Fan Opinion: Most Underrated Fighters in the UFCPosted on May 15, 2011, 08:10 PM by thealex
Nik Lentz (21-3-2): Lentz trains out of Minnesota and is a training partner of former Lightweight champ, Sean Sherk. Undefeated in his 6 UFC fights, he has wins over Andre Winner, Waylon Lowe, and Tyson Griffin. He is often criticized for having boring fights and "grinding" out decisions with superior grappling. But he does what is necessary to earn the victory. He proved he has the heart of a champion in his last fight against Waylon Lowe. After giving up the first two rounds to the clearly stronger wrestler, Lentz locked in a guillotine choke that ended the fight, giving him his fourth consecutive win. Lentz is scheduled to face young prospect Charles Oliveira in June. A win over Oliveira will prove that Lentz belongs in the cage with the UFC's elite.
Mike Pierce (12-3): Pierce is a strong wrestler who trains out of Portland, Oregon. Mike Pierce burst on the UFC scene with a dominant victory over Brock Larson. Following this victory, Pierce replaced Thiago Alves and fought Jon Fitch. He lost a close decision to Fitch, but showed he is a force at 170. Since then, he has earned 3 consecutive victories and is working his way up the 170 lb division. Pierce is set to fight Johny Hendricks in August
Rousimar Palhares (12-3): Known for having perhaps the best leg locks in MMA, and some of the best overall Jiu Jitsu in the UFC, Rousimar Palhares trains out of the Brazilian Top Team. Palhares is 5-2 in the UFC and has wins over Jiu Jitsu specialists Ivan Salaverry, Jeremy Horn, Lucio Linhares and Dave Branch. He is considered to be one of the middleweight divisions smaller fighters, standing only 5 feet 8 inches tall, Palhares makes up for that in muscle, which makes for a more compact and more dynamic for his style of fighting. His two losses have come only to top 10 middleweights in Dan Henderson and Nathan Marquardt. In both fights he has showed tenacity and heart, the only thing left for him to improve on is the mental aspect of the game. His loss to Marquardt was quite controversial, as Palhares accused Marquardt of having greased his legs to try and avoid getting caught in one of Toquinho's leg locks. It is believed that Nate Marquardt did not grease, but only they know the truth. If Rousimar Palhares had not been distracted by Nate getting out of his leg lock attempt, the fight (more than likely) would have gone on and had a different ending. Palhares' last 3 wins have come by submsission (leglocks). Palhares is scheduled to fight Alexandre Ferreira at UFC 134.
Alexander Gustafsson (11-1): Gustfsson is a Swedish fighter known for his striking. He debuted in the UFC with a KO win over Jared Hamman. He Also has wins over James Te-Huna and veteran Cyrille Diabate. His only loss is to fellow prospect Phil Davis. Although he lost, Gustafsson showed great takedown defense to perhaps the best wrestler in the Light Heavyweight division. In his win over Diabate, he dominated the Frenchmen in the striking game and forced him to submission with a rear naked choke, in what was his most dominant performance yet. Keep your eye on this guy because he is a future star. Alexander Gustafsson is looking at a summer return with Vladimir Matyushenko who is coming off a 20 second destruction of Jason Brilz.
Travis Browne (10-0-1): Travis Browne trains out of Alliance MMA alongside Brandon Vera and Phil Davis. He is 1-0-1 in the UFC. His win came against TUF alumnus James Mcsweeny, in what was an upset victory. He showed what kind of power he carries in his hands with a first round stoppage victory. His next fight came against Veteran Heavyweight Cheick Kongo, in what was a controversial draw. Browne pushed the pace for most of the fight with his striking, and all Kongo did was clinch up and defend. Kongo was also deducted a point for grabbing Travis Browne's trunks. Travis Browne will fight Stefan Struve at UFC 130 on the main card. A win for Browne will place him with the top tier fighters in the heavyweight division.