The Top Ten Fighters The UFC Should Sign In 2014

17
SHARE

As the UFC continues to expand and grow, the company is going to need more and more fighters to fill it’s already elite rankings.

There are many talented fighters out there, but they can’t all make it to the premier fighting organization. Here we take a look at the top ten fighters outside of the UFC, who they need to sign in 2014.

10.
Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes
Age – 33
Weight Class – Bantamweight
Promotion – One FC
Why should the UFC sign them?

The UFC tried to sign Fernandes back in June 2012, but the Brazilian opted to sign for Asian promotion One FC. Fernandes is the former Dream featherweight and bantamweight champion, he currently is the One FC champ and is ranked in the top ten 135 pounders in the world by most media websites.

Fernandes is on a seven fight win-streak and has a professional record of 15-3. His three professional losses all have come against former champions in Hiroyuki Takaya, Norifumi Yamamoto and Urijah Faber.

9.
Anthony “Rumble” Johnson
Age – 29
Weight Class – Light-heavyweight
Promotion – WSOF
Why should the UFC sign them?

Johnson is a shadow of his former self since being cut by the UFC and his recent record proves it. He’s sorted his weight issues out now and is comfortable fighting in the light-heavyweight division.

Since he was cut from the UFC, for failing to make weight for a third time, “Rumble” has gone an impressive 6-0, with four finishes. His four finishes have all come in the light-heavyweight division, he most recently knocked out Mike Kyle in the first round at WSOF 8. Prior to that he beat former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski in the heavyweight division.

8.
Mamed “Cannibal” Khalidov
Age – 33
Weight Class – Middleweight
Promotion – KSW
Why should the UFC sign them?

Khalidov like Fernandes, was offered a UFC contract around the same time as the Brazilian; in the summer of 2012. However, the standout polish fighter decided to stick with KSW, where he had a better deal. Khalidov isn’t very well known to the casual MMA fan, but hardcore’s certainly know who he is.

“Cannibal” holds a professional record of 28-4-2 and hasn’t been beaten since March 2010, his last loss came against former UFC fighter Jorge Santiago; who Khalidov has previously knocked out. Khalidov has a few notable victims in his win record: Tor Troeng, Igor Pokrajac, James Irvin, Matt Lindland, Jesse Taylor, Rodney Wallace, Kendall Grove and Melvin Manhoef

7.
Vitaly Minakov
Age – 28
Weight Class – Heavyweight
Promotion – Bellator
Why should the UFC sign them?

The first Bellator fighter on the list is one of the promotions most underrated champions. Minakov has amassed an immaculate 13-0 record competing in mixed martial arts,in under four years. During that time he has won the toughest tournament in MMA and captured a major title.

Minakov is a former sambo world champion and also a world class judoka. Out of his thirteen wins, twelve have come via stoppage and his only win by decision was back in 2010. Minakov would be a excellent addition to the UFC’s heavyweight division.

6.
Justin Gaethje
Age – 25
Weight Class – Lightweight
Promotion – WSOF
Why should the UFC sign them?

The second undefeated fighter on the list, is also the youngest and quite possibly biggest prospect. In just under two and a half years Gaethje has racked up an astounding record of 11-0 and has wins over some top fighters.

Gaethje last fought at WSOF 8 where he destroyed Richard Patishnock. The future can only get better for Gaethje and I expect to see him inside the Octagon some time soon.

5.
Holly “Hottie” Holm
Age – 32
Weight Class – Bantamweight
Promotion – Invicta FC
Why should the UFC sign them?

Holm is a former 18-time world boxing champion, in three former weight classes and she has looked unstoppable since transitioning over to MMA. The UFC reportedly offered her a contract late last year but it didn’t meet the standout fighters demands.

“Hottie” competed in both boxing and mixed martial arts until May 2013; where she retired from her first profession. She has an impressive pro record so far of 6-0, with five coming by way of KO or TKO. She could prove to be quite a chalked for the women’s current queen; Ronda Rousey.

4.
Michael Chandler
Age – 27
Weight Class – Lightweight
Promotion – Bellator
Why should the UFC sign them?

Simply put, he is one of the best lightweights in the world and he needs to be fighting the rest of the divisions elite. Since starting his career in 2009 Chandler has amassed a 12-1 record, won the Bellator season lightweight tournament and captured the Bellator lightweight title.

His only loss on his record came in his last fight by ultra-thin split decision, which many people thought he won, to the man he took the belt from; Eddie Alvarez. I would love to see him fight inside the UFC’s most stacked division.

3.
Eddie “The Silent Assassin” Alvarez
Age – 30
Weight Class – Lightweight
Promotion – Bellator
Why should the UFC sign them?

Alvarez could very well be above Chandler, but I had to put him here given he is the champion. The UFC’s battle to sign Alvarez is well known. “The Silent Assassin” has a professional record of 25-3, with only four of his wins coming by decision.

