UFC 144 Results: Anthony Pettis and the 10 Most Confident Fighters in the UFC
Following his shin-to-chin knockout of rising contender Joe Lauzon, former WEC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis had just one thing on his mind: calling out for a title shot. Confidence has never been an issue for older Pettis brother and is something he has used to build himself as a fighter and as a persona.
However despite all the talking and calls for his shot at the belt, Anthony just breaks into the top 10 when ranking the UFC's most confident fighters.
Disclaimer: I did not include Nick Diaz in my rankings as he is currently suspended and "retired." If I was to include him, he would sit second on my list.
No. 10: Anthony Pettis
With his array of spectacular kicks to go along with being a well-rounded fighter, Anthony Pettis' hype and mouth seem to be growing with every fight. Every time he enters the Octagon he seems at ease with his strikes, knowing that his takedown defense is top notch to go along with his active guard.
Being so relaxed in the cage has only helped him get off his superb striking attack and taking the fight to his opponents. Only once has he had trouble getting off his strikes, that coming in a loss to spark plug Clay Guida, who pressed the action.
As his resume builds and he continues to rise in the stacked 155 rankings, look for Pettis to not just relax in the cage, but also in front of the mic.
No. 9: Nate Diaz
Being a part of arguably the best trash-talking brotherhood means that it's in Nate Diaz's genes to smack-talk. However, unlike his older brother Nick, he has had fewer successes and has seemed less inclined to talk smack to his opponents.
In the cage though, he has been know to taunt nearly each and every opponent, including going double-bird on his last opponent, Donald Cerrone. His confidence in the Octagon has not translated to the mic and soundbites, bringing him down the list just a bit.
No. 8: Donald Cerrone
Donald "The Cowboy" Cerrone has never been known to pull his words, whether it be inside or outside the cage. The former WEC title challenger has never been shy to call out his opponent after whipping the last guy. Whether it be giving Nate Diaz the finger before their fight or telling Jamie Varner that he was a quitter, Cowboy can dominate the mic with the best of them.
Inside the cage he has always been a smooth, confident fighter who knows that his kickboxing can dominate and dictate any fight. The only thing keeping him down the list is his lack of big-fight success, with his win over Varner being his only true "called shot."
No. 7: Dominick Cruz
The current UFC bantamweight champion and unanimous top 10 pound-for-pound fighter in the world, Dominick Cruz has never shied away from a fight. Since declaring himself a true contender by signing his name on then-featherweight champion Urijah Faber's face, Cruz has shown himself to be a truly confident fighter.
As a coach on this season's The Ultimate Fighter, Cruz will get a chance to talk smack to the man who gets his blood and mouth flowing: Faber.
Inside the cage he is a smooth and precise striker, dictating the way almost all of his fights go and never seems to be afraid to exchange or battle on the ground.
Hopefully this season of The Ultimate Fighter will put Cruz and the show back on the map.
No. 6: Josh Koscheck
The king of the late-notice fight and former UFC welterweight title contender Josh Koscheck is known for talking a huge game. No fighter on the roster seems to be more willing to step in to fight on short notice than Koscheck, even going as far as offering to step in for a fighter that is above his weight class.
During his coaching stint on TUF, Koscheck's mouth even got the normally quiet Georges St-Pierre to speak a few words of malice toward his opponent. Inside the cage Josh is slightly more relaxed, rarely talking to his opponent and seemingly just being happy defeating the will of his opponent.
That is except for the one time his talking go him a good punch to the mouth. That is when he said some nasty things to Paul Daley while repeatedly taking him down and smothering him. After the fight Daley got up and laid one good punch to Koscheck's jaw, sending the message the Koscheck's words had gotten to him.
No. 5: Rashad Evans
"Sugar" Rashad Evans, the former UFC light heavyweight champion, is one of the best talkers in the sport behind the mic. Whether he is calling out a fighter, usually former teammate and future opponent Jon Jones, or he is giving commentary for a UFC event, Rashad gets his thoughts across very well.
Since raising from the second season of The Ultimate Fighter, Evans has shown the confidence to defeat any fighter put in front of him, something he has never shied away from saying. Since losing his chance to fight for the belt due to injury, his anger and aggression toward current UFC title holder Jon Jones has built to a true rival level.
Inside the cage Evans carries a swag like no one else, often dropping his hands and shoulders, showing his opponent that he is not afraid of what he has. The one thing that brought him down was the fact that his confidence did cost him a fight and his belt.
No. 4: BJ Penn
Now some people may wonder, why BJ Penn? When has he ever been a huge talker besides his rematch against GSP? Well for this list I took into huge consideration that fact that Penn has never been afraid to fight anyone, anywhere, anytime.
The former welterweight and lightweight champion of the UFC, Penn has fought at four different weight classes, even facing former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida at heavyweight in 2005.
BJ can get his mouth going against the right fighter, having a war of words with former UFC champions GSP, Matt Hughes and Jens Pulver.
No. 3: Jon Jones
No one says "I'm the best and you can't do anything about it" quite like current UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. With his rise to stardom having happened in just a few short years, his confidence within himself has grown with every crushing victory.
While he professes to be a humble fighter, Jones carries himself in a very different way and seems to believe that he is invincible. To be honest, his dominance inside the cage has seemed to show that he can be invincible, finishing his last eight opponents he has faced in the UFC.
Inside the cage Jones has been showing uber confidence his last few matches, whether it be starting the fight on one knee or dropping his hands to his side. Jones seems unafraid of what his fellow fighters can do to him.
Behind the mic Jones can give a good soundbite or two but is still learning to be a good talker outside of the cage. He has been known to throw a verbal jab or two; he just needs to be better in that regard if he wants to rise in the ranks.
No. 2: Anderson Silva
The king of in-cage swagger, Anderson Silva is unmatched in disrespecting his opponent inside the cage. The current UFC middleweight champion and pound-for-pound best fighter in the world has defeated every opponent put in front of him in the UFC, often making them look like fools.
Since his defeat of Dan Henderson at UFC 82, Silva has shown a propensity to dropping his hands and showing his opponent that he is unafraid of what they bring to the table. The most telling example of that has to be in his fight against Forrest Griffin where he dropped his hands, begged Griffin to strike with him and proceeded to knock out the bigger Griffin in spectacular fashion.
Outside the Octagon Silva has gotten in a war of words with several opponents, including Vitor Belfort, Yushin Okami and the No. 1 fighter in this list...
No. 1: Chael Sonnen
This is a man who claims to be undefeated. He claims to be willing to whip any fighter from any weight class anywhere, anytime. He is the king of the trash talk and has a list of soundbites longer than any other fighter. Simply put, there is no fighter more confident than Chael Sonnen.