UFC

The Best Weapon in Each UFC Weight Class

Dan HiergesellFeatured ColumnistJuly 11, 2014

The Best Weapon in Each UFC Weight Class

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Every fighter is different.

    From the food they eat to the training camps they conquer, no two fighters are alike.

    But as vast as the spectrum grows, their fear serves as a mediator, bringing polar opposites back together.

    So what exactly creates this fear?

    How about a devastating liver kick? Or an overhand right capable of punching through brick?

    Whichever poison fuels their fire, they must all play their cards right to avoid the most dangerous weapons in their path.

    Here are those tools that instill fear in every weight class.

Women's Bantamweight: Rousey's Armbar

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    Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

    Ronda Rousey's armbar is truly in a league of its own.

    It's one of the only weapons on this list that simply can't be stopped, whether her opponent is counting on it or not.

    The champ's technique and timing have helped made her armbar potent, but it's been her ferocity to finish that has fueled her overall success on the mat.

    Rousey has begun to find her comfort zone on the feet, so maybe it's time for her to break an arm to let everyone know how she got to where she is today.

Flyweight: Mighty Mouse's Movement

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Sometimes, speed is all you need.

    In Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson's case, he has a hodgepodge of skills outside of just his quickness, but the flyweight prince is so darn fast that it's really all he needs.

    Johnson's dynamic ability to dart in and out of range, keep his feet moving and create angles that aren't even mathematically possible has transformed him into one of the toughest fighters in the world to catch.

    But the dominance doesn't stop there. Johnson not only leans on his movement to create space and protect his chin, but he often relies on it to launch offensive superstorms.

    In any case, as long as he doesn't run into a field of quicksand, don't count on Johnson getting outpointed anytime soon.

Bantamweight: The Faber Choke

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Urijah Faber sinks in chokes like he's squeezing water out of a sponge.

    His technique, strength and patience allow him to quickly grab an opponent's neck and cut off his lone lifeline.

    Whether it's a rear-naked choke or his infamously crafted guillotine, The California Kid knows how to put opponents to sleep.

    When he's given a chance to take a back or roll over to gain leverage, Faber's chances of winning become imminent.

Featherweight: Aldo's Leg Kick

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    TIM LARSEN/Associated Press

    One look at a Jose Aldo fight and you could probably bet your life that he watched this year's World Cup.

    In other words, the UFC featherweight kingpin kicks opponents like he was punting a soccer ball to midfield.

    Better yet, he chops down opponents like a crazed lumberjack trying to make his daily quota.

    You get the point.

    Aldo is a master at penetrating muscle to get to bone by launching ultrapowerful and sometimes grueling leg kicks.

    The kind of kicks that leave his opponents' legs mushed like bloody hamburger meat.

Lightweight: Showtime's Body Kick

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Nobody can argue that UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis is on the fast track to superstar status.

    As one of the slickest strikers you're ever going to see, he is starting to demolish his competition.

    In just his last two fights, opposite former champion Benson Henderson and hard-to-finish Donald Cerrone, Showtime landed unbelievable body kicks.

    One sent Cerrone falling to the mat, while the other set up a submission victory to capture the 155-pound strap from Smooth.

    Simply put, Pettis has formerly introduced the most dangerous weapon in the weight class—one that could take down any striker who is willing to exchange in close quarters.

Welterweight: Bigg Rigg's Hands

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Left or right? You chose.

    Either way, UFC welterweight champion Johny "Bigg Rigg" Hendricks is going to mop the floor with your favorite fighter.

    Just ask Martin Kampmann and Jon Fitch.

    The bottom line is that Hendricks commands a certain type of power that is rarely seen in the sport, let alone at 170 pounds.

    His fists literally dictate fights, whether they're landing or not.

    Opponents must make adjustments on the fly to avoid his powerful hammer fists before it's too late...and it usually is.

Middleweight: Silva's Muay Thai Plum

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    David Kohl/Associated Press

    We haven't seen much of Anderson Silva's muay thai clinch of late, but when it happens, boy, is it beautiful.

    Like a Venus flytrap pulling in its prey, Silva's in-close plum is as dangerous as it gets.

    With length for days, The Spider is able to weave an intricate web by launching piercing knees at an unstoppable rate.

    His grip is vice-like, and as it stands right now, even despite the long layoff, this bewildering technique remains the most useful weapon in the middleweight division today.

Light Heavyweight: Jones' Oblique Kick

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Jon Jones' spinning elbow could easily make this list.

    He demolished Stephan Bonnar with it and nearly scalped Alexander Gustafsson back at UFC 165.

    But as crisp and cool as that technique is, it isn't quite as clever as the champ's debilitating oblique kick.

    Maybe it's because nobody else does it as good as him, or maybe it's because fighters have complained about its use in the past, but Jones' frequent ability to launch these kicks with ease is truly brilliant.

    It slows his opponent down, creates even more space for him to get off and could eventually hyperextend a knee.

    Win by any means necessary. That's a law that should rule every fighter's course of action.

Heavyweight: Big Country's Big Overhand Right

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    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    Roy Nelson's overhand right is as deadly as any one-punch knockout strike has ever been.

    This includes the arsenal of Chuck Liddell, Dan Henderson and the aforementioned Johny Hendricks.

    But for some reason, and maybe it's because he sports a big ol' tummy, Nelson makes it look so much cooler.

    I like to think he's punching his way into a 12-piece bucket of KFC chicken, while others probably think he's trying to end the fight before he tires in the second minute.

    Either way, no heavyweight in the world today can withstand a flush "Belly Bomb" to the chin.

     

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