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About the author: Bill Viola Jr. is Amazon best-selling author and creator of the award-winning Sensei Says® life skills curriculum. He experienced the "Golden Era" of MMA firsthand as his father, Bill Sr., is credited as the co-creator of the sport of mixed martial arts in 1979. His book Godfathers of MMA inspired the critically acclaimed SHOWTIME film Tough Guys where he acted as a producer alongside an Academy Award accredited team. The Viola family owns and operates Allegheny Shotokan Karate in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania now celebrating their 50-year anniversary (1969-2019). He is currently the President of Kumite Classic Entertainment Corp.
Pro-Athletes entered the world of mixed martial arts long before the inaugural UFC in 1993. Meet Len Petigrew, the first pro-sports athlete to cross-over and compete in MMA.
■ 2015 / Godfathers of MMA / Last Updated July 30, 2015 by Bill Viola Jr. /