The Five Most Important People In MMA


James Lawrence


            Here’s a big discussion that is going to cause a lot of debate and arguments at bars, work, pretty much anywhere there are MMA fans, and of course on the discussion forum on our site  Who are the five most important people of all time in MMA? I once started this kind of discussion while having dinner with some friends and it almost ended in full-fledged MMA fight in my house. Okay, it wasn’t that extreme, but there was a shoving match between a few of the guys there. You ask anyone who is an MMA fan, even a casual one, and they will all tell you something different. Although I may regret this later, here is my list of the five most important people, individuals or groups, in the history of MMA.


Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta

            Without the money from the Station Casinos moguls, the UFC would probably have died out had they not bought it. Face it, the UFC was on its last legs when they came along. They turned the worthless brand into one of the fastest growing sports in the world. With their backing, the Fertitta brothers helped to turn a sport that was once considered “human cockfighting” by John McCain into something legitimate.


The Gracies

            They revolutionized MMA in general. And without Helio Gracie and the “Gracie Challenge” and Rorian Gracie, there would be no UFC.


Dana White

            Love him or hate him, and with most people there’s no middle ground in that statement, Dana is one of the most important people in the history of MMA. Dana has worked hard to bring legitimacy to the sport. He gives the fans what they want to see and puts great cards together. He saw the potential of the sport and realized how to continuously develop the sport.


Bruce Lee

            Yes, Bruce Lee. What would modern fighting be without what he brought to the world? The man did state that one must take what works from different martial arts and throw away the rest. Is that not essentially the foundation of MMA?


Ken Shamrock

            Yeah, I know, past his prime and stuff. But Shamrock was the first real household name in MMA and brought MMA to the masses. I first noticed MMA through Shamrock. He created the first MMA camp/gym, debated McCain on live TV about MMA, and was a major pay-per-view draw.


            Don’t agree with me? That’s fine. I’ll take all suggestions into consideration. Send me your ideas on this at and if they’re well supported, then I’ll publish them. Or even go on our chat forum on and start a thread for it.