Today is the day that we honor those whom we give the distinction “Father”. To honor the occasion I’ve put together this list of MMA fathers:
10. Lyoto Machida
Lyoto Machida has proven to be an exceptional fighter in his years in the sport. To top it off he has also proven to be a good father as well. Machida is married to his wife Fabyola with whom he has children Taiyo and Kaito. In his preparation for his first fight with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Machida was shown playing with one of his sons while still an infant on his karate mat on his personal dojo. Something that honors his Japanese immigrant roots is the names of his sons both of which are Japanese names.
9. Jake Shields
For the longest time Jake Shields competed in various promotions and held championships in many of said promotions. His long career also included a stint in the UFC which saw him fight for the welterweight championship and get his fair share of bonuses and memorable bouts. While he maybe in World Series of Fighting now no one can deny how committed to the sport he is and also how committed he has to be to have raised a daughter by himself. Some of details of why he became a single father are unknown but one has to give him props. One can only imagine how lonely his time as a father is now that his own father passed on.
8. Mark Coleman
Mark Coleman is on this list for more then his position as the father of two girls. These two girls have been seen throughout his MMA career including his time in Pride FC and his inclusion into the UFC Hall of Fame. Though there was a time in Pride where he scared his girls by trying to comfort them after the beating he’d gotten but because of the swelling on his face probably had the opposite effect. Another reason why he is on this list is because of his status as the “Godfather of Ground and Pound”. He is also the father of Team Hammerhouse.
7. Houston Alexander
There is a very good reason why Houston Alexander is on this list and also a reason why he isn’t higher on this list. The reason why he is on this list is because before he started his MMA career, he donated one of his kidney’s to his oldest daughter. That is something that any committed father should view as an example of how far they should go for their child. Then there’s the reason he isn’t higher and what father’s should view as an example not to do to their kids. There was a time he was investigated for a domestic violence report with his son.
6. Fedor Emelianenko
Fedor Emelianenko is without a doubt one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time and could be considered the greatest heavyweight of all time. His calm and collected fighting style often made people think of him as super human. However, one should also remember that Emelianenko is also a father of three daughters. Though his first is by a different mother then the other two he certainly seems like a good father. He’s been quoted as saying that they are his motivation to fight and that opponents were in his way to providing for him.
5. Cain Velasquez
While the above mentioned Emelianenko could be considered the best heavyweight of all time, Cain Velasquez is without a doubt the best heavyweight today. Another thing to remember though is that Velasquez is happily married to his wife Michelle with a young daughter named Coral. Fatherhood is very important to Velasquez as Michelle and Coral are mentioned in a Metro PCS commercial as “the two most important women in his life”. We also got to see his paternal side in the UFC Primetime episode documenting his preparation for his rubber match with Junior dos Santos. He was shown having dinner with his family and going with Coral to her gymnastics, what a Dad!
4. Joe Riggs
Joe Riggs hasn’t had the best path as a father. His first son with his wife Lisa died shortly after he was born. However, they later welcomed their second son, Joseph Diesel Riggs. One could definitely see that Riggs loves his family when on Fight Master, he became homesick mostly out of missing his family. Fortunately his time missing his family on the show payed off as he went onto win Fight Master, though he has yet to compete in Bellator since then.
3. BJ Penn
The Hawaiian native BJ Penn has been shown to be very committed father during his UFC Primetime appearances. He is often shown putting his babies to sleep and caring for them. Currently he raises daughters Aeva Lili’u and Kulia with longtime girlfriend Shealen Uaiwa. As with many of the men on this list this can be considered ironic considering his intensity in the Octagon. However, as with many, a child brings out the tender side in a man.
2. Dana White
Dana White is usually seen in front of the cameras talking to media about something involving the UFC. The fact that he is married to wife Anne and has two sons and a daughter may come as a bit of a shock to some. He certainly doesn’t earn any awards to setting an example for his kids onscreen. However, he could also be considered a father in a different way as President of the UFC. After all, the show The Ultimate Fighter was his idea which saved the promotion.
1. Randy Couture
While legend of the sport Randy Couture isn’t exactly known for his marriage success (three divorces and in another relationship) or his diplomacy (once again in a feud with Dana White) he is a pretty good father. Couture coached his son Ryan Couture is most of his bouts prior to his issues with White again. However, he was willing to make the hard choice and allow Ryan to fight without him in his corner and to choose his own destiny. In addition to helping son Ryan, he also has his daughter Aimee employed at his Xtreme Couture gym. With that Couture is the number one father on this fathers day list.
I would also like to take the time to wish a Happy Father’s Day to all the readers and writers who are fathers. Leave a comment!