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Top 10 greatest mma fighters


Exodus9mm

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I'm sure if I searched, this topic would already have a thread. But seeing the infinite dialogue of Shogun/Machida that has been clogging the bandwidth lately, I don't care. Figured this would lighten the mood.

 

I've decided to make a list that shows, in my opinion, the 10 greatest MMA fighters in the sports relatively short history. As someone who has been watching MMA since it gained notoriety from the first UFC, I have been a rabid fan of all things MMA. I left eligibility open to anyone, retired or still active, but qualification also requires that the fighter has fought the majority of their careers in formal, active and recognized promotions (ie UFC, Strikeforce, Pride, Dream, K-1, Bellator, Rings, etc.).

 

For each fighter I've given my opinion as to why they deserve their place. Feel free to flame, question and agree.

 

What do you guys think? Who would be in your own Top 10 Greatest MMA Fighters list?

 

 

10. Royce Gracie

 

UFC Hall Of Fame inductee. UFC 1, 2, and 4 Tournament Winner. Overall record of 14-3-3, with no knockouts, and 12 submissions. 6th degree blackbelt in BJJ. The name Royce Gracie is literally synonymous with UFC and MMA. His family is responsible for the explosion of MMA and in particular, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Royce and his early domination became what can only be regarded as one of the most important points in MMA history. His style and success drew the praise and admiration of thousands of new fans, and was integral at launching the sport into a "mainstream" capacity.

 

9. Matt Hughes

 

2-time UFC Welterweight Champion. 7 title defenses, a UFC record. Overall record of 44-7, with 13 knockouts and 18 submissions. 2-time NCAA Div 1 All-American. One of the greatest wrestlers in the sports history. Had a devastating equal skillset of wrestling, ground and pound, and submission. Hughes was one of the pioneers of the MMA discipline, a defining icon of skill diversity, that helped elevate MMA and the UFC to new heights. His success and importance in MMA history guarantees Matt Hughes a spot on this list.

 

8. Georges St. Pierre

 

2-time UFC Welterweight Champion. Interim UFC Welterweight Champion. 3 straight title defenses. Overall record of 19-2, with 8 knockouts and 5 submissions. Holds black belts in BJJ and Kyokushin (Karate hybrid) Avenged both losses on his record in devastating fashion over Matt Hughes and Matt Serra. At only 28 years of age, GSP has walked over all comers, and is one of a handful of fighters to have completely beaten all top competition in his reigning weightclass. GSP is the current reigning UFC Welterweight Champion, and shows no signs of losing anytime in the near future. If he maintains his career pace that has already solidified him a spot on this list, rest assured, he could easily be in the #1 spot some day.

 

7. Anderson Silva

 

UFC Middleweight Champion. 5 straight title defenses. Overall record of 25-4, with 15 knockouts and 4 submissions. Holds 3 black belts in Judo, Tae-Kwon-Do, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Is currently on a record 10-fight UFC win streak. Has never lost in the UFC. Has fought and won decisively via knockout at Light Heavyweight twice in the UFC. Was Cage Rage Middleweight Champion, and defended that belt 3 times before transitioning to the UFC. Anderson Silva is your worst nightmare, and in many fans eyes, the current pound for pound champion in MMA today. Anderson Silva is considered by most to be the most devastating striker in MMA today, and has clearly demonstrated his boxing and muay thai superiority by continuously defeating all top rank competition. Silva has noted a possible retirement from the sport in the next few years, but if he decides to continue his dominant pace, he too could easily be a few spots higher on this list in the coming years.

 

6. Randy Couture

 

UFC Hall Of Fame inductee. 3-time UFC Heavyweight Champion. 2-time UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. 3 title defenses. Competed in 15 MMA title fights, a standing record. Overall record of 16-10, with 7 knockouts and 2 submissions. NCAA Div 1 All-American. One of the best Greco-Roman wrestlers the sport has ever seen. Randy Couture, like Royce Gracie, is a name synonymous with the UFC. At the ripe age of 34, Randy entered the UFC and his legacy began. Always counted out (due to age) Couture has made a career of proving people wrong - as his title count would indicate. Still fighting today at the unheard of age of 46, Couture's heart, desire, and skill are, what some people consider currently the best in his career. Continues to defy logic and is a true legend of the sport and a lock for this list.

