Anthony Pettis and the 10 Flashiest Fighters in MMA

Riley KontekFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2012

Anthony Pettis and the 10 Flashiest Fighters in MMA

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    Being flashy in any sport does not automatically make you good. Being flashy in mixed martial arts, on the other hand, dazzles fans and allows fighters to use their creativity to win fights.

    Being flashy, whether it's striking or grappling, does not mean that the use of power strikes is needed. The use of creative—or "flashy"—moves allows the element of surprise, which could lead to finishes.

    Here are 10 of the flashiest fighters in mixed martial arts.

Cung Le

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    If you want to talk about flashy strikers, you have to start with Cung Le. Using his sanshou-based kickboxing attack, everything Le throws is dazzling and a thing of beauty.

    Le throws a number of flashy strikes, whether they be spinning kicks, spinning backfists or hook kicks, all of which are thrown to end fights.

    He has even knocked out Scott Smith with one of his flashy spinning kicks.

John Makdessi

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    Another flashy striker, John Makdessi uses an extensive taekwondo background when throwing his flashy strikes.

    In watching Makdessi's fights, one can see hook kicks, jumping side kicks and axe kicks (rare, right?). He throws these kicks with beautiful technique and equally breathtaking power.

    I mean, come on, who else do you see throw a crescent kick in the Octagon?

Frank Mir

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    The word "flashy" may not come to mind when one thinks of Frank Mir, but take time to consider Mir's ground game.

    He may be a power submission guy who uses devastating joint locks to force taps, but Mir is quite the flashy submission artist when the fight hits the mat. Look at the flashy, beautiful submissions he threw on Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Brock Lesnar, Tim Sylvia, Pete Williams and Cheick Kongo.

    Didn't think Mir was flashy? Think again.

Dustin Poirier

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    Dustin Poirier is flashy in everything he does, whether in his boxing or grappling.

    Poirier throws all of his strikes with flash, especially his beautifully thrown punches. Poirier's boxing form is pretty, having refined his game with a great instructor that is Tim Credeur.

    Even more flashy is his ground game. Poirier is a flashy grappler, as showcased in his last victory via mounted triangle armbar over Max Holloway.

    Poirier is flashy in most things he does in the Octagon.

Anderson Silva

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    The man that defines flash in everything he does, Anderson Silva might be the most flashy fighter in mixed martial arts.

    As a striker he is flashy. He moves like water, he throws great kicks and his punches are so fluid. Just watch him avoid strikes; it's almost like watching The Matrix.

    His least-utilized tool, the submission game, is also flashy. His fight-clinching triangle armbar over Chael Sonnen is the greatest example, as that was one of the most flashy submissions ever pulled off.

    He even uses flash when walking to the ring sometimes (see PRIDE, when he entered dancing like Michael Jackson). Even more than that, he uses flash when he is getting hit! Silva can be taking a beating and still be flashy.

Hatsu Hioki

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    One of the most flashy grapplers you will ever watch, Hatsu Hioki uses a solid submission game to dazzle the masses.

    Hioki is willing to go for difficult submissions and pull off amazing passes. Watching him grapple is like watching a work of art in progress.

    Just look at old videos of his pre-UFC days. His triangle chokes were a thing of beauty.

Rousimar Palhares

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    Another guy you wouldn't usually associate with "flashy," Rousimar Palhares is very flashy when it comes to his submissions.

    Palhares's leg locks are so good and so beautiful to watch. He uses flashy technique and brutal power in an attempt to actually take home his opponent's leg—so he can mount it on his wall.

Anthony Pettis

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    The man jumped off the side of the cage and kicked a man in the face. Take time to let that sink in.

    Now that you relived the moment or imagined it, it is easy to see the amount of flash Anthony Pettis uses in his game. That is why he is a crowd favorite.

    He throws capoeira-like kicks and is also flashy with his ground work. In all, Pettis is just a flashy fighter.

Jon Jones

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    The light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones, is like Anderson Silva in that he is flashy in everything he does.

    Jones's striking is super flashy, whether he is throwing knees, kicks or spinning back elbows. Not only are they flashy, but they are effective.

    Jones also has a flashy submission game. His modified guillotine chokes are beautifully executed and equally devastating.

Edson Barboza

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    Edson Barboza's striking is unbelievably flashy. He is a Muay Thai artist with beautiful strikes that are also destructive.

    Barboza highlights his flash with his wheel-kick knockout of Terry Etim. It was brutal and it was phenomenal. He also landed that same kick on Anthony Njokuani, but was unable to finish him with it.

    Barboza is another great example of a fighter that uses flash to pick up victories.