Power Ranking the Best MMA Fighters at Rebounding After Losses
The way that a fighter responds to his first loss shows fans a lot about them. Some guys become gun-shy and have trouble pulling the trigger in fear of getting caught. However, some fighters get stronger when handed a defeat.
A loss can be the most motivating event in any fighter's career. Coming up short inside the Octagon can teach a fighter about his weaknesses and convince him to intensify his training regimen.
These rebound kings are the type of pugilists who can quickly make you forget about a previous setback with a single performance.
Here is a look at the top 10 rebounders in MMA.
Many factors went into consideration when determining the order of this list. Most important is your overall record in appearances where you are coming off of a loss.
A fighter who has hit a few skids in his career is not disqualified from making this list, however, his follow-up performances would need to be pretty immaculate.
Other factors include: dominance, finishing rate and quality of opposition.
For the sake of this list, only active fighters were considered.
10. Dan Henderson
Overall Record: 29-9
Record Post-Loss: 6-2
Kicking off our countdown is multi-divisional champion Dan Henderson.
Ever since the beginning of his career, Henderson has been the type of fighter to come out guns ablaze following a loss. After his first shortcoming, Hendo met Renzo Gracie in a fight that left the BJJ master unconscious only 1:40 into the first round.
In 2005, Henderson rebounded from a submission loss against Lil Nog by knocking out Ryo Chonan in only 22 seconds.
On two occasions, Hendo came up short in his rebound fight. However, when you consider that those losses came against world class fighters Anderson Silva and then-PRIDE heavyweight champion Big Nog, it seems forgivable.
It will be interesting to see how Henderson rebounds from his most recent loss, as he meets Rashad Evans at UFC 161.
9. Dong Hyun Kim
Overall Record: 17-2-1 (1)
Record Post-Loss: 3-0 (sort of)
Although he may not have the kind of name value as some of the other members on this list, Dong Hyun Kim continues to grow tremendously ever time he steps into the cage. However, the Korean judo master is even better when coming off of a loss.
The first time that Kim lost a fight, it was later changed to a no contest after Karo Parisyan failed a post-fight drug test. Kim certainly didn't use the NC as an excuse to slack off in the gym, as he dominated T.J. Grant in his next appearance.
Since that time, Kim has lost two more times and rebounded in tremendous fashion on both occasions.
After being knocked out by Carlos Condit, Kim's newly-improved striking was on display in a one-sided victory against Sean Pierson. When a freak injury cost him a fight against Demian Maia, "Stun Gun" made Paulo Thiago look like he didn't belong in the same cage.
8. Donald Cerrone
Overall Record: 20-5
Record Post-Loss: 4-0
If history is an indicator of what we can expect to see out of Donald Cerrone, people should be very concerned for the well-being of UFC 160 opponent K.J. Noons.
"Cowboy" is flawless in his post-loss performances, having won four fights in as many tries, including a pair of submission victories and a Fight of the Night victory against former WEC champion Jamie Varner.
7. Georges St-Pierre
Overall Record: 24-2
Record Post-Loss: 2-0
Only twice has UFC champion Georges St-Pierre come up short inside the Octagon. On both occasions, "Rush" came back on top.
Many feel that the welterweight kingpin might deserve to be higher on this list based on how much he improved because of each loss.
However, GSP wasn't particularly dominant against Josh Koscheck after losing to Matt Serra in 2007, and that dropped his ranking substantially.
6. Jim Miller
Overall Record: 22-4
Record Post-Loss: 4-0
New Jersey native Jim Miller is a bad, bad man once the cage doors close. Winning nine of his first 10 fights inside the Octagon, it is shocking that this man has never competed for UFC gold.
With a flawless 4-0 record following his losses, Miller is absolutely vicious when trying to prove that he is still one of the best in the world.
After a loss to Frankie Edgar on the independent circuit, Miller went on to win the Cage Rage lightweight title by submitting his opponent in less than two minutes.
