Marcus Brimage, a current contender on season 14 of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) on Spike TV, says that Dragon Ball Z is the reason he has an MMA career today.
Dragon Ball Z is a martial arts anime filled with action-packed fights that have inspired martial artists across the world.
I interviewed Marcus for The Dao of Dragon Ball book and asked how Dragon Ball Z motivated him to pursue martial arts and join the MMA.
“To be honest with you, when I saw Dragon Ball Z, I said, 'I want to learn how to fight,'” Marcus replied.
Why was that?
Just because of the power that the Saiyans emit. It was crazy. Goku is such a super-nice guy, but he’s super-powerful. Vegeta is a badass; you expect him to be powerful. But, I was always a nice guy and like making people laugh, and to see someone that was good-hearted and kind, and all of a sudden he’s this powerful fighter, it really made me think that, 'Man, I can do that.'
And then the way that they fought. Dragon Ball Z is action packed. There are no pauses in there. It’s like a dedicated ass-whupping from beginning to end. I can’t describe it, you know! And that’s how I like to fight because I push my conditioning so hard. I want to fight just like that, whup your ass from bell to bell.
Marcus said that as a child, he didn’t have many outlets to express himself. Living in Birmingham, it was football or nothing. He became frustrated.
I was in Alabama, and I just basically had all these ambitions because of Dragon Ball Z. I mean, dude, c’mon, you’ve seen it. The fights are unreal…I was like, 'Oh my God!' I knew I had to watch this cartoon. It was off the chain. It motivated me. I felt that I really wanted to learn how to do that, how to fight like that.
Marcus also said that he was very inspired by Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, another MMA fighter.
When he was younger, his brother showed him a highlight reel, and Marcus recalled the experience.
It gave me that same feeling I got when I watched Dragon Ball Z…That’s when I said, 'I want to (expletive) fight.'
Dragon Ball Z is like boom to the temple, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom! You know what I’m saying? They’re everywhere. And that’s how I fight.
The thing is, right now I’ve got to learn how to be more controlled with it, but they’re just so in your face. And you know what, that’s what the crowd likes too. The crowd likes people slugging it out, going all out, balls to the wall, everywhere. That’s the (expletive) that gets people standing up on their feet. So that’s how Dragon Ball Z is, and that’s why I always push my cardio.
Many other fighters throughout the world have been inspired in a similar way.
In The Dao of Dragon Ball book, I reveal the full impact and meaning of the Dragon Ball series for both martial artists and casual fans.
Author Bio: Derek Padula is the author of The Dao of Dragon Ball, a book that reveals the ancient martial arts secrets of the world’s most financially successful anime and manga. He can be reached at http://thedaoofdragonball.com and on Twitter @DerekPadula.