On the 4th of July we celebrate our freedom. We do that by barbecuing, taking in dazzling fireworks spectacles and watching Joey Chestnut and Matt Stonie eat a combined 120 hot dogs in Nathan's 2016 Hot Dog Eating Contest.
And when July 4th swings around, we're that much closer to UFC 200, arguably the biggest MMA event of all time. But who are the UFC's biggest Patriots?
Who would love to wrap themselves up with the American flag as much as they would a UFC championship belt? Let's take a look at some of the UFC's most patriotic fighters, fighters who would make even Rocky Balboa proud.
7. Liz Carmouche
Carmouche made history by appearing in the first ever UFC women's fight, nearly defeating Ronda Rousey with neck crack. Carmouche is also the first openly gay fighter in MMA.
But before all that she did three tours of Iraq in the U.S. Marines. Carmouche is a good MMA fighter who has fallen off the radar a bit in women's MMA, but she will always be remembered for serving her country and making history in the UFC.
6. Brian Stann
Stann is a retired U.S. Marine, and all-around athletic and American badass. He's retired now, but he enjoyed a great run in the UFC, amassing a respectable record of 12-6.
Now he's a UFC lifer, with a career as an analyst and commentator for the promotion. With his square jaw and earnest looks, Stann carries himself with an air of confidence and with that comes respect. When Stann fought, you cheered him, because you were also cheering for the United States. He put his life on the line in the military for us, and he put his life on the line inside the cage for his family. Now that's an American hero.
5. Chris Weidman
No matter what happens with Chris Weidman going forward, he will always be remembered as the guy who dethroned Anderson Silva. He defeated him twice, and ended the myth that Silva was unbeatable.
Weidman walks to the cage with a U.S. flag on his back, like he's carrying the hopes and dreams of everyone watching with him. And when he wins, he sports the flag to represent his country. Weidman destroyed Silva twice, then lost the belt to Luke Rockhold. Weidman should bounce back, and as a true American hero, we'd expect nothing less.
4. Chael Sonnen
If there were ever a consummate American in MMA, it's got to be Chael Sonnen, who exercises his right to the First Amendment more than anyone. An unabashed, unapologetic trash talker, Sonnen will defend America and trash Brazil and its fighters like no one else.
Sonnen once ran for an Oregon congressional seat, and represents everything great about America: freedom of speech, hard work and ethic, and capitalism. He's a UFC icon. Only in America.
3. Don Frye
Talk about a real life professional wrestling character in the world of MMA. Before he retired, Don Frye wore American flag trunks and openly promoted himself as the defender of the country. After the 911 terrorists attacks, Frye openly took on terrorists, wearing a "Terrorists Suck" T-shirt to the cage and carrying an American Flag. Frye, like Chael Sonnen, understood the power of the First Amendment to get over as an MMA character and build up a great fan base.
2. Randy Couture
Captain America, as he is called, may have fallen out of favor with the UFC, but he will always be loved by his country. Couture served for six years in the U.S. Army and has always been one of those fighters who carried himself with integrity. He speaks his mind and that often gets him into trouble.
The former UFC heavyweight champion of the world is a fighter ambassador these days, who pops up in the crowd at Bellator shows, but he will always be remembered as one of MMA's original icons and faces of the sport.
1. Tim Kennedy
Tim Kennedy is an American sniper. Don't mess with him, inside or outside of the cage. A U.S. Army Ranger, Kennedy earned a Bronze star for his bravery, and while he enjoys a successful career in the UFC, he is still active in the military as a member of the U.S. National Guard.
Kennedy is no-nonsense. After serving terms in Iraq and Afghanistan, he's not easily influenced or intimidated inside the cage. Like the others on our list, he speaks his mind, believes he has the right to do so because of his military service, and doesn't apologize for much. He's an unabashed American. Deal with it.
Images courtesy of MMAWeekly.com