UFC 148 Fight Card: Cung Le and the 10 Most Unorthodox Strikers in MMA

Matt JuulContributor IIIJuly 3, 2012

UFC 148 Fight Card: Cung Le and the 10 Most Unorthodox Strikers in MMA

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    Spinning back elbows, flying knees and side kicks to the leg, Jon Jones' arsenal of strikes is amazingly diverse considering that just five years ago, the reigning light-heavyweight champ wasn't even a professional fighter yet.

    Jones' otherworldly athleticism and ability to react to his opponents' body language in creative ways are intangibles that few fighters can replicate.

    As Jones continues into his prime, it's scary to think of what else this kid can come up with.

10. Michael Page

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    Recent Super Fight League signee Michael Page has made a name for himself in the United Kingdom with his lethal sport karate-based striking style.

    In Page's first pro bout, the undefeated welterweight decimated his opponent with a tornado kick to the face, leaving his foe barely conscious just minutes into the first round.

    Page has been dubbed by many fans across the pond as the UK's Anderson Silva because of his lethal kicks and penchant for showboating in the cage.

9. Brian Ebersole

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    Journeyman welterweight Brian Ebersole has finally found a home in the UFC, mostly due to his unconventional fighting style.

    A wrestler turned Muay Thai enthusiast, Ebersole is the head coach at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket and has showcased his creative striking skills inside the Octagon en route to a perfect UFC record.

    Ebersole's most creative technique is his patented cartwheel kick, a move that he's used to great success in the past, as seen in the video embedded in this slide.

8. Marius Zaromskis

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    Former Dream champ and current Bellator welterweight Marius Zaromskis loves to kick people in the face—literally.

    The 31-year-old English southpaw has six career wins via a knockout due to kicks or knees, with his most impressive victory coming last November against Bruno Carvalho, as seen in the video embedded in this slide.

    Zaromskis looked low before throwing an insane somersault kick that effectively ended Carvalho's night. Add in jumping roundhouse kick and flying knee knockouts and Zaromskis' resume makes a solid case for him being one of the most creative strikers in the game today.

7. Anthony Pettis

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    Anthony Pettis may be flashy, but his off-the-wall techniques are devastating as well.

    The former WEC champ became the last lightweight title holder in the promotion after his Showtime kick put Benson Henderson flat on his back during the fifth round of their WEC 53 bout.

    Most recently, Pettis emphatically took Knockout of the Night honors at UFC 144 when he head kick KO'd Joe Lauzon in Japan.

    Whether it is a standing question mark kick or a capoeira kick from off his back, Pettis can land his flashy strikes from virtually anywhere.

6. Lyoto Machida

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    Lyoto Machida took the MMA world by storm with his elusive karate skills during his meteoric rise to the belt.

    The former champ effectively brought traditional martial arts back into relevancy when he took the light-heavyweight crown from Rashad Evans at UFC 98.

    Utilizing unconventional stances, footwork and strikes stemming from Shotokan karate, Machida remains one of the best 205ers in the world.

5. Jose Aldo

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    One of the deadliest strikers in the game today, reigning featherweight king Jose Aldo has the edge over almost every lighter weight fighter in the stand-up game.

    Aldo's vicious Muay Thai is highlighted by his brutal knees that he can land in the air, like against Cub Swanson, or even when recovering from a takedown like against Chad Mendes.

    A true student of the game, Aldo's striking style is both deadly and beautiful.

4. Cung Le

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    Another traditional martial artist turned MMA phenom, Cung Le's Sanshou is one of the most interesting fighting styles in the entire sport.

    Le likes to use kicks from funky angles to baffle and beat down his opponents, highlighted by his use of his front leg as well as spinning techniques.

    It will be interesting to see what crazy kicks Le will use against Patrick Cote at this weekend's UFC 148.

3. Nick Diaz

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    Unlike most of the other fighters on this list who prefer to kick, Nick Diaz's style is unorthodox due to his boxing prowess.

    The former Strikeforce title holder likes to paw at opponents with oddly angled hooks that he uses to open up his target. Diaz likes to follow these half-speed hooks with his more powerful straight punches, a great series of combinations that has left the likes of BJ Penn battered and bruised.

    Diaz is also great at stalking his opponent down and frustrating them with his taunting, an interesting mix that nearly won him the interim welterweight crown.

2. Anderson Silva

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    Anderson Silva's legacy as one of the most creative fighters in the sport's history can be traced way before his time in the UFC.

    Before "The Spider" was front kicking people's faces in the Octagon, Silva was changing the game even without the spotlight.

    Just look at the amazing elbow KO in the video embedded in the slide and you can see just how devastating, yet creative Silva is.

1. Jon Jones

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    Spinning back elbows, flying knees and side kicks to the leg, Jon Jones' arsenal of strikes is amazingly diverse considering that just five years ago, the reigning light-heavyweight champ wasn't even a professional fighter yet.

    Jones' otherworldly athleticism and ability to react to his opponents' body language in creative ways are intangibles that few fighters can replicate.

    As Jones continues into his prime, it's scary to think of what else this kid can come up with.

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