The Best Strikers In Every UFC Weight Class
MMA is constantly evolving, and a good fighter has to be well rounded in all skills. However, there are many fighters who are known exclusively for their excellent striking.
This is a list of the best strikers in every weight division in the UFC. Some weight classes were harder to decide than others, so feel free to disagree in your comments below.
Bantamweight: Dominick Cruz
Dominick Cruz has one of the most unique and unorthodox fighting styles in MMA. He is in constant movement and always pushes the pace. His fighting style is hard to adapt to and it constantly confuses his opponents.
In his last bantamweight title defense He landed a total of 243 strikes. This is a WEC record and is the second highest amount of strikes landed in a professional MMA match.
His unique style will continue to confuse opponents and now that he is the first UFC bantamweight champion, he will be able to showcase his unique style.
Featherweight: Jose Aldo
There is NO question who is the best striker in the Featherweight division. Jose Aldo is arguably the most explosive striker in all of MMA.
Seven of his eight fights in the WEC have all ended by TKO or Knockout. The only fight that went to the judges was his WEC 48 bout against former champion Urijah Faber.
I honestly believe this was a fight Jose Aldo could have ended at any time as he dominated Faber for all five rounds.
He is the first UFC Featherweight Champion and he will continue to dominate his division for as long as he chooses.
Lightweight: BJ Penn
This was one of the hardest divisions to judge who is the best striker. If BJ Penn had not lost to Frankie Edgar twice, the decision would be much easier.
Honestly this is a toss-up between Anthony Pettis, Frankie Edgar and BJ Penn.
Frankie Edgar has excellent footwork and constantly moves in and out. He lands strikes and before his opponents realize it he is already out of harm’s way.
He will receive a lot of criticism about his striking based on his UFC 125 fight with Gray Maynard, which ended in a draw.
No fighter dares to try the kicks that Anthony Pettis has successfully landed. If we were deciding who the flashiest striker was he would win hands down.
He will soon be able to prove if his striking can last in the UFC when he fights the winner of Edgar/Maynard III to unify the WEC and UFC Lightweight belts (if he gets past Clay Guida).
For now I cannot help but pick BJ Penn. He was known for his crisp boxing and demolished many fighters with his striking.
He made Diego Sanchez’s striking seem childish, and who could forget his knee against Sean Sherk?
Penn is coming off of a win against former welterweight champ Matt Hughes. Penn knocked out Hughes very early in the first round, and for now, I will give BJ the benefit of the doubt and place him as the No. 1 striker in the lightweight division.
Welterweight: Thiago Alves
Okay, before people start screaming out GSP, this is about the best striker not the most well rounded fighter.
GSP has great striking but it is his other skills that have allowed him to dominate strikers such as Thiago Alves and Dan Hardy. In this division I have to pick Thiago Alves.
He has crisp Muay Thai and is a very technical striker. After losing to GSP and Jon Fitch, many questioned Alves' place in the division.
He has rebounded successfully, showcasing his technical expertise and scoring a unanimous decision against John Howard. He will next face Rick Story, a fight that could be very interesting due to the explosiveness of both fighters.
Middleweight: Anderson Silva
Another easy choice. Anderson Silva is not only the best striker in the Middleweight division but he is without question the best striker in the UFC.
No other striker has been as dominant in the UFC and I do not think any fighter will ever match his accomplishments in the UFC.
Anderson Silva is set to face off against another deadly striker, Vitor Belfort, at UFC 126. If Anderson can get past him he will then defend his title against Yushin Okami.
After the Okami fight, the only logical choice would be a super-fight with GSP. We can only hope the UFC will be smart enough to make this fight happen.
Light Heavyweight: Shogun Rua
This division is just full of fighters who have great striking skills. Lyoto Machida's counterstriking style has gotten the best of him lately and Rashad Evans has been relying more on his wrestling as of late. (A great idea to continue if he wants to beat Shogun).
This division is constantly changing champions and Jon Jones may someday become the best striker in the division.
As of right now, Shogun Rua will be the king of the strikers. He has a very explosive style and he is capable of knocking out anyone in the division.
His style is very unorthodox and it even got the best of Lyoto's amazing counterstriking. He will soon face Rashad Evens for the Light Heavyweight title at UFC 128.
Heavyweight: Junior Dos Santos
The obvious choice in this division is clearly Brock Lesnar. He has consistently shown that he has no weakness in his standup and does not rely on only wrestling.
Just in case you thought I was serious, every MMA fan knows how horrible Lesnar's standup game is.
Junior Dos Santos has the best technical striking in the division. I will admit it can be easily argued that Cain Velasquez is the best striker.
Junior Dos Santos is set to coach the next season of TUF and he will fight Brock for the opportunity to test his striking against Cain.
I am truly excited to see Lesnar fall to another striker. I am more excited for the potential fight between Junior and Cain.