Categories
Sports Strength

A Complete List Of MMA Weight Classes

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), like boxing, has many weight classes. While the UFC may only have 11 total between their men’s and women’s divisions, the types go a little deeper than that when looking at the sport as a whole. So, for MMA fans looking to broaden their horizons, here is a list of the weight classes in MMA and where you can watch them.

Atomweight (105 pounds women)
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Not a weight class found everywhere but Invicta FC and One Championship both have a weight class for women of 105 pounds. While it might seem like a no threatening weight class, make no mistake these women are as tough as any other MMA fighter out there.

Strawweight (115 pounds women)
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This weight class has been very entertaining in the UFC. Rose Namajunas, Joanna Jedrczyk, Weili Zhang all have put on fights worth rewatching. So the strawweights are worth keeping an eye on and once again, many come from Invicta FC, One Championship or Rizin Fighting Federation.

Flyweight (125 pounds; men and women)
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Things start to open here for both men and women and if you are looking for high paced action in MMA this is certainly the division to find it. It is hard to mention the division without bringing up Demitrous Johnson who held the flyweight title for the longest time in the UFC before losing to Henry Cejudo and going to One Championship. For the ladies, the current Queen of the flies is Velentina Shevchenko in the UFC and for Bellator, Ilema-Lei MacFarlane.

Bantamweight (135 pounds; men and women)
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There are weight classes in MMA that seem to be very busy and as we move up the scale, the bantamweight class is certainly one of them. The UFC just got their vacant men’s bantamweight Champion position filled by Petr Yan, while their double champ in Amanda Nunes holds the title for the women. Kyoji Horiguchi was both the Bellator and Rizin bantamweight Champion before having to vacate both titles due to injury.

Featherweight (145 pounds; men and women)
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Jose Aldo, Conor McGregor, and Max Holloway are notable featherweights that have brought a lot of eyeballs to this weight class in MMA. For the women, Amanda Nunes holds the title in the UFC while Cris Cyborg is the current featherweight champion in Bellator.

Lightweight (155 pounds; men and women)
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If a shark tank exists in the sport of MMA it would be for the 155-pound division. Undefeated UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is probably the most notable fighter in the weight class. Contenders like Justin Gaethje, Tony Ferguson, and outside of the UFC Bellator’s Michael Chandler keep the weight class very busy. For the women, the weight class only exists in the Professional Fighters League with Kayla Harrison winning the first title for the 2019 season.

Welterweight (170 pounds; men)
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This is the weight class that was recently featured for UFC 251. Kamaru Usman defended his title against Jorge Masvidal but the welterweight division has many dangerous names across the board. Douglas Lima who not only is the champion in Bellator but won the welterweight tournament last year to cement himself as one of the best 170 pound fighters there is.

Middleweight (185 pounds; men)
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This is the weight class Anderson Silva is associated with in the UFC. At just under 200 pounds the fighters in this weight class are big enough to be powerhouses like Yoel Romero, or entertainingly dominant like current UFC middleweight champ Israel Adesanya. They’re just the right size to deliver highlight reel knockouts or great back and forth wars in the cage.

Light-heavyweight (205 pounds; men)
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Jon Jones, Daniel Cormier, Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz and many other rivals in the UFC are from this weight class. It truly is one of the legendary weight classes in the sport. Some fighters like Daniel Cormier in the UFC and Ryan Bader in Bellator have been both heavyweight and light-heavyweight champs carrying the weight of two very heavy crowns.

Heavyweight (between 206–265 pounds; men)
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Just like in boxing, the heavyweight champ is the baddest boxer on the planet. So, for MMA which is the closest to a real one-on-one fight based on their ruleset, the heavyweight champ is the baddest man on the planet. Even ESPN’s Max Kellerman agrees with that sentiment. Current champs are; for the UFC Stipe Miocic, for Bellator MMA Ryan Bader. Miocic and Cormier are 1-1 against each other and are scheduled to settle who the true champion is in August.

Categories
Sports Strength

The 22 Best UFC Fighters Of All Time

The UFC celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2018, and across their history, thousands of different fighters have fought for the organization. Currently, over 600 fighters are a part of the roster, many of them considered to be the best MMA fighters of all time.

The GOAT debate is fun no matter which sport you’re talking about, so for the sake of it, we decided to put together a list of the 17 best UFC fighters of all time, with a bunch of reasons why we believe so. Below you can check out a list of the best fighters in alphabetical order, and further below that; you’ll find the evidence.

  1. Amanda Nunes (21-4-0)
  2. Anderson Silva (34-10-0)
  3. B.J. Penn (16-14-2)
  4. Chuck Liddell (21-8-0)
  5. Conor McGregor (22-4-0)
  6. Dan Henderson (32-15-0)
  7. Daniel Cormier (22-2-0)
  8. Demetrious Johnson (27-3-1)
  9. Dominick Cruz (22-3-0)
  10. Georges St-Pierre (26-2-0)
  11. Henry Cejudo (16-2-0)
  12. Jon Jones (26-1-0)
  13. José Aldo (28-7-0)
  14. Khabib Nurmagomedov (28-0)
  15. Matt Hughes (45-9-0)
  16. Randy Couture (19-11-0)
  17. Stipe Miocic (19-3-0)
  18. Max Holloway (22-6)
  19. Michael Bisping (30-9)
  20. Valentina Shevchenko (20-3)
  21. Ronda Rousey (12-2)
  22. Rashad Evans (19-8)
1. Amanda Nunes (21-4-0)

Women didn’t start fighting in the UFC until 2013, 20 years after the league began, and even then, it was after years of President Dana White swearing it would never happen. For that reason, women’s MMA is a little bit behind men’s MMA in the grand scheme of things, but you would never know it watching Amanda Nunes. Currently the reigning bantamweight and featherweight champion, Nunes has beaten every other bantamweight champ, every other featherweight champ, and the current flyweight champ, finishing many of them. Her being the GOAT in women’s MMA is genuinely undebatable.

2. Anderson Silva (34-11-0)

Anderson Silva still holds the record for the longest title reign in UFC history at a whopping 2,457 days, which is more than 6 years. In that time, he officially defended the middleweight title 10 times and it would have been 11 had Travis Lutter not missed weight. In most of those defenses, he stopped his opponent, including the classic front kick KO against Vitor Belfort and the last minute triangle armbar versus Chael Sonnen. Silva also boasts wins at light heavyweight. The Spider often made his wins look easy, often to a fault like when he toyed with Demian Maia instead of finishing him.

3. B.J. Penn (16-14-2)

Looking at B.J. Penn’s record on paper or his recent losing streak, someone who didn’t watch his prime might think he was some sort of journeyman or gatekeeper, but that couldn’t be more wrong. It’s unfortunate that he kept fighting past his time but way back when he was the man. Most importantly, he boasts wins over other great fighters like Sean Sherk, Matt Serra, and Matt Hughes, the latter of which also appears on this list. When asked who he thought the best fighter of all time in the midst of his own reign, Anderson Silva answered that it was Penn. That’s respect.

4. Chuck Liddell (21-8-0)

Just like Penn, Chuck Liddell’s most recent showing against Tito Ortiz in their 2018 trilogy completion fight is nothing to judge him on. He hadn’t had a win since 2007 when he took Wanderlei Silva to a decision in the Fight Of The Year, but his UFC title reign was incredibly impressive. He beat Randy Couture to win it and then defended the title multiple times, each time knocking out his opponent. The Iceman was also one of the first stars in the sport to transcend it, appearing in movies and known to those who didn’t even follow MMA.

5. Conor McGregor (22-4-0)

Due to just how popular he’s become, there are two extremes you often hear about Conor McGregor. His biggest supporters will imply he’s the best of a generation, and his biggest detractors suggest he’s way overrated. As it often is, the truth is somewhere in the middle. The two greatest featherweights of all time are José Aldo and Max Holloway, and Conor has beaten them both. He also absolutely demolished Eddie Alvarez to win the lightweight title and proved he could make adjustments as an elite fighter should against Nate Diaz the second go around. He also gave Khabib his hardest fight. Whether you like it or not, Conor McGregor is a great fighter.

6. Dan Henderson (32-15-0)

Becoming a champion in multiple weight classes has become the trend in the last few years and there’s obviously incredible value in it because all of those that have done it in the UFC appear on this list: Couture, Penn, McGregor, St-Pierre, Cormier, Nunes, and Cejudo. Though he never won a title in the UFC, Dan Henderson proved that he could go with the best of them at heavyweight, light heavyweight, and middleweight and he’s easily one of the best UFC fighters to never have gold wrapped around his waist. He was also the first to ever finish Fedor with strikes.

