Friday, February 18, 2011

Historical figures who could make it in MMA

Over the years history has given us individuals who were known for their great strength, resiliency, and indomitable will.   Here are some figures, who if they were alive today, may have had a good career in the world of mixed martial arts.


Abraham “The Rail Splitter” Lincoln (1809 - 1865)


Lincoln, who was the 16th president of the United States, was known for standing over six feet with an average weight of 18o lbs.  Although he was depicted as a boxer in a political cartoon, there was no record of him actually being in the ring. 

Despite not officially being recognized as a boxer, Lincoln would have a long reach and a height advantage over most of the opponents in his weight class.  He could have also used his honesty with his trash talk.  If his opponent had a weakness, Lincoln could call his opponent on it, and use it against him.  If he were alive today, he may be training with America’s Top Team. 

Possible opponents

Wanderlei Silva
Chael Sonnen
George Washington

Jesus “The Messiah” Christ (5 BC - 30 CE)


Many fighters have sported the slogan “Jesus didn’t tap”, referring to his crucifixion, where he endured agonizing torment until his death.  Although the crucifixion is a testament to how much pain he can endure, he also fasted for forty days in the desert, where he resisted temptation.  He was also raised as a carpenter’s son and walked everywhere, which may have given him muscle.

Christ was very charismatic and popular with the populous.  People would flock to see him and he was known for being around the best and the worst people (prostitutes, lepers, and tax collectors just to name a few).  While he may not make his announcement to join the sport at the Second Coming, The Lamb would definitely travel to different events and gyms.  If we were to fight, Christ would be someone who want to give the fans everything in the ring and the cage.

Possible Opponents for Jesus

Georges St. Pierre (great fight for the fans)
Jason Miller
Dana White

 “The Maid of Orleans” Joan of Arc (1412 - 1431)

Women’s Welterweight

Joan of Arc was many things, including a saint, a heroine, and a strong, and a martyr.  crime was said to be heresy.  She also gained criticism due to her heresy and wearing men’s clothes.  It was later said that she wore men’s clothes to keep herself from being molested, according to clergy reports years after her death.

However, Joan was also known for her military success.  She had gained many victories for the French during the 100 Year War, and ended the siege of Orleans.  Today, Joan would find her competition not only in the women‘s part of the sport, but also may with the men,

Possible Opponents for Joan

Cris Santos
Megumi Fujii
Marloes Coenen
Urijah Faber

“The Scourge of God” Attila the Hun (406-453)

Middleweight/Light Heavyweight

Hun was a ruler who commanded armies of North Eastern Europe and Western Asia, his empire only second to the Roman Empire.  Despite having a smaller empire, Attila still battled the Romans.  Despite being a mighty warrior, Attila did not have a warrior’s death.  Possible causes of his  include internal bleeding or a hemorrhage.

Attila and his armies were known to be very dominating on the battle fields, which could transition to his in ring abilities.  The huns’ ability to survive in the wild could also help with Attila’s resilience.  In addition to being a good fighter in the ring, Attila would most likely open his own gym to train his fighters.

Possible Opponents for Attila

Alistair Overeem
Phil Baroni
Matt Serra (Catchweight)
Alexander the Great

Ghengis “Temujin” Khan (1162 - 1227)

Middleweight/Light Heavyweight

Like Attila, Khan was a ruler who known for having a massive army.  He was respected by his subjects and developed many concepts that were later used by Western and Chinese civilization.  Although he was loved by his subjects, he did not trust many due to his father being poisoned when Khan was just a small boy.

In addition to his strength, Khan was also a tactician, who developed many strategies for his army.  His tactical mind may give him an advantage over his opponents who step into the cage with him.

Possible Opponents for Khan

Kazushi Sakruaba
Rashad Evans
Lyoto Machida

Jack “Gavleston Giant” Johnson (1878 - 1946)


An accomplished boxer, Johnson was known for many achievements, including being the first African American Heavyweight champion.  He has over 90 fights on his professional record and is a member of  the National Boxing Hall, the International Boxing Hall of Fame, and the World Boxing Hall of Fame.  Johnson was also known for being sentenced to prison 1912, for violating the Mann act which was “transporting a white woman across state lines for immoral purposes”.

While Johnson’s knock out power would certainly help him in his stand up game against fighters who are prone to knock outs, he would also have to take extensive ground training, wrestling or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu,  to have better chances in the cage.  Johnson was also known for being a celebrity who had his fans, as well as his critics, and was known for “chasing” prospective opponents to get them to fight him, particularly white opponents.

Possible Opponents for Johnson

Antonio Rodrgio Nogueria
Shane Carwin
Brock Lesnar
Mike Tyson

“King of Sparta” Leonidas I (540’s  B.C. - 480 B.C.)

Light Heavyweight

A king of Sparta, Leonidas is most well known for his role in the Battle of Thermopylae (which 300 is based on).  He was not originally the heir of his father, so he had to be sent to the agoge and endure harsh training before coming a full citizen of Sparta.  He became king after his brother Cleomenes went into exile in 490 B.C., and would remain king until his death at Thermopylae.

Leonidas was said to be a descendant of Heracles and that he had inherited the strength and bravery of the fabled Greek Hero.  Whether this was true or not, Leonidas’ fighting spirit and strength could be an asset inside of a ring or a cage.

Possible Opponents for Leonidas

Forrest Griffin
Michael Bisping
Gerard Butler

 “Geronimo” Goyahkla (1829 - 1909)


Goyahkla was born of the Apache tribe, but was then taken to live with the Chihenne people by his mother, after the death of his father.  He would eventually marry and start a family, though they would later die after an attack by Meixcan soldiers.  He was mainly known for being an Apache warrior and got the nickname Geronimo after a battle in which he repeatedly attack Mexican soldiers with a knife while being shot at. 

Geronimo’s fearlessness in battle would be a help to him against any opponent he faced.  He would have a tough chin and resiliency after surviving gunshot wounds.  Being a military leader, he would also be an affective manager, perhaps painting the faces of his fighters, just like he did with the warriors who followed him.

Possible opponents for Geronimo

Jake Shields
B.J. Penn
Matt Hughes

Other figures who could break into MMA

George Washington - military general and a hero to many, including Lincoln.  Who would not love to see a match between Washington and Lincoln?

George S. Patton - Another well known military leader, although Patton would make just as a good of a coach as he would a fighter.

Alexander the Great - King who ruled Macedonia.  In a way, he kind of set the standard of how empires and kingdoms are built.

Hannibal, son of Hamilcar Barca - A very well talented commander who among other things was known for marching elephants across the alps and into rome.

Marco Polo - Although he was a merchant, he traveled throughout Asia, and is sometimes depicted with a bow and a sword.  He may have also learned some strategy from the Monguls.

If you can think of any historical figures who would be good fighters, let me know.

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