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Top 5 inspiring rags to riches tales in MMA

  • Combat sports as a whole maintains a long list of themes that build a pathway of failure to glory.
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 09:36 IST
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17:  MMA Heavyweight Sensation Kimbo Slice is seen during the Workout/Media Day with Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano at the Legends Mixed Martial Arts Training Center on September 17, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Kimbo Slice worked as a bouncer and driver before entering professional MMA

Combat sports as a whole maintains a long list of themes that build a pathway of failure to glory. Many of the mixed martial arts’ finest men and women have lived and breathed that realm well before they became who they are today.

It is fair to say that were these fighters not exposed to such hardships, including lack of financial resources, they may have never earned their place among the elite. Perhaps even, without these hardships, they would be unable to appreciate the summit they’ve reached and the pile of money that was waiting for them there.

Here is SportsKeeda’s top 5 inspiring rags to riches tales in MMA.

#1 Junior Dos Santos

ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 12:  UFC World Heavyweight Champion Junior dos Santos is seen at UFC on Fox:  Live Heavyweight Championship at the Honda Center on November 12, 2011 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Dos Santos turned professional at the age of 21

The Brazilian heavyweight spent a majority of his youth scrapping for ways to make money in order to aid his single mother in putting food on the table. Since he was born into a poor family with a lack of resources for basic living, Dos Santos began working at the mere age of ten.

It wasn’t until he was 21 that he was exposed to martial arts and turned professional in the same year in 2006. After two years of fighting seriously, the Brazilian was granted a UFC contract and maintained a magnificent nine-fight win streak, later earning him the UFC heavyweight title against Cain Velasquez.

The poor boy from Brazil is said to now make upwards of around $400,000 per bout and has also racked in sponsorship money and pay-per-view payouts. 

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Published 03 Feb 2017, 16:05 IST
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