The UFC can be a tough place. It takes years of training and physical conditioning to make it to the big show. The UFC is the grandest stage for mixed martial arts combat. Just reaching the UFC is an accomplishment in and of itself.
Therefore, it just goes to show the truly elite nature of the fighters that are worthy of the title "superstar."
It's more than being an exciting fighter.
Fan favorites like Paul Buentello always come to fight and put on a show for the fans. However, you know that if they are matched up against a serious contender that they wouldn't hold up so well.
It takes more than just being a good fighter.
Guys like Kenny Florian and Jon Fitch have had amazing careers, but could never quite get over the hump. They'd defeat everyone on their way to a title fight, but couldn't really hang with the champ.
Not even being champ is enough.
The lighter weight classes are relatively new, so even amazing fighters like Jose Aldo and Dominick Cruz aren't superstars.
So what does it take to be considered a superstar?
It means you've got to have the total package: Marketable, charismatic, exciting both in and out of the ring and most important of all, damn good at what they do.
They transcend the world of MMA and are recognized by the mainstream media. The regular Joe knows his name.
Anderson Silva is a superstar. So are GSP and Jon Jones.
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