 

5. Chuck Liddell

 

UFC Hall Of Fame inductee. Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. 4 title defenses. Overall record of 21-7 with 13 knockouts and 1 submission. NCAA Div 1 wrestler. Purple belt in BJJ. Kickboxing record of 18-2, 16 via knockout. The Iceman is yet another icon of MMA and the UFC. A legendary knockout artist, Liddell made a career of putting people to sleep. With an MMA resume rivalled by few, Chuck has fought the "who's who" of competition. Liddell might be considered one of the first UFC fighters to gain tremendous public popularity - as his reputation for knocking out the competition instantly made him a fan favourite. Liddell's ferocity and utter dominance for nearly 10 years ensures him a worthy spot on this ranking.

 

4. Wanderlei Silva

 

Former Pride Middleweight Champion. 4 title defenses. 2003 Pride Middleweight Grand Prix winner. Overall record of 32-10-1-1 with 22 knockouts and 4 submissions. Black belt in BJJ. Wanderlei Silva might actually be the most popular fighter on the planet. In Japan, the man is regarded as a deity. His fight resume is on its own level. A name that elicits thoughts of savagery, brutality and pure class. Wanderlei is the pinnacle of MMA fighter. With a skillset dominated by exceptional muay thai, jiu-jitsu, and street fighting, Wanderlei has dominated in the clutch. Although a poor transition back to the UFC has resulted in many skeptics on the current front, Wanderlei looks recommitted and rejuvenated and ready to return to form at middleweight. With a record and resume of wars like his, it's even more astounding to remember that he's only 32 years old. An MMA legend.

 

3. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

 

First Pride Heavyweight Champion. King Of Kings Champion 2000. Former UFC Interim Heavyweight Champion. Overall record of 32-5-1-1 with 2 knockouts and 20 submissions. Black belt in BJJ and Judo. Like most of the fighters on this list, Minotauro Nogueira has a fight resume beyond incredible. He's fought everyone, and submitted most of them. He is an icon of BJJ, the spiritual successor to Royce. His chin is pure granite. He is the epitome of class. This, from a man who nearly died as a child. Hit by a vehicle and run over, Nogueira was in a coma for 4 days. He has overcome extreme adversity to become the dominant fighter he is. Easily regarded as one of the most diverse MMA fighters of our time. Oddly enough, Big Nog is only 32 himself, and could easily put forth another amazing 3-5 years in the sport (if not more. If anyone could be considered the Brazilian Randy, it's gotta be Minotauro).

 

2. Kazushi Sakuraba

 

UFC Ultimate Japan Heavyweight Tournament winner. Overall record of 26-12-1-2 with 4 knockouts and 19 submissions. Most people who don't know much about Sakuraba, would definitely wonder why a guy with no titles sits at the number two spot. Make no mistake, this guy is one of the toughest and most intelligent fighters ever witnessed in MMA. He may be the only fighter more popular than Wanderlei Silva in Japan. His fight resume is littered with top competition and he has a few huge distinctions. Nicknamed "The Gracie Killer", Sakuraba holds dominating wins over 4 members of the famed Gracie clan, including Royce. This first match with Royce also holds the record of being the longest match in MMA history. After 90 minutes of war, Gracie's corner through in the towel. An unheard of display of cardio and heart, one of the greatest wins in MMA history. Sakuraba has demolished some of the best fighters in MMA, and is a definitive legend of the sport. One of the best submission artists of our time.

 

1. Fedor Emelianenko

 

Former Pride Heavyweight Champion. 3 title defenses. WAMMA World Champion. 1 title defense. 2004 Pride Grand Prix winner. Rings World Class Tournament winner. 7 Gold Medals Russian Combat Sambo Championships. Overall record of 30-1-1 with 7 knockouts and 16 submissions. In the 5th fight of his MMA career, Emelianenko lost a match due to an illegal elbow strike in the first 20 seconds of the fight. Although a technicality, this is the only blemish on the man's legendary career. Currently on a 26 fight win streak. Regarded as a small heavyweight at 6'0, 230 lbs, Fedor has fought the largest men on the planet, and demolished them all. For nearly 5 years, he has widely been regarded the greatest MMA fighter currently, and of all time. His fight resume is bested only by fellow great Antonio Nogueira. The most diverse MMA fighter the sport has ever seen. He is a terminator of will, calmness, intelligence, speed and talent, while being one of the most humbled and pleasant fighters in the sport. He's an ambassador for the sport and easily the most talented, successful, and dominant fighter we've ever seen.

Whether some of the younger talent on this list overtake his supremacy sometime in the next few years, remains to be seen. In the meantime, there appears no slowdown from Emelianenko in continuing sheer dominance and even further solidifying his deserved place as the greatest MMA fighter of all-time.