7. Daniel Cormier (22-3-0)

A former Olympic wrestler, when he was 13-0, he moved down to light heavyweight to let his friend and teammate Cain Velasquez reign at heavyweight. His only loss there is to Jon Jones, who he had great moments against, and when Jon vacated the title, he won it and beat contender after contender. Then he moved back up to heavyweight and finished Stipe in the first round to cement his all-time status. He announced his retirement after losing the trilogy to Stipe in a five round decision. 

8. Demetrious Johnson (30-3-1)

As previously mentioned, there is great value in winning a world title in two different weight divisions, especially if you defend the title in both divisions. But there is something to be said for staying at the top of one division for years and years, and there might be no better example of that than Demetrious Johnson. He was better than a couple of generations of flyweights everywhere, despite them watching and studying him for years and years. DJ is undoubtedly the best flyweight of all time and one of the best and most skilled fighters ever.

9. Dominick Cruz (22-3-0)

The greatest men’s 135lb fighter ever, Dominick Cruz’s 10 year reign would have been enough to land him a spot on this list but context is key. What makes it all the more incredible is the fact that he came back from multiple career-changing injuries to continue winning. His win over Demetrious Johnson at bantamweight is one of the best-aging in the sport and coming back to beat T.J. Dillashaw after having just 60 seconds of fighting under his belt in 3 years speaks for itself. At one point, Cruz was the UFC’s #2 P4P fighter with DJ, who he has a win over, being #1.

10. Georges St-Pierre (26-2-0)

Ask a bunch of fighters and fight fans who the greatest fighter of all time is, and the answer you’ll get most commonly is probably Georges St-Pierre. GSP officially defended the UFC’s welterweight championship nine times, but more than numbers, he beat the best of his generation, including B.J. Penn and Matt Hughes, who both appear on this list. GSP lost twice in his career, once to Hughes and once to Matt Serra, but he later avenged both losses dominantly, proving to be the best 170lb fighter of all time. After four years out of the sport, he came back at 185lbs to choke out Michael Bisping for the middleweight championship, too, looking good as ever.

11. Henry Cejudo (16-2-0)

The newly retired Henry Cejudo could have been any other flyweight that succumbed to Demetrious Johnson. Still, instead, after consecutive losses to DJ and Joseph Benavidez, he re-evaluated his game and came back with a new style that proved fruitful. With wins over Wilson Reis and Sergio Pettis, he had another shot at DJ and won a close fight, dethroning him. Then-bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw came down a weight class to fight him and got finished in 32 seconds, then Cejudo went up to challenge for the bantamweight title and defended it against Cruz before he retired. Wins over the 135lb GOAT and the 125lb GOAT, whenever they happened, put him in excellent standing in MMA.

12. Jon Jones (26-1-0)

To this day, Jon Jones still holds the record for being the youngest champion in UFC history, winning the title at 23. That has always been a crazy stat, but after turning 23 myself, I fully realize just how insane it is. In his early twenties, he went on to dismantle everyone in his path, many of the legends, with ease, in what many still maintain is the best run in UFC history. The only loss on Jones’ record comes from a harsh disqualification in a fight he was winning, and he is considered to be an unbeaten fighter. On his streak now against the third generation of light heavyweights, Jones going up and having success at heavyweight would be all he needs to be considered the GOAT over GSP or Anderson Silva. He relinquished his light-heavyweight title, hoping to take his talents to the heavyweight division. 

13. José Aldo (28-7-0)

The featherweight king, unfortunately, José Aldo doesn’t get the same respect as many of his peers do. Aldo first appeared in the WEC a few months before his 22nd birthday and looked like a killer immediately. From May of 2006 to December of 2015, he went 18-0, beating greats like Urijah Faber, Frankie Edgar, Mike Brown, Chad Mendes, and more. His 13 seconds loss to Conor McGregor and subsequent consecutive losses to Max Holloway seemed to do some irreversible damage to him, and he has lost 6 of his last nine fights. Still, he has looked great in many of those fights and is far from taking away from his legacy. Put some respect on his name.

14. Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0)

There is a question in MMA about whether there is more value in being good at every aspect of MMA or being a specialist in one area. Current lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov makes an excellent case for the latter. There is something to be said for the fact that fighters go into bouts with him knowing what his gameplan is and can still do nothing to stop his wrestling. With wins over Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, RDA, and Justin Gaethje, he continues to be the best lightweight right now and is well on his path to being the best lightweight of all time, doing so seemingly effortlessly. He is also the only fighter here without a loss on his record. Will he return for a 30th fight or will he stay retired, following his finish over Gaethje. 

15. Matt Hughes (45-9-0)

Some great fighters never won UFC gold due to the dominance of another great fighter; names like Joseph Benavidez and Alexander Gustaffson come to mind. That quite easily could have been Matt Hughes, who had to go up against B.J. Penn and Georges St-Pierre, but that was not the case. He traded wins and losses with both of them, knocking both out early. His run was impressive, and managing to shine next to the bright lights of greats is a remarkable feat.

16. Randy Couture (19-11-0)

Randy Couture first won the UFC heavyweight title in December of 1997, but he later vacated in. Then in November of 2000, he beat the late Kevin Randleman to win it back before losing it to Josh Barnett. Already achieving more success than most MMA fighters do, he moved down to 205lbs and captured gold there, becoming the first fighter ever to win UFC titles in more than one weight division. Just for this, Randy Couture is a legend in the sport and one of the best of all time.

17. Stipe Miocic (20-3-0)

Being the most badass man on the planet was a title reserved for the heavyweight champion in boxing. Still, over the years, even Max Kellerman has admitted this title honestly should go to the UFC’s heavyweight champion. With his win over Francis Ngannou, Stipe broke the record for most consecutive heavyweight title fight wins. After quickly losing to DC, he made an incredible adjustment in their 2019 rematch to bring the gold back to Cleveland. Stipe is a look at the future of heavyweights in MMA and, with a win over DC in August, quickly becomes the best heavyweight in the organization, if not MMA history. 

Honorable Mentions
18. Max Holloway (22-6)

19. Michael Bisping (30-9)

20. Valentina Shevchenko (20-3)

21. Ronda Rousey (12-2)

22. Rashad Evans (19-8)

Categories
Entrepreneurs Grind

Meet The Serial Entrepreneur Who Mastered PR and Now Is Breaking Into The Beverage World

Meet Vivian K. Gomez, an entrepreneur who parlayed her understanding of branding and the promotional world of people, places, and things into creating multiple streams of revenue for herself and her clients. Some might say that Gomez is one of the entertainment industry’s best-kept secrets. 

Gomez has a diversified business background but started her career in the celebrity media and public relations world. With TMZ on speed dial, Gomez has cleaned up some of pop-cultures biggest scandals and partnered celebrities with brands that have become household names — all beginning back when the tabloids were our bibles. Today, this means of promotion is considered “influencer marketing,” which she’s still active in.

We chatted with her about her start and got some entrepreneurial tips along the way.

Vivian K. Gomez

ONE37pm: Explain to me what you do and how you got started? How is it now that you’re more established versus when you began?

Vivian K. Gomez: It’s hard to explain what I do in one simple soundbite because I do a few different things. I guess people mostly know me for working in the marketing, media, branding, crisis management, and PR world. I got into that field when I was around 20 years old. Back then there was a super popular PR firm run by Lizzie Grubman who had previously had a show on MTV and was known for working with the biggest names in entertainment. They had what almost felt like auditions for aspiring publicists. These were highly coveted intern positions. A close friend at the time encouraged me to go in and interview knowing I had fantasized about potentially working in the industry. I genuinely did not think I was going to get one of the about three slots available out of what seemed like hundreds of girls. Long story short, after a challenging process, serendipity was on my side. I got the job!

From that first hands-on experience, I officially fell in love with the business. When I began, I knew absolutely nothing about the politics of media, I just had my gut, instincts, and creativity. I really relied on more established people seeing something in me and giving me a shot. Luckily, about two years after my first internship, I’d grinded so hard that I found myself as the Director of PR & Brand Development at one of the top celebrity agencies in the U.S.

By 25 I started my own company The Maven Firm and have been hustling independently ever since. I also pursue additional entrepreneurial ventures and invest in companies and projects I believe in. Currently, I’m co-owner of HoneyWater with my partners Jas Prince and Chris Kotz. We have been successfully selling our healthy and naturally sweetened water in Canada, and are gearing up for our U.S launch in 2021. Through my ownership in HoneyWater I’ve found a passion for bees, they are dying and critical to our existence, its insane how many people are unaware of that.

