This past weekend marked the 100th Ultimate Fighting Championship event. I haven't followed the sport in almost a decade (and I couldn't care less about it), though its popularity is greater than ever before, and one cannot deny its entertainment value. Like the wrestling world, the mixed martial arts world is full of different types of fighters, different sizes, different clothing/style, and different characters. You have the beloved by all Canadian Welterweight, Georges St. Pierre, the Middleweight, "Icons," of the UFC, Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell, and you have the mean, evil (and hated by many) Heavyweight, Brock Lesnar. Not only are the fighters like the athletes in the wrestling world, they could also pass as a damn good cast of video game characters. Switching the situation around, how many video game characters would make good mixed martial artists? There a slew to choose from, and really any character that is an incredible fighter could be considered, however this is my take; enjoy the ride.

Bruce Irvin was an orphan from a young age who travelled to Thailand to take part in a Muay Thai Tournament. After being nearly killed by an assassin, Kazuya Mishima, "rescued," Bruce, and made him work for the Mishima Conglomerate, as Kazuya's personal bodyguard. Muay Thai is arguably the most popular martial art today, though when Bruce was introduced to the video game world, the martial art was barely known. Bruce would do very well in today's UFC, as a light heavyweight fighter, with his excellent skills in Muay Thai, coupled with his lean frame of 6'3, 188 pounds. Furthermore, if you were the personal bodyguard for one of the most rich and important people in Japan, I would think that you'd have to be a pretty damn good fighter...

One of the least heralded characters from Capcom, Cody Travers makes the final cut. Cody was the significant other of Jessica Haggar, the daughter of Metro City mayor, Mike Haggar. Jessica is kidnapped by the Mad Gear Gang, and Cody ventures out (along with his best friend Guy, and Haggar himself) to defeat the gang, and bring Jessica back to safety. Cody is an all-out street fighter, and while he has limited knowledge in some martial arts, he is a street fighter through and through. Not only can this be seen in the style of his fighting, this can also be seen in the fact that he is very skilled using knives (though he can still beat the snot out of you without a knife). A compact Light Heavyweight, Cody ranks in at 6'0, 189 pounds, not really tall and lean, not short and stubby, but just average. Cody's street fighting style would bring a welcome change to the UFC, as there are very few (if any) street fighters that compete (though the last to do so in a sanctioned mixed martial arts fight was defeated too easily... we feel for ya' Kimbo!). Cody would be one of the few street fighters to be successful though.

An Australian fisherman, Jeffry McWild is the first heavyweight on the list, standing at 6'0 and weighing in at 244 pounds. Jeffry uses the uncommon martial art known as Pankration, a form of Greek wrestling (also known as Pancriatium, Pancriatum, Pancriatus, Pancrase, and more). While a Pankration fighter is less common in the UFC than other forms of martial art, one of the most successful UFC fighters ever, Bas Rutten, is most-likely the most famous practitioner of Pankration in mixed martial arts history. Jeffry practices this martial art, amongst training, and fishing for the, "Satan Shark," which is his motivation for competing in the Virtua Fighter tournaments. Though short and stocky for a heavyweight, Jeffry is very strong (this can be seen in the intro to Virtua Fighter 3, where he hanging on rather easily to the Satan Shark), and his strength would be the key reason for him to do well in the UFC. On a final note, just hearing him say, "IIII WIIIIIIIIIIIINNNN!!!!!!!" on national television would be a hilarious bit of entertainment!

Bayman is another relatively unknown character, and his terrible name doesn't help matters either (his real name is not known). Born in Russia, Bayman is a mercenary, first hired by Donovan, and then struck out on his own, eventually trying to kill Donovan himself. Having been trained in the Russian military, he is an expert at the martial art, Sambo (also known as Commando Sambo). Sambo is a martial art that derives from Judo, and various Soviet/Middle Eastern forms of wrestling, invented and developed in the USSR, and it is a fairly unknown and uncommon martial art. Bayman stands at 6'2, and weighs 231 pounds, putting him in the heavyweight class. Someone as ruthless as downright mean as Bayman, could go nowhere but up in the UFC, just as Brock Lesnar has in recent times, and when you practice a rare martial art, you'll attract the fans big time.

Our first mixed martial arts fighter! Terry Bogard, the main character in the Fatal Fury series, uses a combination of Boxing, kickboxing, Kung fu, and street fighting. His mission is to avenge his adoptive father, Jeff, by tracking down and defeating his murderer, Geese. Terry developed his unique style on the streets, as he was growing up. At 6'0, 180 pounds, Terry is a fairly lean middleweight, though his character is quite tenacious, as evidenced by his nickname, the, "Hungry Wolf." In the UFC, he would be up against some of the better fighters in the company, duking it out with Anderson Silva, and Rich Franklin, and personally, I feel Terry would fare quite well, though he would never be able to wear his legendary cap, jacket, jeans, and Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers. Still, with his mixed style of martial arts, his tenacity, and his great spirit, Terry Bogard would make a fantastic UFC fighter.

