Who doesn’t love a good staredown? That moment before two fighters are set to do battle, when they lock eyes with an intensity and ferocity that borders on pure hatred. Every boxer, wrestler or fighter worth his salt has been involved in a staredown.
Here are ten of the best.
Silva v Belfort
Anderson Silva sported a white mask for his heated staredown with ex training partner Vitor Belfort.
Penn v Diaz
A head-wrestling match ensued between Nick Diaz and BJ Penn after the former got a bit too close.
JDS v Velasquez
Junior Dos Santos marches into the centre of the ring for every fight. Cain Velasquez met him there.
MacDonald v Lawler
Rory MacDonald and Robbie Lawler’s bloody staredown at the end of the fourth is iconic.
McGregor v Aldo
Hatred and hyperbole created an electric weigh-in eyeball from Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo.
Tyson v McNeeley
Mike Tyson’s eyes ticked from one side to the other like a pendulum as he watched Peter McNeeley.
Jones Jr v Hall
A near riot ensued in the ring as a clearly undersized Roy Jones Jr danced in front of Richard Hall.
Foreman v Frazier
George Foreman dished out the death stare and Joe Frazier responded in kind for a classic staredown.
Jones Jr v Tarver
When asked if he had any questions Antonio Tarver said: “You got any excuses tonight, Roy?”
Ali v Shavers
Muhammad Ali taunted Earnie Shavers by repeatedly rubbing his bald head and smirking at him.
Streep used her victory speech at the recent Golden Globe Awards in America to take a swipe at U.S. president-elect Donald Trump, but the Hollywood actress inadvertently angered MMA fans around the world with her comments.
“Hollywood is crawling with foreigners and if we kick them all out you’ll have nothing to watch but football and Mixed Martial Arts,” Streep said.
But after a furious backlash from MMA supporters, the president of Bahrain-based Brave Combat Federation offered Streep an olive branch by suggesting she come and take in one of the company’s event.
“We all at Brave Combat Federation are huge fans of Meryl Streep’s work and consider her one of the greatest actresses of all time,” Shahid said.
“That’s why we felt really sorry about her words towards the sport we love, support, and work for. But the truth is: we’re ready to change her mind and that’s why I invite Meryl Streep to attend one of our events.”
“Her characters entertained and inspired us, and our athletes spent their life perfecting amazing skills that ultimately also entertain and inspire people around the world. We know she will be able to see it looking closer,” he continued.
“Mrs. Streep, you’re invited to come personally and get to know not only Brave Combat Federation. It would be a huge pleasure for us to cover all your travel and accommodation expenses, likewise getting you a front row seat for one of our upcoming events.
“This will be an excellent opportunity for you to meet the people responsible for one of the biggest MMA events on the planet, the athletes who star and experience the atmosphere of the sport that has attracted more fans than any other around the planet in recent years.”
Shahid believes that Streep’s comments were borne from a lack of knowledge about MMA, saying: “Our roster has athletes from five different continents, several countries, and many regions, each one of them bringing their unique background to the mix.
“We honestly believe that the greatest value lies in the cultural exchanges we promote every single day. Instead of suppressing the individual manifestations and characteristics of our people, nationality or any other form of identification, we offer a global stage for them to be increasingly valued and exalted, and that’s exactly what she stands for, right?”
The next Brave installment will take place in March, when the promotion lands in Brazil for the first time, for a show in the city of Curitiba. After that, Brave returns to the Middle East and promotes a fight night in the Emirates.