My Top Five: Light-Heavyweight Fighters In the UFC

1. Lyoto “The Dragon” MachidaLyoto Machida 3

Machida recently beat Rashad Evans for the Light-Heavyweight Championship, but more importantly he did it in impressive fashion.  Machida dominated Evans in the standup game, before knocking Evans out in the 2nd round.  Machida holds victories over other UFC fighters such as Rich Franklin, BJ Penn, Thiago Silva, Stephan Bonnar, and ex-UFC fighter Tito Ortiz. 

Machida has never been beaten in his MMA career, but not only that, he has never even lost a round in the UFC.  I thought that Machidas style was pretty good, but not great.  After the fight with Evans he showed that he is elusive even for one of the fastest light-heavyweights in the sport.  Machida has earned this spot through consistant and impressive victories throughout his soon to be storied career.  I would anticipate Machida holding onto this belt for some time to come.

2. “Sugar” Rashad Evans     rashad-evans-21

Evans is coming off his first loss to Machida, even more sadly is that he didn’t look very impressive at all.  Machida made Evans look very awkward, but I would now anticipate Machida to do that to anybody in this division.  Evans still is probably the most athletic and quickest fighter in this weight class.  Even though Machida knocked him out, he did take some real flush shots to the jaw, showing that he can definately take a punch, if not several.  I will be interested to see how Rashad responds to the loss, it will be very telling to whether or not he stays on this list or falls compeletly off of it.

 

3. Quentin “Rampage” Jackson     quentin-jackson1

Jackson has had an up and down stint with the UFC.  First, he arrives in the UFC, beats Marvin “The Beastman” Eastman, knocks out Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell and beats Dan Henderson.  He losses a tough bout with Forrest Griffin and has some trouble with the law and his manager.  Changes his trainers, heads over to train in England with the Wolfs Lair and comes back and beats Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva and Keith “The Dean of Mean” Jardine.  Jackson has fought and beaten better competition than Machida and deserves the number two spot. 

4.Rich “Ace” Franklin     rich-franklin1

Franklin is a new arrival to the Light-Heavyweight division, seeing that he couldn’t beat the Middle-weight champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva in two tries.  Franklin has a nice win over Matt “The Hammer” Hamill, but followed that up with a close loss to Dan “Hendo” Henderson.  Despite the loss to Henderson I expect that Franklin will get a shot at the Light-Heavyweight title soon enough.  Franklin is a very, very good fighter and given the right situation could hold the title in this division.

5. Forrest Griffin     forrest-griffin

Griffin is a good fighter, but he is not a champion.  He has the work ethic of one, but he lacks the natural talent to be an everyday champion.  He beat Quentin “Rampage” Jackson for the belt, I know.  But, it was a very close fight and I think that Jackson wins that fight at least 7 out of 10 times.  It was a good night for Griffin nothing more.  Griffin will be around for a while, and probably could get another title shot in the future, but he probably wont’ win and if he does he’ll lose it right away again.

Griffin has lost to Tito Ortiz, Keith Jardine, and Rashad Evans, the two people of note that he has beaten are Jackson and Mauricio Rua.  But, one could argue that when he fought Rua he didn’t get the best Rua had to offer.  Griffin is in this spot because he trains hard, and he’s a tough fight, and honestly he could end up moving either way on this board.  I just wouldn’t expect him to ever get as high as number one though.

(6. Luiz Cane)     luiz-cane

Cane was just featured in a very impressive win over Steve Cantwell.  Cane is on the rise, another fight against a better fighter would be nice, but I like what I see so far.

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