Creating the Ultimate MMA Fighter: 2013 Edition
The best fighters in the world currently occupy the UFC's vastly deep divisions. They each encompass their own specific talents and elevated degree of marksmanship.
But have you ever wondered what sort of fighter would storm out of an ultimate fighter production line?
What defining attributes should this perfected soldier inhabit?
Which current fighters could be harvested for their skill?
Here's a bolstered creation answering just that. Here's how you create the ultimate mixed martial arts killer.
Junior dos Santos' Boxing
The level of precision and technique that Junior dos Santos' boxing works on is beyond comprehension for a heavyweight of his caliber.
Time and time again the former UFC heavyweight champion has flourished by keeping his distance, picking apart his opponent and finishing them off with power shots, uppercuts or straight jabs.
He's truly one of a kind and is quite possibly the greatest boxing specimen to ever step foot inside the Octagon.
Fabio Maldonado's Chin
There's a handful of chins in the UFC that resemble Teflon polymer, but Fabio Maldonado's is by far the toughest.
His ability to withstand a barrage of punches is borderline satanic, but the Brazilian makes it look effortless.
It's a shame that his overall skill set isn't as bulletproof as his chin, because he's one of only a few guys in the sport today that can be defeated by punches while still standing.
Anderson Silva's Clinch Work
Anderson Silva's clinch work is flawless for various reasons, but his most readily available weapon is most certainly the Muay Thai clinch.
Silva has utilized the two-handed neck clamp throughout his entire career which in turn has forced his opponents to wilt under penetrating knees, devastating uppercuts and ridiculous pressure.
Not to mention the Brazilian's size allows him to do things in the clinch that other fighters simply can't.
Lytoto Machida's Elusiveness
When Lyoto Machida doesn't want to get hit, chances are he isn't going to get hit.
That's something that can't be said about roughly 98 percent of the fighters currently competing under the Zuffa banner.
In Machida's case, he utilizes outstanding countering, shifty angles and a ridiculous in-and-out striking technique that can be traced back to his karate days.
Frankie Edgar's Footwork
Possessing the capability to make up for size and strength with angular mobility often spells the difference between winning and losing.
This is never more true when dissecting the improbable, yet impressive, success that Frankie Edgar possesses on his feet.
He's been able to stand and bang with more powerful and aggressive strikers in the past by implementing near-perfect footwork. It's allowed him to score points, avoid serious damage and make opponents pay when they're least expecting it.
Demian Maia's Grappling
Demian Maia has been suffocating fighters for nearly 12 years, but his timely dissection of Jon Fitch at UFC 156 is the only proof you need to know the Brazilian is the best grappler around.
Maia's ability to transition to a back, stick to it like a fly caught in caramel and grind an opponent down to powder has given him more respect around the sport than most guys dream of.
When it comes to defending Maia's deathly stranglehold, staying 10 feet away from him at all times is probably your only shot.
Cain Velasquez's Ground-and-Pound
When Cain Velasquez ground-and-pounds an opponent, he doesn't just try to win a fight. He tries to punch a hole through their face and disrupt the very foundation of the Octagon.
The champion is able to do so on the heels of a motor that never quits. It helps propel him past any title threat by giving him the power to slam leather into skull for as long as he needs to.
It's a very dangerous weapon and one that would be key for any ultimate fighter assembly.
Anderson Silva's Head Movement
There's something about Anderson Silva's head movement that resembles a cartoon. It may be the fact that some of the best strikers in the world can't touch him on the feet, but it's more of his willingness to sit back and let them try.
It's become comical to watch Silva have fun inside the cage. Even against guys like Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar, he keeps his hands at his side, lets them throw the best shots they have and simply moves out of the way at the last second as if their punches were traveling through molasses.
Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua's Heart
Heart is something that really can't be measured in mixed martial arts. It isn't a statistic, it doesn't show up on the judge's scorecard and it doesn't necessarily win fights.
But what heart truly is, especially when putting together an ultimate fighting juggernaut, is the ability to absorb damage, maintain focus, stick to your game plan and traverse onward with full steam no matter what.
One fighter that has shown the capability in the past of pushing forward and fighting with every ounce of energy he has is Mauricio "Shogun" Rua. His fights opposite Dan Henderson, Jon Jones, Brandon Vera and Alexander Gustafsson are absolute testaments to the Brazilian's war-like desire to compete.
Diego Sanchez's Intensity
Fighters channel their inner beast in many different ways. From remaining quiet up until the first bell to screaming their head off when their entrance song ignites, every in-cage barbarian is his own person.
But what makes a fighter extra intimidating is their ability to not only look crazy, but act crazy. Diego Sanchez is that type of competitor and never seems to relinquish the hard-nosed, in-your-face mentality that has provided him with such popularity over the years.
