The Most Entertaining MMA Fighter in Each Weight Division
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Every division has at least one fighter that fans tune in to watch. The guy who wins or loses brings in money and gets paid well for his efforts.
He may not have the best record, but fans know that he will keep going until there is nothing left to give or his opponent has knocked him out.
Every year there are changes to the list, as some fighters retire and others grow smarter and decide to fight to win instead of to have the fans cheer them.
Still, as long as there is fighting, there will always be martial artists who decide to scrap.
Here are the most exciting fighters from flyweight all the way up to heavyweight.
Flyweight: John Dodson
picture courtesy of mma-core.com
It would be unfair to say that Dodson makes the list because he is one of the few UFC flyweight fighters signed to the company right now.
The truth is, he was putting on exciting fights long before he had an opportunity to appear on The Ultimate Fighter. Most flyweights are capable, but Dodson is the kind of fighter who likes to throw flying sidekicks despite his wrestling background.
That kind of attitude not only helped him win his season of The Ultimate Fighter, but got him Knockout of the Night as well.
Bantamweight: Urijah Faber
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Urijah Faber is an exception to the rule that exciting fighters can't be dominant.
There is a reason why the "California Kid" was well known for years despite fighting in the WEC and competing in a lower weight class. Every time he stepped into the cage, his golden mop of hair went flying and he transformed into a tornado.
That crazy, frantic style of attacking his opponent not only allowed him to keep fans, but the WEC belt as well. Unfortunately, he seems to have peaked before he made it to the UFC, but he still can put on decent fights.
Even though his best years were at featherweight, he actively competes at bantamweight now.
Featherweight: Leonard Garcia
picture courtesy of ufc.com
Leonard Garcia is the polar opposite of what fans think of when it comes to technique or game plan.
Garcia's only focus seems to be to enter the cage and swing at his opponent with reckless abandon until he either knocks them out or wears them down. All the while he decides to block their strikes with his face, which may not be the most effective way to win fights, but it is entertaining.
His four fights with Chan Sung Jung and Nam Phan are all classics and before he retires he is bound to have more.
Lightweight: Clay Guida
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There are plenty of exciting lightweights in the UFC, like Donald Cerrone and Benson Henderson, but one outshines them all.
Clay Guida is a fighter that pushes opponents to the limit and makes them question their work ethic. He has a boundless amount of energy and flies around the cage confusing his opponents.
His jerky head movements and constant shifting not only disorient his competition, but probably exhausts them as well.
He may never get to the top of the lightweight division, but he will put on impressive fights every time out, while reminding fans of the Energizer bunny.
Welterweight: Nick Diaz
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Nick Diaz just transitioned into the UFC and won Fight of the Night in his bout with BJ Penn.
The result isn't surprising for those who remember his first run in the Octagon or for those who watched Strikeforce. Diaz is the type of fighter who will play to his opponent's strengths and beat them at their own game.
Of course he can also do what is necessary to win, but even when he executes a perfect strategy, he usually finds a way to not only finish his opponent, but make it exciting until he does.
The only question is whether it will be by submission or knockout.
Middleweight: Robbie Lawler
Not every fighter that makes great fights resides in the UFC. Robbie Lawler is a great example.
He once fought for the organization, but now competes in Strikeforce where, just like in the Octagon, he has mixed results.
In some instances, he looks weak and gets dominated by his opponents.
In some, he gets stopped easily.
In others, he either makes the fight competitive or crushes his victim with a powerful knockout.
He won't ever be a champion and his career will end quickly if he keeps making fights like that, but fans will watch him for however long that is.
Light Heavyweight: Jon Jones
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Jon Jones isn't an exciting fighter in the sense that his fights are close. In fact, he has dominated every opponent he has walked in the cage against. Even his loss against Matt Hamill was because of disqualification. Everyone admitted that he deserved the win.
What he will do the next time he steps into the cage is yet to be seen, but based off what he has done, it will most likely get fans talking and add to his highlight reel.
If there is a fighter who can beat Jones, let alone test him, fans have yet to see them. When they do come, it will probably make for Jones' most thrilling fight yet.
Heavyweight: Pat Barry
picture courtesy of mmavalor.com
The man just can't get a win streak going. One moment he will look like a force of nature in the cage, kicking and punching his opponent into submission and then the next he is either getting submitted or KO'd himself.
Barry isn't going to be champion any time soon if ever, but that unpredictability in his fights means that fans never know what to expect. In his last few fights, there were times when he looked like he was going to lose and times when he was going to win.
In the end, he ended up with a loss and a win and while that may not get him any major opportunities in the UFC, it did land him on this list and it assures him a place in the company for a long time.
Matthew Hemphill writes for the MMA and professional wrestling portion of Bleacher Report. He also hosts a blog elbaexiled.blogspot.com which focuses on books, music, comic books, video games, film, and generally anything that could be related to the realms of nerdom.