Quickness often spells the difference between winning and losing.
Some of the best UFC champions today possess world-class speed. They utilize this skill to score points, avoid damage and inflict as much pain as possible.
When they find a comfort zone, they're rarely outperformed.
With that said, here are the top 10 fastest hands in the UFC today.
These select fighters possess great speed, but they fall short in making this list. Here's why:
Wanderlei Silva - Once considered one of the fastest strikers in the game, Silva's age has caught up to him and he simply doesn't possess 10 out of 10 speed anymore.
Jose Aldo - Arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, Aldo most definitely excels in the standup game. He's quick, powerful and possesses great talent. But most of his strikes are kick-oriented, taking away from his overall punching game.
Cain Velasquez - The No. 1 contender in the UFC heavyweight division doesn't make this list for one reason. It's because he got caught by a quicker Junior dos Santos at UFC on FOX to lose his title. For that, he takes a backseat.
Jon Jones - Jones could be on this list. He's become one of the most dominant strikers in the game, but elbows and unorthodox kicks aside, "Bones" isn't over-the-top quick. He's rangy and utilizes his insane reach, but he doesn't necessarily meet the requirements as a top-10 speedster.
Clay Guida - "The Carpenter" is most certainly quick, but his punches are often loopy, making his success rate drop below 50 percent all the time. Inside, he's one of the best in the division. But as a relatively small lightweight, Guida's outside quickness doesn't possess the same appeal.
Mark Hominick continues to showcase some of the quickest hands in the UFC featherweight division.
The Canadian's bread and butter is most definitely his kickboxing, but Hominick has perfected one of the best jabs around.
His championship bout opposite Jose Aldo didn't end the way he wanted it to, but "The Machine" peppered the Brazilian in the latter rounds with crisp boxing.
The problem with Hominick is that he usually takes a punch every time he throws one.
There's a reason why Mike Swick's nickname is "Quick."
It's because he's exactly that.
Swick may not possess the same KO power as fellow welterweight Johny Hendricks, but the 33-year-old has sufficed his lack of power with blazing speed.
When Swick throws punches, they're usually by the boatload. He can go up top, down low, move in and out, and make his opponent look silly while doing so.
If only he can stay healthy.
When it comes to punching speed, Lyoto Machida is a special case.
His ability to sling punches with great quickness usually doesn't surface when he's on the attack.
Instead it comes to fruition when "The Dragon" is on the defense. That's why he's become arguably the best counter-striker in MMA today.
His recent KO of Ryan Bader at UFC on FOX said it all. When Machida is trying to dodge powerful punches and escape an attack, he's one of the quickest strikers around.
A powerful one at that.
Quite possibly the best pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC without a title, Urijah Faber is one quick dude.
He's fairly stocky for a bantamweight, but that's only because he's an excellent wrestler with tremendous takedown ability.
As for his hand speed, it's at the top of the weight class.
Faber consistently proves that he's one of the most explosive punchers in the game. He may not possess incredible KO power, but the 33-year-old demonstrates great technical speed.
Too bad for his short reach.
Despite getting smothered by Anderson Silva at UFC 126, Vitor "The Phenom" Belfort still ranks as one of the quickest punchers in the sport today.
With great power, concise reflexes and a killer's mentality inside the cage, Belfort consistently displays elite striking.
When he charges his opponents, they're rarely capable of fending him off.
A matchup with Jon Jones should be interesting, seeing as Belfort is going to have to close the distance and get inside.
But with excellent speed behind him, the Brazilian has a chance to upset the light heavyweight champion.
Currently the UFC heavyweight champion, Junior dos Santos stands as mixed martial arts' pound-for-pound best boxer.
His boxing skills have depleted the very best fighters in the world, including Cain Velasquez, Frank Mir, Fabricio Werdum, Shane Carwin and Mirko Cro Cop.
Dos Santos may not be the quickest puncher on this list, which is mostly a product of being a heavyweight, but he incorporates slingshot strikes every time he steps foot inside the Octagon.
As long as he can keep his fights standing, the Brazilian isn't going to lose.
Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson is, in one word, rapid.
His punches look like a pack of flies. Opponents rarely see them coming and have trouble keeping them away.
Johnson seemingly doesn't possess one-punch KO power, but what flyweight does?
As such a small fighter, even at 125 pounds, Johnson's speed is his best weapon. Without it, he'd most certainly struggle against longer opponents.
There's really no need to explain this choice.
Anderson Silva is the greatest fighter of all time. He's the greatest champion in UFC history and seems to excel at every possible facet of mixed martial arts.
Silva has literally dominated every opponent the UFC has thrown in front of him, with the exception of his first bout against Chael Sonnen.
He has caught some of the best fighters in the world by implementing quick strikes through unorthodox stances, defensive counters and offensive masterpieces.
For anyone that doesn't believe Silva belongs on this list, take a look at what he did to James Irvin and Forrest Griffin.
UFC champion Dominick Cruz is the only bantamweight around who possesses more punching speed than Urijah Faber.
The two have done battle in the past and Cruz has been more impressive of late.
The fact of the matter is that the 27-year-old utilizes his elite reach to pepper opponents. When a fighter has to close only half the distance compared to his opponent, that guy's going to have an advantage.
That's basically Cruz in a nutshell.
Not to mention, he lunges punches from extremely unorthodox positions.
Frankie Edgar is the epitome of speed.
He has showcased some of the best in-and-out boxing in the UFC over the past few years.
Edgar has been so successful as a lightweight because he utilizes his quickness to make up for his lack of size and power.
The former lightweight champion has been so good on his feet for many reasons. He's tough, shifty, accurate and uses angles to get in tight against some of the division's most prominent strikers.
It will be truly magical to see what Edgar can do against UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, assuming he gets there.
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