Image Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Unless you’ve been following the sport since before Zuffa bought the UFC, odds are you won’t recognize the name Javier Vazquez. But take my word for it, he was someone important.

He only fought in the UFC once, defeating Joe Stevenson back in 2011, and his WEC career saw him lose more than he won, but for a while, Vazquez was a jiu-jitsu stud dominating the MMA minor leagues out on the West Coast. How much of a stud was he? He was a King of the Cage champ (when that actually meant something), and he only lost his belt when he tore his ACL. In the beginning of a fight. A fight which he still managed to go the distance in. Did I mention his ACL was torn the entire time?

Vazquez retired a couple years ago, and sadly, he’s battling cancer. Here’s his GoFundMe.

After a couple decades, our sport has amassed a somewhat rich history.

Vazquez is definitely part of it.