"I am not a role model." NBA Hall Of Fame basketball player Charles Barkley made that statement famous.
Today's sports arena is filled with selfish, entitled athletes who believe they are above the law and do not need to abide to society's standards of living.
Being a professional athlete is a blessing, not a right.
As such, with the enormous paychecks, fame and the ability to participate on the world's largest stages comes responsibility.
Charles Barkley could not have been more wrong in his lack of accountability as a role model.
Whether or not an athlete wants to accept the moniker of role model does not eliminate the fact that professional athletes are role models.
These athletes need to adhere to a standard of living that represents not only themselves but their sports in a manner that positively influences millions of people worldwide.
With the explosion of MMA globally, fans worldwide emulate their favorite fighters.
These fans mimic fighting styles inside the Octagon, and some lead their lives in a fashion similar to their favorite fighters outside of the cage.
To be a role model is a tremendous privilege. Knowing that your actions shape and mold the generations to follow and may provide a blueprint for how fans develop their fight games and lead their lives is an honor.
Being a role model encompasses a fighter's actions both in and out of the cage, including how they represent themselves, their sport, interact with the fans and perform service above and beyond what may be expected.
The talent competing for the UFC contains dozens of virtuous and genuine fighters who utilize their position within the UFC to better those who need help.
This article is not about the championships and titles earned inside the Octagon. In all reality, this article should not be quantified on a list system. All 10 fighters described here are deserving of unlimited praise and adoration for their acceptance as role models.
Rather, this article is dedicated to the selfless work and diligent devotion provided by the top 10 role models in the UFC today to provide positive changes and an altruistic script for those less fortunate.
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