Archive for the Top Ten Fighters in the UFC Category

My Top Ten: Fighters In the UFC

Posted in Top Ten Fighters in the UFC with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2009 by Maxwell Destree

1. Anderson “The Spider” Silva     anderson-silva-2

Yes, even with the way Silva performed in his last fight against Leites I still think that he’s the pound for pound best fighter in the UFC.  He showed us against Leites that he has the capability to neutralize a world class Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt, and that he himself has an impressive ground game.  Most people would agree that he is the best pure striker in the UFC.  He has a deadly combination of power and accuracy. 

If and when Georges St.Pierre and Silva fight I think it will be a very good and agressive fight, but I feel that Silva is a superior striker.  He isn’t necessarily better on the ground, but if he is at least equal to St.Pierre then he should be able to cancel that aspect of his game and achieve victory through striking.

(With that said St.Pierre is a very, very close second) 

2. Georges “Rush” St.Pierre     georges-stpierre1

St.Pierre is personally my favorite fighter, if St.Pierre and Silva fight I will be pulling for St.Pierre all the way.  St.Pierre is the best athlete in the UFC.  St.Piere could be phenominal at any sport that he chooses.  But, it’s not just pure athleticism which puts St.Pierre at number two, it’s his ability to continuosly analyze his own fight game and to improve in areas that could be considered a weakness (if they exist). 

St.Pierre has great conditioning, very good striking, good takedowns and wrestling, and an inate ability to pass peoples guard.  He does not have as much power in his striking as Silva, and isn’t quite as accurate either. 

If St.Pierre and Silva fought, Silva would probably win by knockout.  However, St.Pierre is definately good enough to take Silva down, and probably good enough to pass Silva’s guard.  So, the real question then is could St.Pierre survive long enough to win on the scorecards with takedowns, or would he be able to ground and pound Silva into submission.  Personally, and unfortunately I think Silva would knockout St.Pierre in the first or second round.

Finally, St.Pierre is a young fighter still, and in a couple of years will enjoy a long stay as the best fighter in the UFC.

3. Lyoto “The Dragon” MachidaLyoto Machida 3

After Machidas title fight against Rashad Evans where he dominated the fight before ultimately knocking the ex-champ out cold how could Machida not sky-rocket this chart.  Machida has an undefeated record in MMA, along with and impressive record of never losing a round in any of his 7 UFC fights.  Not to mention, Machida holds victories over the likes of Rich Franklin, BJ Penn and Stephan Bonner.  Machida put on a display of accuracy, footwork and elusiveness that would make the movie legend Bruce Lee proud.  Only, the unbelievable thing is that Machida is fighting real, world class fighters who have been training for the majority of their lives, and he still manages to make them look like amateurs when in the same ring as him.

The fight against Evans showed that Machidas style is no fluke, and he is going to be one of the best fighters in the UFC for a long time to come. 

4. Kenny “Kenflo” Florian     kenny-florian

Placing Florian in the number three spot is probably a surprise to many of you.  Some of you might point to losses to Diego Sanchez and Sean Sherk as reasons why he doesn’t belong here.  Well, my answer to you is that Florian has made such strides with his fight game since his loss to Sherk, and has beaten his opponents so convincingly that I find it hard not to put him here.

Remember that Florian lost to Sanchez as a Welterweight, and when he fought Sherk he was fresh off of the Ultimate Fighter tv show.  If Florian were to fight either of those fighters today he would win.

Florian has improved his striking, it looks smooth and crisp, he has improved his jiu-jitsu, and Florian is possibly one of the best gameplanners in the UFC.  Florian always has a fight strategy that gives him an advantage over his opponents. 

Lastly, I know Florian is placed above of BJ Penn, but when they fight at UFC 101 you will all understand why.

5. BJ Penn     bj-penn-2

Penn in my opinion is possibly over-rated at this spot.  He is definately a top ten fighter, but maybe not as high as number four.  Penn has great jiu-jitsu, and like Joe Rogan likes to point out every fight that Penn is in, he has great dexterity in his limbs.  Penn has good striking, and heavy hands, and has said that he is re-dedicated himself to MMA.

But, when I watch Penn he seems to lack the true “it” factor, or true desire and passion for fighting.  I may be wrong, but it seems to me that Penn found that he was naturally very good at fighting, so he works hard, puts the time in the gym and expects to be the best.  Penn has had cardio problems in the past, and has lost to some of the other top fighters in other weight classes.  I guess I can’t put my finger directly on it, but Penn is missing that last intangible that would truly make him great.  Look for Florian to win at UFC 101.

6. “Sugar” Rashad Evans     Rashad Evans

Evans is a guy that I think flies under a lot of peoples radar.  Evans has great hand speed and punching power, and is an under-rated athlete.  He has collegiate level wrestling experience, so he is good at taking people to the mat, as well as stopping other fighters from taking him to the mat.  Evans has a good chin, and has the ability to grind fights out and win even when he might not be performing at his best.

Evans came into the UFC by winning the Ultimate Fighter tv show and he did it as an undersized Heavyweight.  He took some serious shots on that show and managed to beat those guys.  Whatever it is Evans wins, he hasn’t lost yet.  Granted sometimes it might not be pretty, but the man is a winner, and I expect him to move up this board in the future.

7. Quentin “Rampage” Jackson     quentin-jackson

Jackson is tough to place, he really isn’t known for any jiu-jitsu which makes it difficult to rank him this high.  But, he has a very good stand up game, and in my opinion is probably one of the more intimidating fighters the UFC has.  This man is an Ass Kicker, that’s all he does, he kicks ass.  He has some impressive wins as of late, over Keith Jardine, Wanderlei Silva, and Dan Henderson.

However, because of Jacksons fighting style I don’t ever really see him moving up this chart because there are too many fighters that are more complete fighters than Jackson.

 8. Frank Mir     frank-mir

Ok, it might surprise some that Mir is this high on the list, but if you look at his fight game, it’s pretty impressive.  He is a very good striker, and possibly the best ground fighter at Heavyweight.  This begs the question that if he is this good as a Heavyweight he would probably only be faster, and quicker as a lighter fighter.  I think Mir is definately deserving of this spot, and with a win over one or two more opponents will probably move up this board.

 

9. Thiago “The Pitbull” Alves     thiago-alves-2

Alves is on a good run lately, and I would hate to have to fight him next.  Sorry St.Pierre but Alves has been on a tear.  Alves has had impressive wins over Karo Parisyan,Matt Hughes and Josh Koscheck.  He is young athletic and fights hard.  It’s scary to think that he still has a long career in front of him, and that he will develop even more in the future.  I expect Alves to clime this chart over time, and to have more than one good battle with St.Pierre before thier careers are done.

10. Diego “Nightmare” Sanchez     diego-sanchez-2

Sanchez is probably under-rated by many people right now, but you have to take into account his performance at Welterweight, and the fact that he is now fighting at a better weight for him.  Sanchez has a very good ground game, and has some good power in his hands.  Sanchez could use some cleaner striking, he still just doesn’t seem smooth, but the man has tremendous heart and is a great competitor. 

I think that Sanchez will take out Guida in his next fight, and will probably beat the next guy in front of him until he faces the champ at Lightweight.  I think that the Lightweight division is a good division for Sanchez to find success, and that he can be competitive against Penn and Florian.  I expect Sanchez will move up this list and give Penn and Florian a run for their money before too long.

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