 

 

Some honourable mentions of guys who didn't quite make my list are:

 

Quinton Jackson, Mirko Cro Cop, Jeremy Horn, Dan Severn, Bas Rutten

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Good List but sakuraba should not be number 2.Wanderlei Silva beat him 3 times.I wouldnt have him in my top 10.Id put henderson' date='cro cop or even ortiz ahead of him[/quote']

 

Thanks. No way is Ortiz better than Sakuraba though. I could see having Wandy higher though, due to his 3 dominating wins. Some of Saku's accomplishments impress me more than those of Wandy, which is why I have him so high.

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Yea I don't think Sakuraba should be that high. But I'd definately have Dan Henderson in there being the only fighter to ever hold belts in two different weight classes simultaneously. Olympic Wrestler. Ufc tournament winner. He deserves a spot up there.

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Yea I don't think Sakuraba should be that high. But I'd definately have Dan Henderson in there being the only fighter to ever hold belts in two different weight classes simultaneously. Olympic Wrestler. Ufc tournament winner. He deserves a spot up there.

 

I wouldn't be disappointed at moving him onto the list. Had him in close mentions.

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10 greatest MMA fighters in the sports relatively short history.

10. Royce Gracie

UFC Hall Of Fame inductee. UFC 1' date=' 2, and 4 Tourny Winner. Overall record of 14-3-3, with no kos, and 12 subs. 6th degree blackbelt in BJJ. The name Royce Gracie is literally synonymous with UFC and MMA. His family is responsible for the explosion of MMA and in particular, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Royce and his early domination became what can only be regarded as one of the most important points in MMA history. His style and success drew the praise and admiration of thousands of new fans, and was integral at launching the sport into a "mainstream" capacity.

 

[b']9. Matt Hughes[/b]

2-time UFC 170lbs Champ. 7 title defenses, a UFC record. Overall record of 44-7, with 13 kos and 18 subs. 2-time NCAA Div 1 All-American. One of the greatest wrestlers in the sports history. Had a devastating equal skillset of wrestling, ground and pound, and submission. Hughes was one of the pioneers of the MMA discipline, a defining icon of skill diversity, that helped elevate MMA and the UFC to new heights. His success and importance in MMA history guarantees Matt Hughes a spot on this list.

 

8. Georges St. Pierre

2-time UFC 170lbs Champ. Interim UFC 170lbs Champ. 3 straight title defenses. Overall record of 19-2, with 8 kos and 5 subs. Holds black belts in BJJ and Kyokushin (Karate hybrid) Avenged both losses on his record in devastating fashion over Matt Hughes and Matt Serra. At only 28 years of age, GSP has walked over all comers, and is one of a handful of fighters to have completely beaten all top competition in his reigning weightclass. GSP is the current reigning UFC 170lbs Champ, and shows no signs of losing anytime in the near future. If he maintains his career pace that has already solidified him a spot on this list, rest assured, he could easily be in the #1 spot some day.

 

7. Anderson Silva

UFC 185lbs Champ. 5 straight title defenses. Overall record of 25-4, with 15 kos and 4 subs. Holds 3 black belts in Judo, Tae-Kwon-Do, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Is currently on a record 10-fight UFC win streak. Has never lost in the UFC. Has fought and won decisively via knockout at 205lbs twice in the UFC. Was Cage Rage 185lbs Champ, and defended that belt 3 times before transitioning to the UFC. Anderson Silva is your worst nightmare, and in many fans eyes, the current pound for pound champ in MMA today. Anderson Silva is considered by most to be the most devastating striker in MMA today, and has clearly demonstrated his boxing and muay thai superiority by continuously defeating all top rank competition. Silva has noted a possible retirement from the sport in the next few years, but if he decides to continue his dominant pace, he too could easily be a few spots higher on this list in the coming years.

 

6. Randy Couture

UFC Hall Of Fame inductee. 3-time UFC Heavyweight Champ. 2-time UFC 205lbs Champ. 3 title defenses. Competed in 15 MMA title fights, a standing record. Overall record of 16-10, with 7 kos and 2 subs. NCAA Div 1 All-American. One of the best Greco-Roman wrestlers the sport has ever seen. Randy Couture, like Royce Gracie, is a name synonymous with the UFC. At the ripe age of 34, Randy entered the UFC and his legacy began. Always counted out (due to age) Couture has made a career of proving people wrong - as his title count would indicate. Still fighting today at the unheard of age of 46, Couture's heart, desire, and skill are, what some people consider currently the best in his career. Continues to defy logic and is a true legend of the sport and a lock for this list.

