The Top 10 MMA Fighters Who Refuse To Give Up
MMA is a brutal sport and almost every fighter is guaranteed to take a serious beating sometime in their career.
Some fighters cry and run away after said beating and some fighters may never be the same again.
One cannot blame them for doing so, it's not easy to be humiliated and beaten to a pulp in front of a screaming crowd.
However, there are a few warriors in MMA who, no matter what, haven't even thought about quitting.
Bloodied and beaten, it doesn't matter if their brains have been bashed in with a club.
All these fighters will do is stand up, spit the blood from their mouths, grit their teeth and fight on.
These are the top 10 fighters who refuse to give up.
Henderson's destruction of Shields in the first round of their bout was downright embarrassing for Shields.
Henderson dropped him multiple times with that famous right hand of his and it seemed inevitable that eventually Shields would just wouldn't be able to take it anymore.
Perhaps Henderson should have finished the fight when he had the chance.
After several moments in the first round of the fight where he seemed to be on the brink of defeat, Shields defied all the odds to dominate the rest of the fight, taking down Henderson at will—which is amazing considering Henderson is a former Olympic wrestler.
Henderson never had a chance in that fight again.
Pulver is a true warrior. He has lost five straight fights and seven of his last eight; yet he still comes into each bout with a burning desire to win.
Imagine being reduced from a former lightweight champion to that.
He still comes to each fight ready to fight and never seems tentative or scared once he steps into the cage. His last fight was a perfect example of this.
Even though he was on a four-fight losing streak, he still fought well and only barely lost to an armbar.
Named the "Philippine Wrecking Machine" for a reason, Munoz is a rising prospect in the middleweight division. As shown in his last fight, he has a valuable quality in that he has a stubborn refusal to give up.
In his most recent fight, he was shown a formidable challenge in the 6'6 Kendall Grove.
After being completely "wrecked" in the first round by the reach, striking and excellent ground game of Grove, Munoz used his experienced wrestling to his advantage and took Grove down.
In Grove's guard, Munoz used vicious ground and pound to take home the victory.
With that kind of will to win and that vicious ground and pound, Munoz can never be counted out in a fight.
10. Dan Hardy
Hardy recently got a title shot at UFC welterweight champion Georges St.-Pierre for a few reasons.
1. He has an iron chin, so nobody has been able to put him away.
2. There was nobody else to fight for the title at the moment.
3. He has the heart of a lion.
He definitely proved the last point in the fight. Although he was trapped in two excruciating submissions while being dominated in the entire five round affair, never did he show signs of giving up.
He had a hard earned shot at the title, winning several split decisions to slowly advance up the ladder to the upper echelon of the division.
While he may not be ready just yet to be the welterweight champion, expect him to constantly aim for another title shot. After all, it is in his nature to never give up.
9. Mizuto Hirota
I knew literally nothing about Hirota before his fight with Shinya Aoki, but that fight alone along with his history of not giving up is enough to earn him a spot on this list.
Previous to that fight, Hirota had never been finished in the 16 fights he had fought in his career.
During his fight with Aoki, Hirota was immediately taken down by the world class jiu-jitsu specialist.
There, in what can only be described as an Aoki submission, Aoki sunk in a hammerlock and cranked it. It was painful to even watch, but Hirota refused to tap.
A crack followed soon after, and Aoki proceeded to give the finger to his opponent and the entire crowd. Hirota may not be able to fight for quite a long time, but his heart and refusal to tap was astonishing.
8. Carlos Condit
Whenever Condit steps into a cage, there will be a war.
Against Martin Kampmann, he definitely demonstrated that point by going all in for the duration of the fight, losing only a close split decision that most likely could have gone either way.
It took him two rounds of being outclassed to wake up vs. Rory MacDonald, but when he woke up, boy did he wake up.
He knew he was behind on the scorecards, so he had nothing to lose. However, with a frantic and almost desperate effort, he started to push the pace.
The fight progressed to the ground and Condit managed to impose his vicious and brutal ground and pound to take him the victory with just seven seconds left on the clock.
Now that's what I call heart.
7. Chris Lytle
Lytle is the ultimate gatekeeper and is undoubtedly the best test for rising talents. The worthy and elite fighters can just barely pass him, but any fighter that isn't top notch doesn't stand a chance.
In fact, the fighters he has lost to in the past seven years are all still known and rising fighters.
To get an idea of just how much heart Lytle has, look at his record. At first glance, it may not seem impressive, as his 28 wins and 17 losses seem only mediocre.
Look closer, and you will find that Lytle has never been submitted or literally "knocked out."
That's right, out of 17 losses Lytle has, 15 came by decision, one by controversial doctor stoppage against Thiago Alves in 2007, and one by cut in 2005 against Joe Riggs in his prime.
