The sport of MMA is fairly new, dating back less than three decades. It had to fight through a lot of negative perceptions, particularly from top politicians who deemed the sport as human cockfighting.
The sport had to undergo changes and get unified rules before the perception started to change. Before that, boxing was the big combat sport, having far lesser negativity attached to it and constantly selling out arenas.
MMA had to undergo an evolution but its popularity growth has been remarkable. It's grown among the average person, and over the last decade or so, an increasing number of celebrities have begun to view MMA (or just UFC) and have also become big fans in the process.
Apart from just superstars such as The Rock, or United States President Donald Trump, here are a bunch of other celebrities who you may not realize are big MMA fans!
#5 Chris Pratt
Chris Pratt is a big MMA fanboy. Believe it or not, he actually has a bit of an amateur wrestling background himself, having participated extensively in high school. He has major respect for the sport and has even gone to gyms and trained with MMA legends.
For example, he went and trained with Randy Couture and then went to Brazil to train with the famous Antonio "Minotauro" Nogueira. He even trained with his twin brother Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
His first UFC event live was UFC 227 and 2 PPVs later, he was in attendance for UFC 229, the famous Khabib vs Conor match. His raw reaction to Derrick Lewis' brutal knockout on the night was incredible.
When asked if he was involved in the post-main event brawl, Pratt said that he was fine, showing appreciation towards the co-main event between Pettis and Ferguson as well.
#4 Snoop Dogg
Ever been such a big fan of something that it lands you a job? That's exactly what happened when Snoop Dogg was given a role to be a commentator on Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series season one.
He was even a part of many reaction videos on UFC's official channel but had drawn a lot of flak multiple times. He rubbed the salt in the wounds of Daniel Cormier, Conor McGregor and even Darren Till after their defeats to Jon Jones, Floyd Mayweather and Tyron Woodley respectively.
Fighters like Al Iaquinta called for Snoop Dogg to get fired and he didn't return for season 2. However, that won't stop him from being a fan!
#3 Rob McElhenney
Rob McElhenney is more famously known as Mac from the hit comedy show "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia". He's known to be a big UFC fan, so much so that he even got Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone and Paul Felder to feature in an episode on the 12th season of the show.
It's an absolutely hilarious episode featuring "The Gang" trying to sell something known as "Fight Milk" to the UFC fighters with the promise of easy weight cutting. The episode also has cameos from Dana White and Megan Olivi.
#2 Anthony Kiedis
You may know Anthony Kiedis as the vocalist of the iconic band Red Hot Chilli Peppers. To call him a super fan would be an understatement. Firstly, he is one among 23 celebrities who have a stake in the UFC. Some other names in that category include Ben Affleck, Adam Levine, Calvin Harris, Sylvester Stallone, Mark Wahlberg, etc.
So as you can imagine, it's quite an elite list. However, the RHCP frontman's fandom goes far beyond ownership. He's frequently seen sitting ringside not only in UFC events but other regional MMA events too, scouting for young fighters.
#1 Robert Downey Jr.
You read that right. Robert Downey Jr., arguably among the most famous actors in the world today is a big fan of the UFC. When asked by Buzzfeed what he geeks out about the most, the first thing that the "Iron Man" actor listed was UFC.
The A-Lister has been a part of UFC events at ringside, but given his hectic schedule, is likely too busy to frequently attend. But we bet you never knew that Iron Man was a UFC fan!
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