Describe your brand building strategy in one sentence.

Gomez: Approach everything from the consumers perspective first.

What’s the biggest piece of advice you give to most of your clients?

Gomez: Everything has a solution – if you’re feeling overwhelmed step back for a day or two and you’ll be able to reassess whatever is in front of you with a fresh mind-set.  Burnout is real, it clouds creativity and potential. Our emotions also play a big role in our decision making, so I definitely ask for clients to pause when I think they may momentarily be driven by ego over logic.

HoneyWater

If you were pitching your business on “Shark Tank,” what would you say?

Gomez: I’m a huge fan of a fastpitch, I think hitting all your key points in under three minutes or less is key. Hook them first and then elaborate through their questions after, filling in any other secondary details you may have missed. With that said, If I was pitching HoneyWater, for example, I’d say:

HoneyWater not only hydrates the mind and body, but it also provides the enjoyment of consuming sweet beverages without the health risks of soft drinks. Sweetened with natural honey and infused with real fruit flavors, HoneyWater has a lower glycemic index than drinks sweetened with sugar — honey has vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C, B3, Calcium, Iron, Potassium, etc. it also provides probiotics, and antimicrobial/antiseptic properties.

And last, but certainly not least, the bees are dying. If all bees disappeared from the earth, studies estimate that man would only have 4 years left to live. If bee’s become extinct, so does the human race. Through pollinator partnerships and proceed donations HoneyWater is not only working to provide healthy, naturally sweetened beverages but also committed to doing its part to save the world!

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned as a founder?

Gomez: I used to get really worked up internally about what others were saying or thinking about me. When you’re a founder you oftentimes have to be the person that opens up or leads conversations. When you’re young, a woman of color, and opinionated this can rub a lot of people the wrong way, even if what you’re saying is right. 

Unfortunately, you’ll be stereotypically typecast (especially as a Latina), as “too much” or “not enough” of everything. 

I would often replay in my head a lot of what I said or did in meetings etc., and ask myself, what I could have done or said differently? I now realize the answer to that is, nothing. All I did by doing that was waste my own time which instead could have been used being productive. You learn quickly, you can’t control how other people feel or act. As long as you lead with honesty and kindness, there’s nothing to worry about.

What’s one aspect of your job that you knew nothing about? How did you adapt?

Gomez: In regards to being an entrepreneur, I didn’t truly learn about cap tables, company evaluations, and vesting structures or the specifics of share ownership and their stipulations until I started to diversify and create additional streams of income for myself. I naively thought, oh I own x percent of this company and that’s that until we sell or I decide to step away. That’s definitely not the case! I suggest anyone thinking about investing or starting a partnership educate themselves on the big picture financial aspects of running a business. 

Vivian K. Gomez.

How do you take your coffee?

Gomez: I have a Nespresso machine and love trying their new regional blends all the time. I have always been a big latte person, but recently while on a trip back home to the Dominican Republic, I fell in love with Cafe Santo Domingo, a ground coffee brand made on the island.  I now love freshly french pressed coffee every morning, no milk, and two stevia packets. On occasion, if I want to switch it up, I’ll add a splash of creme brûlée sugar-free syrup. 

What is your number one way to inspire positive company or client morale?

Gomez: At the risk of sounding cliche, I like to treat my clients and assistants like family.  I always tell everyone once we’re working together, we’re a reflection of one another.  If they are doing poorly, then I’m doing poorly. The best advertisement for anything I’m involved in is a happy client, customer, or employee. That speaks volumes, and also makes doing my job more pleasant.  

How can a candidate impress you in a job interview?

Gomez: I’m more impressed by a person’s natural abilities than a resume. 

First, I like to get a feel of their energy; a person’s vibe is essential. Then I want to see if they can offer ideas, perspectives I may be lacking or unaware of, that shows me they are in the know and can contribute assets we don’t already have. You never want to pay for what you already have access to. Lastly, as a Virgo, I key into details and questions that tell me if the person is organized.  An organized person is always an educated person, so that tells me they take time to become knowledgable in what they are pursuing.  People with attention to detail never skip steps and rarely turn in half-assed work. 

What advice would you give to anyone looking to launch a business?

Gomez: Ask yourself, am I filling a void, am I innovating? 

If not, am I changing the space I’m trying to enter with something that feels new?  Always have a few talks with yourself about your venture before you speak to anyone else about it. Notes, research, and revisions are your best friends. The more you analyze and revise something, the better it will become. 

Categories
eSports Gaming

There’s March Madness….In July?!

COVID-19 has mostly affected the way we live our lives today. From the financial standpoint trickling down to sports, this devastating pandemic has opened the eyes of many individuals worldwide as they are still figuring out how to adjust to the new times. As many people may know, the widespread COVID-19 pandemic began in March, which resulted in fall college sports cancellation, including postseason basketball play. This means for the first time since 1939, there will not be a national champion crowned. But this didn’t stop ballers and fans from getting to experience the nostalgic feels of NCAA basketball.

On this edition of ONE37PM Presents Open Dialogue, we spoke with former NCAA baller Akoy Agua. Akoy has been one of the most searched figures this summer due to what he and his partner Matthew Melander did in creating a virtual NCAA Tournament. Thanks to the help of their venture they launched last fall called Primetimesports, fans can get to watch “graduating seniors turning pros represent their school while go head-to-head to determine who will be national champions. 

ONE37PM’s Associate Editor Omari White was able to speak to Akoy and Matthew about this amazing idea. They discussed what it took for him to properly launch, their main goals for the project, and what it took to select a Final Four bracket of some all-time great NCAA Division I squads. 

Omari: Can you break down the actual process it took to recreate these college players by using the NBA 2K animation and attributes. What was the difficulty in really wanting to have it precisely done?

Matt: So it was a long and tedious process. And the biggest problem with 2K, it’s not a cross-platform game. So everything you have to do for all the Xbox guys we have in the tournament, we had to recreate the same thing for the PlayStation guys as well. It was doing the same thing twice. It was a long process you have to go through, and I used sources like sports reference.com and ESPN as well to look at the statistics of the players, what kind of attributes they would have if they’re a three-point shooter or if they’re more around the rim. Things like that were going through there and then making sure their heights, weights, and positions were right. So it’s a long process, but we thought it would be worth it for these athletes because they had something taken away from them that they had no control over. I got to experience March Madness as a manager in Louisville, and it was one of the most significant times ever. I mean, to be honest with you, those three weeks are just amazing. We thought it’d be cool to bring that back and be able to play. I know it’s not the same thing, but it’s kind of close to being able to have them play it out. 

Categories
Sports Strength

A List Of The Most Popular Martial Arts

As the years pass by, it gets more and more likely that the average person has some sort of martial arts background, which only makes it more and more necessary that everyone else needs to have some sort of martial art background. Even if you’re not pursuing a career in MMA or mastery of them, to be able to defend yourself and just being fit in general, is vital.

To keep you informed, and maybe to help you decide which martial art is right for you, we’ve put together a list of the most popular ones.

1. Tae Kwon Do
Wikimedia Commons

Originating in South Korea, Tae Kwon Do is a relatively new martial art in the grand scheme of things. It started in the mid-20th century and has since become a staple in the Olympics. Although it is kick-heavy, punches, elbows, and other hand strikes are essential.

2. Muay Thai
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Known as the art of eight limbs, Muay Thai uses punches, kicks, knees, and elbows along with the clinch. It originated in Thailand, of course, back in the 18th century. There is a professional league that is governed by the Professional Boxing Association of Thailand.

3. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
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One of the most popular martial arts in the world, the first-ever Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (or BJJ) school was opened in 1925 by Geo Omori. It is a grappling art, with various other forms of it including a Japanese version and a version that includes strikes, Combat Jiu-Jitsu.

4. Krav Maga
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Recognized worldwide as one of the deadliest martial arts out there, Krav Maga was developed for the Israeli Defence Forces and security forces in the 1960s. It is a hybrid of Aikido, Boxing, Wrestling, Judo, and Karate, thus featuring strikes, throws, groundwork, and chokes/holds.

5. Karate
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Thanks largely to The Karate Kid, this martial art saw a huge surge in the 1980s and is still popular to this day because of it. Originating in the Ryukyu Kingdom, it uses a multitude of techniques, especially in its modern form, and it was actually supposed to debut at this year’s Olympics.