 

5. Chuck Liddell

UFC Hall Of Fame inductee. Former UFC 205lbs Champion. 4 title defenses. Overall record of 21-7 with 13 kos and 1 sub. NCAA Div 1 wrestler. Purple belt in BJJ. Kickboxing record of 18-2, 16 via ko. The Iceman is yet another icon of MMA and the UFC. A legendary knockout artist, Liddell made a career of putting people to sleep. With an MMA resume rivalled by few, Chuck has fought the "who's who" of competition. Liddell might be considered one of the first UFC fighters to gain tremendous public popularity - as his reputation for knocking out the competition instantly made him a fan favourite. Liddell's ferocity and utter dominance for nearly 10 years ensures him a worthy spot on this ranking.

 

4. Wanderlei Silva

Former Pride 205lbs Champ. 4 title defenses. 2003 Pride 205lbs Grand Prix winner. Overall record of 32-10-1-1 with 22 kos and 4 subs. Black belt in BJJ. Wanderlei Silva might actually be the most popular fighter on the planet. In Japan, the man is regarded as a deity. His fight resume is on its own level. A name that elicits thoughts of savagery, brutality and pure class. Wanderlei is the pinnacle of MMA fighter. With a skillset dominated by exceptional muay thai, jiu-jitsu, and street fighting, Wanderlei has dominated in the clutch. Although a poor transition back to the UFC has resulted in many skeptics on the current front, Wanderlei looks recommitted and rejuvenated and ready to return to form at middleweight. With a record and resume of wars like his, it's even more astounding to remember that he's only 32 years old. An MMA legend.

 

3. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

First Pride Heavyweight Champ. King Of Kings Champ 2000. Former UFC Interim Heavyweight Champ. Overall record of 32-5-1-1 with 2 kos and 20 subs. Black belt in BJJ and Judo. Like most of the fighters on this list, Minotauro Nogueira has a fight resume beyond incredible. He's fought everyone, and submitted most of them. He is an icon of BJJ, the spiritual successor to Royce. His chin is pure granite. He is the epitome of class. This, from a man who nearly died as a child. Hit by a vehicle and run over, Nogueira was in a coma for 4 days. He has overcome extreme adversity to become the dominant fighter he is. Easily regarded as one of the most diverse MMA fighters of our time. Oddly enough, Big Nog is only 32 himself, and could easily put forth another amazing 3-5 years in the sport (if not more. If anyone could be considered the Brazilian Randy, it's gotta be Minotauro).

 

2. Kazushi Sakuraba

UFC Ultimate Japan Heavyweight Tourny winner. Overall record of 26-12-1-2 with 4 kos and 19 subs. Most people who don't know much about Sakuraba, would definitely wonder why a guy with no titles sits at the number two spot. Make no mistake, this guy is one of the toughest and most intelligent fighters ever witnessed in MMA. He may be the only fighter more popular than Wanderlei Silva in Japan. His fight resume is littered with top competition and he has a few huge distinctions. Nicknamed "The Gracie Killer", Sakuraba holds dominating wins over 4 members of the famed Gracie clan, including Royce. This first match with Royce also holds the record of being the longest match in MMA history. After 90 minutes of war, Gracie's corner through in the towel. An unheard of display of cardio and heart, one of the greatest wins in MMA history. Sakuraba has demolished some of the best fighters in MMA, and is a definitive legend of the sport. One of the best submission artists of our time.

 

1. Fedor Emelianenko

Former Pride Heavyweight Champ. 3(4) title defenses. WAMMA World Champ. 1 title defense. 2004 Pride Grand Prix winner. Rings World Class Tourny winner. 7 Gold Medals Russian Combat Sambo Championships. Overall record of 30-1-1 with 7 kos and 16 subs. In the 5th fight of his MMA career, Emelianenko lost a match due to an illegal elbow strike in the first 20 seconds of the fight. Although a technicality, this is the only blemish on the man's legendary career. Currently on a 26 fight win streak. Regarded as a small heavyweight at 6'0, 230 lbs, Fedor has fought the largest men on the planet, and demolished them all. For nearly 5 years, he has widely been regarded the greatest MMA fighter currently, and of all time. His fight resume is bested only by fellow great Antonio Nogueira. The most diverse MMA fighter the sport has ever seen. He is a terminator of will, calmness, intelligence, speed and talent, while being one of the most humbled and pleasant fighters in the sport. He's an ambassador for the sport and easily the most talented, successful, and dominant fighter we've ever seen.

Whether some of the younger talent on this list overtake his supremacy sometime in the next few years, remains to be seen. In the meantime, there appears no slowdown from Emelianenko in continuing sheer dominance and even further solidifying his deserved place as the greatest MMA fighter of all-time.

