Fans of the UFC can be an impatient sort. They love the KO artists, but boo the submission kings. Fights in the clinch agitate them, and decisions disgruntle. This post goes out to the fighters who fight to win, often at the expense of their fan base.
10) Dan Henderson: Dan is a former Olympic wrestler, and former PRIDE Welterweight and Middleweight champ. Remember, that under UFC weight classes, he would've been the Middleweight and Light Heavyweight champ. He is the only mixed martial artist to concurrently hold two titles in two different weight classes in a major MMA promotion. This spot goes to him because fans in the UFC just don't know how good he is yet. Fans of PRIDE can truly appreciate his talent. Aside from his last two fights, the guy has been a wrecking ball. He is truly a pleasure to watch fight, and it's too bad that UFC fans haven't yet experienced it.
9) Matt Serra: Serra was the first American ever to be awarded a BJJ black belt under a Gracie. As much as I hate to put him on this list, he deserves it. His only losses come to the likes of GSP, Karo Parisyan, Din Thoman, BJ Penn, and Shonie Carter. The guy has an accomplished MMA career, but he couldn't find credit at a PayDay Loans.
8) Sean Sherk: From age 7 to 18, Sean wrestled in over 400 matches. His recent steroid scandal doesn't help his case. Regardless, he is at the top of the ladder in the Lightweight division, and only holds losses from GSP, BJ Penn, and Matt Hughes. He truly is a gifted wrestler, and although his "Lay and Pound" may not be the most exciting, you have to give him credit for standing with Penn.
7) Karo Parisyan: Karo is an interesting case. He holds all the potential to be an exciting fighter, but even noted himself that he doesn't commit himself to the sport, and is trying to give it his all. We are all aware of his disgusting Judo, and watching him really committed should be a pleasure. His biggest knock, is that every time he fights for Number One contender status, he finds a way to lose.
6) Josh Koscheck: In his junior season, Koscheck won all 42 of his wrestling matches. He eventually became a four time Division 1 All-American. Being one of the number one contenders in the most stacked division in the UFC is an impressive accomplishment in itself. He often finds a way to win, even though his fights are utterly infuriating (see: Koscheck-Sanchez).
5) Fabricio Werdum: At the age of seventeen, despite training with white belts, he became BJJ World Champion. He later won this title again, as well as becoming the 2007 ADCC world heavyweight champion and European Jiu-Jitsu champion. He is very technically proficient, and injects raw skill into a division that often lacks it.
4) Rashad Evans: Evans was a two-time All-State wrestler in New York. After High School, he won the National Junior College championship at 165 lb. in 2000. He wrestled in Michigan State and achieved a 48-34 record. His fight style often angers fans, as he presses opponents up against the cage, and appears to do nothing. Realistically, he is just fighting defensively in an offensive position. He picks his poison's, and often wins via decision. I wouldn't have normally put him at number 4, but an undefeated record helps his cause.
3) Lyoto Machida: With wins over former LHW champ Tito Ortiz, former MW champ Rich Franklin and current LW and former WW champion BJ Penn, it is tough to ignore that he deserves a title shot. Unfortunately, his unorthodox stance truly scares opponents...to the point where it is tough to find him a fight. He fights a fight that some will claim is boring, and others will claim as genius.
2) Keith Jardine: Keith can't seem to get any credit. Delving into his past, it is tough to find any sort of impressive credentials. That is, until you look at his fights. A TUF Alum, he holds wins over the current LHW champ Forrest Griffin, and over former LHW champ Chuck Liddell. People whine about Machida not getting a title shot, but where was this guy's?
1) Tim Sylvia: Timmy, Jumbo, Titties, whatever you want to call him, he has never received his due. And yes, I understand that he is no longer with the UFC, but he deserves this spot on the list. Fans despise him for two reasons: the first being his sometimes disgusting physique. His lanky arms and saggy breasts actually have the power to turn off my T.V. The second is that he fights a boring style of fighting. He neutralizes his opponents offense, and will "triple jab his way to victory." Sure, he may be a snooze-fest, but he is arguably the most storied UFC HW Champion ever, and he deserves his due credit.
So please, the next time you're at a UFC event, or at the bar watching, or even at home, feel free to give these guys a little extra cheer. Sure, it might be drowned out with boo's, or even result in you getting beaten up, but it's worth it.
Maybe it's best that we just silently acknowledge them.