6. Judo
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Created by Kanō Jigorō in 1882, Judo was derived from Jujutsu (Japanese Jiu-Jitsu). The objective in Judo is to take down your opponent and either pins them or have them submit to a joint lock or chock. In terms of recent history, former UFC champion Ronda Rousey popularised it with her dominance through it in MMA.

7. Kendo
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Although Kendo literally translates to “way of the sword”, Kendo uses bamboo swords, otherwise known popularly as kendo sticks, to strike specific targeted areas. Practitioners also wear protective armor. It was created in Japan, way back in the early 1700s.

8. Wing Chun
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Wing Chun was created by Ng Mui, a Chinese abbess born in the late 17th century. She taught it to her student Yim Wing-chun (where the name comes from) so that she could defend herself against unwanted advances. There are multiple forms of it and practitioners use their hands and legs predominantly.

9. Boxing
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Some consider Boxing to be a martial art and some don’t, but we’re including it here because it’s a form of fighting and self-defense and is indeed artistic at its highest level. Boxing has an ancient history, going back to 1500 BC and is arguably the most popular on this list.

10. Wrestling
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Another ancient art, wrestling goes back to 13000 BC and has a heavy presence due to collegiate wrestling in the States. The aim is to take down and pin your opponent. Every year, schools take part in the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships where Penn State currently holds the title.

11. Capoeira
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An Afro-Brazilian martial art, Capoeria is unique in that it combines dance, acrobatics, and rhythm from music. It requires flexibility and is kicking-based. If you saw Conor McGregor fight, Nate Diaz, the first time at UFC 196, you might have seen him through some Capoeira kicks when he put his hands on the ground.

12. Aikido
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Aikido was invented by Morihei Ueshiba who wanted to help people defend themselves whilst also defending their attackers, i.e., not injuring them. There are breathing techniques involved and it is largely about using an attacker’s momentum against them when grappling.

13. Sambo
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Developed in the Soviet Union and registered as a sports discipline in 1938, Sambo is a form of wrestling also inspired by Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, and more. All you need to know about Sambo to understand its effectiveness is that it is what UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov practices.

14. Sumo
Wikimedia Commons

Not being in Japan, it’s easy to overlook how important Sumo is to the culture over there. Around since the 8th century, Sumo wrestlers are treated with a great deal of respect. The goal in Sumo is to get your opponent out of a ring so that a body part other than the soles of their feet touch the ground. The highest governing body is the International Sumo Federation.

15. Vale Tudo
Wikimedia Commons

Originating in Brazil, Vale Tudo is a martial art with very little in the way of rules. In fact, Vale Tudo literally translates to “everything goes”. It was popularised in the 1920s and is a hybrid of multiple martial arts. Today, despite facing a stigma, tournaments still take place in Brazil under unified rules.

Categories
Grind Money

Who Are The Richest UFC Fighters?

Though there have been some disputes about fighter pay in the UFC as of late between the company and top stars like Jon Jones and Jorge Masvidal, at the top level, UFC stars make great money. The issue of pay is about whether they earn a fair percentage of what they earn for the company, but even still, popular fighters and champions are guaranteed hundreds of thousands of dollars every time they fight.

Of course, when you’re that popular, you likely have a few different revenue streams that contribute to your net worth. Below is a list of some of the richest UFC fighters.

  1. Conor McGregor ($120 million)
  2. Khabib Nurmagomedov ($30 million)
  3. Georges St-Pierre ($30 million)
  4. Brock Lesnar ($28 million)
  5. Anderson Silva ($18 million)
  6. Alistair Overeem ($15.5 million)
  7. Ronda Rousey ($13 million)
  8. Jon Jones ($10 million)
  9. José Aldo ($9 million)
  10. Michael Bisping ($9 million)
  11. Donald Cerrone ($9 million)
  12. Nate Diaz ($8 million)
  13. Daniel Cormier ($6 million)
  14. Jorge Masvidal ($6 million)
  15. Amanda Nunes ($4 million)
1. Conor McGregor ($120 million)

It’s no secret that Conor McGregor is not only the richest UFC fighter, but one of the richest sports athletes in the world. For his last fight with Cowboy Cerrone, he was guaranteed $3 million just to show up and considering the event sold 1 million PPVs, he likely made millions off the backend too. In terms of other business, Conor’s Proper 12 whiskey has sold hundreds of thousands of bottles since its release, contributing significantly to his bank account.

2. Khabib Nurmagomedov ($30 million)

It is reported that Khabib Nurmagomedov made a guarantee of $6 million for his last fight with Dustin Poirier and that numbers comes from Khabib’s late father Abdulmanap who said that his son will make triple what he earned in the Conor fight, which was $2 million. Even if that number is high as an upfront payment, there’s no doubt Khabib banked millions, with the event in Abu Dhabi and subsequent scheduled events being built around him and his appeal to the natives there.It is reported that Khabib Nurmagomedov made a guarantee of $6 million for his last fight with Dustin Poirier and that numbers comes from Khabib’s late father Abdulmanap who said that his son will make triple what he earned in the Conor fight, which was $2 million. Even if that number is high as an upfront payment, there’s no doubt Khabib banked millions, with the event in Abu Dhabi and subsequent scheduled events being built around him and his appeal to the natives there.

3. Georges St-Pierre ($30 million)

Widely regarded as the best to ever do it in MMA, Georges St-Pierre has the net worth to show for it. Though he is now retired from the sport, in his last fight with Michael Bisping, GSP was guaranteed $2.5 million and the fact that he is a PPV draw means he earned millions from PPV points too. Outside of fighting, GSP has boasted endorsement deals with Under Armour, Affliction, 888Poker, EA and more big companies.

4. Brock Lesnar ($28 million)

Though he is still under contract with the UFC, Brock Lesnar currently wrestles for WWE where he is one of their most valued stars, supposedly making over $6 million every year. Brock made his name in pro-wrestling and came over to MMA afterwards, where he would help bring over fans from the wrestling side of things. Him fighting means big bucks for the UFC so he makes them in return, earning $2.5 million upfront for his UFC 200 fight against Mark Hunt.

5. Anderson Silva ($18 million)

Though he hasn’t been fighting at the top level for a few years, with just one win since 2012, Brazilian legend Anderson Silva still has name value and the UFC recognises that. For his last fight versus top Middleweight contender Jared Cannonier, he earned a flat fee of $600k, which he has been earning for years as a minimum. He has also had sponsorship deals with Nike, Burger King and more.

6. Alistair Overeem ($15.5 million)

Earlier this year, Overeem fought his 65th professional MMA fight against Walt Harris. For it, he earned about half a million dollars, which has been his standard for years now. Overeem is a legend in the sport and has done all there is to do except for winning a UFC title. Even if his current last try for the Heavyweight championship doesn’t work out, it’ll help his retirement fund.

7. Ronda Rousey ($13 million)

She isn’t officially retired from the sport, but given how her last two fights went, her time away and the comfort she’s found in professional wrestling, it’s unlikely that Ronda Rousey ever fights again. She certainly doesn’t need to, with a net worth of $13 million. Her WWE salary was reportedly $1.5 million and for her fight against Amanda Nunes at UFC 207, she was guaranteed $3 million.

8. Jon Jones ($10 million)

Jones has been one of the fighters that has been in a public feud with Dana and the UFC for wanting more money for a move up to Heavyweight. He certainly deserves more, but even if he continues to fight at 205lbs, he’ll be guaranteed $500k every fight, likely making significantly more off the backend. In his early twenties, Jonny Bones was also the first MMA fighter to be sponsored by Nike, the first MMA fighter with their own shoe and the first MMA fighter to represent Gatorade.

9. José Aldo ($9 million)

After conquering 145lbs and becoming the greatest Featherweight of all time, José Aldo moved down to Bantamweight last year to fight fellow Brazilian Marlon Moraes and for it, he made $400k, which he also made in his last fight against Petr Yan. Aldo also makes good money from sponsorship and expressed his concern for losing money from those deals due to the coronavirus pandemic.

10. Michael Bisping ($9 million)

For a long time, Michael Bisping was one of the highest paid MMA fighters in the world, bringing in fans from Europe for the UFC. He’s been retired for years now, but still made significant over his long career. To fight GSP at UFC 217 he was guaranteed $500k and just a few weeks later when he fought Kelvin Gastelum, he made another quarter of a million dollars. He currently makes money commentating for the UFC.

11. Donald Cerrone ($9 million)

Cowboy’s reputation in MMA is that he fights whoever, whenever. He boasts the most wins in UFC history and is in great standing with the company. Though he was guaranteed his standard rate of $200k to fight Conor in January, he likely earned a big bonus behind closed doors and a bunch of money from PPV points. He also has a deal with P3.

