With less than two weeks ahead of Anderson Silva’s clash against Chael Sonnen, we take a closer look at the Top 5 UFC fighters who failed to become Champions. Sonnen would not like to add himself to that list, which includes some of the best fighters to ever step inside the Octagon. The Oregonian should notice that two of the fighters in this list were beaten by Anderson Silva, in their quest for the UFC Middleweight title:
1. Jon Fitch
When: UFC 87 Seek and Destroy, lost a Unanimous Decision to Georges St. Pierre
Jon Fitch is an incredible example of a fighter who defeated everyone, but one. American Kickboxing Academy was on an incredible 8-0 run in the UFC, before losing a Unanimous Decision to Georges St. Pierre in Montreal. Fitch was rocked and bloodied several times by St. Pierre, but still managed to hang on against the eternal Welterweight Champion. The Indiana native went on an impressive 4-0 run after UFC 87 and will rematch Thiago Alves at the main card of UFC 117 on August 7th. Jon Fitch is 12-1 in the UFC, without ever holding a title.
2. Kenny Florian
When: Lost a Unanimous Decision to Sean Serk at UFC 64, was Submitted by BJ Penn at UFC 101
MMA Live host Kenny Florian is definitely one of the fighters who can count themselves unfortunate for not becoming a UFC Champion. Ken-Flo dominated every opponent who stood on his way, but still failed to fulfill his incredible potential in fights against Sean Sherk and BJ Penn. Florian has victories over likes of Roger Huerta, Takanori Gomi , Joe Stevenson on Clay Guida and an overall UFC record of 11-3. His next battle will be against Gray Maynard at UFC 118, with sights on another shot at the UFC Lightweight gold.
3. Dan Henderson
When: Lost to Rampage Jackson at UFC 75 (Light Heavyweight title) and to Anderson Silva at UFC 82 (Middleweight title)
One of the most decorated Mixed Martial Artists to ever fight in the UFC, Dan Henderson was unable to become a Champion. Hendo came to the UFC as the Pride Middleweight (200 lbs) and Welterweight Champion (185 lbs), losing his title to the reigning UFC Champs Anderson Silva and Rampage Jackson. Henderson will be strongly remembered in the UFC for his epic KO victory over Michael Bisping at UFC 100, as at the age of (almost) 40 the chances to hear Bruce Buffer announcing his name again, are very slim.
4. Renato “Babalu” Sobral
When: Knocked out by Chuck Liddell after 1:35 minutes at UFC 62
Without a shadow of a doubt, Renato Sobral is one of the best Light Heavyweights to ever compete in MMA. Despite being finished early by Chuck Liddell at UFC 62, Babalu Sobral holds victories over some of the toughest fighters in the World. The Brazilian was on a 10-fight winning streak (6 submissions, 4 decisions) before meeting Chuck Liddell, who was at the peak of his form at UFC 62. Different time against a different opponent and we could easily have Babalu as a UFC Light Heavyweight Champion.
5. Nate Marquardt
When: TKO’d by Anderson Silva in the First Round at UFC 73
The talented King of Pancrase is another perfect example for a fighter who could have easily become a UFC Champion. The fight against Anderson Silva was probably a little bit too early in Marquardt’s career, as even despite his defeat against Chael Sonnen I still think that he is currently the best contender in the UFC 185 division. “Nate the Great” will now have to climb his back to the top for another time, after being bulldozed by Chael Sonnen at UFC 109 in February. His next fight will be against Rousimar Palhares at UFC 118 on August 28th.