Power Ranking the Top 10 Fighters from Black House MMA
As the debate about the best team in all of MMA rages on in 2013, one group of fighters has really begun to accumulate much of the elite talent in the sport, particularly from their home country of Brazil. I'm talking, of course, about Black House MMA.
Founded by Ed Soares, Carlos Barreto, Jorge Guimaraes and Rogerio Camoes in November 2006, Black House MMA has become almost a synonym for excellence in mixed martial arts.
Focusing primarily on the art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu and the pinpoint precision striking that has turned out numerous UFC champions, Black House produces some of the most well-rounded, dangerous fighters who are always looking to finish.
With Glover Teixeira still relatively new to most fans, power ranking him and the current occupants of Black House MMA might be a good way to see just how good this guy is before he fights Rampage Jackson at UFC on FOX.
So here are the top 10 performers currently fighting out of Black House MMA.
10. Rafael Cavalcante
MMA record: 11-3 (1)
Most recent fight: Submission win over Mike Kyle, overturned by California State Athletic Commission
If it wasn't for a pesky drug test which cost him a victory in his most recent bout over Mike Kyle, Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante would be sitting pretty at 12-3 in his MMA career. Instead, his 33-second submission victory was wiped off the books and he is facing a year-long suspension that is due to be up in May 2013.
Feijao's biggest career victory came when he defeated the previously unbeaten "King" Muhammed Lawal for the Strikeforce light heavyweight championship in August 2010. The victory was Lawal's only career loss and jumped Cavalcante into the top 10 in most rankings.
Although he later lost his title to Dan Henderson, Feijao remains a top-level fighter who is capable of defeating just about anyone at any time.
9. Rafael Dos Anjos
MMA record: 18-6
Most recent fight: Unanimous decision win over Mark Bocek at UFC 154
One fighter who continues to move his way up the rankings in the lightweight division is Rafael dos Anjos.
Dos Anjos has earned victories over the likes of George Sotiropoulos, Kamal Shalorus and Terry Etim and is currently riding a three-fight winning streak in the UFC. His most recent win came in somewhat surprising fashion against the highly talented Mark Bocek at UFC 154.
Bocek is known for being an excellent wrestler, but was unable to take dos Anjos down. After many failed attempts from the Canadian, dos Anjos was able to take advantage and get a takedown of his own. From there, he unloaded with some heavy punches, allowing him to coast his way to a unanimous-decision victory.
Look for dos Anjos to be given a bigger-name opponent in his next bout.
8. Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza
MMA record: 17-3 (1)
Most recent fight: Submission win over Ed Herman at Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine
When it comes to being a pure threat as a Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner, it doesn't get much better than Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza.
Souza has earned 13 of his 17 career MMA wins by way of submission, including his most recent, dominant win over a very tough Ed Herman. Souza made it look easy during the final Strikeforce event, controlling the former TUF contestant before submitting him with a devastating kimura.
A former Strikeforce middleweight champion, Souza has only lost one of his past eight fights. That only imperfection came at the hands of Luke Rockhold, who himself has won nine straight contests.
7. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
MMA record: 20-5
Most recent fight: TKO win over Tito Ortiz at UFC 140
The lesser-recognized Nogueira brother, "Little Nog" can still be every bit as deadly as his twin brother and he proved that in his most recent bout over Tito Ortiz at UFC 140, a fight which sent Ortiz one fight closer to retirement.
Nogueira had dropped his previous two bouts, both by way of decision, against Phil Davis and Ryan Bader. However, he has not been finished in a fight since all the way back in February 2007, when he was unexpectedly knocked out by Sokoudjou. Little Nog himself has finished his opponent in six of his past eight wins.
After pulling out of his scheduled UFC on Fuel TV 2 bout due to a knee injury, Nogueira has now been out of action for over 13 months. He is expected to return at UFC 156 to fight Rashad Evans.
6. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
MMA record: 34-7-1 (1)
Most recent fight: Submission win over Dave Herman at UFC 153
Former Pride heavyweight and UFC interim heavyweight champion Antonio "Minotauro" Nogueira is certainly a future Hall of Famer in the sport, but he hasn't yet finished making his stamp on or snapping bones within it quite yet.
