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Bushido: The Heroes of MMA
A passionate battle cry screams out, "Here I am, here stands a warrior, what are you going to do about it?"
For some, they take the person saying those words as a joke, they take it as posturing, as insecurity and yet until they stand there seeing that person, that human wrecking machine they won't know that he is completely serious.
You have to be tough to fight, doesn't matter who you are, if you are willing to step into that cage or ring then you are tough, no matter how unskilled you may be.
For some, though, that toughness is more then just toughness, it is sheer insanity...yet for others, it is a noble cause.
Some people fight as an act of chivalry or Bushido, to honor themselves, and there families. They are heroes to their community, heroes to their families, and heroes to their nation.
The men in this article are not the only heroes that have or are competing in Mixed Martial Arts, but they are ones who are notable. Notable for their heroic attitude and the great hero worship they have received.
5. Royce Gracie
Although he has essentially shamed himself and his family with a steroid scandal in 2007, Royce Gracie for the longest time was the predominant face of MMA. He was the first champion of the sport and for that he must be saluted.
He stood in the face of adversity to fight for his families honor in those early UFC's, defending the name of "Gracie Jiu-Jitsu."
Going up against opponents twice his size and beating them, Gracie inspired people...he made believing and achieving a real thing and with that never-say-die attitude, every MMA fighter has him to thank for their careers.
4. Lyoto Machida- Machida who is nicknamed "The Dragon" should maybe have his name switched to "The Honorable One." Machida fights for much of the same reasons as Gracie did in those early days of MMA, he fights to honor his family and their style.
He fights to prove that Machida Karate is the greatest of all martial arts, which is funny in a way since Karate was thought for several years to be somewhat obsolete in the sport of MMA.
Yet, Machida has soundly beaten most of his opponents with his style.
3. Fedor Emeliannenko
Despite Fedor's icy Russian exterior, he is a man who fights for honor. Every fight for Fedor is a fight honoring Russia and his humble beginnings.
Fedor trains in an outdated gym using old-fashioned training methods, and yet despite his old school approach he still remains for the most part undefeated.
Despite the last summer Olympics not having MMA as a sport, he was still chosen by his nation to carry the torch, an honor bestowed onto only the most well respected athletes in the world.
2. Akira Shoji
How could Shoji not be on this list, the man is an inspiration despite his losing ways. Largely undersized and outmatched in almost all his fights, Shoji was a hero to the Japanese people in those early PRIDE days.
The man went into a fight probably knowing he was going to lose but still put everything on the line. The man would write his will out before every fight because he went in everytime with the intention of dying.
1. Kazushi Sakuraba
How could Sakuraba not be No. 1? The man has carried the burden as being the Japanese superman for close to a decade.
Once the greatest fighter in the world, Sakuraba's flamboyant antics, and unpredictable moves made him one of the most exciting fighters in MMA.
The Japanese fans clung to him like lint clings to a sock and despite his decomposing body and refusal of retirement, he still manages to mesmerize an audience with his presence.
Sakuraba is an aging superman and there still has not been a Japanese fighter who has been able to take his place as a cultural superhero and appear unstoppable for years at a time.
Having been the first man to "officially" beat a Gracie in an MMA match, he managed to do it to four of them, all of which resulted in humiliating defeats and everlasting highlight reel footage.
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