Everytime I think about Mount Rushmore, I am absolutely boggled it exists. What insane humans cared enough about the “greatest presidents” to climb up the side of this huge rock and carve their faces into it. On top of that, did they not know time changes everything? It’s going to cost a ton of money to pay a team to carve Donald Trump and his toupee into this rock someday (kidding….I think….). Regardless, it’s pretty sweet to look at and also sports “Mount Rushmore’s” are now talked about very often. With all of this said, who is currently carved into the Mount Rushmore of MMA?
Anderson “The Spider” Silva
Anderson is the only no brainer for the psychopaths climbing up the rock. The longtime Middleweight Champion reigned from 2006-2013 with very few close match-ups. When he wasn’t defending his title at Middleweight, he was making average Light Heavyweight’s look like amateurs. The Spider’s striking is second to none all time and his jiu-jitsu, although seldom needed, was far more than adequate. Most importantly his showmanship attracted fans from all over the world whether they loved it or hated it. Anderson obliterated everyone, and most times he found a new and more impressive way to do so. He walked the walk and talked the talk. In addition to this, man was he a great dancer.
Anderson Silva, without question, is the greatest to ever do it.
Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emilianenko
The next face carved into the rock is none other than the great Fedor Emilianenko. Fedor earns his spot for more than just his fighting skills. The aura around The Last Emperor was something no other fighter has ever produced. In almost every battle involving Emilianenko he looked to be completely outmatched physically. Everyone watching would always have a sense of fear instilled into them that this would be the fight that Fedor’s butterball 5’11” 235 lb. stature caught up to him. Every time until June 2010 they were reminded of how foolish that fear was. Whether it was Kevin Randleman suplexing him onto his head, Fujita making him do the “duck walk”, or Hong Man Choi having a 15 foot height advantage, Fedor proved to be invincible time and time again.
Fedor Emilianenko had a mystique to him we will never again see in MMA. He deserves his spot on the mountain.
Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell
Many argue that Chuck Liddell was one dimensional to discredit his greatness. The reality of the matter is what made Chuck so dangerous to his opponents was the fact he was one of the first fighters to excel in multiple disciplines. Anyone who stood in front of a prime Chuck Liddell had very little chance of winning a striking battle. Unfortunately for them, they were forced to strike with him because of how good his wrestling was. He used his takedown defense and ability to get off the ground to set up his devastating knockout’s. In addition to his title run at Light Heavyweight, he also found some success in Japan and was a huge part of bringing the UFC into mainstream media. The Iceman claims his spot aside the others as much for his contribution to growing the MMA fanbase as his highlight reel knockouts. Even today, Chuck is still one of, if not the most, recognizable face in MMA.
Bas “El Guapo” Rutten
The last spot goes to fan favorite Bas “El Guapo” Rutten. The most remarkable stat regarding Bas is that he ended his career on a 22 fight unbeaten streak (21-0-1). It is unfortunate we never got to see Bas in today’s more complex MMA world, but a streak such as that is impressive no matter who it is against. Bas was a pioneer of the sport and is still a staple in MMA society today. He has made a career out of fighting, a real career that still makes profits for him today. He has done everything from win Championships, to movies, to commentating, to making incredible videos regarding bar fighting tactics.
To put it simply, no one person better defines MMA than El Guapo himself Bas Rutten. For these reasons, Bas Rutten’s jaw (dangita, dangita, dang) is forever etched in granite.
It is very likely father time will bring us more deserving candidates down the road. For now though, I have no problem risking other people’s lives to carve these guys in their very deserved spots.