12. Nate Diaz ($8 million)

When RDA pulled out of his fight with Conor McGregor at UFC 196, Nate Diaz’s dream had come true and he was finally going to be paid his worth. He made half a million on short notice, then $2 million for the rematch. He proved he could be a star on his own when he fought Pettis in a big fight and propelled Jorge Masvidal to stardom too. With his brother Nick, he founded a CBD company called Game Up Nutrition a few years back.

13. Daniel Cormier ($6 million)

Being called a “company man” is often an insult, but Daniel Cormier’s bank account makes it hard for him to take offence. For his upcoming fight against Stipe Miocic, he’ll earn the exact same money he earned when he was champion which adds up to millions when all the figures are in. He also makes handsome checks commentating for the UFC.

14. Jorge Masvidal ($6 million)

The UFC’s newest star, Jorge Masvidal just fought Kamaru Usman for the 170lb title on short notice. This came after he was supposed to get the fight in the first place but was passed over due to disputes over money. In the end he lucked out after Gilbert Burns was forced to pull out. Just like against Nate Diaz, he made $500k upfront, but this time with generous PPV points which he’ll make seven figures from. He recently launched Recuerdo Mezcal too.

15. Amanda Nunes ($4 million)

Easily the most accomplished woman to ever fight in MMA, Amanda Nunes is currently the women’s 135lb and 145lb champ in the UFC. She’s done everything there is to do in the sport but is still going. In her last fight against Felicia Spencer, her 11th straight win, he made $450k with PPV points adding on.

Categories
Style What To Buy

26 Black Owned Clothing Brands To Shop Now

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from 2020, it’s that black owned clothing brands deserve our support. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next shopping spree, look no further than these 26 black owned clothing brands.

1. Sincerely, Tommy

Located in New York’s fashionable neighborhood of Bedstuy, Sincerely, Tommy is a lifestyle concept store with endless potential. This boutique is carefully curated with womenswear and unique uni-sex fits for the most fashion forward New Yorker. Their in house fashion line isn’t the only great thing about the store — they also host fun theme nights to draw community awareness.

Buy
https://sincerelytommy.com/
2. Wales Bonner

Started in 2014 by Grace Wales Bonner, a Central Saint Martins student, Wales Bonner combines texture and classic feminine fits to create this eponymous menswear line. Their contrasting lines of velvet and knits strike the perfect mix between preppy and posh, making it a stunning look that remains completely versatile. Wales Bonner is known for its expert tailoring and can be found in stock at Net-A-Porter and Barneys.

Buy
https://walesbonner.net/
3. ALLCAPSSTUDIO

Created by Philly native Saeed Ferguson, this black owned brand specializes in classic custom prints and graphic designs. These gorgeous and unique designs can be purchased on tote bags and custom streetwear shirts. The brand has also collabed with major streetwear names like Hypebeast and more.

Buy
https://www.allcapstudio.com/
4. Chelsea Bravo

New Yorker turned London transplant Chelsea Bravo founded her menswear line in 2014,  using her Trinidadian and Grenadian heritage as inspiration. The designer is obsessed with silhouettes that recreate the experience of viewing art, making garments that are both personal and tell a story. These contemporary fits are more than just self expression– each piece is made to order in-house in Brooklyn, NY.

Buy
https://www.chelseabravo.com/
5. Union Los Angeles

Born first on Soho’s Spring Street in 1989, this black owned store was moved to L.A with the purpose of curating fresh new looks from the best designers around. Union Los Angeles  focuses on cultivating fashion forward designers, and creating ultramodern designs that showcase the creativity of the city’s best and brightest. The store also works on collaborations with high end brands worldwide, making it the perfect mix of high end and trendy.

Buy
https://store.unionlosangeles.com/
6. A-Cold Wall

This black owned collection combines the aesthetic of the working class uniform and twists it into the cutting edge fashion of today. With sloping silhouettes and sharp, eye-catching colors, London creator Samuel Ross has built true art out of his clothing line.

Buy
https://a-cold-wall.com/
7. Daily Paper

Founded in 2012, this Amsterdam collection is streetwear that draws its inspiration from the African legacy of its three co-creators. The stunning clothes of Daily Paper also include accessories, like profile matching berets.

Buy
https://www.dailypaperclothing.com/collections/accessories
8. Bricks & Wood

Besides being handpicked by Beyonce for her fashion page, Bricks & Wood is a fashion line for the stars. This Los Angeles brand is an institution in the city, and has been worn by celebs like Tyler the Creator, Anderson Paak, and more. Their clothes are purposefully organic, and the store is constantly partnered with organizations to improve and impact the community.

Buy
https://bricksandwood.us/
9. Fear of God

Fear of God is a black-owned fashion brand that specializes in everyone’s favorite minimalist looks with a twist. This monochromatic line was launched in 2013 by designer Jerry Lorenzo, and combines style innovations with classic outlines that the designer calls “solution based.” This line is absolutely gorgeous and would round out any classic closet.

Buy
https://fearofgod.com/
10. Albert 1941

A London based brand, Albert Clothing takes tailored menswear to the next level, going back to the timeless styles of luxury suiting. Using a variety of patterns and designs, Albert creates handmade masterpieces for the everyday man. The custom shirts and pants thrive on a monochromatic pattern, using patterns like linen and suede to create wearable classics for the office.

Buy
https://albertclothing.com/the-brand/
11. BedStuyFly

With New York designed graphic t-shirts, sweats, and more, BedStuyFly is dressing the best of the best in NYC. This black owned brand has stores in BedStuy and Williamsburg, specializing in streetwear with an urban feel.

Buy
https://www.bedstuyfly.com/
12. Telfar

Started by Liberian designer Telfar Clemens, Telfar is a uni-sex clothing line designed with a combination of sportswear and high fashion the designer calls “simplexicity.” Spotted on and off the runway, the brand is known for its innovative use of color and cut, making fashion that is both wearable and highly avant garde. While the line was primarily created for clothes ,it also has matching logo accessories. Perhaps most famous is Telfar’s embossed shopping bag, which grew into a hypebeast mainstay; especially in New York’s queer fashion community. New York Mag’s The Cut even nicknamed it the “Bushwick Birkin,” due to it’s high sell out rate.

Buy
https://shop.telfar.net/
13. Martine Rose

What started as a small shirting line has evolved into a gorgeous fully fleshed menswear line. Using her Jamaican British heritage to inspire her eponymous line, Martine Rose is known for her line’s unique aesthetic and groundbreaking textures.

Buy
https://www.martine-rose.com/
14. Denim Tears

If you’re looking to take your Canadian Tuxedo to the next level, Denim Tears is exactly what you’ve been missing. Started by founder Tremaine Emory, this line is as gorgeous as it is political. The recent collaboration with Levi’s featured denim embossed with cotton wreaths, used by Tremaine to create “a logo” of slavery’s legacy. The line also includes homegoods, like woven blankets and enameled rings, rounding at the line as perfect for all occasions.

Buy
https://denimtears.com/
15. Stuzo Clothing

This black owned clothing line specializes in gender neutral clothing for all bodies, making it the perfect buy for all your apparel needs. Started in New York, this current Los Angeles brand was co-founded by two black creators, Stoney Michelli and Uzo Ejikeme. During the COVID-19 outbreak, the line also pivoted to creating face masks in their signature looks, proving the brand’s continual versatility.

Buy
https://www.stuzoclothing.com/
16. Pyer Moss

If you haven’t heard of Pyer Moss, you might want to check your hearing. This dual men and womenswear line was created by designer Kerby Jean-Raymond in 2013, and thrives on its innovative use of color and layering. Jean-Raymond’s designs are constantly seen both on and off the runway—decorating the pages of Vogue on the regular. The designer also uses his huge platform to “challenge social narratives and evoke dialogue.” In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the line created a $50,000 fund for black and women owned small businesses in distress.

Buy
https://pyermoss.com/collections/pyer-moss-collection-3-men
17. Pashko

While fashion might not be on the forefront of people’s minds during quarantine, comfortable work from home clothes have been. Started by Joseph Cambell, this lifestyle brand is lauded for its eco-friendly focus and quality materials. The low carbon footprint of merino makes the clothes not only sustainable, but comfortable and beautiful.They even have a line of workwear fits that are both soft and durable for the day ahead. Pashko has also used quarantine to amplify black voices on its instagram account and focus on social justice issues.