Alvarez last fought at Bellator 106, where he beat Chandler to regain his lightweight title. Both men are a huge threat to Pettis’ lightweight title.

2.
Ben “Funky” Askren
Age – 29
Weight Class – Welterweight
Promotion – One FC
Why should the UFC sign them?

Why Askren is not in the UFC is beyond on me and I think he is really wasted in ONE FC’s welterweight division. Askren was released by Bellator, where he was the champion, and was expected to sign with the UFC but was bizarrely passed up by the promotion.

Askren is a former Olympic wrestler, with a professional record of 12-0 and is ranked in the top ten, of MMA’s welterweight rankings, by most MMA websites. “Funky” needs to be in the UFC.

1.
Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino
Age – 28
Weight Class – Featherweight
Promotion – Invicta FC
Why should the UFC sign them?

“Cyborg” is the most dominant, most exciting and in my opinion the best female fighter there is. I know the UFC doesn’t have a featherweight weight class, but things change and Justino deserves to be in the UFC.

Justino has just one loss in her professional career and that was back in her debut. Most recently she beat former Strikeforce champion Marloes Coenen, to defend her Invicta FC featherweight title. “Cyborg” has earned her place in the UFC.

  • if i had to choose anyone from this list to sign it would be alvarez. wanted to see this guy in the ufc for years. all solid fighters but only chandler , eddie and cyborg would be competitive with the best. holly holm is not ready for rondas ground game and would 100% get taken down. askren might crack top ten and thats where he would stay

    • Ronda would have to get Holly down first though and i think Holly's footwork will be enough to keep Ronda at a safe distance to put some punishment on her. I would probably still pick Ronda, but Holly "could" get the job done if she fights smart. Also i think Askren would dominate a LOT of the top 10 ranked fighters in the UFC. Don't see him becoming the champ but certainly somewhere in the Top 5. Chandler, Eddie and Cyborg are no brainers they need to get in the UFC ASAP!

  • Yep i co-sign on all of them…. and now that there's gonna be a straw-weight division for women i'd like to see Jessica Aguilar get signed too!

    • Great choice there mate, I wanted to put Aguilar in but I couldn't take anyone out for her. There were a few who were close.

  • Ivy

    Why should the UFC sign anyone? I say let these smaller orgs build up a greater pool of talent, rather than allowing the UFC to monopolize the sport.

    • I think the UFC would find itself in a lot of trouble if it didn't sign anyone. I agree with you I think smaller organisations should be allowed to grow their talent. But the UFC has the best fighters in the world and I feel these should be among them. That's why they need to be signed. Monopolize the sport is one way of thinking of it I suppose. But where would we be now if the UFC never absorbed Pride, Strikeforce, WEC and so on? I personally think having the best fighters in the world in one promotion, is the best thing for the sport. That's just my opinion : ) but hey what do I know lol

      • Ivy

        I have trouble with it because the smaller orgs deserve to survive, and if the UFC absorbs all their best talent they won't. That means other people (unsigned fighters, admin staff, promoters etc.) will be out of a job, and keeping people working is more important than fans getting to see their favorite fighters duke it out in the cage.

  • Mate it's fighting people will watch fighting no matter who it is. Who said anything about the UFC absorbing all of companies talents? Do you not realise talent is created every day, more and more talented fighters are coming out. I don't think the UFC signing these 10 fighters would put too many people out of a job somehow lol

    • Ivy

      All of those 10 fighters you listed are veterans of MMA, not rookies, and it takes awhile to ascend to that sort of status. Without big names, much like in the movies, MMA shows do not flourish as with the UFC.

  • Haha right there all veterans of MMA are they? I think that's where this conversation stops

    • Ivy

      7 of the 10 are veterans, I am not aware of the other 3. Haha, defend that!

  • Shinya Aoki?

  • Koreskhov, Shlemenko, Minakov,Khalidov, Sharinovksiy, Magomedov, Kharitonov, Emeeev, Voichesky… help me for num.10…all this Russian fighters shoud be fighting in the Ufc

    • Damian Grabowski? I agree with you there, I think we will see a Russian UFC champion sometime this year.

      • Not sure if he is Russian, belive is from Poland, but not sure, eatherway very good fighter, too.

        • Sharp mate, your bang on yeah he is a quality fighter very underrated

  • I like your artcles, but a small pet peeve: "shadow of his former self" is not a good thing. It's a reduction and means the person is weaker. I saw you used it here and the Brad Tavares article.

    Shame about Chandler and Alvarez. Here I was hoping they'd finish their trilogy in the UFC, but instead, they'll have one of the quickest rubber matches ever and then end up either fighting each other on repeat or get stuck in limbo because of Bellator's ridiculous matching clause.