MMA is undoubtedly a sport of thrills and surprises. Aside from exciting knockouts and back-and-forth slugfests, perhaps the most interesting element of shock within the UFC can be reached when a formerly unappreciated fighter rises above all expectation, displaying levels of athleticism and expertise most spectators were not aware of.
Many times has the UFC witnessed several competitors rigorously push themselves to learn, train and ultimately adapt to match the physical and mental abilities of the top-tier adversaries of their weight class. It is truly a moment of wonder when fans see a fighter nobody thought would ever escape the lower ranks of a specific division suddenly giving performances that beckon intimidation, potential and undeniable determination.
This is a list of five fighters that were previously not taken particularly seriously but have now become valid if not top contenders in their division due to their work ethic, dedication and desire to improve their skills and degree of fitness.
These newly successful fighters have proven that if you've got that fighting spirit and vital love of the game, a prosperous career is just a solid streak of rigorous practice sessions away.