What Celebrity Match-Up Would Be the Best MMA Fight?

by Gary Stone
on April 17, 2018

There’s no sport I love more than mixed martial arts. After getting lucky and stumbling upon an MMA website back in 2001, I’ve been hooked ever since. In the early 2000s, the sport was just re-emerging after a lengthy hiatus.

A few years prior, John McCain, the US senator who could frequently be seen sitting ringside at the most significant boxing bouts, attacked the sport of MMA. I’d hate to be a conspiracy theorist and suggest that perhaps he was eliminating the competition for whoever kept providing those sweet tickets, but that’s certainly what it looked like. He used his platform and political pull to label the newest combat sport on the block “human cockfighting,” and before long it was off PPV and unable to be legally sanctioned by Athletic Commissions.

But suddenly the UFC was back with new owners and under the regulatory authority of sanctioned athletic commissions. MMA was finally becoming legitimate, and I just so happened to have a front row seat to it all. Around this same time, another phenomenon was brewing.

The ever-so-classy minds at Fox came up with the brilliant idea to find struggling, irrelevant, former celebrities and coax them into boxing each other for our amusement. Whether it was for the money or a few more minutes or attention, they got several “celebrities” to sign on. Enough for two separate three-or-four-fight cards.

Celebrity boxing felt wrong from the start. There was something so cruel about the undertones of the whole presentation; it was exploitative. But it was the early 2000s and we hadn’t gotten our fill of depressing reality television and so we all tuned in, giddily awaiting the cluster-“F” we all knew was coming. If the first show was decently amusing, the second is where things got sick, culminating in Joey Buttafuoco’s decision win over female wrestler Chyna.

But with all this glorious combat swirling around in the public zeitgeist, I had an idea. What if we got rid of Celebrity Boxing and created Celebrity MMA instead? And what if I was allowed to book any fight that I desired? What would that look like? It’s the sort of thing that always finds a way to occupy my mind when I’m supposed to be listening to my mother’s phone call, or driving down the highway.

I see vision after vision of various combinations of celebrities all duking it out in the Octagon as if their lives depended on it! I don’t want to see Screech from Saved by the Bell demolishing Horshack in a boxing ring on depressing Fox television; I want Oprah duking it out with Rosie O’Donnell! Better yet, give me Steven Seagal versus Chuck Norris!

Quite frankly, I don’t know what fight I’d like to see the most. But what I do know is that I’m older now and no longer have to limit my feverish fight fantasies to the confines of my mind. Because I’ve got a blog now, and that means I get to drag you all down this twisted, nonsensical path with me!

Some Initial Ground Rules

Before we get down to the actual fight, I have to lay down a few ground rules. I’m taking this fight card extremely seriously; we aren’t just throwing any random names into the Octagon all willy-nilly. No, if I’m going to be playing God like this, there must be some structure. With great power comes great responsibility, after all.

Both Celebrities Must Currently Be Alive

My first rule is that both celebrities must currently be alive and kicking. If I’m allowed to just grab anyone from history, then this fight is going to swiftly devolve into Genghis Khan versus Charles Manson, Tony Soprano versus Pavarotti, Mr. Rogers against Captain Kangaroo, or some such nonsense. There are just too many options, and it’s borderline overwhelming to think about.

But wait, there’s more! Not only must both celebrities still walk this plane of existence, but their “celebrity status” must still be somewhat alive as well. I’m not saying they have to be superstars; hell, even VH1 “celebrity” reality show contestants will suffice. I’m just saying their career can’t be finished in the public eye. That would be boring.

No One-Sided Beat-Downs

I’m also forcing myself to attempt to book somewhat-even contests. It’s too easy to just think of celebrities I’d like to see beat-up and match them up with The Rock or some other enormous celebrity beast. Sure, it may be cathartic for everyone to see the Biebs running for his life while Rob Gronkowski closes in for the kill, but that’s hardly fair.

Instead, the fighters will be somewhat evenly matched. There’s no way to know how any of these pampered Hollywood-types would handle themselves in a cage fight; I’m assuming pretty poorly across the board. But I’m still looking to schedule matches that could potentially become real slobber knockers. And that’s not going to happen if I’m selfishly sacrificing matchups for the sake of vindictive one-sided massacres.

No Current Athletes

While we’re at it, let’s disqualify real athletes altogether. Sure, there’s a part of me that desperately wants to see J.J. Watt versus the aforementioned Rob Gronkowski, but they’re already professional athletes. They’re too big and too strong and will adapt too well to the cage.

If we’re using pro athletes, we might as well include actual UFC fighters. And then what do you have? A big ole bowl of the same old crap we always get. Maybe as long as the athletes are from different disciplines, it’s acceptable to put them on the undercard. But as the main event? No way.

