MMA: Alistair Overeem and 14 Other Fighters Back When They Were Innocent Kids
Ever wonder what our favorite mixed martial artists looked like in their youth?
Well, after a little research, I’ve pulled up some fantastic pictures of some of our favorite athletes, long before they thrilled fight fans.
Check out a handful of some of the most recognizable names the sport has to offer, long before they rose to violent prominence.
15. Urijah Faber
Back before Urijah insisted on attempting insane maneuvers and pounding foes three inches into the mat, he was just a cute little booger who had a knack for child modeling.
14. Nogueria Brothers
It’s hard to imagine that these two cuties ever even contemplated battle.
Just the same, these two momma’s boys grew to be absolute monsters in the heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions, and any fan of the sport knows precisely how effective this duo have been throughout the years.
Still want to give them a hug though, eh?
13. Tank Abbott
For a guy famous for warming a bar stool and bashing drunken skulls, this kid sure does look tame.
Just the same, the pads and the awesome overgrown Trump hairdo are priceless, and all fans of the Tank should enjoy this one.
12. Dana White
Dana’s no fighter (though he could probably smash the “average” man), but he’s a polarizing figure in the sport, and he’s arguably the most important man in the business.
So, why not have a chuckle at a youthful, and far less balding Dana White?
11. Josh Koscheck
“Kos” has had the competitive edge in him since his youth, as evidenced by this childhood football photo.
I’d add a bit more info, but honestly, I don’t like the guy enough to do so; just laugh at this picture and move on!
10. Diaz Brothers
For anyone who thinks the Diaz brothers play up a “tough guy” image, think again.
This picture of the two (at a very young age) proves that these boys have carried a chip on their shoulder since they escaped the confines of diapers.
And oh is it hilarious!
9. Bas Rutten
Before Bas became a model, and subsequently a terrific fighter, he was just a silly looking child with a bright grin.
A grin that (might I add) puts a smile on my face still today!
8. Emelianenko Brothers
If you thought Fedor and Aleksander were a couple scary individuals these days…well, take a look at the two as children.
These two look like they belong in a twisted horror film a la The Orphan.
7. Mirko Filipovic
“Crocop” possesses one of the most intimidating guises in the game. He’s frightening, and that’s all there is to it.
That said, he sure looks like a teen model in training in this early photo!
6. B.J. Penn
For a man who grew to be an absolute shark, this kid sure looks awfully happy.
I’d give a month’s wages to see “The Prodigy” walking around with a hat on backwards and this goofy smile nowadays!
5. Wanderlei Silva
Show any man this picture, and the last thing you’ll think of is “The Axe Murderer.”
In fact, judging by this picture, I’d expect him to offer me some classic rock tickets rather than a severe ass whooping!
4. Forrest Griffin
I’m not sure what needs to be said about this picture.
Forrest is one of the few fighters who really hasn’t changed much over the years.
Looking at this photo, you’d expect some goofy self-deprecating jokes…and, as it turns out, that’s exactly what we’re still treated to in 2011.
3. Chuck Liddell
With or without the Chuck-tee and mohawk, Liddell looks like a bad, bad man.
This early wrestling image just goes to show that Chuck had a knack for abusing other males since his teenage years… though I wouldn’t be surprised if he was knocking out kids on the playground as far back as kindergarten.
2. Lyoto Machida
This is a priceless picture.
Imagine the real life karate kid.
That’s Lyoto… though there’s a serious fashion issue at work here.
1. Alistair Overeem
Alistair Overeem wasn’t always a massive 6’5”, 265-pound man hell bent on decapitating foes.
In fact, he actually looks like a sweet little guy in this picture.
Oh, how the times they change!