Professional mixed martial artists are special types of people. The fight that they put on three times of a year isn’t even a fraction of the madness that they go through. When these fighters are in camp, they’re training 5 times a week for 5 hours a day. At the end of the day, most of them are getting taken down multiple times, and punched in the face on a daily basis for very little pay when you consider what athletes in other combat sports earn.
The ends don’t justify the means as it really defies logic as to why they would want to do this for a living. What is comes down to is the fact that they are just very passionate about what they do. This is why it’s not surprising that there are some pretty quirky facts about certain professional fighters. But there’s also a misunderstood side to some of them, facts that are down right admirable and impressive…and there are some aspects that are just random, for entertainment’s sake. Did you know that Paulo Thiago is a police officer? Or that Tito Ortiz’s real name is Jacob?
Ah yes, and these are just the honorable mentions. Here are 10 other weird facts about your favorite MMA fighter!
10 Fedor and Vladimir Putin are Buddies
Yep, the President of Russia and Fedor Emelianenko are friends, and it seems as though Putin is an MMA fan as he’s been seen at many of Fedor’s fights in Russia and even gets animated at ringside. After Fedor’s demolition of Pedro Rizzo, Putin got in the ring in St. Petersburg and praised “The Last Emperor” for the victory and for his overall contributions in promoting MMA in Russia: “I want to congratulate Fedor and thank him from all of usmartial arts fans. It is because of him this sport became so popular in our country.” Putin tried to do the same in Moscow after Fedor defeated Jeff Monson, but was drowned out by a chorus of boos.
9 Chuck Liddell Has a B.A. in Accounting
Chuck Liddell is going to go down as one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time. He had a lethal combination of take-down defence and 1-punch knockout power. But it's safe to say that he won't be winning any public speaking awards any time soon. It's painful to watch him try to get through an interview nowadays, as he fumbles and bumbles his words almost as bad as Tito Ortiz.
If you see the retired Liddell in attendance taking in a fight, he's constantly squirming and twitching, and when he's really into it, he'll stand up and start shadow boxing. He simply cannot sit still, which is why it's difficult to imagine him sitting still in class long enough to obtain a B.A in accounting. He received his degree in 1995 at California Polytechnic State University.
8 Ken and Frank Shamrock Aren't Biological Brothers
These two certainly act like brothers. They're constantly bickering, to the point where they almost signed a contract to fight each other in a sanctioned bout. But then they'll suddenly make up and all is well.
The fact of the matter is that Ken Shamrock's real name is Kenneth Kilpatrick and Frank Shamrock's real name is Frank Juarez. The two boys were adopted by Bob Shamrock, who owned "The Shamrock Ranch." The ranch was a facility for troubled boys. Mr. Shamrock was instrumental in turning their lives around, particularly Frank's. The younger Shamrock was bounced around from foster homes and eventually ended up in jail. The world needs more people like Bob Shamrock.
7 Dana White was an Aerobics Instructor
Technically he's not a mixed martial artist, but the thought of the president of the UFC conducting an aerobics class is too hard to pass up. He left his hometown of Boston and moved to Las Vegas because he wanted to be in the fight game. He did not become part owner of the UFC and worth $150 million dollars overnight, it was a gradual process.
The fight game didn't exactly just find him, as there were some hard times. He conducted aerobics classes at three gyms in the Las Vegas area in order to pay bills. Ultimately, he began managing fighters such as Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz, and the rest is history.
6 Chael Sonnen was in Real Estate
Unfortunately for Sonnen, his real estate career ended very similar to his fighting career as he got caught manipulating the rules. In 2010, Sonnen pulled out as a candidate for Oregon House District 37, citing a "2006 legal issue" involving real estate. The details of the case are very foggy, but Sonnen ultimately ended up pleading guilty to money laundering in connection with mortgage fraud. He had to pay $10 000 as a fine, and his realtor's license was revoked.