Buy
https://paskho.com/
18. A. Sauvage

This british line takes tailoring to the next level, combining classic fits with incredibly whimsical patterns. Created by designer Adrien Sauvage, this modern men’s line combines the styles of London and Los Angeles to create an entirely unique vibe. And as an International Fashion House, its fame only makes more and more sense.

Buy
https://asauvage.com/
19. Heron Preston

If you’re looking for a line between streetwear and tailored bespoke suits, look no further than Heron Preston. This fashion line is named for its Parsons grad designer and features garments that fit into the “workwear” space, but extend into whatever genre you need. Fed up with the perils of fast fashion, Preston has focused his time and brand on creating sustainable products that deviate from the destructive practices of the industry. He’s created more than a fashion line, continuing to develop experimental fashion products that change production techniques around the world. These clothes aren’t just incredible— they come with a conscience as well.

Buy
https://www.heronpreston.com/en/US
20. The Brooklyn Circus

This menswear brand draws its inspiration from fashion icons of the past. Featured in the New York Times, The Brooklyn Circus is known for its curation of black fashion that is elevated from the popular streetwear we know and love today. Ouigi Theodore, the brand’s founder and owner, has found his niche in restorative fashion, and leads the pack at his boutique. The store specializes in black street fashion, and the recurring trends that continue to come back time and time again.

Buy
https://thebkcircus.com/
21. Frère

This bespoke suit line was created by Brooklyn native Davidson Petit-Frère, and is worn by celebs and fashion fanatics alike. You might recognize some of their pieces from well known photos of stars like Jay-Z. The brand is known for its exquisite tailoring and unique lines. Even better, its pinstripe ensembles thrive on their quirky coloring and distinctive profile. If you’ve ever wanted to dress for the job you want, this is the clothing line for you.

Buy
https://www.frereny.com/
22. Renowned LA

Founded in 2011, this Los Angeles based streetwear brand is constantly creating fashion for the next generation. Its’ founder, John Dean, personally took part in the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020. Even further, the t-shirt brand has created classic prints that celebrate the movement and the black experience. It’s been featured in over 40 publications and is continuing to push black streetwear forward.

Buy
https://www.renowned.la/webstore/
23. Casely Hayford

This black owned high fashion brand is your next must-stop in London. In addition to the brand’s bespoke personal tailoring outfit, it has been established as one of the UK’s most premiere creators of menswear. Founded by late renowned designer Joe Casely-Hayford in 1984, this brand is attributed with truly revolutionary creations, curating ready-to-wear runway “slow fashion” that emphasize distinctive layering over trendy fits. It is considered one of the fundamental British menswear brands of the 21st century.

Buy
https://casely-hayford.com/
24. ALLËDJO

Inspired by the Yoruba name for traveler, this unisex line is a clash of groundbreaking prints and gender neutral silhouettes. Started in 2017, ALLEDJO is made in Africa, and thrives on the mission of supporting black creators and craftsmanship. It combines the traveling aesthetic with the desire for support, using its platform to elevate the textile industry to the next level. While its founder, Kassim Lassissi, is a French National, his travels around the globe have influenced his culture and fashion brand. Their latest venture was even featured on Vogue Business, which means outfits are selling fast.

Buy
https://www.alledjo.com/shop
25. HSTRY

HSTRY is a fashion brand inspired by the hip hop legends of the past, present, and future. Started by rapper NAS, the brand takes pride in its historical accuracy, creating pieces that celebrate black culture in their fashion line. Their instagram intertwines their fashion pieces with tiny bits of history, both creating and educating their followers on black knowledge and culture.

Buy
https://www.hstryclothing.com/
26. Brownstone

No, you aren’t seeing double. Brownstone was founded by twin designers Waverly and Warner Watkins and they thrive on their brotherly collaboration. Brownstone is a fashion line inspired by their punk years, and thriving on the politically forward beat of today. Their collections of readymade are personalized to their life and easily fit into yours, making them the perfect purchase to round out your look.

Buy
https://brwnstne.co/collections/all-products
Categories
Culture Movies/TV

The 20 Best Wrestling Movies

The sports movie genre has been blessed to have a nice selection of quality picks worth watching. 

Basketball fanatics can look to White Men Can’t Jump plus Love and Basketball as bonafide classics. Baseball enthusiasts know that Bill Durham and Moneyball are required viewing. And devoted followers of the football scene look to Friday Night Lights and Remember the Titans as the finest films about their preferred sport. When wrestling fans are forced to look for standout flicks that represent their favorite form of sports entertainment, their options aren’t as plentiful as you’d think. Pure onscreen trash such as Ready to Rumble and No Holds Barred sadly exist and should only be watched for a decent chuckle and nothing more.

If you’re on the lookout for movies based on wrestling that don’t make you feel as if you’re wasting your precious time and energy, we’ve got you covered. The 20 films we compiled for this list do a great job of covering the wild world of professional wrestling in one of two ways – through a cinematic lens that features big time actors and even real-world wrestlers or offering a documentary presentation on the sport’s standout personalities.

These films aren’t about the rise of an amateur wrestler looking to overcome their demons and notch a triumphant win in the end – they’re more about the pomp and circumstance that comes with delivering body slams, hot promos, and other crowd popping antics.

1. ‘Wrestling Isn’t Wrestling’

Director Max Landis got sick of hearing about how pro wrestling is fake from its many detractors. And honestly, we feel the exact same way. Max then took it upon himself to put together an amazing short film that legitimizes the sport he loves so much and breaks down just how enthralling it can be as a form of entertainment. Wrestling Isn’t Wrestling flips gender roles as it retells the story of Triple H and details the many intricacies displayed by his onscreen character. And all the while, Max puts the best aspects of wrestling on full display in the most hilarious and thought provoking ways possible.


Wrestling Isn’t Wrestling can be viewed in full on YouTube for free.

2. ‘The Wrestler’ (1974)

The Wrestler (1974) acts as a cinematic time capsule that features a who’s who of pro wrestling biggest stars from the mid-70s. If you consider yourself a true historian of the sport, then you’ll have a fun time recognizing each and every Hall of Famer that makes an onscreen appearance. The American Wrestling Association’s own Verne Gagne stars in this film as an aging champion who’s conflicted over dropping the title to a young up and comer played by Billy Robinson. Throughout the film are a number of cool cameos from the likes of Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, Don Muraco, Pedro Morales, Nick Bockwinkel, and a host of other throwback greats.


The Wrestler (1974) can only been seen via DVD and VHS.

3. ‘Paradise Alley’

Sylvester Stallone made his feature film directorial debut with Paradise Alley, a movie that delved into the dirty dealings and underworld antics of professional wrestling. The film follows a trio of brothers – one of them convinces the more athletic brother to pursue a career in wrestling, while the third sibling takes it upon himself to manage him along the way. Plenty of drama ensues as the trio nets great success and earns the attention of a local gangster who decides to present an overwhelming challenge to their hot young prospect. Keep an eye out for cameos from Terry Funk, Dory Funk Jr., Ted DiBiase, Dick Murdoch, and several other late 70s legends.


Paradise Alley is available to watch on YouTube, iTunes, Google Play Movies & TV, Vudu, and Amazon Prime Video.

4. ‘Body Slam’

Seeing as how two of the biggest stars from the Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Connection era are in this film makes total sense considering its subject matter. Body Slam follows a struggling music promoter who decides to try something new in order to revive his career. That fresh endeavor turns out to be his mixing of rock shows that also feature a slice of professional wrestling. The comedy antics this movie thrives on is due to the roles played in part by “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, Captain Lou Albano, and the Wild Samoans. By the way, keep your eyes peeled for some dope wrestler cameos during the final match sequence.


Body Slam can only be viewed on DVD and VHS.

5. ‘Queens of the Ring’

WWE Studios’ track record for producing halfway decent films is astronomically low. But from time to time, they actually release a product that’s watchable and actually quite memorable. One of those projects is the comedy called Queens of the Ring. It mainly focuses on a single mother who’s having a hard time coping with her son, who’s now finding her uncool and choosing to hang out with his young friends over her. In order to appeal to his interests and regain his favor, the mother gathers her workmates together in a bid to become professional wrestlers. And of course, this setup leads to plenty of hilarious moments from start to finish.


Queens of the Ring can be seen on Vudu, YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, Amazon Prime Video, and iTunes.

6. ‘Below the Belt’

Below the Belt puts the personal triumphs and losses tied to entering the wrestling business on full display in this heart tugging drama. It especially provides a tough lesson on the many hardships tied to 80s women’s wrestling. This film selection follows a waitress who goes for a drastic career change that leads to her meeting with a professional wrestling trainer. This training period quickly transitions into her fighting for a chance to become the best in a seedy business that’s equally parts rewarding and emotionally deflating.


