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MMA: Power Ranking the Top Fighters at Jackson MMA

Hunter HomistekCorrespondent IJanuary 16, 2017

MMA: Power Ranking the Top Fighters at Jackson MMA

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    Mixed martial arts guru Greg Jackson possesses an absolutely ridiculous stable of top-quality fighters.

    The camp at Jackson MMA in Albuquerque, N.M., is littered with champions, and determining the best of the best is a tall order.

    When it boils down to just 10 names, some extremely skilled and dangerous fighters miss the cut, and I look forward to hearing you sound off in defense of your guy.

    Start the slideshow to see how the Top 10 fighters at Jackson MMA stack up with one another.

No. 10: Rustam Khabilov

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    Not familiar with Rustam Khabilov?

    Well, that's him in the picture. Not the one flailing like a wounded goose—he's the one driving his opponent into the canvas in a ferocious attack of unadulterated rage.

    With just one UFC fight under his belt, it may be a stretch to put the young Russian Sambo machine on such an exclusive list, but his skill set will frustrate and dominate lightweights for years to come.

    Khabilov is an impressive 15-1 in professional action, and his most recent win, a suplex knockout of Vinc Pichel at The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale, provided nightmare fuel for 155-pounders worldwide.

    This guy is vicious, and he will emerge as a star under the tutelage of Greg Jackson.

No. 9: Nate Marquardt

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    Is Nate Marquardt done?

    After a disappointing and shocking loss to Tarec Saffedine at Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffedine, Nate "The Great's" future is in peril.

    A former UFC middleweight contender, Marquardt was absolutely dominated in his welterweight title defense against Tarec Saffedine, and he was unable to do anything of significance during the bout's 25-minute duration.

    He looked terrible, but his past work lands him on the list.

    One more slip up like the one against Saffedine, though, and he's gone.

No. 8: Clay Guida

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    With his constant pressure, never-ending gas tank and phenomenal wrestling, Clay Guida is an awful matchup for almost any fighter inside the UFC Octagon.

    "The Carpenter" faced some vicious opposition following his marathon-inspired performance against Gray Maynard at UFC on FX 4, but one fight does not totally define a fighter in my opinion, and Guida is still the man in my eyes.

    A recent drop to featherweight has prompted a UFC on Fox 6 matchup against Hatsu Hioki, and I fully expect the Guida of old to emerge victorious.

No. 7: Diego Sanchez

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    Diego Sanchez is just divine.

    He's a little nutty (okay, he's a lot nutty), he's incredibly aggressive, and he has no concept of the term "quit."

    Despite facing a who's-who inside the UFC Octagon, Sanchez has been finished just once, and even that TKO to then-lightweight champion B.J. Penn was called due to a cut rather than Sanchez's inability to defend himself. 

    Sanchez is as indestructible as anybody on the UFC's roster, and his fast-paced, relentless style is an absolute joy to watch.

    As long as Mr. Sanchez is breathing and competing inside the cage, he has a spot on my list.

No. 6: John Dodson

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    Like anybody with ears, I detest John Dodson as soon as he opens his mouth.

    I mean, seriously, is any UFC fighter (past or present) as sonically displeasing as this dude?

    Despite his grating and downright annoying personality, though, Dodson is one hell of a fighter.

    With bonkers speed and the flyweight equivalent of Johny Hendricks' left hand, Dodson is a scary foe to meet inside the Octagon.

    Dodson is not yet a UFC champion, but a very winnable matchup against Demetrious Johnson looms at UFC on Fox 6.

    A victory will be huge for Dodson's stock and the flyweight division, but for now, I can place "The Magician" no higher than No. 6.

No. 5: Cub Swanson

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    Just how good is Cub Swanson?

    The featherweight standout has looked better than ever of late, but his career is plagued by untimely losses, so it is tough to gauge whether or not we will see him challenge for the title in the future.

    According to Swanson's Twitter account, a matchup with Dennis Siver at UFC on Fuel TV 7 will earn him that opportunity, but will he seize it, or will he falter like he has before?

No. 4: Donald Cerrone

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    It becomes blatantly clear how stacked Jackson's MMA roster is when an absolute beast like Donald Cerrone is only the fourth-best fighter on hand.

    "The Cowboy" possesses sensational kickboxing and grappling skills, and this skill set is perfectly adapted for battle inside the Octagon.

    Stand with him, and he will knock you out; take him down, and he will submit you.

    With Cerrone, it's truly a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation, and he has rightly earned the status as one of the world's top lightweights for this well-rounded attack.

No. 3: Carlos Condit

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    Carlos Condit is basically a slightly upgraded, 170-pound equivalent of Donald Cerrone.

    Greg Jackson has clearly shaped each fighter's game, as they both employ similar tactics and styles inside the Octagon.

    Personally, I think Condit does everything just a little better than "The Cowboy," though, so he earns the nod for our No. 3 spot.

No. 2: Georges St-Pierre

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    Woah, woah, woah! Who else does Greg Jackson train, Anderson Silva?

    I'm sure you already know who snagged top honors on this list, so let us talk about why longtime welterweight king and Canadian superstar Georges St-Pierre is merely the runner-up.

    First off, his head trainer is Firas Zahabi at Tristar MMA, so I debated even including him on this list.

    Still, other Jackson MMA fighters still consider him a teammate, and Mr. Jackson himself refused to corner either Condit or GSP at UFC 154, so it's pretty clear he is still regarded as part of their squad. 

    All right, so he works more closely with Zahabi these days, so what? Why else would somebody other than Anderson Silva place higher than GSP on any ranked list?

    Click on, my friends. Click on.

No. 1: Jon Jones

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    ...Because Jon Jones is better than Georges St-Pierre. That's why.

    Jones is quite possibly the greatest fighter in MMA today and of all time—we'll just have to wait to see.

    Only Fedor Emelianenko can boast an equally impressive start to a career, and Jones looks every bit as dominant as "The Last Emperor" thus far in his UFC stint.

    Anderson Silva is obviously the greatest fighter on the UFC's roster right now, but there is not a doubt in my mind that Jones is No. 2.

    GSP has done more over the course of his career, sure, but Jones will do more.

    That matters.

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