I was having a discussion at work today with a fellow fan. We were talking about guys who would have been great at MMA, if it was a career choice in thier heyday.
He contends that if the UFC had developed 10 years earlier, Kurt Angle would have been the best the sport had ever seen.
I threw out a few names of old school pro wrestlers, Lou Thez, Ed Lewis, Gene Lebell, when it hit me.
Danny Hodge was an Olympic Silver medalist in wrestling in 1956, and a gold glove and professional boxer. In fact, it's thought that if he hadn't followed the money into pro-boxing and wrestling, he could have competed in the 1960 Olympic Games in boxing and wrestling.
So, who do you think could have been a great MMA fighter...if they were born in a better time?
A Black Belt is just a White Belt who didn't quit.
Ridiculous size/speed/strength would have given them a genetic advantage on everyone.
Last edited by ocmmafan; 05-03-2012 at 01:23 PM. Reason: add Jim Brown
The most annoying answer to this question is when people say Bruce Lee, although to be honest, he probably would have made Bantamweight, and at that weight with some grappling experience I could imagine him having been legit.
I really like that you mentioned old Catch As Catch Can Wrestlers, not too many people have read a lot about them or realize how legit those guys were, it's possible that they may have been better submission grapplers than a lot of the best BJJ guys these days, and I've read a lot including Lou Thesz biography, Frank Gotch's fictional-biography, all 3 Editions of the Encyclopedia of Scientific Wrestling, etc.
TONS of those guys were bad ass, but the names most freqently mentioned among the greatest CACC guys of all time are consistently guys like Ed "Strangler" Lewis who some say was the best of all time, Frank Gotch, Karl Gotch, Farmer Burns (Frank Gotch's teacher), Lou Thesz, Tony Stecher, and John "Tigerman" Pesek.
I actually nominate Pesek who many say was the most VICIOUS CACC wrestler of his time.
He was known for loving the double wrist lock (Kimura) from many positions including standing (I have seen photos of him working it standing much like Sakuraba does) and was known for INTENTIONALLY breaking people's arms and enjoying hurting people. He also practiced his "leg scissors" by squeezing the ever living **** out of cows and live stock on his own farm....pretty mean bastard.
Other CACC legends like Tom Jenkins, Ad Santel, George Tragos, George Hackenshmidt, would have been legit.
I heard a story that either Karl Gotch or Strangler Lewis (forget which one, I THINK it was one of the two) traveled to Kimura's dojo in the 1950s and completely owned him in grappling...though that could be hearsay.
Then there's guys like Mas Oyama if he had any grappling skills, Euclides "Tatu" Hatas, the creator of Luta Livre who few people know beat George Gracie in a fight in 1956.
If we are talking Super HWs, there was a World reknowned strong man in the late 1800s named Angus MacGaskill who was 7'10, 425lbs...he probably knew nothing about fighting, but being that size and being apparently the strongest man in the world at one time would give ANYONE problems.
Last edited by Toehold; 05-03-2012 at 01:35 PM.
9 Time SBFL Champion
2 Time MMAF Champion
6 Time UFF Champion
2011 UFF FOTY
2011 Fantasy Fighting HOF Inductee
I'd heard that he was pretty damn good at both.
Was he a golden gloves champ?
How far did he make it in wrestling?
What division and school did he wrestle for?
I'm pretty sure I've heard he's a big MMA fan.
Well that shows my ignorance, I had no idea he actually wrestled which is stupid, considering he was in a singlet every other episode of sbtb.
I just picture Dana wrapping the belt around his waste, him spinning it to face backwards and then conducting his interview with his back turned and talking to Rogan over his shoulder.
Jim Brown, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Danny Hodge, and Chuck Norris are guys that come to my mind
I didn't look for too long but he does have a few amateur boxing fights online.
I don't know what his record was in Amateur boxing but he apparently has boxed most of his life and has trained with Freddie Roach.
They said he got 7th place in some State Wrestling Qualifier in California, that he wasn't a State Champ but wrestled throughout highschool.
Also he apparently did some commentary for Elite XC which I never saw or else I probably would have remembered it.
Here's an article:
"Mario Lopez thought his fights were, like, secret
Friday, May 15th, 2009 at 2:39 pm by Neal Taflinger
Photo by Joan Allen, courtesy of Deardoctor.com.
Photo by Joan Allen, courtesy of Deardoctor.com.
I got Mario Lopez on the phone for a few minutes this morning on a totally unrelated matter but took advantage of my opportunity to talk to him about his work for EliteXC and his boxing.
FIGHT! Magazine: You did some cageside reporting for [mixed martial arts promotion] EliteXC, is that something that you’d be interested in doing again?
Mario Lopez: I’m a big fight fan. I try to be as diverse as possible, I grew up boxing and wrestling and I do more stuff for HBO, I worked the Hatton vs. Pacquiao fight, I did the international feed and I like MMA as well. The problem is that I was working in Canada at the time and it was killin’ me to come back and forth but hopefully that’s something I can do more of in the future.
FM: I just watched video of your smoker from a couple years back at Wild Card [boxing gym in Los Angeles]. Are you still training with Freddie Roach?
ML: Where’d you see that at?
FM: The power of Google, man.
ML: How’d I look that night?
FM: You were more of a slugger than I was expecting, you kind of wrecked that dude with overhand rights.
ML: I’d like to think that I’ve improved since then. [laughs] I used to think that was kind of underground stuff but now that you can see it online I hope my bosses don’t find out. [laughs]
FM: Did you get much pushback from management or people you were working for who were afraid you’d end up looking like a Hispanic Mickey Rourke?
ML: I didn’t really tell anybody. They know I liked to box but they didn’t know I liked to get in there and spar and compete in fights. [The smoker] was one of those low-key things. I hurt my hand, actually, as we speak, sparring.
FM: Is that weird, the dichotomy of being the middle American housewife’s heartthrob and then mixing it up in the gym?
ML: People don’t expect it and the last thing [boxers] want to do is lose to some kid, right, from Hollywood. I’ve earned everyone’s respect there and I’ve been going there for years now. I work with all the guys, all the pros, and I think I’m a fighter at heart. I like to mix it up, it’s very therapeutic for me. Some guys like to play softball, some guys play in a basketball league, I like to fight."
Last edited by Toehold; 05-03-2012 at 02:01 PM.