Instead, I’d like to go more in the direction of booking total novices. Our main event brawlers should look out of place in the UFC uniform. They should look awkward and hilarious. We can’t pull that off with professional athletes, and so they’re relegated to only the preliminary card.

The Celebrities Will Not Train for the Fight

Whichever celebrities are chosen, they enter the fight as-is. There’s no hypothesizing about “if Taylor Swift spent a year learning Muay Thai kickboxing, her long legs would be a devastating weapon.” The celebrities get to acquire no additional skills, and they’re not training.

In this make-believe universe where I get to schedule such a fight, the two combatants will be swooped up from wherever they are and teleported into the cage without any foreknowledge of the impending contest. However, the celebrities out there with authentic skills do get to keep them.

Combat Will Exist in a Vacuum

Another critical distinction to make is that this fight is taking place in a vacuum. It is independent of everything else in this world. So, for example, if Kim Kardashian is scheduled to fight, she will not take into account her excellent life and pretty face and just tap out to avoid the match. Whoever is chosen will be competing for their lives with everything they have as soon as the bell rings.

While in my weird prize-fighting vortex, the only thing that will matter to them is destroying whoever is opposing them. All considerations regarding looks, health, career, etc. will go out the window entirely. We deserve a compelling brawl; I can’t have people making career decisions and humiliating me by ruining the big show.

So Who Is It Going to Be?

After much deliberation, I’ve decided that I will be promoting a third-round event. All of these matchups possess a specific logical conflict, relatively even physical measurements, and they follow the rules laid out above. So without further ado, I present to you Celebrity MMA!

Fight 1: Jimmy Kimmel versus Jimmy Fallon

Let’s be honest; it’s obnoxious that two of the three late night talk show hosts are named Jimmy. I don’t know a single Jimmy in this entire world; they all go by James or Jim because that’s what adults do. But no, somehow two major networks found individual goofballs going by their childhood name and gave them the best real estate on the channel. You can’t make this stuff up.

Neither of these phonies would ever admit it publicly, but they positively hate each other already. Kimmel most certainly is beside himself that no matter who his competition is, he somehow loses the ratings war. I can only imagine a little more of his soul dies with each frenetic, fake over-laugh that his NBC namesake cackles, almost as if to mock him.

Fallon, on the other side, has suddenly fallen to second place in the ratings after Colbert spent the entire election cycle and each subsequent night since being snarky about the President. After starting out on top, the country finally got tired of his milquetoast personality and unnatural enthusiasm. He needs to get a little edge to climb back on top, and nothing can give him that more than a little Kimmel-blood on his knuckles.

Fight 2: Rachel Maddow versus Ivanka Trump

Now, this is combat! In the red corner, we have the blue-blood, elitist former model and daughter of Republican President Donald Trump. Tired of listening to the constant criticisms of her infamous father, Ivanka has heard enough snarky sarcasm and exaggerated eye-rolls for this lifetime! She’s ready to rumble, and we’ve found her the perfect dance partner.

Fighting out of the blue corner, we’ve got the short-haired Castro Valley native and hardcore liberal pundit, Rachel Maddow! The shining star of MSNBC, not a moment goes by that Maddow isn’t fretting about the GOP, inequality, and toxic masculinity. Despite seeing her ratings soar to new heights as a result of the election, she’s still not satisfied. The only thing that can calm her nerves now is a handful of that bleach-blonde hair.

These two women have opposing views about nearly everything. In fact, if they happened to agree on something, one of them would change their opinion just so they could keep on disagreeing. It’s been over a year since the election, which is a long time to wallow in passive aggression and exasperated zingers. It’s time for the passive aggression to become physical aggression. This has legitimate Fight of the Night potential.

Main Event: Snoop Dogg versus Cesar Millan

Oh yeah, you read that correctly! Former Crip gang member, legendary rapper, and all-around fascinating individual Snoop Dogg is closing the show. A mere two years ago, the Dogg-father embarked upon a reggae career, at which time he changed his name to Snoop Lion. People weren’t crazy about the name change, but he’s so cool that we all just assumed that we were wrong and pretended it was awesome.

Eventually, he came to his senses and returned to the name that has served him so well for several decades in the limelight. However, little did he know that this would be his undoing. Because if there’s one thing Cesar Millan can’t use his superpowers on, it’s lions. Dogs are his specialty.

The Dog Whisperer will be bringing 25 years of canine experience into the Octagon. The Emmy-nominated dog psychology expert has a lifetime of experience rehabilitating aggressive dogs in the Los Angeles area. Worse still for Snoop, Cesar’s dog training methods have been criticized by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for being cruel and unnecessary.

