UFC 127 Results: Mark Hunt and Our Favorite PRIDE Fighters Now in the UFC
After a very successful kickboxing career, Mark Hunt made a name for himself with MMA fans in PRIDE, where he defeated legends Mirko Filipovic and Wanderlei Silva. However, a five fight winning streak suddenly took a turn for the worse when Hunt fought Josh Barnett in July 2006.
Carrying a six fight losing streak into UFC 127, Hunt's UFC career was undoubtedly on the line. Fighting a wrestling-based fighter in Chris Tuchscherer, Mark Hunt was viewed as the underdog in this fight due to his weak ground game.
However, Hunt was able to keep this fight standing long enough to unleash his excellent striking on Tuchscherer. A former K-1 World Grand Prix Champion, Hunt landed a right uppercut in the second round that dropped Tuchscherer. Instead of pouncing on his opponent, Hunt casually walked away before the referee even called a stop to the fight.
For the many who believed that he was no longer capable of winning in modern MMA, Hunt showed them what happens when a fighter is unable to take him to the ground. If Hunt can keep fights standing he is still capable of producing exciting finishes.
Renzo Gracie was unsuccessful in his UFC debut against Matt Hughes and it appeared that it would also be Gracie's last fight with the organization. However, Gracie was never officially released and has said that he would like to fight again.
Despite his lack of success against top competition, Gracie is still one of the most respected and beloved fighters in MMA. While with PRIDE, Gracie fought Kazushi Sakuraba, Dan Henderson, and Carlos Newton.
Gracie's true success has come through coaching. Gracie has instructed UFC champions Matt Serra, Georges St. Pierre, and Frankie Edgar.
Throughout his career, Vitor Belfort has bounced back and forth between PRIDE and the UFC. While with PRIDE, Belfort fought fighters like Alistair Overeem, Heath Herring, Dan Henderson, and Kazushi Sakuraba.
Now with the UFC, Belfort became a top middleweight contender. However, Belfort was knocked out by another former PRIDE fighter, Anderson Silva, in the title fight. Still, Belfort is widely popular and remains one of the best fighters in the division.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira fought in 10 fights with PRIDE and was extremely successful in the organization. Nogueira defeated a long list of great fighters while with PRIDE including Guy Mezger, Kazushi Sakuraba, Alistair Overeem, and Dan Henderson.
Nogueira's three fights with the UFC have not been quite as impressive, but he remains a fan favorite. Since winning against Luiz Cane in his UFC debut, Nogueira has won a controversial decision over Jason Brilz and lost to Ryan Bader. Next, Nogueira will fight another rising star in Phil Davis.
Antonio Rogrigo Nogueira
Twin brother of Antonio Rogerio, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was one of the best fighters in PRIDE history. In his long time with the organization, Nogueira won fights over Mark Coleman, Dan Henderson, Ricco Rodriguez, Mirko Filipovic, Josh Barnett, and other great fighters.
Despite being plagued by injuries, Nogueira's success continued with the UFC. In addition to becoming Interim UFC Heavyweight Champion with a win over Tim Sylvia, Nogueira also defeated Heath Herring and Randy Couture since joining the promotion.
Surprisingly, Anderson Silva was actually rather unsuccessful as a PRIDE fighter. After winning his first three fights with PRIDE, Silva was submitted in his final two fights with the organization. Since that second submission loss, though, Silva's only loss in 17 fights was by disqualification for an illegal upkick against Yushin Okami.
Undefeated in 13 fights with the UFC, Silva has become regarded as one of the greatest fighters in MMA history. Silva also holds the record for most consecutive title defenses in UFC history with eight in a row.
In 13 fights with PRIDE, Mauricio Rua won 12 fights. The only fight Rua lost was to Mark Coleman as a result of a broken arm. Having defeated Quinton Jackson, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Alistair Overeem, and Kevin Randleman while with PRIDE, Rua was regarded as one of the best fighters in the world when he joined the UFC.
However, Rua would lose to Forrest Griffin in his UFC debut. Rua has rebounded from that loss to become UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, though. Along the way, Rua avenged his loss to Coleman in addition to knockout wins over Lyoto Machida and Chuck Liddell.
A former PRIDE Open-weight Grand Prix Champion, Mirko Filipovic fought nearly all of the best fighters in the world while with PRIDE. Among his competition were Fedor Emelianenko, Wanderlei Silva, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and Josh Barnett.
However, Filipovic has appeared to have lost a step since making the transition to the UFC. Filipovic is 4-4 with the organization and has not been able to defeat any legitimate contenders. However, fans still hold out hope for one more left head kick knockout.
Like Mirko Filipovic, Wanderlei Silva has slowed since re-joining the UFC. A PRIDE champion, Silva recorded wins over fighters like Dan Henderson, Guy Mezger, Kazushi Sakuraba, and Quinton Jackson while with the defunct organization.
Since returning to the UFC after a seven year absence, Silva has gone 2-3 and was chased from the light heavyweight division due to lack of success. In his first fight at middleweight, Silva defeated Michael Bisping. We shall see if the cut to 185 pounds will give Silva's career new life.
Quite possibly the most well-known PRIDE fighter of all, Quinton Jackson has been one of the most successful since coming to the UFC. Jackson lost to Wanderlei Silva in championship and grand prix final fights while in PRIDE.
However, Jackson was able to avenge those losses by knocking out Silva when the two met in the UFC. Jackson also became UFC Light Heavyweight Champion by knocking out Chuck Liddell and would defend his title against Dan Henderson. Jackson's next fight will come against Matt Hamill at UFC 130 in May 2011.
Sean Smith is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report MMA. For the latest insight and updates on everything MMA, you can follow Sean on Twitter @BR_Sean_Smith