From Fedor Emelianenko to Randy Couture: Top 10 MMA Man-Crushes
First things first: having a "man-crush," ironically, is the most masculine secret one could reveal. At first glance, you might uncomfortably think, "Hey, there's no way I can crush on another man," but hear me out.
Having a man-crush doesn't take away from your manliness; don't feel obligated to drink an extra tall-boy of PBR, cut off the sleeves of your favorite fighter's t-shirt, or urgently throw on some vintage Bob Seger—it's quite the opposite—it's a celebration of everything awesome in the world of being a man.
Having a man-crush to begin with, is a testament to a fan's appreciation, whether in the realm of sport or entertainment. It's nothing to be afraid of, especially in 2010.
Men, we've come along away. One word: bromance.
The historical turning point in mainstream America—the land of the puritanical, and at times homophobic, cesspool of testosterone—could be seen in Hollywood. With popular movies like I Love You, Man and Superbad embracing good old fashion hetero man-on-man love, more guys started feeling comfortable spooning their best friends after a tiresome night of womanizing at bars.
Scratch that, if you're spooning your buddy, you might have some suppressed feelings or a drinking problem. Everything in moderation, right?
But, no longer do we have to hide our admiration for our heroes. It's acceptable for your girl to play second fiddle on fight night, especially if your favorite fighter is in the main event.
So proudly crush on your favorite idols, actors, and of course fighters. Remember, men, we're not literally crushing on the man, we're crushing on everything that makes him a man.
10. Dana White
Despite being a very polarizing figure, Dana White is MMA's Don Corleone. Most fighters rarely refuse any offer from Dana, but the few that have, usually have a difficult time climbing back to the top.
Dana is the executive badass that speaks his mind, dropping F-Bombs at will, a modern day sports mogul. He has taken the UFC and mixed martial arts as a whole, to new heights, building a respectable empire.
Aside from his occasional douche bag moments, his most redeemable quality is his consideration for the well-being of the sport. Love him or hate him, the state of MMA wouldn't be as healthy as it is today without him. Not to mention how accessible Dana has made mixed martial arts.
Dana has an undeniable aura.
So crush away, guys that love Michael Douglas in Wall Street, Donald Trump, and Warren Buffet.
9. Joe Rogan
Here is another MMA figure that demands the extremities of fans' love or hate. Very rarely do you come across somebody that has a "ho-hum" attitude towards this loudmouthed ex-Fear Factor host.
In this particular case, Rogan is getting well-deserved love in this article.
Sure, there are moments during every event when you find yourself asking, "Why does he have to scream during these in-ring interviews." Does he occasionally drop the commentating ball, too? Sure, he does.
These mishaps are all forgiven for the overall entertaining job he does ringside, due partly to his vast knowledge of the sport. Before he was grossing us out with people eating various animal testicles, he was doing backstage interviews with fighters as early on as UFC 12.
There's not a lot he misses in the ring either, calling it pretty accurately.
Not to mention, he has a brown belt in 12th Planet Jiu-Jitsu and a black belt in Taekwondo, thanks to his fellow bud smoking bud, Eddie Bravo.
You're telling me with a straight face that you wouldn't want to get the munchies with this grizzly beard-having maniac? I know I would.
Big Country is the living proof that fat guys can compete on a high level in MMA; the inspiration for all guys with beer guts that it's possible to kick some ass without six-pack abs.
The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 Kimbo slayer is the Buddha of the sport, on looks alone—sensually caressing his pot belly after every victory.
How can you deny the allure of a fighter that shamelessly rocks a mullet and rewards himself with Hostess snacks after workouts? Not to mention, the guy can more than hold his own in the Octagon.
It would be a crime if Big Country didn't become the Jared of Burger King after asking Dana White for a whopper after beating Kimbo on the reality show.
7. Dan Hardy
The brash Brit encompasses a uniquely raw punk energy in MMA, not only sporting his trademark mohawk in the Octagon, but proving to fans that he is a proper martial artist who is tough as nails.
After refusing to tap during his championship fight with George St-Pierre, it's not a stretch to say Hardy embodies the never-quit samurai spirit. What's not to like about a guy that's fearless, has a granite chin, and can strike with the best the sport has to offer?
He also speaks his mind, never being selfish with his verbal wit, and walks out to classic punk music.
