Pound for Pound Most Exciting Fighters in MMAPosted on February 16, 2011, 05:45 PM by Jride
Now this list isn’t about who the best fighter is, who has the fanciest record, or who beat who to become what they are today. This list is compiled of the Pound For Pound most exciting fighters that win or lose, give it 100% in their efforts and also give a show for the fans.
#10. Mauricio Rua
With arguably the best resume of wins in his division, the current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion graced the Top 10 list of P4P exciting fighters by being vicious throughout his career and he has never lost a step. After absolutely blasting through PRIDE’s 2005 MWGP in brutal fashion, Shogun made his less-than-stellar UFC debut against Forrest Griffin followed by a less-than-stellar win over Mark Coleman, but he was able to bounce back with an impressive finish over Chuck Liddell which convinced fans that the Shogun of 2005 was back. With that win, he was able to earn a shot at Lyoto Machida’s title. After 5 rounds of close action, Shogun lost in a controversial decision which prompted UFC President Dana White to sign an immediate rematch. In the rematch, Shogun started right where he left off, eventually blasting Lyoto with a right hand followed by Ground and Pound from the mount to get the KO stoppage in round one for the much deserved UFC belt. When Shogun is physically 100%, He is the best light heavyweight in the world, and he shows it when he steps into the cage. Shogun’s next fight will be at UFC 128 against Top 10 LHW Jon "Bones" Jones.
Recommended fight to watch: vs. Ricardo Arona [PRIDE Final Conflict 2005]
#9. Mariusz Zaromskis
The current DREAM welterweight is simply one of the most exciting fighters on the planet. When you watch a Mariusz Zaromskis fight, you know beforehand that you won’t leave disappointed. Zaromskis ran through the 2009 DREAM WWGP with simultaneous head kick knockouts over Hayato Sakurai and Jason High. He then eventually made his head kick knockout streak go up to three when he finished Ho Bae Myeong with the signature move. In his Strikeforce debut, he fought against Nick Diaz for the vacant Strikeforce welterweight championship. Although losing that fight by TKO late in the 1st round, Zaromskis showed how dangerous he is by dropping Nick with a right hand halfway through the round. His next fight was at Strikeforce: Los Angeles against Evangelista Santos, regardless of being tagged and wobbled, Zaromskis still came back with a flying knee and got punched in mid-air to lose via another TKO stoppage in the 1st round. Mariusz Zaromskis is a kill or be killed fighter that absolutely cannot be taken lightly by anyone. There is no word on when his next fight will take place whether it be in DREAM or Strikeforce.
Recommended fight to watch: vs. Jason High [DREAM.10]
#8. Hideo Tokoro
If there was ever a fight record that would deceive the casual fan to believe a fighters skill level is lower than it actually is, it would have to be Hideo Tokoro's. At 27-23-1, he sits at a low winning percentage of .530. But if you've seen him fight, you can see that most of the losses come from his desire to finish his opponent at all costs, not due to being overmatched. For all of his losses, he has even more epic wins such as his submissions over Remigijus Morkevicius, Shinya Sato, and Abel Cullum to his decision victories over the legendary Gracie family members, Royler and Royce. But all in all, nothing tops his most important win, a TKO over former Shooto Lightweight champion, legend, and heavily favored, Alexandre "Pequeno" Nogueira. There is no word on when his next fight will take place although it will most likely be at the next DREAM event.
Recommended fight to watch: vs. Alexandre "Pequeno" Nogueira [K-1 – Hero's 2]
#7. Melvin Manhoef
Pure violence, how else can you describe this Dutch wrecking machine? When you watch a Melvin Manhoef fight, you know you are going to see a finish. Having only gone to decision twice in 33 fights, Mauro Ranallo was not joking when he says "This not the time to take a snack break". With Manhoef's ability to end the fight at any moment, you can miss it if you blink. Manhoef put on one of the greatest MMA brawls of all time in his Cage Rage bout against Evangelista Cyborg, it was truly amazing the back and forth between both men. Although after having a rough year in 2010 dropping 0-2 in MMA and getting stopped by Gokhan Saki at It's Showtime, Melvin looks to rebound in 2011 with an already announced bout in Strikeforce against former title contender Tim Kennedy. Do you plan on missing that fight?, because I wouldn't.
Recommended fight to watch: vs Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos [Cage Rage 15]
#6. Daisuke Nakamura
Known as one of the most exciting grapplers in MMA, Nakamura is known for attempting submissions at any and all times. Think about the type of fighters that are always swinging for fences in order to get the knockout, well that is how Nakamura works the submission game. Although it doesn't seem like a smart thing to do by recklessly diving for submissions rather than worrying about takedowns and position, it surely does make for an exciting fight and has worked well for Nakamura many times. One of his most exciting fights took place in M-1 against Bogdan Cristea, although it went to decision, it was a fast-paced bout full of back and forth submission attempts, constant scrambling, and pure excitement. It is unknown where or when Daisuke Nakamura's next fight will take place.
Recommended fight to watch: vs. Bogdan Cristea [M-1 Challenge 5 - Japan]
#5. Alistair Overeem
Brutal, dominating, and scary are three words you might hear when someone describes the end of an Alistair Overeem fight. Since moving up to his natural weight, “The Reem” has been on a tear looking fiercer every time he steps into the ring or cage. Whether he knee’s your head into the 14th row or he shatters your jaw with a strong hook, Alistair is looking for the kill at all times. Despite looking virtually unstoppable, not one opponent has made it out of the 1st round with Alistair since he was a LHW. He threw around a 265 pound man like he was a little kid, knocked out a former UFC prospect, and also found the time to win the 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix. Alistair Overeem’s next fight is against arguably the current #1 HW in the world, Fabricio Werdum. That fight is rumored to take place April 9th as a quarterfinal fight for the Strikeforce Heavyweight Tournament. Will Overeem get revenge and add Werdum’s name to the long list of victims or will he fall to the dangerous submission wizard that is Fabricio Werdum, I guess we will find out, but one thing I do know is, it will be a fight that you do not want to miss.
