Countdown to MMA's Greatest: Part 4

Todd ParmeleeSenior Analyst IJune 22, 2008

The rankings so far have been: #33 Shinya Aoki, #32 Don Frye, #31 Pat Miletich, #30 Mark Kerr, #29 Igor Vovchanchyn, #28 Josh Barnett, #27 Sean Sherk, #26 Tim Sylvia, #25 Dan Henderson, #24 Ken Shamrock, #23 Tito Ortiz, #22 Frank Shamrock, #21 Uriaj Faber, #20 Cro Cop, #19 Sakuraba, #18 Matt Hughes, #17 Lyoto Machida, #16 Wanderlei Silva.    

#15 Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua (6'0 201 pounds)

The 26 year old Rua has a 16-3 record with noteworthy wins over Quinton Jackson, Ricardo Arona, Kevin Randleman, and Allstair Overeem.

Shogun dominated the light heavyweight division in Pride but suffered a setback when he recently lost to Forrest Griffin. A win against Griffin would have setup a rematch against Jackson. 

Rua was supposed to fight Chuck Liddell in June, but he's recovering from a knee injury. The fact that Rua is young (he won't be 27 until November) and he has dominant striking skills (13 TKOs) make him a likely candidate to crack the top ten soon. The one question that remains may be how he fairs in the UFC’s Light Heavyweight division, which is arguably the toughest division in all of MMA

#14 Rickson Gracie (5'10 185 pounds)

Gracie’s professional record is listed as 11-0.  He is a legend in MMA circles and a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu champion. Rickson is tough to rank because of his limited MMA record, which spans nearly twenty years. 

There was a rumor over two years ago that Rickson would come out of retirement to fight in December of 2006.  That never materialized and it looks like the 50 year old Gracie is officially retired from MMA competition. 

#13 Dan "The Beast” Severn (6'2 250 pounds)

Severn has compiled a 86-15-7 record during a long and illustrious career.  Severn’s reputation does suffer, though, from not knowing when to call it quits.  Severn still fights, despite being 50 years old.

He recently fought against Pavel Botka on May 3rd 2008, losing via decision. 

His reputation also suffers from his lack of fighting against top tier competition. Severn is a UFC Hall of Famer who defeated Ken Shamrock when Shamrock was in his prime and won by decision against a young Forrest Griffin.

Severn is a substitute teacher and runs mixed martial arts classes in the Michigan area. 

 #12 Takanori Gomi (5'8 154 pounds)

Gomi suffers from not being a household name in the United States as he has spent most of his career fighting in Japan.  He has compiled an impressive 28-3 record.  The 29 year old has noteworthy wins over Jens Pulver, Duane Ludwig, and Marcus Auriello.                        

Gomi is scheduled to fight in the Sengoku 4 event in Japan in August.

 #11 Bas ‘El Guapo’ Rutten (6'1 205 pounds)

Rutten is probably known more for his work in the broadcast booth because injuries cut short a promising MMA career in which he compiled a 28-4 record.

Rutten has noteworthy wins over Kevin Randleman and Frank Shamrock. 

Rutten took a nearly ten year layoff before he defeated Ruben Villareal in 2006.   The 43 year old has since gone back into retirement.