MMA has definitely had some interesting, weird and bizarre story lines and figures since the UFC, Shooto and Pancrase started the modern MMA movement. Here are a few:
Steven Seagal: This 60 year-old action movie star and 7th-dan black belt in Aikido, has found his way into MMA history by aligning himself with UFC champion and legend Anderson Silva and former champ Lyoto Machida. Surprisingly, Seagal stated that he would fight Randy Couture in a street fight with no rules and no witnesses. He has also implied a possible confrontation with Jean Claude Van Damme.
After training for one session (or so) with the now plump Seagal, Anderson Silva unleashed a front kick straight down the pipe to the face of Vitor Belfort at UFC 126. Lyoto Machida then added a jump to his Karate Kid style front kick to KO Randy Couture at UFC 129. Despite the front kick being taught on virtually all levels of Karate and Tae Kwon Do, Seagal took credit for both insanely awesome KO's.
Anderson did say Seagal learned the move from Seagal at the post fight of UFC 126. Bizarre interviews and videos later, and the exact merits of Seagal's contributions are certainly in question.
Joe Son: The diminutive Asian first appeared at UFC 3 as the manager of Kimo. He then took to the octagon himself at UFC 4, infamously carrying into the arena a massive cross bigger than himself. Moments later he was taking multiple punches to the cup from Keith Hackney which were legal at the time. Three more losses including two bizarre ones in Pride and Joe Son's MMA career was done at 0-4. He next appeared in a couple movies, including that of Random Task in Austin Powers.
Then it got really crazy for the inventor of Josondo. In October of 2008, Joe Son pled guilty to vandalism and as part of his plea deal gave a DNA sample. The sample linked him to a 1990 gang rape for which he was convicted of felony torture and sentenced to life. While in prison, Son allegedly killed his cellmate, a convicted sex offender.
Charles "Krazy Horse" or "Kid Khaos" Bennett: This self "trained" fighter has certainly made a name for himself in the martial arts world, helped by his power right hand and odd antics. From facial contortions to the camera before the fight, not shaking hands, back flips off the top of the cage, celebrations mid fight, and double push kicks off the corner post, you never quite know what Bennett will do in the ring.
Outside the ring, Bennett also made a name for himself. He has been arrested on drug charges in 2000 and assault charges in 2007. He also was famously in a brawl with Christian Marcello following his win in Pride over Ken Kaneko, which led to Bennett being choked unconscious.
Bennett is still fighting to this day, owning 1st round KO's over KJ Noons, Yoshiro Maeda and Shad Smith. Odds that he ever makes it to the big show again are slim, but odds are he will keep entertaining crowds in the regional circuit for a couple more years.
Jason "Mayhem" Miller: With his gang of "Mayhem Monkeys" the quirky Jason Miller conquered the art of self promotion in MMA. First using Myspace, then Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler and any other social media he can find he has built a following and odd antics. He has also engaged in plenty of interesting walk-out's before fights, including dancing with Japanese school girls.
All that led Mayhem into getting his own TV show, Bully Beatdown; a TUF coaching gig; a role in the Kevin James movie "Here Comes the Boom" and several other appearances. His personality also led him into one of the most infamous MMA brawls in history at Strikeforce: Nashville when Miller entered the cage during Jake Shields post fight interview. The Diaz brothers and Gilbert Melendez ended up getting the better of him.
With striped hair and a fighting style that usually focuses on grappling, Mayhem has picked up several big wins in his career, defeating Robbie Lawler, Tim Kennedy, Niko Vitale and an aging Sakuraba.
Legal trouble has also popped up for Mayhem, with simple assault and false imprisonment charges in August of 2011. After losing two straight in the UFC, Mayhem was found naked in a church after spraying a fire extinguisher and arrested. A very bizarre interview followed on "The MMA Hour" with Ariel Helwani, where Mayhem referred to himself as "Lucky Patrick." Mayhem has yet again found his way into trouble, being charged with corporal injury of a spouse following his domestic violence charges.
Tiger Mask and Minowaman: Japan's Tiger Mask wrestling persona is legendary in the land of the rising sun. The manga anime styled cartoon was a hit for Japanese kids, featuring a wrestler who is originally is a villain in America who comes back to Japan to become a hero.
The cartoon character was brought to the real professional wrestling arena by Satoru Sayama. After three other Tiger Mask's, Dream's "Super Hulk" champion, Ikuhisu "Minowaman" Minowa has taken the reigns as the 5th Tiger Mask. Minowaman, an MMA veteran since 1996, is a character in his own right, exclusively wearing pro-wrestling speedos in the ring while donning a mullet haircut. Wins usually result in fist pumps that the crowd repeats back.
In the real MMA world, Minowaman has defeated several giants in MMA including Jimmy Ambriz, Bob Sapp, Hong Man Choi, Butterbean, Gilbert Yvel and Errol Zimmerman. Against the big boys, Minowaman (54-34) usually goes for a leg lock, though his biggest win came from a big KO against Sokoudjou to capture the Super Hulk crown.
The television show "Iron Ring:" With the Ultimate Fighter doing so well in the ratings for Spike TV, BET decided in 2008 that they should throw their hat into the MMA reality show business. Instead of finding 16 legit prospects, putting them in a house and having them fight for a tournament championship, they went for a little more of the entertainment factor.
They decided to have teams, coached by an MMA "personality" with a "celebrity" as an owner. What resulted were teams like the Floyd Mayweather's "Money Mayweather Boys," "Team Luda," "Team Nelly," "Team Dipset," T.I.'s "Team Grand Hustle" and Lil Jon's "Headbusters." Some coaches were legit, like The coaches include UFC vet Shonie Carter (Lil John), Pride/Elite XC vet Krazy Horse Bennett (TI), UFC vet Roberto Traven (Mayweather) and UFC vet Jermaine Andre (Nelly). But, there were some that were plain odd like Abdul Mutakabbir (Luda)(Inventor of S.W.A.M.) and Novell G. Bell (Dipset)(Claims to have trained in Asia).
The editing of the show was all over the place with soundbites, jump cuts and ridiculousness. Pretty sure that most of the celebrity coaches were inebriated for most of the filming, who mostly wanted to just see someone knocked out. Jamie Yager eventually won the 185 division, Josh Gaskins the 170 divsion and Ron "Abongo" Humphrey took the heavyweight crown. $100,000 was initially declared the prize money, but nobody really knows how it was divided.
The UFC "Superfight" Champ: In the sports early days, mixed martial arts was "no holds barred" fighting with limited rules, no rounds, no gloves and little thought of weight divisions. One night tournaments were the norm.
Being more "Super" than any other sport, the best in the UFC fought for the "Super" Fight Championship belt rather than a heavyweight championship. Ken Shamrock fought Royce Gracie to a draw at UFC 5 for the inaugural belt. Shamrock then won the superfight belt over Dan Severn at UFC 6. Severn won the belt at UFC 9, then lost to Mark Coleman at UFC 12 as the belt was officially changed to "heavyweight."