 

 

Some honourable mentions of guys who didn't quite make my list are:

 

Quinton Jackson, Mirko Cro Cop, Jeremy Horn, Dan Severn, Bas Rutten

 

Their are too many to fit in a top ten like mentioned, with Bas Rutten & Dan Severn. I would also add in Ken Shamrock for his early work in MMA, as well as Mitsuhiro Funaki at King of Pancrase. And Jose Pele LandiJons at Vale Tudo. Igor Vovchanchyn in World Vale Tudo.

 

1 Fedor-has been #1 since 2003 to present day

2 Royce Gracie-retired finally 3x ufc Tournament Champ

3 El Guapo Bas Rutten-retired in 99, came back then again 06 3x NHB Champ

3 Randy Couture-retired in 06 3x Hw, 2x Lhw Champ of UFC

5 Nog-formerPride Hw Champ, and 2x Interim Hw Champ(1 pride, 1 ufc)

6 Iceman-2nd longest title reign in UFC, and former UFC Lhw champ

7 Wandy-Longest Reigning 205lbs Champ in MMA, and former Pride Mw Champ

8 Cro Cop-One of the most devastating strikers ever, former Pride Gran Prix Champ

9 Andy Silva-Former Shooto, Cage Rage Mw champ, Current UFC Mw Champion.

10 Matt Hughes-Former long time Welterweight Champion

 

Notice that I dont have GSP in there is obvious. He's still young and has a great career ahead of him still. Most these guys are close to retirement, some are retired, and some have been at the top of the heep for years.

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A best of MMA fighters and no mention of Bruce Lee or Chuck Norris? Okay, well I'll ignore them in this since either of them in their pride would annihilate Anderson Silva and his ****y attitude.

 

Also, I'm not sure how you're going to throw Royce Gracie in there, and not Rickson who is a much more accomplished BJJ practitioner. Also, GSP is too young, Chuck Liddell was too one-dimensional (don't talk to me about takedown defence, because I don't want to hear it). Plus, you have Sakuraba way too high, and I don't even really consider him on the list. My list would be something like:

Fedor Emelianko

Wanderlei Silva

Minotauro Nogueira

Bas Rutten

Rickson Gracie

Anderson Silva

Matt Hughes

Randy Couture

Dan Henderson (don't like him, but he's defeated many greats)

 

That's only 9, but I can't think of a tenth.

 

Future greats: GSP, Torres, Faber, Penn, Shogun

 

 

EDIT: By the way, no order.

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A best of MMA fighters and no mention of Bruce Lee or Chuck Norris? Okay' date=' well I'll ignore them in this since either of them in their pride would annihilate Anderson Silva and his ****y attitude.

 

Also, I'm not sure how you're going to throw Royce Gracie in there, and not Rickson who is a much more accomplished BJJ practitioner. Also, GSP is too young, Chuck Liddell was too one-dimensional (don't talk to me about takedown defence, because I don't want to hear it). Plus, you have Sakuraba way too high, and I don't even really consider him on the list. My list would be something like:

Fedor Emelianko

Wanderlei Silva

Minotauro Nogueira

Bas Rutten

Rickson Gracie

Anderson Silva

Matt Hughes

Randy Couture

Dan Henderson (don't like him, but he's defeated many greats)

 

That's only 9, but I can't think of a tenth.

 

Future greats: GSP, Torres, Faber, Penn, Shogun

 

 

EDIT: By the way, no order.[/quote']

 

this is probably the best list i've seen, i'd replace Couture with Torres and add GSP, while GSP has a long way to go before his career ends, his achievments remind of Matt Hughes in terms of dominating a division

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if you are going to put Royce up there, you might as well put Bruce Lee.

Randy? Are you kidding me?

and where is Bas Rutten?

 

A best of MMA fighters and no mention of Bruce Lee or Chuck Norris? Okay' date=' well I'll ignore them in this since either of them in their pride would annihilate Anderson Silva and his ****y attitude.

 

.[/quote']

 

How do you get this?

Anderson Silva is a top MMAist in 2009, not the 70s.

thats like a 1990 honda racing a 2009 honda accord.

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Firstly, id like to congratulate you on a tremendous effort for this thread, assuming that it is indeed all your own work!

 

this discussion could go on and on, personally i don't see much wrong with your list, id like to have seen BJ in there as there are very few 2 weight category champions. Main thing is that Fedor is no1, no-one can dispute this

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Firstly' date=' id like to congratulate you on a tremendous effort for this thread, assuming that it is indeed all your own work!

 

this discussion could go on and on, personally i don't see much wrong with your list, id like to have seen BJ in there as there are very few 2 weight category champions. Main thing is that Fedor is no1, no-one can dispute this[/quote']

 

Thank you kindly. 100% my research, visual opinion, writing, etc.

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