Since the dawn time, or roughly 1993, MMA has been Street Fighter and Street Fighter has been MMA. Two months after Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers dropped into arcades, UFC 1: The Beginning beamed into living rooms via 1990s pay per view technology. The first Ultimate Fighting Championship eight man tournament was an overt fist bump to Capcom and the Street Fighter fighting game franchise.
The original quest to find the Ultimate World Warrior began when Capcom decided that arcade fighting games needed multiple characters, from different countries, all with their own unique fighting styles. Street Fighter was mixed martial arts before the acronym “MMA” was even an unborn thought bubble. Also, maybe if Kimo and Ken Shamrock had better special attacks they wouldn’t be on the losing end of some classic Royce Gracie submissions.
There will come a day when the world of Street Fighter and the world of MMA mash-up. When this glorious 16 to 32-bit day arrives, the Fight Gods will go to the character select screen and pick ten MMA fighters to represent the sport of competitive cage fighting in the World Warrior tournament. For the sake of our sport and the sanctity of fighting in the street, this is MiddleEasy.com’s Top Ten MMA fighters who are actually Street Fighter characters.
Who the hell else would Roy Nelson be besides E. Honda? Nelson is the last Sumo in the UFC and if you punch him too many times in the gut he gets angry. Headbutts in MMA aren’t legal, but if they were I wouldn’t be surprised to see ol’ Big Country launch his portly frame across the Octagon and into his opponent mullet first. If only Nelson could do repeating palm strikes at the speed of sound, well, he could try but he’d probably gas out.
Did Anthony Pettis invent the Showtime Kick after repeatedly losing to Vega in Street Fighter II? Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Call on Tony Pettis and his dashing good looks to be the Vega of MMA.
Let Pettis sport a modified bullfighter’s mask to the cage while wearing a Tekko-Kagi on his left hand and the MMA world will once again bear witness to the power of the WEC version of Anthony Pettis. Old WEC attacks off the cage from Pettis are very worthy of Street Fighter II grand master boss status.
If you shaved Zangeif’s chest hair, you’d most likely find a questionably placed sword tattoo. Honestly, shave the beard and bleach the flat top and you have Brock Lesnar. The former WWE Heavyweight Champion would be right at home powerbombing fools and performing 1080 piledrivers from Hulk-sized leaps into the air. In the new Street Fighter V game, Zangeif can flex and turn himself red which nullifies attacks from opponents. I’m pretty sure Lesnar has done this same thing.
Maybe in this universe, we could finally get Brock Lesnar (Zangeif) to go to battle with Fedor Emelianenko (Akuma) . …But would that mean Lesnar would be fighting for Mother Russia?
One day Ronda Rousey will use her freakishly long pigtails braids as a striking technique inside the UFC. When Rousey reveals that her entire MMA career was a set-up to give her a backstory for her double agent gig with the Secret Intelligence Service, please don’t act too surprised.
Rousey is MMA’s answer to Cammy.
If Hollywood ever asks Rousey to pull off a British accent, realize she is not acting but Ronda is really just MMA’s Cammy. Mix Cammy’s Shadaloo striking style with Rousey’s Judo grappling techniques and you would get the ultimate Street Fighter combo machine.
The “God of Muay Thai” Sagat was one of the original bosses from a faraway land that gave players butterflies when they had to fight him. In Street Fighter, you knew shit was going down when you got in that little cartoon airplane and flew to Thailand. Well, another original boss from a faraway land was Wanderlei Silva. I’m sure fighters who stepped off a plane in Japan to meet Wandy in the ring had their balls suck into their stomach.
Wanderlei even has all of Sagat’s moves: Tiger Uppercut, Tiger Knee Crush, Tiger Genocide, Tiger Run At You With Demon Eyes and Machine Gun Punches, Tiger Stomp On Your Head, Tiger Murder Sakuraba.
The MMA world now must see Joanna Jedrzejczyk rocking Chun-Li Ox-horns in her hair. Jedrzejczyk plus an early 90s Chinese hairdo plus those deadly legs kicks is what makes the UFC strawweight champion MMA’s real life Chun-Li. Jedrzejczyk will knock you out cold via strikes then happily leap in the air, throw up a piece sign, and giggle in a singular motion just like Chun-Li.
Women weighing 115 pounds, who have leg kicks for days are represented well in MMA’s Street Fighter arcade cabinet thanks to Jedrzejczyk.
Alistair Overeem is Balrog. Someone please get Overeem a pair of powder blue trunks with white trim and tell him to put on his old K1 gloves. From ’07 to ’13, Reem was undefeated and was straight sleeping fools and stacking the bodies. He won the Strikeforce Heavyweight Championship, fought in Dream, Dynamite, won the K1 Grand Prix and won the Interim Dream Heavyweight Championship, all while holding the Strikeforce title! The only thing better than an Overeem as Balrog cosplay would be hearing, “my fists have your blood of them” in Reem’s Dutch accent.
Can Fedor Emelianenko be evil? Can Fedor pull off red flowing locks beaming from his head? Maybe and of course, he can. Buried deep in Street Fighter mythology, before Akuma turned heel, the Ansatsuken ninja warrior was likely happy, silent, and huggable just like Fedor.
Akuma is the mysterious and powerful final boss in Super Street Fighter II Turbo while Fedor was the mysterious and powerful boss of MMA’s heavyweight division for nearly decade.
Fedor, come out from the shadows and embrace your inner Akuma?
Fedor is the Yin to Akuma’s Yang, and maybe one day The Last Emperor’s darkside will poke through his magnificent wool man-sweater. Fedor you will always be MMA’s first secret character.
Wouldn’t a low hanging, red gi really show off Conor McGregor’s gorilla chest tattoo? Throw Ken’s Karate and arrogance into a blender with an Irish flag then you’d have McGregor. You just have to reverse the unkempt, blonde hair into a beard. Both are unorthodox, confident, flashy and brash warriors looking to test their power against the World’s best fighters. Fuck a weight class. Oh, you’re green and can emit electricity? That’s ok, you’re still Brazilian and you will fall (if you even make it to fight night). I’m not going to even dive into the rabbit hole of drawing parallels of Ken and Ryu to McGregor and the Diaz Brothers on how they are different yet the same person.
McGregor has been so in the zone, he probably doesn’t even hear that booming voice that yells every time he knocks someone dead. Considering 17 of his 19 wins are by KO, it’s probably just ambient noise among the sounds of money counting and his girlfriend cooking his fifth steak of the day. Even the name of Ken’s fighting style Satsujinken translates to “Murderous Fist”, which describes McGregor’s sniper left hand perfectly.
Nick Diaz and your MMA life journey says you must be Ryu to make the Street Fighter-Cage Fighting circle complete again. If Ryu doesn’t exist then the world of Street Fighter would crumble onto itself and the returning backwash would be some kind of weird Final Fight knockoff. Ryu must fight on.
Look at Nick Diaz’s career record and you will see the tire marks of a man that has held the MMA universe together. Diaz has to be the only fighter who has fought for Shooto, the WEC, the UFC, Pride, EliteXC, Dream, Strikeforce, and back again to the UFC. Diaz must fight on.
Diaz and Ryu you are MMA and Street Fighter’s lead characters, all other avatars defer to your divine wisdom on the quest to crown the Ultimate Warrior Champion. Hadokens for all the homies.