Blogkick: The Top 10 Fighters of All TimePosted on February 7, 2011, 04:33 PM by overhand right
Now I won't even begin to preach this list as matter of fact. As with more or less any top 10 list, it is completely subjective and unique to the person making it, and there is no list that everyone will be able to agree on, especially on such a debatable topic as the one I'm about to delve into. However, i have tried to be as fair as possible and take each fighter's accomplishments into account with as equal measure as his counterparts. And that is mostly what my list is attempting to reflect: acco mplishments. Skills are important too but I believe they must be backed up by big wins, championships etc. So you will find that every fighter to grace this list has at one point won a belt in MMA and beaten other great fighters. So without any further delay here is who I believe to be the fighters to have accomplished the most in the sport thus far:
10. Chuck 'The Iceman' Liddell
Perhaps the most famous Mixed Martial Artist yet. Liddell played an integral part in bringing MMA into the mainstream and was the first real superstar to gain recognition outside the MMA community. Besides his PR role in the sport, he was one of the greatest knockout artists to ever strap on a pair of 6oz gloves. His legendary career boasts KO/TKO wins over men like Couture, Sobral and Ortiz, all of which he finished twice, making him a specialist in rematches. the only man he could never avenge a loss to was Quinton Jackson, a formidable opponent to say the least. He was one of the most dominant champions in UFC history, defending his title on four occasions. Unfortunately for Chuck, after losing his title his career went on a downward slope. He lost his five of his last six fights, four of which saw him either being knocked unconscious or losing via TKO. He will always be remembered fondly in the hearts of fans everywhere as an MMA icon.
9. Wanderlei 'The Axe Murderer' Silva
The most feared and viscious fighter to ever walk the face of the earth. When you think of Wanderlei Silva, one thinks of pure aggression. The Axe Murderer made his name in Pride, where he became famous for his killer instinct and lethal finishing ability. Images of opponents being soccer kicked or foot stomped into submission spring to mind. Silva has beaten a who's-who of the light heavyweight division - from Rampage to Henderson to Liddell - he's beat them all and done it in crowd-pleasing fashion. As I mentioned, he enjoyed immense success in Pride, where he was Middleweight Champion and won the 2003 Pride Middleweight Grand Prix, as well as remaining ultra-competitive in all Grand Prixs following. The last few years of his career haven't lived up to expectations but he may have found a new lease on life in the UFC's middleweight division.
8. Takanori 'The Fireball Kid' Gomi
The best lightweight of all time, Gomi went on an almost unfathomable win streak in his role as Pride's resident lightweight titan. Known for his tenacity and tremendous Ko power, The Fireball Kid has recorded twelve wins via strikes in his career against top lightweight opponents and also owns the record for the fastest knockout in Pride history: 6 seconds. He's beaten Sato, Pulver, Kawajiri, Sakurai, Ishida and more recently, Tyson Griffin, over an incredible 40 fight career. He won the Pride Lightweight Grand Prix was practically untouchable from 1998-2005, save two losses to other lightweight greats, Hansen and Penn.
7. BJ 'The Prodigy' Penn
Gomi may be the greatest lightweight of all time, but don't forget that the Hawaiian super talent that is BJ Penn has reached the pinnacle of the sport at both lightweight and welterweight. Penn was at one time the champion of both the lightweight and welterweight divisions in the UFC. Now some may look at Penn's record and question his place on this list, but look at the calibre of the fighters he's lost to: Hughes, GSP, Machida, Pulver and Edgar. There's certainly no shame in losing to any of those guys, and Penn has two wins over Hughes to counteract the one bout he lost to him, as well as a win over Pulver. Alongside Hughes, he's beaten Gomi, the best lightweight ever. Further evidence of his ability can be seen in his 2 year domination as UFC lightweight champ, during which he beat Sherk, Sanchez, Florian and Stevenson.
6. Randy 'The Natural' Couture
What can I say about this guy that hasn't already been said a thousand times over? If you were ever looking for the definition of a champion then look now further than this man. Three-time UFC Heavyweight Champion and two-time UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, you could certainly say this man has the Midas touch. Perhaps the most beloved and respected fighter in MMA history, Couture is a real-life Rocky. Having entered the sport at a relatively old age, he has been written off an innumerable amount of times because of his age, but the grizzly vet is still fighting like a man ten years his junior. The icing on the cake for Couture came against Tim Sylvia for the heavyweight championship, which he won to become the oldest champion in UFC history. Another fighter whose record isn't the prettiest but again, he's only ever lost to studs like Belfort, Liddell and Nogueira. He's cetainly been in there wit the best, and has beaten great fighters like Liddell, Ortiz, Rizzo and Belfort.
