier, stronger and more aggressive unskilled opponents. His heart of a lion won over many fans.
Rickson Gracie: the most perfect jiu-jitsu fighter of all time
Maurice Smith: proved that kickboxing can be as valid as grappling in MMA.
Marco Ruas: the first overall well rounded striker and grappler
Fedor: most dominant reign in MMA
Honorable Mention: Sakuraba, Vanderlei Silva, Dan Henderson, Mark Coleman, Randy Couture, Cro Cop, Minotauro
Royce - the beginning for most of us. Turned the public perception of fighting on its head & started a bjj revolution.
Fedor - what can you say that hasn't been said. Indominatable.
Coleman - enter olympic level wrestling. Brutal & scary, a literal juggernaut in his early years. introduced what was to become a staple of mma - the ground & pound.
UFC era Frank Shamrock - the prototype...seemingly good at everything, maybe the first fighter to visibly demonstrate high level development in every area. Lost his humility (& aura?) & turned into more of a loudmouth than fighter in his later years but was impressive early on.
Oleg - don't ask me why, but he's still one of the most memorable fighters ever to me. Could've filled this spot with any number of more "important" figures, but I suppose he just symbolizes something I respect.
- Forrest Griffin
- Diego Sanchez
- Chris Leben
- Kenny Florian
- Stephan Bonner
These guys Rock!!!
Royce - for being the pioneer
Ken Shamrock - for being the first marketable personality
Fedor - for being the greatest fighter in MMA history, period.