MMA Fighters Who Epitomize the 'Just-Scrap' Attitude
If there's one admirable trait in a fighter on which all MMA fans can agree, it's having a "just-scrap" attitude. These guys aren't necessarily the brawling type of fighters, but the guys who leave everything in the cage.
There's nothing worse as a fighter than leaving the cage with a loss and knowing you could've done more. The same holds true for MMA fans as we watch fighters continuously underperform once the cage door closes.
When these fighters are on the card we all know to tune in because we are going to witness raw aggression in the form martial arts.
Although BJ Penn may have been overwhelmed in some of his fights, there's no denying that he brings it every time he steps inside the Octagon.
Some fighters compete because it's the only way they can make money, while guys like Penn compete simply for the love of competition. His financial futre was set before he was even born, yet he grew up to become one of the all time greats in MMA.
Say what you want about the man's cardio, but we all know Penn will give it his all once the match begins.
Perhaps one of the most aggressive fighters in MMA history, Mauricio Rua shows no fear. It seems he's part Honey Badger because he really doesn't give a $@!% where the fight goes.
He's perfectly content to utilize his dangerous Muay-Thai game on the feet and is no stranger to fighting on his back either.
Rua's bout with Dan Henderson will go down as one of the best in MMA history and is really a microcosm of each man's career.
Benson Henderson may have one of the most complete games in the UFC's lightweight division. He can wrestle, he can strike, and he has lighting-quick (and smooth!) submission skills.
His past few fights were exciting, and Henderson was a big reason for it.
He's not afraid to take the fight anywhere, and always moves forward with his attacks.
Diego Sanchez may not have the skills to be an elite fighter, but don't mistake his lack of skills for a lack of grit. Sanchez has been in some absolute wars and still continued to press forward.
His wrestling and incredible stamina have made him one of the most durable fighters in all of MMA.
Sanchez's bout with Martin Kampann is a great example of how Sanchez refuses to back down in front of his opponent.
Dan Henderson is a prime example of a fighter who gives up his biggest advantage in a fight just to be exciting.
More often than not, Hendo has a wrestling advantage over his opponent yet he chooses to stand and trade blows. He does have the one-punch KO power in his hands so it's not always a bad strategy, but his career could've been better served by utilizing his wrestling more.
His bout with Anderson Silva is a perfect example of Hendo refusing to use his wrestling even after he had gained an advantage with it.
Nate Diaz could be consider a clone of his brother. They have similar fighting styles and are never accused of not coming to fight.
By applying constant pressure and a top-level Jiu-Jitsu game have made Diaz into a possible title contender in 2012.
Looking at his bouts against Takanori Gomi and Marcus Davis, you'll notice Diaz standing with the two men despite having a better ground game.
Even if Diaz manages to get put on his back, his opponents aren't out of the woods just yet.
As soon as his match begins, Cain Velasquez is already starting his offensive gameplan. A bottomless gas tank allows the AKA product to maintain a furious pace in his fights.
While choosing to stand with the majority of his opponents, Velasquez has shown the ability to execute explosive takedowns and strikes on the ground.
No matter where Velasquez decides to take the fight, his opponents know they're in for a long night because he just won't stop coming forward.
Donald Cerrone tends to let his emotions get the best of him. Although that is usually bad for Cerrone because he throws out the gameplan, it usually leads to some fan-favorite bouts.
I've always compared Cerrone to a lightweight version of Mauricio Rua, in that both men are super-aggressive and have very good submission games to compliment their striking.
Despite being on the losing end against Nate Diaz, Ceronne still remains one of the biggest fan favorites under the Zuffa banner.
As Nick Diaz would say, "He doesn't need this s***." Never one to shy away from a fight, Diaz attempts to get inside his opponents head in order to make it as close to a street fight as possible.
Diaz possesses technique but he often comes across as a "street thug" despite being one of the most skilled welterweights in MMA. He also prefers to use his boxing skills to dominate his opponents rather than his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
This method of thinking typically leads to some exciting exchanges of punches, but it simply won't work against a stick-and-move strategy like the one Carlos Condit employed at UFC 143.