5. Georges 'Rush' St Pierre
Still a relatively young fighter with a very bright future, but he's already accomplished so much. Two-time welterweight champ and hasn't lost a round since 2007. He's on an eight fight win streak and has been the most dominant welterweight since the great Matt Hughes. GSP may one day be number one on this list, perhaps if the fight against Anderson Silva ever materialises and he wins, he will be well on his way to being the greatest of all time. He's already cleared out the talent rich UFC Welterweight division against elite fighters like Koscheck, Fitch, Hughes, Penn, Alves and Sherk. He's not the most frequent finisher of fights but he does what's important: win, and in dominating fashion.
4. Antonio Rodrigo 'Minotauro' Nogueira
Pure heart and will. Nogueira has some of the greatest comebacks of all time, against some of the greatest fighters of all time. Before the arrival of Mr. Emelinenko on the MMA scene, Minotauro was regarded as the greatest heavyweight in the world by a country mile. And rightly so. After all, he did dominate the greatest heavyweight roster on the planet for the early part of the last decade. Wins over Schilt, Henderson, Coleman, Couture, Kaharitonov, Werdum, Barnett, the list goes on and one. He is the master of submissions, and any foe who made the folly of going to the ground with him ran the risk of getting their arm snapped, and more often than not, they did. His most impressive win came over fellow heavyweight legend, Mirko Cro Cop. Perhaps one of his most impressive feat is that he provided one of the the strenest tests of Fedor's career, and while he was still at his prime. The most durable fighter ever and a hero to many.
3. Anderson 'The Spider' Silva
The greatest middleweight of all time by a long shot and the most dominant champion of all time. He holds the record for consecutive wins (13) in the UFC and consecutive title defenses (8). Anderson Silva hasn't lost a fight in 5 years and has never lost a fight inside the Nevada-based promotion. Is there anyone who can beat this man? Middleweight hasn't provided anyone yet, and even when on the brink of defeat against Chael Sonnen he still managed to come away with a win. He's beaten Belfort, Henderson, Franklin and Griffin, all former champions themselves and all were put away by KO or submission. He could take the number one spot if he defeats GSP and some the world-beaters currently residing in the stacked 205 division. For now he is untouchable. He's beaten wrestlers, strikers, BJJ aces, everyone they can throw at him. 'The Spider' is a notch above everyone in the world right now.
2. Matt Hughes
Is this controversial? Well it depends on whether you believe a record of 45-8 is controversial. How about setting the record for wins in UFC title bouts? Scratch that, how about the record for UFC wins, period? You're still not convinced. What if I told you he also holds the record for fights in the UFC at an other worldly 24? On top of that, he has also defended his welterweight title on 5 occassions, a total that GSP has yet to surpass. He is the two-time welterweight champion and has beaten all-time greats like GSP and BJ Penn. And he was still winning up until recently against top guys like Almeida. A rare breed of wrestler with awesome submission skills, Hughes broke the mould and was the most dominant UFC champion for a long time. The future is currently unsure for him but he has done more than enough to solidify himself as one of the best to ever step in the cage.
1. Fedor 'The Last Emperor' Emelianenko
There's just no disputing thsi man's place at the top. For ten yers he was invincible, a real life superhero. His record says it all 32-2, with only one of those being a legitimate loss. He was the most dominant man in the sport and remained at the top of pound-for-pound lists for the best part of the last decade. He went into almost every one of his fights with a significant, weight, height and strength disadvantage, but yet he always prevailed. So many golden moments - from Randelman suplexing him on his head, only to be submitted seconds later, to his devastating knockout of Andrei Arlovski. Displacing him from this spot would take a superhuman effort, and perhaps nobody ever will. How can anyone compare to ten years of perfection along with wins over Nogueira, Cro Cop, Coleman, Randelman, Sylvia, Arlovski and Hunt? Fedor can submit you or knock you out from any given moment and up until recently, showed no signs of loosening his iron grip on the heavyweight division. Regardless of how his career finishes, this chubby Russian will likely always be remembered as the best there ever was.