Sanchez is part of a rare breed willing to wear his emotions on his sleeve and for that, he's respected and feared.
Vinny Magalhaes' Jiu-Jitsu
Vinny Magalhaes is a world champion for a reason. He's a perfected practitioner of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and one that openly looks for kinks in his opponent's armor when fighting.
Sure, there are other fighters currently gracing the UFC roster that have more experience and time in the sport than Magalhaes, but not too many guys possess the overall capability, potential and educated prowess that the Brazilian does.
When he grabs a hold of an arm or a leg, that's usually it.
Jose Aldo's Kicks
Jose Aldo's leg kicks are like missiles with nuclear-powered jet packs attached to the back of them.
The UFC featherweight champion's vicious approach in attacking an opponent's upper leg or abdomen can be traced back to his days as a football player in Brazil.
His technique and overall quickness enable Aldo to turn any misled leg into mashed potatoes. It's borderline gruesome.
Carlos Condit's Killer Instinct
Having a killer instinct doesn't necessarily mean you have to finish fights. It means you go for the finish when the opportunity arises.
Well, unlike most guys fighting in the sport today, Carlos Condit falls into both categories. He's not only one of the best finishers around, but Condit resembles a shark in a fish tank when his opponents grow weary.
Whether it's a knockout, submission or diabolical beatdown, "The Natural Born Killer" is, well, naturally a killer.
Dan Henderson's Longevity
Longevity is an important natural tool to carry in any sport, let alone mixed martial arts. It allows a fighter to hone his skills over a long period of time and gives him the potential to contend for a title late into his career.
No other fighter on planet Earth possesses the innate ability to compete at a high level at such an unassuming age than Dan Henderson.
Henderson is able to maintain greatness by prolonging his desire to fight, his physical capabilities and his overall knack for turning experience into a useful weapon on Fight Night.
Jon Jones' Physicality
Skill is usually the defining line between a consistent winner and a prolific loser. It's also the difference between a champion and a contender.
But what makes those winners, those champions, more than a man with a belt is their physical prowess.
Possessing the empowering physicality to not only intimidate opponents, but to utilize it in order to manifest all skill to a higher level, carries a certain greatness.
No other fighter today prevails under this notion more so than UFC light heavyweight champion and pound-for-pound great Jon Jones. He's made a living out of combining an elite arsenal with sheer natural definition.
Roy Nelson's Punching Power
Believe it or not, Roy Nelson has finished every one of his victories since 2007 by way of his countrified fists.
So while guys like Dan Henderson, Johny Hendricks, Michael McDonald, Gray Maynard and Mark Hunt all possess knockout power, none of them have utilized it more than Nelson over the last several years.
There's a reason why "Big Country" hasn't been finished since 2008. That's because not too many guys want to get close to his ham-hock hands.
Demetrious 'Mighty Mouse' Johnson's Speed
Speed is an undeniable force in mixed martial arts. It gives a fighter the ability to make up for a lack of power he may possess or a lack of skill he needs to overcome.
In Demetrious Johnson's case, his speed isn't utilized as a means of making up for anything. Instead, the UFC flyweight champion uses his blazing hands to freeze opponents like water to ice.
He often makes some of the best strikers in the division look like they haven't sparred in five years. It's a weapon that is often overlooked as the best in MMA, but you better believe Johnson's speed and endurance will keep him atop the sport for quite some time.
Georges St-Pierre's Takedown Ability
Georges St-Pierre has been securing the double-leg takedown since he was hatched.
He's been a true magician when it comes to lowering his hips, launching off his his back leg and bringing an opponent down to the ground like a cowboy does a steer.
It's often been the difference in winning and losing for GSP, and even though some find it boring, the Canadian should continue to thrive on the back of one of the most useful weapons in MMA history.
Jon Jones' Takedown Defense
Similar to Georges St-Pierre's ability to take opponents down, Jon Jones possesses the skill set to stop that very thing from happening.
With flabbergasting size on his side, along with a prolific background in wrestling, there's not a light heavyweight on the planet that can put Jones on his back.
Chael Sonnen couldn't do it, Rashad Evans couldn't do it and I can bet you that neither Dan Henderson, Phil Davis nor Daniel Cormier can do it.
Chael Sonnen's Verbal Linguistics
Hate him or not, you have to respect Chael Sonnen's microphone skills. It's a gift a gab that just doesn't quit.
Any guy that can transform his career overnight from general obscurity to being the most publicly personified and overly hated fighter in the UFC deserves immediate applause.
Sonnen may be at a point in his career where backing up his mouth is becoming harder and harder to do, but there's no denying his capability to grab an audience's attention, keep it focused on him and forget entirely what the hell he's even talking about.
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