This article is part II of II.
Let’s begin with a recap of “Top Five Pound-for-Pound Fighters, and the Science of Determination, Part I”:
I shared the previously well-kept and infallible (kidding) secret formula used in determining which fighters truly are the best of the best. Here’s the formula, as it appeared in the Part I:
(A solid understanding of the subtle nuances of the disciplines involved in MMA) + (Comparisons of the fighters win/loss ratios) + (An examination of the level of competition the athletes have faced) + (Research of the methods of the fighters victories (e.g. Does the athlete regularly end fights definitively?) + (A complete disregard for personal opinions and feelings about the fighters) - Consider each of the above attributes, weigh the importance of every argument in the formula, and “average” the results.
It is important to mention again that, while there will never be an exact science to it—there is a science to it.
Next, a repeat of Part I’s list of the five very best pound-for-pound fighters in the world of MMA, plus five athletes who deserve honorable mentions:
1. Georges “Rush” St. Pierre (170 pound UFC World Champion) Record: 19-2
- Miguel Torres (135 pound WEC World Champion) Record: 37-1
- Lyoto "Dragon" Machida (205 pound UFC World Champion) Record: 15-0
- Anderson "Spider" Silva (185 pound UFC World Champion) Record: 24-4
- Fedor "The Last Emperor" Emelianenko (233 pounds) Record: 30-1
Honorable mentions (in no particular order):
- Kenny “Ken-Flo” Florian (155 pound UFC #1 contender) Record: 11-3
- B.J. “The Prodigy” Penn (155 pound UFC World Champion) Record: 13-5-1
- Mike Brown (145 pound WEC World Champion) Record: 22-4
- Jon Fitch (170 pound UFC top contender) Record: 19-3
- Urijah “The CA Kid” Faber (145 pound WEC top contender) Record: 22-3
To complete our recap, below are the five “Dream Fights” that were listed in Part I:
1. Georges St. Pierre vs. Anderson Silva (at a 175 or 180 pound catch-weight)
3. Lyoto Machida vs. Anderson Silva (at a 195 pound catch-weight)
4. Miguel Torres vs. Mike Brown OR Miguel Torres vs. Urijah Faber (140 lb. catch-weight)
5. Kenny Florian vs. Urijah Faber OR BJ Penn vs. Urijah Faber (150 lb. catch-weight)
Now...On to the new things! I’m excited to share my lists—as promised in Part I—of ‘The Five Most Exciting MMA Fighters’, and ‘The Five Least Likeable MMA Fighters’. I’m also excited to see Florian take on Penn and Griffin square off with Anderson Silva this Saturday night (Aug. 8, '09), but that’s another story!
The definition of an exciting MMA fighter is obviously not the same for all of us. Some prefer stand-up. Some prefer the dexterity, wit and sheer ingenuity displayed in the ground game by the more skilled BJJ practitioners. One thing I’m sure we can all agree on is that we like a guy who pushes the fight.
We like the fighters who sometimes have ferocity about them—the ones who go for broke, take risks and will do everything in their power to win. Fighters who fit this description sometimes become fan favorites, despite their records and despite that fact that—for some of them—we all know they’ll never be the best, they’ll never hold a belt.
I’d rather watch a fighter that fits that description than watch a man who’s 40-0 but fights with a reserved and safe approach.
We all have our own opinions as to what defines the most exciting fighting style and mentality. As such, it would be ridiculous to think that even one percent of you—the readers—will agree with all five of my choices!
Yes, even though my opinions are almost always correct and can pretty much be considered fact, our choices will naturally vary.
My choices only include athletes who are still active, or have retired very recently. I give you...(Insert drum-roll here)...The Five Most Exciting MMA Fighters:
1. Wanderlei Silva: He looks mean and he fights mean. “The Axe Murderer” literally appears to have some jungle primate in him…as if he’s about 10 percent guerilla.
2. Chris Lytle: “Lights Out” Lytle loves to bang. He’s a brawler from the word “Go”. There’s a reason that every time he’s on the card – even if it’s the undercard – he either wins or is in the running for “Fight of the Night”.
3. Roger Huerta: Huerta possesses a determination to win at literally any cost. That alone makes him extremely exciting because he takes chances, always looks to definitively finish the fight, and he has zero quit in him.
4. Georges St. Pierre: GSP is just a spectacle to behold. He’s so freakishly talented wherever the fight goes that there is never a dull moment. It’s also always a plus when you know that when certain fighters (like GSP) get in the cage, the judges are almost never called upon.
5. Chuck Liddell: “The Iceman”. He was a true artist of the knockout. He had (and probably still has) it down to an actual science that he and his trainer studied. Of his 21 wins, 13 of them were knockouts. That’s impressive. You don’t blink when Liddell’s in the cage.
Honorable mentions for most exciting fighter go to Paul Kelly, Nick Diaz, Forrest Griffin, and Urijah Faber.
Now let’s move onto a fun…maybe even funny subject. All of us who follow the sport have certain MMA fighters that we just cannot stand.
We think they’re bad for the sport either because we feel that they aren’t the least bit talented, or we think they are poor ambassadors and give the sport a bad name, or maybe we’re just disgusted by their attitudes!
For me, it’s all about the attitude. I can’t stomach prideful, haughty fighters who are their own biggest fans. I get too emotionally involved—I get angry when they win! Once again our opinions will differ greatly on this subject. In any case, here is my list of ‘The Five Least Likeable MMA Fighters’, with no expounding except to say that their attitudes really tick me off!
1. Brock Lesnar
2. Phil Baroni
3. Houston Alexander
4. Brian Stann
5. Mark Coleman & Kevin Randleman (Tie)
Dishonorable mentions go to Frank Trigg, Kimbo Slice, Shonie Carter, and Dan Severn.
Well, there it is, folks! Not the most thought provoking, fact-filled, or ground-breaking article, but hopefully an enjoyable read, and a little fun.
Until next time,