When Carlos Condit steps inside the cage, odds are there's going to be an exciting finish. His UFC 143 performance aside, Condit goes for broke more often than not.
His fighting style resembles a grinding type, but one with finishing capability. He has great conditioning, which allows him to be overly aggressive.
Fans will likely jump off the Condit bandwagon due to his lackluster performance at UFC 143, but judge the man by his body of work, not his most recent outing.
Clay Guida may never be a UFC champion but he will always be the people's champion of the lightweight division. From the hair to the fighting style, Guida just knows how to impress the fans.
From the moment the bout begins, Guida employs a strategy in which he's constantly moving. In fact, his strategy must begin during his walk out, because Guida can't even stand still to get vaseline applied.
He's like a kid on Red Bull and always brings the fight to his opponent. Guida won't hesitate to use his wrestling ability but also doesn't shy away from exchanging punches and kicks.
Urijah Faber has one of the most explosive fighting styles in MMA, which has made him a fan favorite for years. Whether it's on the feet or on the mat, Faber refuses to stop moving.
Although he's beaten Dominick Cruz once before, it will be interesting to see if Cruz's style is the kryptonite for Faber when the two men meet again later this year.
Faber could very easily be a "lay-n-pray" type of fighter with his wrestling acumen, but he seems to be incapable of staying still for more than a few seconds.
Pat Barry doesn't have the grappling skills to hang with the top-tier heavyweights, but he still shows up to fight every time.
In his last bout, Barry showed some improvement in his grappling skills by escaping back to his feet but we should wait to reserve judgement on his Jiu-Jitsu skills.
He can't seem to string together enough wins to make a title run, but we always know Barry is going to give his best when the lights go on.
Leonard Garcia doesn't win fans over due to his impressive technique or flashy Jiu-Jitsu game. He gains fans (and fight night bonuses) by throwing every punch like it's his last.
His bouts with Chan Sung Jung and Nam Phan were instant classics. Nearly every fight that goes to a decision with Garcia turns into a fight-of-the-year candidate.
Garcia won't be winning any titles in his career, but he seems content with that given his refusal to change his fighting strategy.
Chan Sung Jung
The man's nickname says it all. "The Korean Zombie" might as well be a pseudonym for "Just Scrap."
Chan Sung Jung has been putting on exciting fights for the majority of his career, and didn't disappoint the American fanbase when he competed in the WEC.
His bouts with Leonard Garcia were legendary even if they weren't the most technical. His twister submission was also one of the most fascinating scenes I've seen inside a UFC Octagon.
Chris Leben always seems to find a way to get in trouble outside the Octagon whether it's legal issues or PED suspensions. Regardless of his problems outside the cage, Leben doesn't back away from a fight.
Leben willingly challenges his opponents to brawling contests, and that tends to get fans on the edge of their seats. It's a strategy that has won him a number of fans, but isn't the healthiest of strategies to employ.
Leben still has a solid chin that will allow him to continue having slugfests, but eventually his best weapon will degrade and he will be forced to find a better strategy for winning fights.
The former Pride champion didn't find similar success in the UFC, but that hasn't prevented him from being a universal fan favorite.
Listening to numerous Silva interviews, you can see that he cares about putting on a show for the fans. He often remarks that he doesn't care about winning, and just wants to put on exciting fights.
Silva's aggressive fighting style has likely taken years off his career, but he's still accomplished some great things and will never be associated with "fighting safe."
Jose Aldo is all smiles in front of the UFC camera crew that always interviews him. His child-like demeanor evaporates into that of a stone-cold killer once Aldo steps inside the Octagon.
Aldo, like his training partner Anderson Silva, usually takes a few minutes to see what his opponent is trying to do. Once he figures out his opponent's weakness, Aldo strikes.
He's run into a few tough opponents and some rough weight cuts which have made him look less like the fighter we saw in the WEC, but don't be mistaken. Aldo won't get on his bicycle and run from his opponent, unless it's into a sea of fans after winning.