Countdown To The MMA's Greatest: The Top 5

Todd ParmeleeSenior Analyst IJune 24, 2008

This is the final installment of the somewhat controversial Greatest MMA Fighters of All-Time piece.   I spent several days researching these fighters and came up with the 33 greatest and no Kimbo Slice did not make this list.

Looking back at it, there were some changes I would make, but I stuck with my initial order.  Also, I appreciate the feedback I have received (positive or negative feedback is welcome).

#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 Urijah Faber
#20 Mirko Cro Cop
#19 Sakuraba
#18 Matt Hughes
#17 Lyoto Machida
#16 Wanderlei Silva
#15 Mauricio Rua
#14 Rickson Gracie
#13 Dan Severn
#12 Takanori Gomi
#11 Bas Rutten
#10 Mark Coleman
#8 Randy Couture
#6 Georges St. Pierre

#5 Chuck ‘The Iceman’ Lidell (6'2 205 pounds)

Liddell is one of the most feared striker in the Light Heavyweight division.  Liddell, who has a 21-5 record,  has noteworthy wins over Kevin Randleman, Vitor Belfort, Wanderlei Silva, Randy Couture, Jeremy Horn and Tito Ortiz.

Lidell is a future UFC Hall of Famer, who is still near the top of his game despite being 39 years old.  .

An intriguing matchup which MMA fans are surely looking forward to is Liddell vs. Anderson Silva if Silva does indeed move up to the light heavyweight division for an extended period. 

#4 Anderson Silva (6'2 185 pounds)

Silva is a long lanky fighter at 6'2 185 pounds that dominates fights with his striking skills.  He is currently a seven-fight win streak and has absolutely obliterated the competition in the UFC’s middleweight division.  Silva will move up to the UFC’s Light Heavyweight division in July. 

The 33 year old  has noteworthy wins over Rich Franklin, Dan Henderson, Jeremy Horn and Carlos Newton.

Silva has seen more success when fighting in the caged octagon as opposed to fighting in boxing style ring, like Pride.  Two of Silva’s losses have come against less heralded Japanese fighters in Pride (Ryo Chonan and Daijui Takase. 

#3 Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (6'3 231 pounds)

An excellent fighter on the ground known for his submission skills (he has won 19 fights via submission).  Nogueira has fought mainly in Japan, in Rings and Pride, during his illustrious career where he has compiled a 31-4 record.   He has noteworthy wins over Josh Barnett, Mirko Cro Cop, Mark Coleman, Tim Sylvia and Dan Henderson. 

The 32 year old is the current UFC interm Heavyweight Champion.

#2 Royce Gracie (6'0 176 pounds)

The 42 year old  UFC Hall of Famer who is synonymous with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  He infatuated early MMA fans by defeating opponents much larger than himself (6'0 176 pounds).   He has notable wins over Dan Severn, Ken Shamrock and Kazushi Sakuraba.

Gracie’s reputation was tarnished May when he tested positive for the steroid Nandrolone Metabolite. Overall it is difficult to rank Gracie because of his overwhelming influence in the sport.

The problem with making a list like this is whether or not Gracie in his prime would be able to compete against today’s MMA fighters, whom are better all-around then the competition back in Gracie’s heyday. 

#1 Fedor Emelianenko (27-1)

This was a no doubter as Fedor has dominated the Pride heavyweight division for years.  The problem is could he dominate the UFC heavyweight division? My answer is yes. 

The former Pride Heavyweight champion has won an astounding 24 fights in a row.  He has noteworthy wins over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (2 times), Mark Coleman, Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filopovic, Mark Hunt and Semmy Schilt. 

Emelianenko will square off against Tim Sylvia on July 19th on the Affliction Banned card.

Rumors have been circulating in the MMA community about a potential matchup against Randy Couture, who is also ranked in the Top Ten. Hopefully, these rumors will come to  fruition. 

Once again I would like to thank everyone who followed this series and I look forward to reading your feedback.  Also be sure to check out my blog

Who is your top 10 of all time?


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