The most popular character in the Final Fight series (and one of the more popular characters in the Capcom world, period), Guy is the first welterweight on the list, standing at 5'9 and weighing in at 158 pounds. Master of Bushin style ninjitsu, he is the only character on the list who is a true Japanese martial artist, and that is one nation and form of martial art that is lacking in the UFC. The king of combos, he could lay a barrage on any fighter standing up, and then use a lightning fast jump kick to knock the guy out, which is another thing that is lacking in the UFC; flying attacks (sure they may not be too practical, however they work when used properly), and as many users of Guy in the Final Fight and Street Fighter series know, Guy loves to fly! Being a welterweight, Guy would be amongst the current UFC's most popular fighters, and that would make for some big draws. He's small, he's nimble, he's a true martial artist, and he's Japanese; Guy would be a welcome addition to the UFC circuit.

Now, the chances of seeing Capoeira in the octagon are about as likely as seeing a sanctioned mixed martial arts fight between a bear and a tiger, translation; not gonna happen! However, Eddy Gordo is one character that could do it (if he was real). Capoeira is a form of martial art that revolves around dancing, and dance moves that can correlate with music or rhythm. One of the few masters of Capoeira on the planet, Eddy is also a good teacher, having taught fellow Brazilian Christie Monteiro how to fight using Capoeira. Standing at 6'3 and weighing 170 pounds, Eddy is a very tall and lean welterweight. As a result of his large height for his weight class, and his super unique fighting style, Eddy could be a majorly successful UFC fighter, or a massive failure of a UFC fighter; since nobody has ever used Capoeira in a mixed martial arts fight, one cannot know how successful the fighting style is. One thing is for sure, as with many of the characters on this list, Eddy Gordo would draw huge crowds from the UFC faithful

Hmm, a professional boxer AND a police officer? Where does one make the time to do both? Adam has had it rough, having to defeat Mr. X, and his evil crime syndicate, and rid his town of crime, but in and around that, he finds the time to box. Adam is a puncher alright, and his boxing style would be a welcome fighting style back to the UFC, as the amount of boxers left in the UFC is significantly less than when the association began. Axel utilises various punching techniques, such as flurries, uppercuts, spinning uppercuts, and more (however he does not have the infamous Grand Upper/Bare Knuckle, his partner Axel's best punch, and the most famous move from the Streets of Rage series). At 6'3, 201 pounds, Axel is another light heavyweight, the third in the list. While taller than the other light heavyweights on the list, Adam is a slightly lean fighter, and he fits in well with the rest of the light heavyweight class fighters. Of all the characters on the list, Adam is probably the most normal, average character, however his track record speaks louder than his measureables, and abilities. That's just what the UFC needs; a fighter that has fought through adversity, taken down organizations, and helped make the world a better place.

Lieutenant Guile of the United States Air Force is one of the most famous video game characters ever, having appeared in numerous Street Fighter games. His style of martial art (his buddy Charlie's unique military fighting style) would be another welcome addition to the UFC ranks, as there are not any military-trained fighters in the UFC. Guile is also very marketable, being the, "All American Hero," and all, add that to the fact that he's a Lieutenant in the Air Force, why, he's more American than apple pie! Though he has the, "Sonic Boom," and, "Flash Kick," those moves aside, Guile is still an accomplished, and efficient fighter, Jean-Claude Van Damme's performance notwithstanding. Coming in at 6'0, 190 pounds, Guile fits into the light heavyweight class, and is a good solid size, not too big, not too small. Even if his fighting would not be up to par with other on the list, Guile's marketability is second to none, and that would make him a very successful UFC fighter indeed.

The number one spot goes to everybody's favourite mayor and wrestler, with the super mustache, Mike Haggar! Haggar over Zangief you say? Easily! Mike Haggar was a professional wrestler, and a damn good one at that, the best in all of America. After he retired from the wrestling circuit, he was elected mayor of Metro City. After the Mad Gear gang's requests went unheard, they kidnapped Haggar's daughter Jessica. Outraged at this (and who wouldn't be?), Haggar took the law into his own hands, and tore down the Mad Gear gang, limb from limb. How many mayors do you know would do that? While wrestling is the most popular form of martial art in the UFC, Haggar is a consummate professional, and would stand out among the best wrestlers in the UFC. A super heavyweight (the only one on the list), Haggar is a staggering 6'9 tall, and weighs 297 pounds; he's a beast! I mentioned that Guile is the, "All American Hero," and that title can also apply to Haggar, as Haggar is a video game character, and a politician, a rare combination. While he is only a video game character, and his practices/methods are impractical, he is somewhat of an inspirational character, as he was a mayor who made a difference. A mayor, the best wrestler in the United States, a super nice guy, Haggar would be right at home in the UFC.

And with that, you have a great list of ten video game characters that would have success if they were to join the UFC. I tried to include a different fighting style per entry in the list, and it worked out! A few of the fighting styles are not practiced by those in the UFC, however it would be interesting to see a Capoeira fighter square off against Georges St. Pierre for the welterweight title, or a Russian Sambo fighter pound the living daylights out of a Pankration fighting Greek. The UFC is a cultural phenomenon, and its popularity has never been greater than it is right now. Rorion Gracie, and Art Davie are the Yu Suzuki and the Shigeru Miyamoto of the mixed martial arts world, and just like the two video game designers, I am sure that they never would have thought that their product would have been as large as it is today. Who knows though? Maybe in 10 years we will have a former mayor join the UFC, or a Capoeira fighter join the UFC, and it will do nothing but garner more interest, more fans, and more good times.

List by Truck_1_0_1_ (07/14/2009)

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