5 Best UFC Fighters Who Need to Start Finishing Fights

Dan Hiergesell@DHiergesellFeatured ColumnistJune 26, 2014

5 Best UFC Fighters Who Need to Start Finishing Fights

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    Today's mixed martial arts incorporates a truly defined group of amazing athletes.

    From powerful strikers to bone-crunching submission specialists, MMA offers a hodgepodge of scintillating talents.

    That's why the UFC has enjoyed an injection of competitive contenders from flyweight to heavyweight.

    However, in a demanding era when knockouts and submissions rule the world, some top names have struggled to please the masses.

    Here are the five best fighters in the UFC right now who need to turn decisions into decisive finishes. 

Alistair Overeem

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    You would expect someone as talented and athletic as Alistair Overeem to be finishing more fights than he has.

    Despite his lone UFC finish over Brock Lesnar back in 2011, Overeem has not only been unable to secure a highlight-reel moment, but he's hand-delivered fights to his opponents that he would have otherwise won.

    Whether it was his collapse opposite Travis Browne or his inability to put away a lifeless Frank Mir, the 34-year-old kickboxing guru has yet to find himself in an evolving heavyweight division.

    If Overeem truly wants to live up to the hype that branded him one of the toughest big men in the sport when he made his promotional debut, he'll need to start capping off some decisive performances. 

Gilbert Melendez

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    There's no argument when it comes to Gilbert Melendez's spot amongst the top lightweights in the sport today.

    As one of the very best boxers at 155 pounds, "El Nino" is as dangerous as any elite contender can be, which is why he has earned a chance to challenge champion Anthony Pettis for UFC gold later this year.

    However, outside of his memorable moments opposite Benson Henderson and Diego Sanchez, Melendez has been unable to give his fans a punishing finish.

    That's not to say the former Strikeforce kingpin doesn't have it in him, but as a guy who often dictates fights by staying calm and picking his shots, finishing fights isn't necessarily his bread and butter.

    In order to stand out from the pack even more, Melendez may have to leave his comfort zone to capture that one dynamite finish, especially over a flashy fighter like Pettis. 

Phil Davis

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    Losing to Anthony "Rumble" Johnson is surely going to ruin Phil Davis' chances of fighting for the UFC light heavyweight championship any time soon.

    However, that recent defeat at the hands of a bruising puncher with exceptional takedown defense is not the reason why Davis was a relatively overlooked threat to Jon Jones' throne.

    Instead, it was his inability to finish fights and stick out, which often landed him on the wrong side of title discussions.

    Davis can be credited as the only man to ever finish Alexander Gustafsson, but the only other finish he has inside of the Octagon spanning eight total victories came against a highly outmatched Wagner Prado.

    As it stands right now, the quickest way for Davis to shake off his recent collapse to Johnson and regain his divisional footing would be to dismantle and finish his next opponent. 

Rory Macdonald

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    Rory MacDonald is truly a pleasure to watch.

    The strategic determination and perfected precision that the 24-year-old displays on a fight-to-fight basis is not something a fighter his age should be able to do.

    It has been that type of well-rounded skill set that has kept MacDonald ahead of the pack in the UFC's welterweight division.

    However, in a weight class drenched with hard hitters and crazed lunatics, MacDonald's decision-heavy track record could catch up to him sooner or later.

    He's too good to suggest he needs a finish to continue winning, but with the likes of Matt Brown, Hector Lombard, Robbie Lawler and champion Johny Hendricks lurking in the distance, "Ares" may have to amp it up. 

Jose Aldo

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    Beyond his finish over an injury-induced Chan Sung Jung and a last-second knee to the head of Chad Mendes, Jose Aldo has done very little to keep his championship fights away from the judges' scorecards.

    His lack of finishing is in direct correlation to his mere average gas tank, which has resulted in the Brazilian fading as fights enter the later rounds.

    However, that's not the only reason why Aldo hasn't finished more fights than he has. It's the fact that he doesn't try to.

    As arguably the most prolific striker in the sport today, one who could cripple any unsuspecting featherweight with one swift kick, Aldo has seemed hesitant to put his title reign on the line in order to go after an early stoppage.

    However, if he puts Mendes down again in August like he did the first time around, I'll put this article in between two pieces of bread, add some ham and cheese and eat my words.


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