Some feel that Miller's rebound victory over Melvin Guillard is one of the best moments in his career, and they are right. However, one other fight surpasses it, and it too was a rebound performance.
Still reeling from a loss to Nate Diaz, Miller stepped in to meet Joe Lauzon on the main card of UFC 155. What fans saw will live in our memories as one of the greatest wars that this sport will ever know.
Miller outlasted Lauzon in a bloody battle that would win Fight of the Year honors from several MMA outlets.
5. Frank Mir
Overall Record: 16-6
Record Post-Loss: 5-0
With 20 fights inside the Octagon, Frank Mir has more UFC appearances than any other heavyweight in history. Along the way, he has come up short in six fights.
Since his most recent contest saw him knocked out, Mir has only had the opportunity to avenge five of those losses, so we will only look at those.
On all five occasions, Mir came out victorious in his followup and he has an impressive finishing rate of 80 percent. What's even better is the fact that three of those wins came in less than 80 seconds.
Mir has his work cut out for him in his next fight. On April 20, the submission specialist meets undefeated Olympian Daniel Cormier in a contest where even the most generous of oddsmakers have Mir as a 4-to-1 underdog.
4. Cain Velasquez
Overall Record: 11-1
Record Post-Loss: 1-0
It seems odd putting Cain Velasquez on this list when you consider that he has only lost one fight in his career.
However, with the one-sided beatdown that Velasquez gave to Bigfoot Silva in his rebound fight, there is no question that he is deserving of a place near the top of our countdown.
After being knocked out by Junior dos Santos and losing his UFC championship, Velasquez was a man who yearned to prove that he was still the best heavyweight on the planet.
With intense motivation to win decisively, fans witnessed one of the bloodiest ass-whoopings of the year at UFC 146.
3. Shinya Aoki
Overall Record: 32-6 (1)
Record Post-Loss: 6-0
Japanese sensation Shinya Aoki has long been ranked as one of the best lightweights on the planet. The most impressive thing about this accomplishment is the fact that he earned his spot without ever competing in the UFC.
However, even the most dominant of fighters loses eventually. On six occasions, Aoki has been shut down by an opponent. And after each of those shortcomings, "The Baka Survivor" has come back in electric fashion.
In six rebound fights, Aoki earned five first-round stoppages. If you need an example of how impressive this is, consider the fact that UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture scored only five first-round stoppages in his entire career.
The most famous rebound win for Aoki came in 2010 against former Shooto champion Tatsuya Kawajiri. In less than two minutes, Aoki not only scored a submission win, but he broke the ankle of his opponent in the process.
2. Mike Pyle
Overall Record: 24-8-1
Record Post-Loss: 8-0
Often-overlooked welterweight Mike Pyle has been quietly climbing the welterweight ranks in recent years. Winning seven of his last nine contests, the only shortcomings for "Quicksand" in that stretch came against top contenders Jake Ellenberger and Rory MacDonald.
They say that you learn from your mistakes. Pyle is a perfect example of that, as he not only won each of his eight rebound fights, but finished every single opponent.
Of all the accomplishments that Pyle has put together, perhaps the most impressive feat came following a loss to Rampage Jackson.
When pitted against future title contender Jon Fitch, Pyle needed less than three minutes to secure a rear-naked choke. To this day, he is the only man to submit Fitch in competition.
1. Urijah Faber
Overall Record: 27-6
Record Post-Loss: 6-0
While Mike Pyle has more rebound wins than Faber, he certainly didn't do it against the same quality of competition.
Jens Pulver, Brian Bowles, Rafael Assuncao, Takeya Mizugaki and Ivan Menjivar are all among the list of fighters who have squared off against "The California Kid" whilst he was coming off of a loss.
Not only did Faber beat all of them, but he submitted each man in impressive fashion. Maybe that's why the Team Alpha Male star has received more title shots in the last five years than any other fighter in history.
Andrew Saunders is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report MMA. His turn-ons include Jagermeister and deep-sea parachuting. Following him on Twitter has been recommended by 4 out of every 5 doctors. Do it now.