Strikeforce Columbus: Dan Henderson and the Top 10 Chins in MMA Today
Despite winning via decisive knockout last night, Dan Henderson was dropped and hurt in the first round of his title fight against Rafael Cavalcante. However, he was able to make a split-second recovery and hold on to gain a single leg takedown and ultimately, the victory.
Henderson has faced an array of dangerous strikers in his MMA career such as Anderson Silva, Quinton Jackson, Vitor Belfort, Wanderlei Silva, etc. Yet, he has not suffered one T/KO during his lengthy career.
The following are the top 10 chins in MMA today.
No. 10: Chris Leben
Although he was on the losing end of a technical knockout in his last fight against Brian Stann, you cannot deny that Leben has one of the most granite jaws in MMA.
The only other person to KO Leben was Anderson Silva, in the latter's UFC debut. An excellent example of Leben's chin was in the Akiyama fight, where Leben was basically knocked out on his feet, but still coming forward.
Joe Rogan summed it up perfectly in that fight, "Chris Leben's a zombie..."
No. 9: Jon Fitch
Fitch has been knocked out once in his career, in a light heavyweight fight against Wilson Goueveia. His UFC record stands at 13-1-1, with his only loss being to welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre.
Fitch took an immense beating and was dropped several times in the GSP fight, but his stamina and will to survive kept him in that fight until the final bell.
No. 8: Chris Lytle
Despite having over 50 professional MMA fights, the Indiana native has only been stopped twice in his career, and both stoppages were due to cuts.
Although fellow veteran Brian Ebersole came close with a lethal knee, Lytle's chin is generally regarded as one of the best in MMA. Even renowned striker Thiago Alves never came close to knocking Lytle out (although he did win the fight due to a cut on Lytle's face).
No. 7: Quinton Jackson
Rampage has lost by knockout only three times in his career, and those were inflicted by two of the most violent fighters in the history of the sport.
Rampage was knocked out in two classic fights against Wanderlei Silva, and he was never really knocked out cold in the beatdown against Shogun Rua.
No. 6: Fedor Emelianenko
Although it appears as if Fedor is now on the downside of his legendary MMA career, the Russian pioneer has never been truly knocked out.
Evidence of his great chin is on display in his fights against Kazuyuki Fujita and Kevin Randleman. Especially in the Kevin Randleman fight where Fedor was slammed on his head and seemed literally unfazed.
No. 5: Anderson Silva
Anderson "The Spider" Silva has never been knocked out in his MMA career, and he has never been close to being knocked out.
His great chin was on display in the Chael Sonnen fight, where the challenger continuously took Silva down, battering him with solid shots until being beaten with a last gasp triangle/armbar combination.
No. 4: Clay Guida
You see that picture? That's Clay Guida's face rebounding off of Diego Sanchez's shin.
Clay Guida is the epitome of durability in the ring. The guy has taken vicious shots and is able to come back at his opponent due to his seemingly endless supply of cardio, grit and determination.
The Diego Sanchez fight was a great example of Guida's chin. Guida was nearly knocked out in the first round with a brutal left high-kick, but came back and arguably won a decision.
No. 3: B.J. Penn
The Hawaiian prodigy has fought all over the world against the likes of Lyoto Machida, Georges St-Pierre, Jon Fitch, Matt Hughes, etc.
He has two T/KO losses, although those were against larger fighters, not to mention that B.J. has never been knocked out cold. Furthermore, he has never suffered any knockdowns in his MMA career.
No. 2: Mauricio Rua
During his Pride days "Shogun" has shown an excellent chin against the likes of Rogerio Nogueira and Alistair Overeem.
Shogun's only T/KO loss was against Mark Coleman, when Rua broke his arm after being thrown to the mat.
We will definitely see Shogun's chin put to the test against near mirror-image of his 2005 self, in Jon "Bones" Jones.
No. 1: Dan Henderson
Dan Henderson truly has the best chin in Mixed Martial Arts.
He has fought such a high caliber of opponent throughout his 35 fight career and neither one of them has come close to knocking him out. This is a guy who is a relatively average sized 205-lb. fighter, yet he fought Rodrigo Nogueira when Nogueira was 230 lbs.
Henderson has also fought a list of devastating strikers; Rampage Jackson, Anderson Silva, Vitor Belfort, Rafael Cavalcante, Wanderlei Silva, Rogerio Nogueira, etc.
In my opinion, Henderson has the undisputed best chin in the sport of MMA.