MMA Junkie sheds light on TUF 11 contestant Kyle Noke’s trivia tidbit past as the ‘bodyguard’ of Steve Irwin aka that goofy Australian TV dude who was always fucking with animals aka the Crocodile Hunter:
Noke (16-4-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC), 29, served as Irwin’s bodyguard for three years during Irwin’s heyday as host of the Australian-based nature show. How did he get the job? Irwin, unbeknown to most, was a huge MMA fan.
So huge a fan, in fact, that a good part of Noke’s job was to train “The Crocodile Hunter” between filming sessions. Noke and another bodyguard worked with Irwin on boxing, jiu jitsu and wrestling. Sometimes, they put on MMA gloves and sparred.
“Strong, very strong,” Noke told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of Irwin’s ability. “He had that strength from wrestling crocs all his life from pulling them in and holding them tight. We’d never let him get on top because he would just hold you down as tight as he could.”
Noke’s typical day was to meet Irwin on the beach at 6 a.m., go surfing for a few hours, then train him at a zoo where he worked. Along the way, he learned to drive a boat and scuba dive when the show filmed. He could apply first aid to a Koala bear.
The 6-foot-2, 264-pound Irwin got so far into the sport that at one point he wanted to take a fight and donate his purse to charity. But the show’s producers wanted to preserve his family image and eventually put the brakes on the idea.
I’m going to place Steve just below Wesley Snipes on my list of celebs I wished had actually gotten into the cage. Because sure, Irwin could wrestle a croc, but we all know that man is the most dangerous game. Actually, maybe that’s true when man has access to all his clever toys but let’s face it … if you were gonna be in the cage with any violent animal of equal weight, man would probably be your first choice. Even those cute little orangutans will rip your freaking arms off and poop on you faster than you can say ‘Crikey’. So respect to Steve Irwin – he was like nature’s Ultimate Fighter. Too bad about that GSP / Matt Serra-esque loss to a stingray back in 2006.