For all of the MMA fans out there that favor bands like The Clash, Sex Pistols, The Adicts and The Damned, Hardy is our punk representative in the sport of mixed martial arts.
6. Don Frye
I can't imagine what the rest of that shirt says..."Terrorists Beware" maybe?
Don Frye is a conventionally masculine guy, a classic conservative good ol' boy that only buys American pickup trucks and chews beef jerky instead of gum.
The Marlboro Man of MMA. Which works perfectly considering he literally sounds like a guy that has smoked two packs of reds a day for the last 20 years.
Frye, a living legend in the sport, has participated in some of the most memorable battles in the history of the game—Ken Shamrock can attest to that fact. He's also a former UFC champion, a real gritty grandfather of mixed martial arts, paving the way for the newer generations back when the sport was in its infancy.
If you're a fan that wears nothing but wranglers, love FoxNews, and thinks an angel loses its wings anytime a less-than-heterosexual person eats wedding cake, then Don Frye is your crush. Just refrain from telling him—I feel endangered of getting my ass kicked if he found out he was in an article with "man-crush" in the title.
5. Bas Rutten
Who has tattoos on their palms?! I should just end the slide right there.
Who has a nickname like El Guapo and has some of the funniest instructional youtube videos on the internet? Bas Rutten, a former King of Pancrase and UFC champion, who doubled later in his career as one of the best color commentators in the sport—that's who.
Show me a fighter that can pull off pink speedo shorts in the ring these days, there's not many, if any. Will somebody please bring back the jumping splits kick that Bas made famous during his time in Pancrase?
Bas's enthusiasm and extensive MMA knowledge is hard to match. He is simply the man. I'm sure that monk deserved it. Long live Rutten!
Only Randy and Samuel L. Jackson....
I have to forewarn the readers, at this point in the list, it's going to get pretty manly from here on out. Crushes will reach alarmingly dangerous levels, but don't fret, be secure in your own manliness—these are exemplary examples of how every male should carry that X and Y chromosome.
Randy Couture, the list's cougar man-crush. A fighter that defies time with every accomplishment. He is the standard for MMA greatest and class, being well-respected in every corner of the sport.
Not only is he one of the most successful fighters, but he is also a smart businessman and gym owner. Xtreme Couture is one of the most sought after gyms in the country. No other fighter has done a more thorough job of selling his name brand than Randy.
Also, he's a lady's man. When was the last time we say Randy at an event without a hot blonde on his arm?
3. Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar, one of the most successful transitioned MMA fighters, has become a recognizable figure in the sport in little over two years. After leaving pro wrestling for the Octagon, Brock shocked the world by dismantling Randy Couture in his fourth professional fight for the Heavyweight championship.
There is a lot to crush on here. Brock is a massive specimen with a huge viking sword tattooed on his chest, striking fear in his adversaries before the first punch is thrown.
He lives in the wintry boondocks of Minnesota, living in isolation without modern technologies like the internet and eating the animals he has killed. One could only imagine what his diet was like before he got diverticulitis—raw buck, potatoes, and Jack Links beef jerky, all being washed down by a cold Coors Lite.
To make matters more manly, after destroying Frank Mir at UFC 100, Brock started spitting everywhere in the Octagon, like a rabid animal, telling the world how was going to get in his trophy wife's full guard after the fight.
He is a MMA carwreck—it's difficult to look away.
2. Fedor Emelianenko
Arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter to ever step foot in a ring or cage, Fedor has enthralled most of the MMA community in awe at his near perfect record and seemingly unbeatable presence.
There is no other fighter with Fedor's ambivalent demeanor, a stoic pre-fight stance followed by the commonly lame victory interview. The man is as cool as a cucumber, but as devastating as the plague.
Even though the Last Emperor is a man of few words, the way he destroys opponents speaks volumes.
I've said it before to the point of nut-hugging: Shogun Rua is the epitome of everything great about mixed martial arts. He has overcome incredible obstacles, i.e. two major knee surgeries, in order to persevere to become the newly crowned UFC Light Heavyweight champion.
Shogun has a naturally aggressive Muay Thai style that allows him the chance to pressure his opponents in fights that usually end in highlight reel fashion.
The Brazilian also posses great sportsmanship in a highly competitive sport that can easily sidetrack fighters into disrespectful war of words.
I urge any doubters to his greatness to find a flaw in Mauricio the man and Shogun the fighter.