The UFCs 10 Nicest Fighters
We all know, and likely acknowledge the fact, that in combat sports, it’s often the villainous persona that sells tickets. Honestly, I don’t have any qualms with a fighter attempting to market himself. MMA may be a sport, but there’s an awfully hefty load that goes into the process of creating great entertainment, and who can blame a man for aiming to increase his market value, even if at any and all cost?
I can roll with a gimmick. I ain't mad, if you know what I’m saying.
However, there’s something rather special about those guys who enter competition, perform as though they aim to replicate a lion mauling a young wildebeest and never lose sight of the fact that they don’t need to act tough; they are tough.
It’s the men who showcase a genuine respect for their opponent and the men who don’t need a microphone to project anything other than sincerity that make this sport so special. Those aren’t primitive monsters in the cage; they’re men. Some just seem to express that in stronger fashion than others.
10. Yves Edwards
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Yves isn’t just a nice guy, he’s one of the coolest characters I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. The man emits an air respectable confidence that is completely unique to the industry.
This is the guy you know full and well is a badass. Something in his demeanor ensures you know it, but he’s also the guy to throw his hand out there and launch into a humorous and lighthearted debate.
The man really does come across as a genuine individual, and speaking with him makes for a surprisingly comfortable experience.
9. Dan Hardy
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You’d expect to catch some attitude from a guy nicknamed “The Outlaw," but this particular rebel won’t be the one to dish it out. Hardy’s personality is just about the polar opposite of what you’d expect simply by looking at the man.
There’s a relatable sense that Hardy projects, and it distanced him from many others. It’s not so much that Hardy’s there to amuse you, what it is is his ability to ignite a conversation that works well for both parties.
Very classy, respectable and respectful man right here. I’d drink a cold one with Dan any night of the week.
8. Duane Ludwig
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This is the only man on this list I haven’t met in person. That said, I’ve seen quite a few of his interviews and had the opportunity to interview him via the net earlier this year. Let me tell you, “Bang” is one down-to-earth fellow.
What made Ludwig’s personality stand out so much to me was how willing he was to dispense respect in my direction. He didn’t kiss my tail, he didn’t sell a poor acting job; he appreciated being interviewed.
His candid nature is also a trait I’ll forever admire. Duane is such an honest guy that he borders on self-deprecating, yet that’s clearly not who he is. He’s just a really chill cat who’s happy to be in the position he’s in.
7. Georges St-Pierre
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I’m going to keep this short and simple because we all know GSP is almost the archetypical nice guy.
Despite the fact that English isn’t his first language, GSP is happy to engage fans and media with a warm smile and an admirable patience.
He’s a busy dude, and if there’s any one area of his personality that you could point to as fault, it would be his wandering attention. That’s explained away with ease once you see the hordes of bodies clamoring to get to the man.
6. Pat Barry
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I may catch some flack for this, but Pat Barry’s fresh out of the fraternity attitude is a warm one to deal with.
He’s funny, he’s easygoing, willing to make a clown of himself for the benefit of a laugh and generally a pretty selfless guy. Again, this is a man I’d happily share a pitcher or two with.
As long as he keeps his pants on, everything should be fine and dandy.
5. Rich Franklin
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“Ace” cares about those who support his ongoing plight to be the best competitor possible. You can see it in his eyes, hear it in his voice and feel it in his handshake.
The guy pays close attention when spoken to, and he’s able to deliver well-constructed intelligent answers. About as mature as they come in this field, Franklin is all business, but he’s also a nice guy where it counts: deep down in the core.
4. Fabricio Werdum
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When it comes to comedic gentlemen, Fabricio is the only guy with the natural punch line to put away Pat Parry. The man is just quick witted, flat-out.
That insanely goofy smile he so loves to adorn for pictures? Well, that’s not reserved for profoundly special occasions exclusively. Meet him, and ask him to give you “the smile." You’ll both walk away from that confrontation in near tears after busting a gut.
He’s in on the joke of it all, happily.
3. Brian Stann
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Brian Stann oozes this strange sense of royalty. You meet the man and feel as though you should salute him. But Stan doesn’t lean on his military background (I think that’s a push UFC and network expects motion for) for fans; he just simply gives you what he is as a man: respect and appreciation of your support.
He may not be the top dog in the middleweight division, but he’s unquestionably one of the absolute nicest guys you’ll meet outside of the cage, regardless of weight class.
2. Wanderlei Silva
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Someone forgot to tell Wanderlei Silva he’s supposed to be a menacing man with destruction in his eyes at all times.
Seriously, Wanderlei is about as far from “The Axe Murderer” as one could imagine.
Overtly friendly, always smiling ear-to-ear and awfully considerate of those who have stood behind him all these years, Wanderlei is like a really chiseled, tattooed teddy bear. Meeting the man is one of the coolest experiences you’ll have in relation to the sport; I guarantee it.
1. Junior Dos Santos
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Junior may be nearly four years my junior, but he gives off a strangely embraceable fatherly vibe. Speaking with him, it feels as though you could share a secret you’ve been ashamed of, and he’d counter that with some encouraging words and a pat on the back.
The man also treats his fans as equals and displays what could be labeled awe. It’s almost as though he’s more excited to meet his fans than his fans are to meet him.
With the most approachable attitude in the game, the man and the name Junior dos Santos have become somewhat synonymous with the ideal “good guy." If the world was filled with actual superheroes, their personalities would likely mirror Junior’s.
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