Who is on your Mount Rushmore of MMA?

Mider

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For me its

Fedor- Fedor in his prime was unstoppable, wish he had made it to UFC earlier. Fedor is a bad *** in Sambo and amazing boxer.

Khabin- this is probably one of the greatest fighters in MMA. 29 and 0 record

Royce Gracie- a true pioneer in MMA the guy beat guys like Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn, and guys way bigger then him like Kimo.

Ronda Rousey- a bad *** champion, I think if she had stuck to her training versus trying to strike shed still be champion.
 

MadMartigan

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I'd see this as pioneers who paved the way for mma in some way... and who were active in different times or areas. I agree with 1/2 of the OP's choices for these reasons:

- Royce Gracie (as the original and multi-time champ. His performaces kicked off both the ufc/mma era... at the same time as starting the north american bjj craze).

- Randy Couture (made 'dirty-boxing' a household word, champ in multiple weight classes, and was a great statesman of the sport).

- Rhonda Rousey (a dominant force for a time, and a primary contributor to making women in mma take off in popularity).

- Lastly... Forest Griffin. (His 1st fight with Stephan Bonner rocketed the UFCs TV ratings and exposure to hights it never came close to before. He also became the 'everyman' ufc champ making the sport seem more accessible.
 

Buka

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Mount Rushmore has four faces. Its really a tough call to pick four guys. And please keep in mind that famous/ infamous/legendary Martial Artists - are just guys. But, my God theres so many of them.

I dont know any more than anybody else, but Im going with...

Rickson Graciie, Joe Lewis, Bruce Lee and Gene LeBell.
 

MadMartigan

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I dont know any more than anybody else, but Im going with...

Rickson Graciie, Joe Lewis, Bruce Lee and Gene LeBell.
All worthy without a doubt... but keep in mind the OP asked about MMA specifically as opposed to MA in general.
 

Steve

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- Rhonda Rousey (a dominant force for a time, and a primary contributor to making women in mma take off in popularity).

Like her or hate her, the UFC would not have a thriving women's division were it not for Rhonda Rousey. Totally agree she earned her place in history.
 

Buka

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All worthy without a doubt... but keep in mind the OP asked about MMA specifically as opposed to MA in general.
Exactly why I picked who I did. And it was tough not having GSP on that list.
 

Dirty Dog

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All worthy without a doubt... but keep in mind the OP asked about MMA specifically as opposed to MA in general.
All of the people mentioned mixed multiple martial arts. I'd go so far as to say this: it is, I think, fairly unlikely that you will find many practitioners who have spent more than a couple years training who have not done at least some training in multiple arts. My highest ranks are in TKD. But I've trained to a lesser extent in a number of other arts. And I use what I learned from those systems. Hence, I do MMA, technically.
MMA does not mean UFC.
Like her or hate her, the UFC would not have a thriving women's division were it not for Rhonda Rousey. Totally agree she earned her place in history.
Agreed. I do think it's too bad she decided to stop fighting and become an actress.
 

Buka

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One could argue that the Mount Rushmore should consist of Art Davie, the Fertitta brothers and Dana White.
 

Steve

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All worthy without a doubt... but keep in mind the OP asked about MMA specifically as opposed to MA in general.
MMA today arguably doesn't exist without the efforts of those guys. I think Bruce Lee and Joe Lewis are a bit of a stretch, but Lebell and Rickson Gracie are definitely in line with this, IMO.

All of the people mentioned mixed multiple martial arts. I'd go so far as to say this: it is, I think, fairly unlikely that you will find many practitioners who have spent more than a couple years training who have not done at least some training in multiple arts. My highest ranks are in TKD. But I've trained to a lesser extent in a number of other arts. And I use what I learned from those systems. Hence, I do MMA, technically.
MMA does not mean UFC.
Come on. You don't do MMA. Let's not go back to the early 2000s, when there was a "I boxed in college and train in Tibetan Goose Neck Kung Fu, so TECHNICALLY I'm a mixed martial artist, too!" No. You're not.

MMA doesn't mean UFC alone, but it most certainly does refer specifically to the sport of Mixed Martial Arts, where the UFC is at the apex. In the same way that basketball refers to the sport, where the NBA is at the apex.

Agreed. I do think it's too bad she decided to stop fighting and become an actress.
I think she retired at exactly the right time. She had a one dimensional skillset, and benefited from a fledgling division in which she was one of only a few experienced, elite fighters. Like Royce Gracie, she is a pioneer and all credit to her. She retired on top and good for her for being smart enough to do so. Had she remained in the sport, she would have had to really elevate her striking game to remain competitive.
 

Dirty Dog

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Come on. You don't do MMA. Let's not go back to the early 2000s, when there was a "I boxed in college and train in Tibetan Goose Neck Kung Fu, so TECHNICALLY I'm a mixed martial artist, too!" No. You're not.
People who mix martial arts are mixing martial arts. You don't have to like it, but it's still true. And I've mixed those martial arts in competition.
MMA doesn't mean UFC alone, but it most certainly does refer specifically to the sport of Mixed Martial Arts, where the UFC is at the apex. In the same way that basketball refers to the sport, where the NBA is at the apex.
I play basketball too. Because you don't have to be a pro for that either.
 

Steve

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People who mix martial arts are mixing martial arts. You don't have to like it, but it's still true. And I've mixed those martial arts in competition.
Liking it or not is irrelevant. I have an Easter basket and a wiffle ball. It would be incorrect for me to say I'm "technically" playing basketball, because the two words happen to match. I mean, sure, it's a basket... and a ball... but it's not basketball. And this would be true even if I combined the basket and the ball in a different sport.

You don't have to like it, but it's still true.

I play basketball too. Because you don't have to be a pro for that either.
You can certainly participate and/or train in MMA without being in the UFC. But you can't participate in MMA without participating in MMA. Many thousands of people participate in MMA. You don't have to be a pro to do that. But you aren't one of them. Give us all a break, and let the early 2000's take this tired pseudo logic back. It's dead. Let it stay dead.
 

Buka

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I just vomited in my mouth a little. 丐亢:vomit:
Why? If it wasn't for Art Davie, none of it would have ever happened. If it wasn't for the other three it would have been killed off by everyone who was trying to shut down "Human Cockfighting."

I don't care for any promoters, not a one, including Dana White. But the UFC would not be around if it wasn't for him. And if it wasn't around now, there's a good chance MMA wouldn't be successful and eventually fade away. Sure as hell ain't fading away any time soon now.
 

Steve

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Why? If it wasn't for Art Davie, none of it would have ever happened. If it wasn't for the other three it would have been killed off by everyone who was trying to shut down "Human Cockfighting."

I don't care for any promoters, not a one, including Dana White. But the UFC would not be around if it wasn't for him. And if it wasn't around now, there's a good chance MMA wouldn't be successful and eventually fade away. Sure as hell ain't fading away any time soon now.
It's mostly that I agree with you about promoters.

The big turning point for MMA was the deal to get MMA on a free channel. Ultimate Fighter, and in particular the finale fight with Bonnar and Griffin, was a huge turning point. And that was only possible because of agreement on a unified ruleset. And sure, White and the Fertitta Bros were a big part of that. No doubt.

But the Fertittas and White aren't quality human beings, based on what I've seen. For my money, if we're talking about a "Mt. Rushmore" for MMA, there's influence/impact in and outside the sport.
 

Buka

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Like her or hate her, the UFC would not have a thriving women's division were it not for Rhonda Rousey. Totally agree she earned her place in history.
Even as crazy as she is, Rhonda might still be fighting had she had an actual trainer instead of the clown she had who was trying to teach her to be a really lousy boxer.
 
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