It looks like Chael has some free time on his hands as he's also currently serving a 2 year suspension for using performance enhancing drugs. You'd think at this point, he'd stop trying to "game the system" (his words, not mine).
5 "Shogun" was a Runway Model
When watching "Shogun" soccer kick peoples heads into oblivion in old PRIDE videos, it's hard to imagine him walking down a runway, striking a pose and smiling for the camera. The problem was as his modeling talents were budding, so were his MMA talents and he had to make a choice and decided to devote his full attention to fighting. On UFC.com when asked about what jobs he had growing up, he was quoted as saying: "I worked as a model here in Brazil, making some pictures, books and fashion parades for some brands. I enjoyed the experience, but to be honest I'm a fighter since I was 16." Wise choice Shogun.
4 Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone was an Avid Rock Climber and Once Fell 40 Feet
They don't call him "Cowboy" for no reason, as he's been known to live life on the edge. Cerrone loves to bull ride, wakeboard, and was an avid rock climber. The key word is "was."
One afternoon, Cerrone decided to take teammate Leonard Garcia and coach Mike Winklejohn on a beginner's route rock climb. He was overconfident because it was such an easy climb, and didn't set up his equipment properly: "I should've set way more gear, but it was such an easy climb. I wasn't concerned. Just being overconfident man." Cerrone ended up falling 40 feet to the ground. He somehow only ended up with a fractured hip and foot. Following the accident he tweeted:
3 Allistair Overeem was in the "Sexy and I Know it" Music Video by LMFAO
In a far less surprising feat, anytime the camera flashes to Overeem, he is not partaking in any of the shenanigans and simply looks on unimpressed, with a hard look of disdain. Good for you Allistair!
The first instance is at the 33 second mark.
2 Lyoto Machida Drinks Urine
Most people say that: "Lyoto Machida drinks his own urine." This is false, as he's also been seen on video drinking other people's urine too. In a recent interview with an attractive reporter, she asked him if he would be willing to sip on a glass of her urine, to which he gladly obliged.
Machida says that he learned the habit from his father. Every morning when he wakes up, he drinks a nice tall glass of pee (was that as awkward reading it as it was typing it?). He claims that urine contains minerals and elements that bind moisture to protein and that it's a natural medicine.
Dr. Johnny Benjamin appeared on mmajunkie.com and did not echo the same sentiments in regards to urine's medicinal purposes: "Urine is 95% water, 2.5% urea and 2.5% mixture of salts and minerals, enzymes and non-toxic waste products." He goes on to lament his point that drinking urine is absolutely useless: "Drinking your own urine may reclaim a small bit of water, but if the body didn't want the other 5% (waste products and the like) during the first time, why would it want it the second time around?"
1 Georges St-Pierre is Scared of Aliens
There had been rumors that GSP had a fear of aliens for a while. When he appeared on commentator Joe Rogan's podcast last year, Rogan called him out on it and wanted to know how this all came about: "I will talk about it one day. I'm gonna talk about my fear. But I don't get deep into it. But I promise one day I will talk about that stuff."
Rogan was persistent and was not about to let GSP off the hook: "I drove my car in a normal day, going somewhere, and I look, and it's 2 hour pass. Two hour just passed like this (snaps fingers)... this is like a third-type encounter." He also provided an example where he said that sometimes when he's trying to sleep, he'll look at that clock, and it seems like 5 minutes has gone by but it's actually been 2 hours.
The usually very eccentric and open minded Rogan was clearly disturbed by St-Pierre's comments and later went on to say: "One of the reasons I think Georges should retire is he was on my podcast and he was talking about being abducted by aliens. I was going, you think you've been abducted by aliens?!"
Now, to be fair to GSP. It's not like he went on Rogan's podcast and immediately started rambling about aliens. He was asked several times, and finally "spilled the beans." It's also kind of a jerk move by Rogan to twist his arm so that he would open up, and then call him out on it a month later. But at the end of the day, it was quite the eye opening revelation. When a fighter starts talking about missing bits of time, red flags need to go up.