BlogKick: Top 10 Fighters of 2010Posted on December 28, 2010, 10:07 PM by bluntsandbeers
With 2010 coming to an end it’s safe to say this has been a huge year for the sport of mixed martial arts. As 2011 approaches we get one step closer to becoming recognized as a mainstream sport.
So naturally someone has to pay homage to the fighters that made 2010 as spectacular as it was. And As tacky as it sounds, I want to give you the top 10 of 2010. Keep in mind this is a list for the best fighters of 2010, not a list of the best fighters.
10. Chris Leben
Since 2010 began Chris Leben has gone 3-0 inside the octagon. He fought twice in the span of two weeks, and put on incredible displays of heart, power, and ground skills. 2010 has been a year where Christ Leben has reflected on his attitude and his career in fighting. He had a slight lapse in judgment when he got arrested for a DUI charge but has bounced back since and is back in the gym training. Leben is scheduled to fight Brian Stann at UFC 125 this Saturday and if he pulls out a win he could have himself a busy 2011 as well.
9. George Sotoriopoulos
Just Like the crippler, George Sotoriopoulos has enjoyed a three fight win streak in the UFC during 2010. It’s been a big year for Sotoriopoulos, with his victories over Joe Stevenson, Kurt Pellegrino, and Joe Lauzon he sees himself very close to title contention. With a few more wins in 2011, this man could very well be the first Aussie UFC lightweight champion.
8. Alistair Overeem
Although he only fought in one MMA bout during the course of 2010, Alistair Overeem has put himself in the mix as one of the best Heavyweight fighters in the world. After his first round destruction of strike force heavyweight Brett Rogers, Overeem went on to win the 2010 K-1 WGP kickboxing championships. With that title under his belt, along with a world class grappling skills, Alistair Overeem is one of the most feared heavyweights in the game today.
7. Nick Diaz
Throughout his career Nick Diaz didn’t struggle to often while he was fighting in the cage, but outside of fighting it was different story. He has had a troubled personal life for a long time, but 2010 was all business for the Stockton native. Diaz hasn’t lost a fight since 2007 and is on an impressive 8 fight win streak. Not to mention he avenged that 2007 loss and dominated his rival K.J Noons. Nick Diaz looked incredible in 2010 and made it look easy, and I don’t see him stopping anytime soon.
6. Jon Jones
If you’re a fan of Mixed Martial Arts Jon Jones is at the top of your list in up and coming prospects. 2010 year was yet another dominant year for the Team Jackson product. He had two brutal first round finishes over seasoned veterans Vladimir Matyushenko, and Brenda Vera. Bones is set to fight Ryan Bader at UFC 126 in February and if he is victorious he will be most likely be next for a shot at the Light heavyweight crown.
5. Fabricio Werdum
Fabricio Werdum has had a lot of ups and downs in his long fighting career. But in 2010 he had his career defining moment when he handed p4p great and number one heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko his first loss in ten years, with a beautiful first round triangle arm bar combination that shocked MMA fans worldwide. Vai Cavalo now holds the biggest upset in mixed martial arts history and has cemented his place as a top tier heavyweight.
4. Jose Aldo
At just 24 years of age, Jose Aldo is widely regarded as one of the best pound for pound fighters on the planet. In 2010 Scarface destroyed two of the best Featherweight fighters in the WEC by dominating Urijah Faber, and knocking out Manny Gamburian. With the UFC and WEC already merged Jose Aldo is the new UFC featherweight champion, giving him all the attention and recognition he deserves. He was scheduled to fight Josh Grispi at UFC 125 but pulled out due to a neck injury, but once he returns you can expect to see him back in his dominant form.
3. Anthony Pettis
That is the definition of the word prodigy. I think that should be deleted and be replaced by Anthony Pettis. In 2010 Showtime has won five fights and finished four by spectacular fashion. He is only 24 years old and is the current and last WEC lightweight champion. He also has the next shot at the UFC's lightweight belt. Anthony Pettis has all the ingredients to be a wildly successful mixed martial artist and he continues to amaze every time he steps into the cage. And oh yea, did you see that kick?
2. Frankie Edgar
2010 has been a whirlwind year for Frankie Edgar. He went from 7 to 1 underdog in his first fight with BJ Penn, to undisputed Lightweight champion. And if that wasn’t enough he beat BJ Penn again to solidify his place as top pound for pound fighters in the sport, and this was all in the course of one year. You can criticize Edgar as much as you want but he is a undersized Lightweight who really did his thing in 2010. He is scheduled to fight Gray Maynard at UFC 125 to try and avenge his only loss and defend his lightweight belt.
1. Cain Velasquez
Once in awhile a fighter comes along with a incredible amount of hype built on them and still come out and amaze during fights. Cain Velasquez is one of those fighters. Ever since he entered MMA people knew he was going to do big things. He’s 7-0 in the UFC, 9-0 overall, and 2-0 during 2010. People criticized Velasquez for not being tested and he fought the best Heavyweights Joe Silva could provide. People criticized Cain Velasquez for not going into deep water and he dominated Check Kongo in a three round war. People criticized him for not having punching power and in 2010 he delivered two of the most memorable knockouts of the year. First he shocked Nogueria by blasting him in the first round. Later Velasquez took the UFCs Heavyweight title by punishing Brock Lesnar so bad that he is questioning his fighting career. Cain Velasquez is an animal and he proved exactly why in 2010, making him the best fighter of the year.