Arguably the greatest boxer who ever lived, Muhammad Ali, sent a tweet to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White earlier today (April 3, 2014), asking if his 1976 "fight" against catch wrestling phenom Antonio Inoki made him the original MMA fighter (sorry Bruce).
The answer was a resounding YES!
Regrettably, Ali's health has deteriorated over the years, due largely in part to the amount of head trauma he suffered in his memorable run in the "sweet science." It's hard to imagine "The Greatest" click-clacking away at the computer to solicit props from the UFC boss, but let's not poo-poo on the moment.
In fact, everyone at the UFC front office seems to be a fan of Ali, as ZUFFA head cheese Lorenzo Fertitta recently paid 1.1 million dollars for a pair of the pugilist's boxing gloves, as well as shame one of his enemies (more on that here).
So, how about it, is Ali the original MMA fighter? Or would that honor go to the "Little Dragon?"
As one reader pointed out, "Judo" Gene LeBell -- who reffed the Ali vs. Inoki fight -- could be considered the first true MMA fighter in the wake of his 1963 battle of disciplines against boxing's Milo Savage (see that video here).