This is an article about the present state of fighters in the entire MMA world. This is not an article of skepticism or of assumption. You won't hear things about the future of fighters, like, "Oh give him another year and..." or about the past, "in his prime, he would have...” No. That's not what this article is meant for.
The MMA world has seen many fighters' careers go up, down, and all around in the past year, and it's been because of the skill level of fighters going up. Way up.
This article is about fighters who have persevered and done well in recent history, as well as those who have not done as well when they should've.
We'll also highlight those who have neither performed poorly or exceptionally, but have fared neutral as of late. As always, comments are welcome, but idiocy is not. Read, and then write please.
MMA Hot-Streak Fighters
1) Thiago Alves
Let me start off by saying that I am not a fan of Thiago Alves. To be quite honest, I could probably be the head of the anti-Alves movement. However, his results cannot be denied.
He's 6-0 in the past two years, with his last lost coming to current No. 1 contender, Jon Fitch, two years ago yesterday. Alves might be wearing gold around his waist if he took half as much time to train as he parties with women. If he takes this sport seriously, he could give GSP something to worry about.
2) Mike Swick
Another guy who I am not a fan of. I used to be a fan of Swick, when he fought with the intensity of the guy who created the "Swickatine". Now, Swick ekes out wins by counterpunching and takedowns.
Again, with seven wins to only one loss to Yushin Okami since 2005, not much can be said against Swick. I feel if he lets his hands go, he's another that can push the pace with GSP.
3) Urijah Faber
We all know this name. "The California Kid" has dominated the featherweight division in the WEC for the last few years, and no one has done anything about it. Jens Pulver, who was undefeated at his natural weight of 145 lbs., suffered his first defeat at the hands of Faber in May, and it was one of the many highlights in Faber's career.
Faber's on a 13-fight win streak, and has looked as dominating as the UFC's Anderson Silva has. Much like Silva, Faber seems to be moving up in weight to avenge the only loss in his career to the UFC veteran Tyson Griffin.
Faber's a world class athlete, and one can only hope that if he decides to settle down at 155 lbs., he'll stay there.
4) Anderson Silva
Yes, I think we all know how dominating Silva has been at 185 lbs., and hopefully that consistency remains as he moves up to 205 lbs. Silva has seven wins in the middleweight division, and four title defenses over solid contenders.
Silva very deservedly has proved that he is tough to beat, no matter where the match may go, and the sky is the limit for the native of Curitiba, Brazil.
5) Jake Shields
Shields has hit a point in his career where he can flourish for years to come. The 29-year old is 9-0 since 2005, with consecutive wins over very considerable opponents such as Dave Menne, Yushin Okami, and Carlos Condit.
Shields shows a mean streak, and has a tough fight coming up against Nick Thompson. If he wins, look for Shields to make headway into the UFC sometime next year.
MMA Not-So Hot Fighters
1) Rich Franklin
While Franklin has always come back stronger than ever after his losses, he still shows that he cannot, and will not, be able to beat guys like Anderson Silva. He is a nice benchmark fight for any contender to Silva's belt, but it'll be tough to see Franklin fight Silva in a third bout without some serious activity in the next year.
2) Matt Hughes
Yes, at one time he was the most dominating fighter at 170 lbs. Now, like Franklin, he serves as a decent benchmark for newcomers to GSP's reign. Hughes will have his fight against Serra next, but after that, it's tough to see where he fits into Dana White's plans.
Like Franklin, without some serious wins over the welterweight division's best, Hughes won't be touching gold again.
3) Tim Sylvia
Yes, we all know he has the biggest fight of his career in July when he meets Fedor Emelianenko. However, he has been rewarded this fight by default. Fedor hasn't fought anyone of name-value since Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic in 2005, and Sylvia lost his last fight in the UFC to Antonio "Minotauro" Nogueira a short time ago. Sylvia will probably lose to Fedor, and from there it all goes downward...
4) Tito Ortiz
I would assume most would agree with me on this one. He hasn't looked like the "Huntington Beach Bad Boy" as of late, and with losses to Lyoto Machida and Chuck Liddell, and a draw with Rashad Evans, his career seems to be on the decline.
Ortiz is supposedly starting his own promotion, opposite his rival UFC president Dana White, and he may fade out within the next year.
5) Wanderlei Silva
Listen, I understand he had a crazy KO victory over Keith Jardine, and just as easily Jardine could be filled in on this spot, along with Frank Mir, or Brandon Vera. But all of these guys, including Silva, are guys I expect to rebound nicely, and start their winning ways again. Silva must win again to stop doubters from early retirement talk.
1) Fedor Emelianenko
Please don't tell me this guy’s the best in the world. He rarely fights. There's not enough activity to be proclaimed the best. Let’s see how he looks in July.
2) Rashad Evans
At times he seems like he's doing well, then he puts up a bad effort. I understand he remains unbeaten, but anyone who knows MMA knows that he lost to Tito Ortiz (though it was a draw), and his bout with Bisping didn't look all that great either. He must devote himself and get better to move on.
3) Chuck Liddell
It seems as though, with his last fight, he looks to be back on the comeback trail, but remember prior to his fight with Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, he hadn't really gone a full-fight's length. His last two fights have been "un-Liddell-like", both being decisions. Look for him to show more power.
With a win over Shogun, Griffin rebounded off his disastrous loss to Jardine. It's been an up-and-down year for Griffin, but he can make it all worth it come July 5.
5) Paulo Filho
This guy is the definition of this section. He has yet to post a fight this year, and his last win over Chael Sonnen was a very questionable one, with Filho losing the first round decisively. It now looks like Filho is on the comeback trail, but it'll be at least September until we see Filho back in action.
I hope not too much controversy is sparked over this article. Please someone vote me pick of the day! Just kidding, but do it if you want. And another note, the order in which I put fighters is not anything special, just a random feeling. Keep it clean, and I'll be posting again soon!