From Armored Titan to UFC Heavyweight Champion

The Attack on Titan series takes inspiration from the glorious world of Mixed Martial Arts, but the Armored Titan has already won UFC Heavyweight gold.

Attack on Titan consists of an extremely diverse cast of characters from all walks of life. From the innocence of Sasha to the coldness of Annie, the characters that the global community has grown to adore can match those of any anime franchise.

However, it turns out that several characters were inspired by real-life people and most notably, by icons of the Mixed Martial Arts world.

In this article, we reveal how the Armored Titan not only took on the perilous mission to take Shiganshina but also the UFC heavyweight world championship.

From the Armored Titan to UFC Heavyweight gold

In the previous article, we discussed how the fighting style for Eren’s Attack Titan was modeled after Japanese MMA legend, Takanori Gomi. However, Gomi is not the only MMA legend to influence the designs and fighting style of the Attack on Titan roster.

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Speaking with Kong Kakutogi, translated by Tumblr user ‘fuku-Shuu’, Isayama revealed that Reiner’s Armored Titan is in fact modeled after UFC icon and current WWE megastar, Brock Lesnar.

Lesnar is a man-mountain and is easily one of the most infamous combat sports athletes of all time. His early career his saw him become a feared opponent of the amateur wrestling scene competing out of the University of Minnesota, before transitioning first into WWE and then, the UFC.

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Lesnar wasted no time in winning the UFC Heavyweight World Championship, securing the belt in only his fourth ever professional fight against fan favorite Randy Couture at UFC 91.

After successfully defending against Frank Mir and Shane Carwin, Lesnar would lose to Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem before a positive drug test overturned his last win against Mark Hunt.

UFC Heavyweight: The blue-ribbon division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the heaviest weight class currently available with athletes weighing between 206 and 265lbs, 93.4–120.2 kg.

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Interestingly, in the same interview with Demetrious Johnson where he revealed Eren’s link to Takanori Gomi, Isayama said that his favorite character at the time was Reiner.

Need further proof that Lesnar is the real-life Armored Titan from Attack on Titan? Just watch his UFC highlight reel his, especially his legendary rematch with Mir and the Titan-like showdown with Alistair Overeem at UFC 141.

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In fact, in the same interview where Brock Lesnar was revealed to be the inspiration behind the Armored Titan, Isayama explained how Reiner was himself based on a close friend.

Whilst Isayama has not stated that any other of the main characters were inspired by real people, the iconic manga writer has discussed what influenced a lot of his creative choices.

In an interview with NHK Japan in 2018, Isayama stated that the mountainous landscape of his hometown of Oyama inspired the concept of the ‘Walls’ in the anime.

Similarly, when speaking with Illustrate Note magazine in 2017, he explained how some of the Titans were themselves inspired by people who visited an internet café he worked part-time in.

Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Attack on Titan/MAPPA/Crunchyroll YouTube

By Tom Llewellyn – [email protected]

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