Few fighters can boast such an achievement. If you look even closer at his record, you will discover that most of his losses also came in the beginning of his career.
Indeed, Lytle's record has fooled many people into thinking he is a can. Instead, it would seem that from his recent results he is getting better with age.
6. Chan Sung Jung
His nickname, "The Korean Zombie," speaks for itself. Aside from being one of the best nicknames in MMA, it has a fair amount of truth in it.
He fights like a zombie, relentlessly pursuing his opponent for the the entire fight. All while holding his hands at his waist.
It doesn't matter if he absorbs loads of punishment, in fact, he usually does. That doesn't stop him from always coming forward, even if it means taking several shots to the face in the process.
The best part of his strategy is that, miraculously, it actually works.
Aside from two terrible decisions, Jung has never lost. So far, his unstoppable persistence has served him quite well.
5. Wanderlei Silva
Wanderlei Silva is a frightening individual, possibly the scariest fighter ever to step into the octagon.
His epic stare-down alone would make some of the toughest fighters wet their pants just at the prospect of fighting him, let alone actually doing it.
But perhaps the scariest thing about his stare-down is that he backs it up. He looks at you like he wants to kill you, and in the fight it's almost as if he actually does.
He goes in an all-out war with anybody who survives the first round against him and fights with the ferocity of a lion.
Since that style of fighting makes for exciting fights, he is an overwhelming favorite among fans.
Win, lose or draw, this guy can just never be mentally broken.
4. Urijah Faber
Urijah Faber's mentality is quite amazing. It seems that in no matter what condition, he will fight on.
Break his hands? Not a problem for the California Kid. Pshht, who needs hands anyway? Just throw spinning back elbows.
It's incredible enough that he chose to keep on fighting, but he managed to not even be finished and only lose a unanimous decision.
How about his legs? What if they get repeatedly bombarded with heavy kicks that would probably render any normal human being to never walk again?
Again, no problem. He ended up going to a decision in that fight as well. You could probably chop his head off and he'd still find a way to keep on fighting.
No wonder he was champion for so long. He simply doesn't know how to give up.
3. Scott Smith
In the 23 fights he has had in his career, Scott Smith has only let one fight go to a decision. He goes all in every time, and when watching him you can be sure there will be a finish.
Not content to just prevent a fight from going the distance, Smith makes sure to prevent it in spectacular fashion.
In fact, in the recent fights he has won, he was losing quite badly. Against Benji Radach, Smith was getting outfought in all the aspects of the game before he somehow knocked Radach out in the third round.
Against Cung Le it was the same story; he was picked apart for most of the fight until the final minute and a half in the third round where he KHTFO.
Perhaps his most famous come from behind victory is against Pete Sell. Well, for this one I'll just let the picture do the talking. Remarkable how the whole thing can be described with one word.
2. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
Throughout his whole career, Nogueira has been famous for coming back from the brink of defeat to miraculously pull off an amazing submission.
He doesn't just submit weak fighters either; Nogueira once submitted Mirko Cro Cop in his prime after being completely outclassed in the first round and some of the second.
From somehow pulling off an armbar after getting pummeled by nearly ten minutes to Bob Sapp in 2002, to managing to get a guillotine against Tim Sylvia in 2008 after being pounded for two rounds, Nogueira has made a living out of coming back from the brink of defeat.
Nogueira has already cemented his legacy as a fighter who never gives up, but after years of punishment his iron chin is finally starting to show signs of weakening.
It doesn't matter though, he would still survive a truck hitting him full on at 60 miles per hour. Compared to Mr. 300 pound of muscle Bob Sapp head slam, that would be a breeze.
1. Clay Guida
No other word could describe Guida better than caveman. He looks like one, fights like one and probably smells like one.
In his fights, nonstop pursuit is not only everything, it is the only thing.
To be perfectly honest, without it he would a terrible fighter. Mediocre striking, bad ground game. On paper he seems easy to beat.
Actually in a cage however, it is a different story. In almost all of his fights he can be seen using his unusual strategy, just putting loads of pressure on his opponents and just refusing to give up.
It some cases it has worked too, Guida has beaten such formidable fighters like Josh Thomson, Marcus Aurelio, Mac Danzig, and Nate Diaz.
But out of all the fights, if I had to pick one, there is no contest. His fight with Diego Sanchez is one of the best of the decade.
In the first round, Sanchez is just pouring it on him—head kicks, hooks, just straight punches—you name it. Think of the worst beat-down you have ever seen. It is 10 times worse than that.
There is no way anybody could have survived that first round. But Guida did. And went on to win round two and almost win the whole fight, just barely dropping a split decision.
A huge accomplishment, and it earned him the eternal respect of many fans and, of course, the top spot on this list.