In case you didn’t already know today is Mother’s Day, and let’s face it – you can’t spell MAMA without MMA. In honor of the holiday I’ve decided to show some love to the ladies whose contributions to the sport have helped make it such an incredibly entertaining endeavor. No, not the ring girls, but rather I’ll be ranking a few of my favorite MMA mothers.
Also, if you’re a fighter out there whose beloved mom doesn’t make the cut, keep in mind this list is completely subjective as are all rankings and it’s not a slight on how wonderful she undoubtedly is.
1.) Ronda Rousey / Ann Maria DeMars
There is no question Rousey would not be who she is today without the influence of her mother. DeMars is a decorated judoka and fierce female, raising “Rowdy” Ronda as a single-parent for most of her life after the untimely death of her father. She introduced Rousey to judo at an early age, developing both her skills on the mat as well as strengthening her character. Rousey recently recounted a story where she was eleven year old, broke a toe in a match, and was then made to run laps after crying about it. The lesson imparted – “Sometimes you have to fight when you’re injured. You need to know you’re capable of that.”
Today Rousey is an arm-snapping, ass-kicking machine whose personality (and genetic blessings) have earned her a spot at the top of the MMA food chain as the face of woman’s MMA.
2.) B.J. Penn / Lorraine Shin
I don’t know a lot about Shin but what I do know is that she is a constant presence in the crowd when her baby – Baby Jay more specifically – fights. She also penned a passionate letter to the NSAC after his second bout with Georges St. Pierre, complaining of GSP using a grease-like substance to gain a competitive advantage in the cage.
Wrote Shin, “I have and continue to support my four sons who have earned their black belt status in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. I have also had the opportunity of attending many Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournaments as well as MMA fight events in Hawaii, Guam, Japan, England and the U.S. Mainland. I am no stranger to the MMA fight world…During the rounds that followed, I was shocked to see that B.J. appeared to be helpless, as well as defenseless in his attempts to grasp and hold Georges St. Pierre while on the ground. I silently kept screaming and asking myself, ‘What is wrong? Why can’t B.J. defend himself?’ I was horrified with fear. My son was going to be seriously hurt because he could not defend himself…Although still in shock and fearful for my son (in the locker room), it then made sense to me why B.J. couldn’t defend himself. Georges St. Pierre used a greasy substance on his body, therefore giving St. Pierre an unfair advantage over my son, B.J. Penn…While in the locker room, I couldn’t understand why the fight was not stopped by the UFC’s referee or the Nevada State Athletic Commission for the unfair advantage by St. Pierre and his cornerman after they realized the foul. How could this happen? Why was it allowed?”
That, my friends, is a mother’s love.
3.) Carlos Condit / Camille Prevost
I have always had a soft spot for Condit’s mother since his days in WEC. She walks him down to the cage and often works in his corner since she’s a registered nurse. There’s something inherently sweet about a mom supporting her son to the point she helps fuel his fire to compete in a sport he loves even if it means he could get hurt.
Runner Up – Urijah Faber / Suzanne Faber
I’m not fully familiar with Mrs. Faber but as the lone matriarch on the list to have stopped a robbery while wielding a gun she deserves a little recognition from those outside her family.
“Happy B-day to my beautiful mom Suzanne today,” posted Faber on his Twitter a few weeks back. “Still feisty, just caught a burgler /w a pellet gun. Held him off till the cops arrived … he thought she was using a real gun … She was house sitting & found this High powered pellet gun. Looks dangerous enough.”
Faber may have the Hollywood chin but it sounds like his mom is the real action hero.
On that note, stop reading this article and go give your mom a call to tell her how you feel! Happy Mother’s Day!