A fantastic new YouTube video compiles highlights from the MMA debuts of some of the sports biggest stars.
Over the last few days, several videos of Ronda Rousey’s earliest MMA exploits have been garnering attention online. The material was published some years ago, but with the UFC women’s bantamweight champion ascending to superstar status in recent times those videos have been reaching a wider audience.
Another reason why they have become a matter of some interest is that after her second fight, Rousey claimed that her long term goal was to take on Cris “Cyborg” Justino, at that time the biggest star in women’s MMA. Viewed in today’s context, in which Justino is desperately chasing a bout with Rousey, those words have been the subject of quite a bit of commentary.
Whilst I was perusing the footage of Rousey’s original foray’s in the sport, I came across a compilation of clips from the debuts of a whole host of huge names. The video, courtesy of YouTube channel “Discover The Fights”, features raw, early versions of modern greats like Fedor Emelianenko, Anderson Silva, Jon Jones, Georges St-Pierre, Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor.
It makes for intriguing viewing, and it is inspiring to see have far they have come.
The clip featuring “The Notorious” Irishman is perhaps the most eye opening. It is from his amateur debut, in which he took on Antrim native Ciaran Campbell, at Ring of Truth 6.
Seeing the UFC interim-featherweight champion competing in a dingy Dublin boxing club in front of a smattering of people, wearing a pair of multi-coloured shorts that look like a last-minute pre-holiday Penney’s purchase, really puts his meteoric UFC rise into perspective. Even in those surroundings, however, Conor showed hints of the swagger and talent that would later make him a star. He brutally battered poor Campbell to a first round stoppage.
After Conor used his head as a speed-ball substitute, the northern fighter, understandably, never competed again.
Here is the compilation, and below is the full video of Conor McGregor’s first fight.