T he Ultimate Fighter reality television show has been given a lot of credit for the meteoric rise (I used a Goldie-ism) of mixed martial arts into mainstream culture. TUF 1 debuted in January 2005 and was a big hit for Spike TV. Likewise, another cultural phenomenon came into existence around this time. YouTube—the video-sharing Web site where users can upload, view, and share video clips—was launched in February 2005.
What, if any, is the correlation with regard to the success of YouTube and the rise of MMA? I’ll leave that for some grant-winning wiener to decide. In the meantime, these seven YouTube videos—the majority of which happened outside the cage—are inherently entertaining and may be able to shed some light on the increasing popularity of MMA. If you haven’t seen these clips, check them out the next time you need a good laugh. Like it or not, Kimbo Slice didn’t make the list.
7. Heath Herring Kiss www.youtube.com/watch?v=udyVPmXiLKY +104,800 views
The phrase “protect yourself at all times” has never been more apropos than it was in a 2005 K-1 Dynamite fi ght pitting Yoshihiro Nakao against Heath Herring. While the ref was going over his fi nal instructions with the fi ghters in the center of the ring, Nakao decided to forgo the traditional touching of the gloves, and instead, leaned in and gave Herring a kiss on the lips. Living up to his nickname, The Texas Crazy Horse instantly delivered a right hook that knocked Nakao out cold. No man since has tried to kiss Herring.
6. LFC 25—A Double Knockout www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhiHatGncek +222,600 views
The title says it all. At the Legends of Fighting event in Indianapolis, Shaun Parker and Tyler Bryan simultaneously knock each other out in less than 10 seconds of the fi rst round. The bout was ruled a draw, but if you watch the video closely, you can see that one of the fi ghters—although unconscious— raises his arms in victory. The best part of the video is the reaction of special guest referee Shonie Carter. I’ve got a feeling no one prepped Mr. International with a contingency plan to handle this freak occurrence.
5. Rampage’s Chuck Liddell Impression www.youtube.com/watch?v=cM6Yv9a96j4 +334,800 views
Rampage + video camera = funny. When Rampage retires from MMA, he could easily go work for an improv troupe. His impression of Liddell, from his punching stance to his victory celebration, is spot-on.
4. BJ Penn Tells It Like It Is www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZ76VkRe-gA +128,000 views
Immediately after his TUF 5 defeat at the hands of Brandon Melendez, warrior Andy Wang broke down in tears and began to wail inside the Octagon. Ok, that’s not so funny. The hilarity ensues when Wang’s coach, BJ Penn, shows him no sympathy and begins to imitate the yowls of Wang. Penn then proceeds to kick Wang off his team for refusing to follow his repeated instructions to go for a takedown during the fi ght. Wang has since achieved cult status on message boards like Sherdog and The Underground for his self-professed status as a ronin (masterless warrior).
3. Dear Don: Getting Married www.youtube.com/watch?v=huuhRcnDUUk +17,000 views
It’s almost impossible to pick my favorite Don Frye moment. Is it his nose-to-nose staredown with James Thompson, his punchfest with Yoshihiro Takayama, or his brawl with Ken Shamrock? Actually, I prefer a gentler, more vulnerable Frye moment.
In an IFL segment called “Dear Don,” fans were encouraged to ask Don for some no-nonsense advice. The topic in question for this particular segment was Don’s thoughts on marriage. Let’s just say his answer is awesome in every sense. There is something about Frye polishing an automatic rifl e and giving marriage advice that I fi nd humorous. Frye leaves us with these poignant thoughts: “Why buy the cow when you are getting the milk for free,” and “Don’t do it. Run.” If this video doesn’t make you want to grow a mustache and get a gun, you aren’t a man.
2. Bob Sapp—Pizza Commercial www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUgJ9hEufGU +325,000 views
It’s no secret that Bob Sapp has a bit of a cult following in Japan. In fact, the popular behemoth is the television pitchman for products ranging from fabric softener and gummy candy to noodles and arcade games. Perhaps Sapp’s most entertaining endorsement is that of Pizza-La, the highest-grossing pizza chain in Japan. Not to ruin it for you, but the commercial consists of Sapp wearing red spandex, dancing, and lip-synching. He also has a bevy of female backup dancers. It’s 15 seconds of marketing that is sure to have you craving Japanese pizza.
1. Bas Rutten Street Defense www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3K-mrlYG7Y +2,500,000 ews
This clip is a compilation of some of the more entertaining techniques Bas Rutten offers in his video Lethal Street Fighting Self Defense System. The clips are vintage Rutten, as he offers up the following nuggets of street fi ghting advice: “Everyone underestimates a kick to the groin,” and “If some guy said something about your girlfriend and he’s sitting cross legged, well that’s a no-brainer—just break his kneecap.”
Rutten provides his own sound effects as he demonstrates punches, elbows, and his favorite … yes, the kick to the groin. The government should mandate that every bouncer in the country purchase and study this video. The Dutch Master is supremely entertaining in every way.
Watch them now at FIGHTMagazine.com/youtube From Rutten and Rampage to Frye and Sapp, YouTube allows you to delve just a little deeper into the lives of many of your favorite mixed martial artists. If it’s somewhere being recorded on a camera, there is a good chance it will end up on YouTube—good, bad, funny, sad, and everything in between.