Below the Belt is available to watch on Vudu, Sling TV, and Amazon Prime Video.

7. ‘Foul King’

The main character within Foul King is more or less a constant letdown in his bank manager’s eyes. His constant lateness is partly the reason why, which makes sense. As fate would have it, the downtrodden bank teller discovers a local wrestling trainer who decides to train him. After this event transpires, the bank teller takes on the role of an after hours heel pro wrestler known as the “Foul King.” This South Korean film follows his humorous in-ring exploits and the troubles he gets himself into due to his newfound confidence.


Foul King can be seen on Amazon Prime Video.

8. ‘Nacho Libre’

Jack Black is a comedic joy. When he stepped into the world of Lucha Libre for Nacho Libre, his gut-busting theatrics perfectly matched up with the film’s wrestling antics. This movie pick sees Black play the part of a cook who looks to raise more money for the monastery he grew up in. In order to keep providing for the many children that reside there, he moonlights as a masked luchador who fights to keep winning and keep his real identity under wraps. Mexican wrestling legend Silver King and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla’s own Human Tornado both make cool cameos in this hilarious film.


Nacho Libre is available for viewing on Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, Vudu, iTunes, and Netflix.

9. ‘All the Marbles’

A pair of lady wrestlers dream of making it big with the assistance of a janky but lovable manager in All the Marbles. This wrestling duo calls themselves the “California Dolls,” who vie to rise up the wrestling circuit ranks and make it big. Only problem is they have to contend with a pair of rival lady wrestlers by the name of the “Toledo Tigers” and a super sleazy wrestling promoter. All the Marbles provides a comedic look at the best and worst parts of everything that comes with competing as a women’s professional wrestler. Expect to see a mud wrestling match or two in this one.


All the Marbles can be viewed on Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, and Vudu.

10. ‘Lipstick and Dynamite, Piss and Vinegar: The First Ladies of Wrestling’

Film director/producer Ruth Leitman does an amazing job of covering the early days of women’s professional wrestling by interviewing the biggest stars of the 1940s and 1950s. The legendary personalities he comes into contact with includes The Fabulous Moolah, Mae Young, Gladys “Kill ‘Em” Gillem, Ida Mae Martinez, Ella Waldek, and Penny Banner. This documentary features a ton of throwback footage of the women themselves and even takes a look at their post-career lives. The sequence that shows all six women meeting up to swap war stories is simply fascinating and quite the tearjerker.


Lipstick and Dynamite, Piss and Vinegar: The First Ladies of Wrestling can be seen on Amazon Prime Video and Sling TV.

11. ‘My Breakfast with Blassie’

Andy Kaufman knows a thing or two about the wrestling business. He made big box office money during his feud with Jerry “The King” Lawler, after all. If you’re looking for a primer on that money making grudge, check out the Kaufman biopic Man on the Moon. And if you’re in the mood to watch “Classy” Freddie Blassie use his sharp tongue during a morning meet up with Kaufman, check out this film as well. My Breakfast with Blassie acts as a spoof of the 1981 film My Dinner with Andre (not the giant). This parody sees Kaufman and Blassie improvise their funny quips and introspective conversation as they interact with each other and some, let’s say, enthusiastic fans.


My Breakfast with Blassie can be seen on Tubi, iTunes, Sling TV, and Amazon Prime Video.

12. ‘GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling’

If you’ve followed every season of the GLOW drama series on Netflix and are interested in the backstory behind the popular 80s promotion, then this documentary film is a must-watch. GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling is an inside look at the rise and fall of the wrestling federation that ran from 1986 to 1989. Several of GLOW’s most recognizable personalities, such as Mountain Fiji, Matilda the Hun, and Lightning, speak over archival footage and reminisce over their days as bonafide wrestling stars.


GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling can be viewed on CONtv through Amazon.

13. ‘The Resurrection of Jake the Snake’

Jake “The Snake” Roberts stood near the top of the wrestling mountain during the 80s. Fans still celebrate his haunting promos, devastating DDT finisher, and memorable feuds with other top wrestling stars. But Jake’s well-documented inner demons have played a huge part in his downfall. This incredible documentary gives fans a deep look at Jake’s fight to reclaim his life and regain the trust of his family with the assistance of another wrestling legend – Diamond Dallas Page. The Resurrection of Jake the Snake is an inspiring film that puts the spotlight on wrestlers looking to recover from their debilitating issues.


The Resurrection of Jake the Snake can be seen on iTunes, YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, and Vudu.

14. ‘Fighting With My Family’

Paige is one of WWE’s greatest success stories from within the company’s now thriving women’s division. Her ascent from NXT to the main roster helped kick off the rise of the Women’s Revolution and give the wrestling landscape a welcome makeover. This fascinating biopic tells the tale of Paige’s upbringing with her wrestling family, her close relationship with her brother, and what it took for her to climb the ladder in WWE to championship status. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s co-starring role in this film gives it an even stronger sense of legitimacy among avid wrestling fans.


Fighting With My Family can be viewed on iTunes, YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, and Vudu.

15. ‘Kayfabe: A Fake Real Movie About a Fake Real Sport’

The best mockumentaries of all time fully embrace their source material and embraces the ridiculousness of it all. For wrestling fans, Kayfabe: A Fake Real Movie About a Fake Real Sport is required viewing. This film follows the impending shutdown of an indy wrestling fed called the (*takes deep breath*) Tri-City International Championship Wrestling Federation. During the TCICWF’S run of final shows, viewers get to follow the lives of the promotion’s lovable yet goofy wrestlers and get a lesson on the real/fictitious aspects of professional wrestling.


Kayfabe: A Fake Real Movie About a Fake Real Sport is available to watch in full for free on YouTube.

16. ‘Beyond the Mat’

“HE’S GONNA…HE’S GONNA PUKE! That infamous line is derived from the classic 1999 documentary that fans of Mick Foley, Terry Funk, and Jake “The Snake” Roberts remember fondly. This Barry W. Blaustein passion project details the triumphs and failures of numerous wrestling legends and the rookies looking to make a play for the big leagues at the time. The World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) get plenty of screen time here as cameras document the behind the scenes drama that ensues within both companies.


Beyond the Mat can be seen on YouTube, iTunes, Google Play Movies & TV, Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, and Netflix.

17. ‘Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows’

Director Paul Jay got extremely lucky when he decided to follow Bret “Hitman” Hart around during 1997. In doing so, his documentary ended up catching one of the most infamous moments in wrestling history on camera, which was the Montreal Screwjob. Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows follows Bret from SummerSlam 1997 right up until his controversial bout with Shawn Michaels at Survivor Series 1997. Fans get to see Bret consider his options as his contract for the WWE comes to a close, plus it features a behind-the-curtain peek at Bret’s fellow wrestling journeymen and his home life.


Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows can only be seen be seen on DVD.

18. ‘The Peanut Butter Falcon’

Shia LaBeouf stars in this heartwarming tale about a man with Down syndrome who decides to break free of his nursing home lockdown to pursue his dream. And that dream happens to be his pursuit of becoming a professional wrestler. Shia’s character ends up befriending the rambunctious young man and becomes a coach/best friend to him in the process. During their journey together, they begin to learn even more about each other and find a way to stay one step ahead of a social worker played by Dakota Johnson.


The Peanut Butter Falcon is available for viewing on Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, and Sling TV.

19. ‘Andre the Giant’

Quite literally, Andre Rene Roussimoff was larger than life. His world travels placed him in the biggest wrestling promotions and pitted him against a who’s who of the most recognizable personalities in the sport. All the while, he captured the attention of even non-wrestling fans due to his gargantuan size, lovable personality, and jaw dropping feats when it came to his beer drinking. This HBO documentary details Andre’s rise to fame and the personal struggles he dealt with due to his gigantism. With amazing anecdotes from his friends/family plus archival footage, this doc breaks down the legend of the eighth wonder of the world in a truly fascinating manner.

You can check out this documentary on YouTube, Vudu, HBO Max, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO Go.

20. ‘The Wrestler’ (2008)

Mickey Rourke’s comeback trail can be charted back to his amazing performance in this film. His role as the downtrodden wrestler known as Randy “The Ram” Robinson showcased his amazing penchant for displaying a character’s inner struggles onscreen. The Wrestler (2008) details the trials and tribulations of former wrestling legends that continue to compete even when it’s clear that their best years are behind them. This film showcases Randy as he mixes it up with recognizable wrestlers on the indy scene and attempts to reconnect with his estranged daughter. As for the film’s ending, it’s completely left up to your interpretation.


