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Maximus vs. Sonny Corleone

One is a brutish war hero whose reputation in the ring is legendary. The other is an up-and-coming mafia boss who only wishes he were half the legend his father was. Both, however, are men who put their families first and would do everything in their power to protect them. Maximus has an edge over Sonny physically, but that wouldn't prevent the hotheaded Italian from taking a page out of Commodus’ book “101 Dastardly and Devious Ways to Kill Thine Enemy.”

Winner: Maximus
NEXT: Maximus meets #6 Conan
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Sonny Corleone

Maximus Decimus Meridius

Russell Crowe, "Gladiator"
After leading his men to victory against an army of German barbarians, the last thing Maximus was ever expecting was a demotion, let alone an attempt on his life. True, the tough-as-nails general managed to elude his would-be murderers, but his wife and son weren’t so lucky, so you can understand why he’s feeling a little vengeful around childhood pal Commodus, who masterminded the whole betrayal. Still, Maximus wasn’t the emperor’s go-to guy for nothing. His leadership skills in the ring are legendary (without him, the rest of those gladiators were toast against the Roman legion), and his work with a rusty blade tends to result in a bloody good time. Tragic hero? Maybe. Absolute badass? You bet.

Definitive badass moment: Going up against Rome’s undefeated champion obviously isn’t challenge enough, as Maximus is also forced to ward off a pack of bloodthirsty tigers at the same time.

Classic badass line: “My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.”

Seed: #2
Occupation: General turned gladiator
Strengths: Deadly with a sword, a master strategist
Weaknesses: Lets his emotions get in the way
Bracket History: Defeated #15 James Dalton in round 1, 89%-11%

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Sonny Corleone

James Cann, "The Godfather"
In 1945, if you’d asked around as to which Corleone son would end up as Vito’s long-term successor, everyone would’ve said Sonny…and then added, “God love him,” to stay on his good side. Violent and impulsive, Sonny Corleone has a highly warranted reputation as the hothead of his family. Always the first to raise his fists (or gun) in response to a perceived insult or threat, Sonny’s hobbies include breaking cameras, spitting on FBI agents and putting out hits.  To take him down, count on needing a team of guys, a bunch of submachine guns, and a shitload of bullets.

Definitive badass moment: When Sonny hears that his brother-in-law, Carlo Rizzi, has knocked his sister around, he hunts Carlo down and beats him within an inch of his life…which involves punching, kicking, biting, and the strategic use of a garbage can lid.  In closing, Sonny declares, “You touch my sister again. I'll kill ya," then gives him one last kick for good measure, leaving the poor bastard lying on his back in the downpour of an open fire hydrant.

Classic badass line: “No, no, no! No more! Not this time, Consiglieri. No more meetings, no more discussions, no more Sollozzo tricks. You give 'em one message: I want Sollozzo. If not, it's all-out war. We go to the mattresses.”

Seed: #7
Occupation: Legitimate businessman (as far as you know)
Strengths: When he’s mad, he’s virtually unstoppable
Weaknesses: Hotheaded, rarely thinks before acting
Bracket History: Defeated #10 Tony Soprano in round 1, 60%-40%