On paper, he appears to be the gangster rapper and Long Beach native’s Achilles heel. If Snoop can’t find some offense early, he could be in for a long night. MMA is a fickle sport, and what starts as a competitive contest can turn into a rolled-up newspaper to the snout and a whole lot of discipline in the blink of an eye.

Tale of the Tape

Fight 1:

Jimmy Kimmel Jimmy Fallon
Height 6’0 6’0
Weight ~ 190 ~ 165
Age 50 43
Moneyline Odds +130 -110

Fight 2:

Ivanka Trump Rachel Maddow
Height 5’11 5’11
Weight ~ 130 ~ 142
Age 36 44
Moneyline Odds -200 +185

Main Event:

Snoop Dogg Cesar Millan
Height 6’4 5’5
Weight ~ 175 ~ 155
Age 46 48
Moneyline Odds -110 -110

“Let’s Get It On!”

Look at those matchups! This card has everything you could ever want. You’ve got two Jimmys of late night scrapping and clawing to climb the ratings ladder and win the exclusive rights to the name “Jimmy.” The loser will be forced to go by “James” and return to his network disgraced and in third place.

Kimmel vs. Fallon

I see Kimmel getting the upper hand early, utilizing sloppy trip takedowns and following them up with ground and pound on the mat. However, after a round of laying beneath his heftier foe and absorbing blows, Fallon gets a different kind of look in his eye. All those years of repressed rage hidden behind maniacal forced laughter finally bubble to the surface.

Fallon starts the second round like a whirling dervish. The Octagon has never seen energy levels like this before. He swarms his ABC opponent, landing a flurry of hooks, knees, and kicks to the body. It’s not until he pauses to fake-laugh at a joke Joe Rogan was overheard saying during the broadcast that Kimmel’s unconscious body slumps to the floor. Fallon wins this one by second-round TKO.

Maddow vs. Trump

Following such an explosive performance is quite the task for our athletes in the second bout. As the two meet in the center of the cage to receive the referee’s instructions and touch gloves, Rachel quips, “Hey Ivanka, it’s too bad I’m going to turn you black and blue instead of orange like your father.” Ivanka looks unfazed before slowly lifting her head to meet Maddow’s gaze with her own and retorting, “I must break you.”

The bell sounds, and as the fighters approach the center of the Octagon, Rachel Maddow is clearly distraught! For it was at that moment that she placed Ivanka’s line. It was Ivan Drago, and he was Russian. “How could I miss an opportunity to nail her for her obvious ties to Russia?” she mouthed to herself, completely unaware of her opponent. In the blink of an eye, Trump launches a Holly Holm-esque high kick that sends the MSNBC anchor reeling.

Ivanka follows her to the floor and finishes the job with a rear naked choke. While the First Daughter celebrates her first-round shocker, Maddow rocks back and forth in the spot where she was defeated, quietly mouthing, “Russia…. Russia…. Russia….”

Snoop Dogg vs. Cesar Millan

The final fight of the night is announced, and both men make their way to the cage. Snoop enters to his own song “Ain’t Nothin’ but a Gangster Party,” while Cesar comes to the ring to “Who Let the Dogs Out?” After the introductions and referee instructions, it’s finally time for the showdown.

The fighters meet in the center of the cage, Snoop staying light on his feet, utilizing his enormous reach advantage and pumping his jab. Millan is taking quite a bit of damage while interjecting with sharp “No!” commands, shrill whistles, and the occasional “Heel” and “Bad dog” response while snapping his fingers. For two straight rounds, the fight looks just as you’d expect a brawl between an ex-gang-member with an eleven-inch height advantage and an aging dog trainer to be.

Entering the final period, Cesar Millan is way behind on the scorecards after suffering two 10-8 rounds. He’ll need a finish in this one. Just as the two shuffle to the middle of the cage to engage once again, Cesar flips the script. He blows a dog whistle that nobody can hear but causes Snoop to dart around the ring uncontrollably.

After a solid minute of sub-sonic torture, Cesar relents. As Snoop cowers in the corner, he’s approached by the Dog Whisperer. Snoop begins to lunge in defense, but he’s met with a cold blast of water to the face from a squirt bottle! This pattern is repeated several times, until Snoop finally bows forward, inviting Millan to pet the top of his head.

Cesar accepts the invitation and gives him some sweet head rubs and a scratch behind the ears. Snoop then taps out as requested, declaring the winner Cesar Millan by third-round submission. In the post-fight speech, the famous trainer proudly changes his name to The Dogg Whisperer.

“It Is All Over!!!”

And that concludes an amazing night of Celebrity MMA! Can’t you see the potential? We got three action-packed fights, got rid of one “Jimmy,” and tamed a legendary Dogg with the best in the business. Thank you for joining me on this incredible journey. I’ve never been more confident that Celebrity MMA needs to come to fruition, and I believe I’m just the man for the job if they need a matchmaker.

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