Mixed martial artists are about as close to comic characters as we’re going to get in the real world. They are finely tuned athletes with combat skills that surpass that of us mere mortals.
So just for fun, I decided to look at some of the fighters who possess almost superhuman abilities and imagine them as comic book characters.
These are the top five MMA fighters as comic book characters.
#5. Yair Rodriguez as “The High Flyer”
Yair Rodriguez was raised in the mountains of Parral, Mexico. There he would study under many senseis on his quest to become a well-rounded martial artist.
Tell me that doesn’t already sound like comic character’s origin story.
With a background in judo and boxing, it’s his taekwondo skills that really stand out.
Rodriguez is known for his ability to take flight while engaging in battle. His flying kicks are what highlight reels were invented for.His bout with Dan Hooker was a showcase of airborne insanity. He threw tornados, “rolling thunder,” jumping front kicks and more. In his next fight, we saw him land a jumping switch kick on Andre Fili that would K.O the Team Alpha Male fighter.
While he was grounded by top featherweight Frankie Edgar in his last bout, it’s clear that on the feet and in the air Rodriguez is a flashy and dangerous man.
#4. Shinya Aoki as “The Human Rubberband”
Winning 25 of 39 fights by submission, Aoki is a scary man once he gets a hold of you. Aoki is a high-level blackbelt in both jiujitsu and judo. He possesses a flexibility and grasp that’s rare even in a sport full of top-notch grapplers.
Shinya Aoki may have fallen easily in his last fight, but that’s not a fair gauge of his skills. Like a rubber band, Aoki is incredibly elastic. This flexibility makes him a nightmare on the ground for his opponents. His rubber guard is a thing of beauty and he has no problem pulling his leg well over his opponent’s head to lock in gogoplatas. Oh, and about those gogoplatas, he’s also one of the few fighters to hit the rare submission from the mount.
Also, like a rubberband, Aoki’s squeeze is one of a kind. Once he wraps his arms and/or legs around you, defending is usually futile. It doesn’t matter what body part it is, if Aoki gets his clutches on it there’s a good chance he’s taking that limb home with him.
#3. Frankie Edgar as “The Bionic Man”
Nothing you can say will convince me that Frankie Edgar is not at least part machine.
Edgar has never been finished in an MMA bout. His ability to take punishment is inhuman. In his legendary trilogy with Gray Maynard he was beaten bloody by the larger man in two of the bouts. At a time when most fighters would have been crumbling, Edgar’s circuits began to overload and cranked him into overdrive.
Speaking of overdrive, Edgar’s pace is unmatched in MMA. Engaging in many five round wars throughout his career, we’ve never seen Edgar slow down. From the first to the final bell he’s constantly firing on all cylinders.
A fine piece of engineering, after 12 years as a professional fighter, Edgar doesn’t seem to suffer from the wars he’s been in. He’s still the clear number two guy in the featherweight division and will more than likely be going after another belt in the near future.
#2. Francis Ngannou as “The Steam Roller”
Francis Ngannou looks like a comic character. A large, physically imposing man with a physique that looks like it was ripped straight from the pages of Marvel, Ngannou’s power lies in his super strength.
In his bout with Anthony Hamilton, Ngannou locked on a kimura while he was pressed against the cage. A lot of fighters do this to improve their position. Ngannou used it to not only to improve his position but to also toss a 260 lb. man through the air, and commence attempting to rip Hamilton’s arm from his body.
Within Ngannou’s fists lies the power of a thousand men. The crushing right he hit Andrei Arlovski with literally took the former champion off of his feet. The uppercut he landed on Alistair Overeem earlier this month sent the Dutch kickboxer into the stratosphere.
#1. Colby Covington as “The Evil Genius”
Some of the most prolific villains do not possess supernatural abilities. Sometimes they’re feared and/or revered for their mental capacities and dastardly deeds alone.
While he is a skilled fighter, Colby Covington has recently found his true niche; psychological warfare. Covington has been flying under the radar of many for the last few years. He quietly amassed an 8-1 record in the UFC while cultivating his diabolical persona. After his latest and biggest win over Demian Maia, he decided it was finally time to fully unleash his fury upon the fans and his fellow fighters.
His tirade in which he called Brazil a “dump” and the fans “filthy animals” immediately made him public enemy number one. While he’s not the first fighter to invoke a war of words with the champion of his division, or even the first to go after the entire nation of Brazil (*cough* Chael Sonnen *cough*), he is certainly the best doing it currently.
Oh, and any Star Wars fans out there? I’m not even a fan of the franchise and I know the spoiler due to Covington making sure it was shared far and wide on social media.
So take that, ya virgins!
(His words, not mine.)