The Wrestler (2008) can be seen on YouTube, iTunes, Google Play Movies & TV, Vudu, and Amazon Prime Video.

Categories
Sports Strength

Bellator Vs. UFC: How The Two MMA Power Houses Stack Up

Though UFC, the leading MMA organisation, often gets confused with the actual sport and practice of MMA, there are in fact multiple organisations worldwide. If MMA were basketball, in many ways, the UFC would be the NBA. But importantly, professional fighters do have choices about where they’d like to fight out their careers and one of the best options is Bellator.

Just like it usually does when competition is present, rivalry has brewed here and there between UFC and Bellator, but the sustenance and growth of both individually is crucial. Here, we’ll be looking at both organisations independently of each other but also looking at how they stack up and what that means for the sport.

A Brief History Of UFC
Susumu Nagao/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

When UFC first began holding events in 1993, it was mostly a platform to discover how one fighting style would work against another, which the Gracie family, MMA royalty, shined in. UFC 1 was a tournament which in the finals, saw Gerard Gordeau fighting Royce Grace, which Grace of course won. To this day, fans put Royce on MMA’s Mount Rushmore.

When the UFC started to become the company that we know it as today was the early 2000s after brothers Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta and their business partner Dana White purchased it for $2 million. They created Zuffa, UFC’s parent entity. The sport was still looked at human cockfighting, so Lorenzo Fertitta’s attorneys called him crazy for the purchase, but it would later prove to be genius. In 2016, the company was sold to WME-IMG for more than $4 billion, an unimaginable 199,990% increase on what it was bought for just sixteen years earlier. If they weren’t already filthy rich, you’d say they hit the jackpot.

How the company’s worth increase was Dana and the Fertittas’ insistence on getting it to be perceived just like any other sport by getting it legalized everywhere possible, getting sanctioning bodies onboard, and other changes like to the rules and even production aesthetics. I’m not sure where the sport would be without UFC.

A Brief History Of Bellator
Henry S. Dziekan III/Getty Images

Bellator MMA was founded much later than UFC, a full decade and a half later, in fact. Their first event, Bellator 1, took place in 2009 and featured fighters who are still popular today, like Jorge Masvidal and Eddie Alvarez. Just like UFC’s initial offering, it was a tournament that would play out over the following few events.

Bellator is manned by Scott Coker who was already respected in the sport for founding Strikeforce, an organization that has seen the likes of Daniel Cormier and Ronda Rousey rising through the ranks and is greatly revered by MMA fans worldwide. Coker replaced Bjorn Rebney as Bellator’s President in 2014 and his aim was to take it away from the tournament-styled organization it had grown to become. This was shortly after the company held its first PPV and was clearly a shift towards a new direction.

Since then, Bellator has only gained fans and has continued to become a viable option outside of UFC for fans and fighters alike.

How They Compare
G. Chase (logos from UFC/Bellator/Viacom/Versus

Though other organizations have their benefits, due to its sheer popularity, UFC has always been the main choice for fighters. The belief is that both the best and most popular fighters are there, so it’s incredibly hard to be considered one of the greats while fighting somewhere else. Even though Bellator boasts its own stars and elite fighters, many of them (Gegard Mousasi, Cris Cyborg, Ryan Bader) are former UFC fighters, which only speaks to the organization’s power. Even when Bellator has its own fighter who becomes a champion, like Douglas Lima, a conversation about them being the best in the world doesn’t happen without seeing how they’d match up with UFC’s champion in the same weight class, think Kamaru Usman. This has always been Bellator’s main downfall from fans.

To put things in perspective, if you look at a list of the most bought MMA PPVs ever, UFC holds the first 180+ spots on its own, before any other organization makes an appearance. Bellator’s highest-selling PPV was Bellator 120 in 2014 when King Mo fought Rampage, which did 100k buys. UFC’s highest-selling event is Khabib vs. Conor, which did 2.4 million.

In terms of functioning differences, there are a few. For one, Bellator uses a circular cage as opposed to the UFC’s famous octagon, which is arguably a better format for fighting. Fighter’s walkouts are emphasized more in Bellator too, with competitors getting their own entrance videos as they walk down a ramp on their own, making the occasion feel more momentous. Coker’s promotion also does not utilize any kind of ranking system, other than there being a champion in each weight class. At any given moment, UFC has a champion, fifteen ranked contenders, and fighters who want placement in the division’s list of top contenders. Bellator’s lack of this has its own benefits and drawbacks. On one hand, it feeds into their perception as a second-rank organization and arguably takes them out of high-level MMA conversations. But on the other hand, it helps them avoid the problems UFC faces like fans appealing after Conor McGregor skips a bunch of contenders to get a title fight due to his stardom.

Why Competition Is Important

Even though Bellator is a distant second to UFC in more ways than one, competition is vital and a monopoly benefits no-one but UFC’s suits. When UFC fighters enter negotiations, rare as they may be, to have Bellator ready to match offers is important for fighters’ pay. When UFC makes decisions like taking away fighters’ in-cage sponsorships in favour of Reebok uniforms which see them making just a few thousand dollars a night as opposed to six or seven figures, having Bellator around is a necessity.

As much as Dana might not want to admit it, having Bellator around does a satisfactory job of keeping UFC on its toes and as much as both promotions grow in the coming years, more and more young fighter will pick Bellator (or PFL or ONE) as their homes, which should eventually lead to more of an even spread of the elite of the elite in MMA across multiple organisations across multiple continents. As much as UFC feels like the NBA, Bellator is not comfortable being some sort of G League. As painful as it may be to have two of the best fighters in the world in different organisations, it’s worth it if it’s better for the longevity of MMA.

Categories
Culture Music

Glockstar Dimi on Upstate New York, Fashion and ( G ) Corp

On this week’s episode of our podcast Monday to Monday, we speak with emerging rapper/fashion mogul Glockstar Dimi. Dimi and Mike discuss the New York state rapper’s recent single with Richie Souf and his last project, LOADIN(G)… Dimi got his start in hip-hop through fashion, and maintains its importance in cultivating a successful presence in the rap space. The duo covers a ton of ground in this interview before letting guests in for a Q and A, in which Dimi discusses the importance of fashion, being from upstate and how he embeds emotion in his music.

Early in the interview, Mike asks Dimi when he first knew that music could be a career. “When my friends started bumping my music. Like when my friends really started taking my music seriously,” he responds. This emphasis on his friends’ opinions comes up a lot throughout the interview, because if his friends enjoy the music, that suggests the world will as well. Dimi also shares some stories about when folks first started bumping his songs.

They go on to address the rapper’s recording process, something he has been fleshing out for the past year or so. “When I record, I want the song to come out the first time, like how I hear it. I don’t wanna keep recording it over and over and over,” he says. Recording LOADIN(G)… helped him develop this process, encouraging him to record things the right way on the first take.

Responding to a question from a fan, Dimi discusses his collective ( G ) Corp and how he perceives the future of the group. “We make clothes, music. I got producers, we got people that build tech, photographers, stylists. It’s just like a creative lab,” he says. He continues, saying: “I wanna make something more than a fashion house, like if you could put a fashion house and Apple in one thing.” It’s certainly an ambitious undertaking, but with Dimi at the helm, it’s well within reach.

Mike asks Dimi about his upbringing in upstate New York and early commitment to fashion. Although he was partially raised in NYC, Dimi still claims upstate as home. “I’m from upstate. I grew up here. I got my bumps and bruises here. I got my heartbroken here. I got a hit out here. Everything that ever happened to me, happened upstate,” he says, and adds: “Upstate, when you come here, there’s so much culture that people don’t know about.” The upstate scene is relatively unknown compared to the city scene, and thus he feels a responsibility to ride for his home. On his genesis in the fashion world he also has interesting advice. “I was fashion first. If you not fashion first, it’s not really gonna work for you,” he says. Part of Dimi’s success can be attributed to his commitment to looking fly, a commitment that many artists overlook.

They close the interview with a discussion of the emotional quality of Dimi’s music. “I just want people to be able to feel what I’m talking about… You could talk about a whole bunch of shit, but if it’s not relatable to people bro, people not gonna gravitate towards it. So I always try and make sure my music’s relatable,” he says. This emotional relatability is part of what makes Dimi’s music so raw and so enjoyable.


If you loved this episode and want to hear more of Mike and the gang talking with artists, producers and managers, make sure to check out last week’s episode, when he spoke with 2KBABY’s manager, Danny Hajj.