Over the last few decades we’ve seen some very polarizing personalities emerge in this sport. Some men choose to express themselves precisely as they would behind closed doors; some men opt to project specific images in the hopes of drawing more fan interest. The protagonist personality surfaces just as often as the antagonistic, but it seems the genuine individuals are the true crowd pleasers; even drunken fans can detect a bogus façade.
So who captivates fanatic followers the most in today’s MMA landscape? Do you see your favorite fighter on this list? If not let us know below in the comments!
Honestly, plenty do, but a few stand head and shoulders above the pack, and that’s because they keep it real, respectful and straight-forward.
1, Randy Couture
Randy may have retired after his embarrassing second round knockout loss to Lyoto Machida earlier this year, but his presence will reverberate for years to come, and he’ll always conjure fond memories from those who had the pleasure of watching the man compete. The consummate professional, Randy never took a fight with malicious motives: it was always about business, and Randy was always quick to acknowledge and praise the physical gifts and capabilities possessed by his foes. A class act until the end, “The Natural” owns the most endearing personality to ever surface in the sport.
2, Georges St. Pierre
Whether you’re a fan of GSP or not, you cannot deny how charming and likeable the guy is. Like Couture, GSP is always respectful, avoids prefight trash talk (or “hype”, if you prefer) and conducts himself admirably inside the cage; you don’t see this man fight dirty, ever. You also don’t see him play the villainous role: the one time he attempted to ignite crowd interest by insulting a fighter (Matt Hughes) it backfired, and in part because GSP is just such a nice guy that he can’t be the villain. It simply doesn’t work.
3, Roy Nelson
You gotta love any MMA fighter that can also play Santa at Christmas time and Big Country fits that bill. Nelson is a unique commodity. While he always keeps it classy, he plays neither the hero nor the villain, so much as the ultimate joker. Roy uses his rotund and plump physique as a springboard to one really, really long lasting joke, but he’s a sincere individual, and it’s just as easy to laugh with him as at him.
4, Forrest Griffin
Forrest is a humorous gent with a knack for self-deprecation and candid comments. He always wears his heart on his sleeve, assesses fights in honest fashion, makes us laugh and, when not thoroughly outclassed, puts forth incredible efforts inside the cage. Griffin is the epitome of a blue collar guy who turned a strong work ethic into massive success, all the while remaining grounded. And we fans love him for it.
5. Junior dos Santos
If you’ve got children, and they happen to enjoy the sport of mixed martial arts, this is the man you want them to idolize. Dos Santos comes from humble beginnings and despite the fact that he’s quickly become one of the few commercial faces of the sport, he’s remained humble, friendly and amazingly down-to-earth. Having a 10 year old daughter who worships this man, only further cements my belief that Junior dos Santos is the nicest guy in the sport today.
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