Originally Posted by SuperHut
And I just remembered, BRUCE LEE belongs at the very top of the list for being the first guy who openly and publicly promoted cross training in different fighting styles to discover the truth about martial arts. Lee was the original MMA guy and he even filmed that MMA like scene at the beginning of Enter The Dragon that ended with an arm lock/neck crank.
And if memory serves me correctly, it was Maurice Smith who I first saw in the sport to have proficiency on the ground and on the feet. I even remember before his classic fight with Conan Silveira, they interviewed Maurice Smith before the fight and he was talking about how influential Bruce Lee was to him.
Bruce belongs at the bottom of the list because he has no verifiable bouts. Fred Ettish has verifiable bouts.
Gene Lebell did it all before Bruce. Who do you think gave Bruce that arm bar?
Steve Jennum was the first to show a stand up ground game package IMO.