Nogueira recently crushed Dave Herman at UFC 153, much to the delight of fans of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Herman had been talking smack about jiu-jitsu for many months, but had never gone up against a skilled practitioner like Nogueira before.
Once he was in trouble in the fight, Nogueira made him pay by locking on a painful-looking armbar, forcing him to tap out before his arm was broken.
Nogueira is now expected to be a coach on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil, with an eventual fight against the opposing coach Fabricio Werdum coming at some point down the road.
5. Glover Teixeira
MMA record: 19-2
Most recent fight: TKO win over Fabio Maldonado at UFC 153
With a record as impressive as his, it's a wonder that the UFC didn't do everything in its power to get Glover Teixeira signed to a contract before 2012. Now that he's with the company, however, it's hard to believe that he'll be leaving anytime soon.
Teixeira has completely dominated his first two UFC fights, submitting Kyle Kingsbury in less than two minutes before causing a referee's stoppage after two rounds against Fabio Maldonado at UFC 153.
Given his bruising style but still relatively unknown name, Teixeira has been named by many as the least desirable fight opponent on the UFC roster today.
He will have a chance to make his name, though, when he goes up against Rampage Jackson at UFC on FOX this upcoming Saturday.
4. Lyoto Machida
MMA record: 18-3
Most recent fight: KO win over Ryan Bader at UFC on FOX 4
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida continued his ascent up the rankings, inching closer to another shot at UFC gold when he knocked out Ryan Bader at UFC on FOX 4.
Although he has come up short in three of his past five fights, Machida is widely considered to be one of the top five light heavyweights in the sport.
His knockout victories over the likes of Rashad Evans, Randy Couture and Thiago Silva prove that he is as dangerous as anybody in the entire sport.
3. Junior Dos Santos
MMA record: 15-2
Most recent fight: Decision loss to Cain Velasquez at UFC 155
As the only fighter on this list who is actually coming off of a loss, some would expect that Junior dos Santos might be lower down the rankings. That's probably too quick of a reaction, though, because if anyone deserves to be ranked this high coming off of a loss, it's the former UFC heavyweight champion.
Prior to his UFC 155 loss to Cain Velasquez, dos Santos had been on an absolute warpath through the UFC heavyweight division. His victories included knockouts over Fabricio Werdum, Stefan Struve, Gabriel Gonzaga and even Velasquez in their first bout.
Dos Santos may not be as well respected right now as he was before the loss, but you get bet your last penny that he will be back and better than ever.
2. Jose Aldo
MMA record: 21-1
Most recent fight: KO win over Chad Mendes at UFC 142
The current and only-ever owner of the UFC featherweight championship might just be the greatest under-155-pound fighter ever to step into a mixed martial arts contest.
Jose Aldo is an absolute killer. With 15 wins of his 21 wins coming by way of a finish, Aldo has proven that not only is he a skilled submission wizard, but he is an incredible knockout artist.
The type of power and technique that Aldo brings to the cage in his striking game has led to the kind of knockouts not often seen at this weight class.
A string of injuries to him and No. 1 contender Erik Koch kept Aldo out of the cage for most of 2012, but he is now set to defend his title against former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar on Feb. 2 at UFC 156.
1. Anderson Silva
MMA record: 33-4
Most recent fight: TKO win over Stephan Bonnar at UFC 153
Simply put, the greatest ever.
Anderson Silva is to MMA today what Mike Tyson was to boxing in the '90s. A terrifying beast of a fighter who fans don't even expect to lose anymore. They simply tune in to see what new and inventive way he will find to destroy his poor opponent.
At this point, it's hard to believe that Silva has legitimate challengers at 185 pounds. A move up to fight Jon Jones at 205 pounds or down to fight Georges St-Pierre (likely at a catch-weight) seems like the most logical choice if the UFC is hoping to make a competitive fight for Silva, or at least one that fans will be talking about.
When it comes to Black House MMA, Anderson Silva is the cream of the crop. Then again, he would be no matter where he went.