The Ultimate Fighting Championship got its start a decade-and-a-half ago as a bit of locker room banter gone awry.
The plan was to see which martial art was the toughest.
Could a karate expert beat a boxer? Could a wrestler beat a jiu-jitsu ace?
The idea has since morphed into a full-blown sport with all fighters drawing on multiple disciplines.
But the spirit of that same locker room banter is alive and well in the form of the second annual Fantasy Fighter.
If you could build the ultimate warrior, whose parts would you use?
Again, this Frankenstein experiment is far from scientific and it's sure to spark some debate (as it did last year) over whether this writer hit the mark or missed by a mile.
Anyways, here goes...
FISTS: Seems Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson is taking everything that once belonged to The Iceman. First he took Chuck Liddell’s belt. Then he took his ranking as the top light-heavyweight on the planet. Now, he’s taking his Fantasy fighter position. There’s little doubt Jackson’s proven himself as the real thing. Those five-ounce gloves are packed with dynamite. Heavyweight dynamo Fedor Emelianenko gets honourable mention here. Last year’s selection: Chuck Liddell
CHIN: Dan Henderson’s fought 28 pro scraps and not once has he been knocked out. The former U.S. Olympic team wrestler can take a punch. And a kick…and an elbow…and a knee. Anyways, you get the picture. Last year’s selection: Tim Sylvia
ELBOWS: Lightweight contender Kenny Florian gets the nod here, only because last year’s winner David ‘The Crow’ Loiseau hasn’t had a high profile fight this year. Florian’s elbows have carved cuts on the faces of many opponents. It’s almost like he takes a pencil sharpener to them before he fights. Last year’s selection: David Loiseau
LEGS: This is an easy one. Anderson Silva’s knees seem equipped with laser guided technology. Rich Franklin’s nose knows all about it. Canadian Georges St. Pierre gets honourable mention, though he’s spent a lot of time on the matt in his last two fights. Last year’s selection: Rich Franklin
MOUTH: This is the only repeat winner. Tito ‘The Huntington Beach Potty Mouth’ Ortiz still has the biggest, rudest yapper in the UFC. This year’s classic is calling Sugar Rashad Evans his knappy headed ho. If only he fought as tough as he talks. Last year’s selection: Tito Ortiz.
BRAIN: Greg Jackson. I know, he’s a trainer, not a fighter. But the game plans for Georges St. Pierre’s win over Josh Koscheck and Keith Jardine’s surprise victory over Liddell come from Jackson. Last year’s winner: Randy Couture
Then, there’s technique...
GROUND AND POUND: I’m not sure you can call what Fedor Emelianenko’s matt-work ground and pound but the sheer ferocity of his attack puts him on this list. The Russian heavyweight is relentless once he has his opponent down. Last year’s selection: Matt Hughes.
SUBMISSION: He’s only finished half his 26 pro wins by submission, but when Fedor Emelianenko gets hold of a limb, it almost always signals the end of the fight. Last year’s selection: Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral
INTIMIDATION: Hate to keep drawing from the same well, but at present, no fighter is feared more than Fedor. Last year’s selection: Jeff ‘The Snowman’ Monson.
ENERGY: Clay ‘The Carpenter’ Guida. This lightweight doesn’t stop girating from the moment his entrance music begins until he leaves the cage. It’s like he’s an eight-year-old on a constant sugar rush. Last year’s winner: This is a new category
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