Recommended fight to watch: vs. Todd Duffee [Dynamite!! 2010]
#4. Eddie Alvarez
You are in for a real treat when you watch Eddie Alvarez. Beautiful boxing, great wrestling and if you mix that with an awesome submission game, you have yourself a real threat for any lightweight. 21-2 in his MMA career, he has been very successful with wins over great lightweights all over the world. In his most recent fight, he faced 8-time UFC veteran Roger Huerta in which he completely picked him apart in every aspect of the fight. Alvarez stated that he wanted to be respected by the MMA community which is why he went out there trying to finish Roger, having came close many times, the doctor's finally called the fight at the end of the 2nd round which is special because Roger is known as an impossible fighter to finish. Eddie has stated that his favorite fight was against Tatsuya Kawajiri in which he threw his gameplan out the window halfway through the round. The fight won many awards including "Fight of The Year" on many MMA publications. It is unknown where his next fight will take place although it will most likely be in Bellator.
Recommended fight to watch: vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri [DREAM 5]
#3. Jose Aldo
When Jose Aldo fights, it is rarely a fight, he dominates and runs through the competition and makes them look like they shouldn't be in the cage with him in the first place. That is a special kind of fighter that everyone wants to see compete. Jose Aldo is a very well rounded fighter that has beat almost every kind of fighter including strikers, wrestlers, and BJJ practitioners. But he didn't just beat them, he beats them at their own game. MMA fans are already calling for him to move up in weight in order to see the man be placed in a truly competitive fight, but with Tyson Griffin and Kenny Florian recently stating that they are dropping to featherweight, we will soon see how good Jose Aldo and the featherweight division really is. Jose Aldo is running out of contenders, but if more lightweights plan on dropping weight, it will be a very interesting division. Jose Aldo will next defend his title against Mark Hominick at UFC 129 in Toronto. Mark Hominick believes he is the best striker that Aldo has faced thus far, It should be a good one folks.
Recommended fight to watch: vs. Mike Brown [WEC 44]
#2. Anthony Pettis
So let me guess, you are tired of watching fifteen minutes full of a gameplan that consists of a takedown and a few punches every 20 seconds from full guard, well Anthony Pettis just might be your savior. The Duke Roufus-trained fighter seems to be doing everything right. He trains wrestling with Ben Askren so he doesn't get taken down, he is aggressive and has great jiu-jitsu off his back just incase he does get taken down, and he can always get the fight back up to the feet where he is most comfortable and threatening to his opponent. Ever since I saw "Showtime" knock out Danny Castillo, I knew he would be a special fighter to watch out for in the future. At only 24 years of age, it is quite remarkable how far he has progressed as a fighter. Shane Roller was the fight that Pettis needed in order for the fans to see how truly good he was. Shane Roller is known as opponent that has no problems taking you down or submitting you, that seemed like a nightmare matchup. Pettis showed that wrestling training was going well by stuffing Roller multiple times and even taking the accomplished wrestler down a few times himself. We saw Pettis throw some capoeira style kicks along with some other flashy moves in his arsenal that somehow seem to work. His biggest fight of his career was against Ben Henderson in a long five round fight that was full of excitement, Pettis overcame adversity after almost being submitted in the 4th round and eventually landing a off-the-cage kick that will be seen for years in highlight reels to come. Anthony Pettis was supposed to face the winner of the Frankie Edgar/Gray Maynard bout that took place at UFC 125 for the UFC Lightweight Championship belt in order to unify the UFC and WEC titles. Unfortunately, the Edgar/Maynard bout went to a DRAW with a rematch scheduled for UFC 130. Anthony Pettis decided he did not want to wait to unify the belts and instead chooses to take on Clay Guida at the TUF 13 Finale in June.
Recommended fight to watch: vs. Ben Henderson [WEC 53]
#1. Fedor Emelianenko
Nobody misses a Fedor fight and there is a reason to that. "The Last Emperor" went undefeated for 9 years and was the #1 heavyweight in MMA for 7 years, a truly remarkable feat that has never been close to achieved by anyone else. There is no other fighter in the world like Fedor Emelianenko and there will never be another fighter like him. Fedor doesn't just win fights, he beats people at their own game. Fedor beat a prime Cro Cop on the feet, he beat a prime Rodrigo Noguiera on the ground and he in not afraid to take the fight anywhere. Although being upset via submission loss very quickly by the best BJJ practitioner in the heavyweight division, people wrote it off as a "fluke" since it happened so quickly and after Fedor dropped him and jumped into his guard. Recently, he looked to make a comeback as he signed to participate in the Strikeforce Heavyweight tournament against a very dangerous fighter in Bigfoot Silva. While being outweighed by 50+ pounds and having a huge reach disadvantage, Fedor was clearly outmatched by the bigger, stronger fighter. Although in defeat, he still showed some many awesome moments in that fight including his cat-like reflexes when Bigfoot lifted him up in attempt to slam him to the ground. Although it is unsure where Fedor may go from here, he expressed that he is considering retirement and there are also reports that he may fight again. Regardless, not only is he the greatest fighter to ever live, Fedor is the most exciting fighter to ever grace the sport of Mixed Martial Arts.
Recommended fight to watch: vs. Mirko Filipović [Pride Final Conflict 2005]
Honorable Mentions: Jon Jones, Chan Sung Jung, Carlos Condit, Yoshihiro Akiyama