When faced with the objective of giving an all-time lineup of your favorite sports team, I originally thought of the baseball teams and football teams (European football and American football). Then I began to think of how I could bring my true love, MMA, into the fold. Then, eureka, a fantasy IFL team.
Heavyweight: Fedor Emelianenko
Fedor may go down in history as the greatest heavyweight in history, if not as the greatest pound for pound fighter in history. There is no way that you can keep him off the list.
He is what baseball people like to call a five-tool player. He has submissions, takedowns, striking, ground and pound, and cardio. He is an almost assured win.
Alternate: Mirko Cro Cop
Yes, Mirko over Couture. I know I'll catch flak for this, but his striking and takedown defense make him a very formidable opponent. Not to mention he is arguably the greatest striker in history.
Light Heavyweight: Wanderlei Silva
Wanderlei Silva may have been one of the most intimidating and reckless fighters in history. His attack, attack, attack mentality made him downright scary to go against. His cardio is some of the best in history and with his sharp knees and wild powerful punches, his rapid pace is hard for anyone to handle.
Alternate: Rampage Jackson
I know the Chuck fans are going to go nuts here, but this man has beaten Chuck twice and has some of the most vicious slams in the business. Pair that with his solid striking and effective knees, and he is a force to be reckoned with.
Middleweight: Anderson Silva
As the No. 1 fighter pound for pound right now, holding wins over Rich Franklin, Nate Marquardt, and Travis Lutter. Anderson may go down as the best middleweight of all-time and possibly the greatest UFC champion of all-time.
Alternate: Kazushi Sakuraba
Sakuraba single-handedly revolutionized MMA in Japan. His defeats of the Gracies brought worldwide attention to the new MMA promotion and may have just brought enough of the spotlight to attract top competitors from the UFC to battle in Japan.
Welterweight: Georges St. Pierre
I am in fact going to be bold here and go with GSP as a better fighter than both Hughes and Royce Gracie. I believe that GSP is more well-rounded and his athleticism is unparalleled in this sport. For this he gets the start.
Alternate: Royce Gracie
Royce is the man who brought the UFC to life in its very beginnings. For this the true legend of MMA gets the alternate spot.
Lightweight: BJ Penn
BJ may be the most well-rounded fighter in the UFC. He can finish fights standing with lightning quick blows and knees. However, he is most famous for limb crushing submissions. This world class Jui Jitsu practitioner is no joke and may hold the UFC lightweight title until he retires.
Alternate: Takanori Gomi
Gomi may be the greatest lightweight striker of all-time and his crisp, quick shots make anyone who steps to bang with him timid. His bricks have one-shot knockout power. For his explosive striking he gets the alternate.
Although the IFL does not actually include featherweights on its rosters, I believe the man sitting atop the featherweight ranks deserves mention.
Featherweight: Urijah Faber
Faber's slick wrestling skills and insane cardio make him a very undesirable opponent for anybody at 145. His improvisational style makes him not only a ticket seller, but a loose cannon that is unpredictable to his opponents. Talk about a deadly combination!
Alternate: Jens Pulver
Jens may have lost to Faber, but when Jens fought in his prime at 155 he was good enough to earn the UFC lightweight title. If that Jens fought at 155, watch out Urijah!
If there was an Olympic event for MMA this dream team would take the cake easily. (Yes I do realize that they are from different countries). However, if there were ever a dream team, this is it.