UFC 129 Fight Card: Georges St-Pierre and the 10 Most-Questioned Chins in MMA
Just because a fighter may have a questionable chin doesn't mean they have a bad chin.
It likely means they don't get hit enough to show how good or bad it really is. They may have a great chin, but if fans are questioning it, it probably hasn't been tested recently enough to prove it.
For others, their chins are so fragile that it brings up a question of why their chins are so weak. Fighters get dropped by light jabs, knocked down by grazing blows and sometimes knocked out cold by punches that barely even land.
Whether the chins are good or bad, these are 10 fighters' chins that are always questioned.
No. 10: Lyoto Machida
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There is no shame in getting knocked out by a power puncher like Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, as was the case in his unsuccessful title defense at UFC 113. It was the first of the back-to-back losses Machida is currently dealing with.
Still, for the former UFC light-heavyweight champion known as "The Dragon," Machida doesn't get hit enough to show how good his chin is.
This can be a good and a bad thing.
With defensive-minded fighters like Machida, not getting hit can sometimes lead to very negative results when an opponent actually does land on them.
No. 9: Georges St-Pierre
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Simply put, UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre doesn't get hit much.
This can be credited to his defensive fighting style, where the risk is not worth the reward in most cases. It is what has helped the pound-for-pound star obtain his current eight-fight win streak.
The last time he was hit clean and hard was against Matt Serra in their first bout, and everyone knows how that ended. Serra has power, but until St-Pierre shows he can take a shot and recover, his chin should remain on the list of the most questionable.
Once St-Pierre can't rely on his physical abilities as much as he does now, the question may finally be answered. Until then, it's only worth wondering.
No. 8: Mirko "Cro Cop" Flipovic
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If Mirko "Cro Cop" Flipovic does fight again before retiring, the Pride Open-weight Grand Prix champion better take his health and chin into consideration.
He has been knocked out brutally several times in his career, dating all the way back to 2004 when he was dropped and KO'd by Kevin Randleman.
Other KO losses followed in the UFC against Gabriel Gonzaga, Brendan Schaub and Frank Mir—three fighters who also have questionable chins. He also was dropped twice by Pat "HD" Barry before submitting the former kickboxer in the third round.
There is never a guarantee a heavyweight can't get knocked out, especially when they are undersized in almost every fight against opponents who can weight up to 265 pounds.
No. 7: Thiago Silva
There haven't been too many cases where fighters get knocked out like Thiago Silva did against Lyoto Machida at UFC 94. After being thrown to the canvas with 1 second left in the first round, Machida dropped a right hand on Silva to knock him out cold. Referee Yves Lavigne waited a moment before waving off the bout as Silva couldn't recover.
His chin hasn't been tested since then, and with a possible 2-year absence from the sport due to a positive drug test following his UFC 125 bout, it may be a while before we find out for sure how good it really is.
No. 6: Alistair Overeem
Of Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem's 11 losses, six are by knockout. They came against Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (x2), Sergei Kharitonov, Chuck Liddell, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Bobby Hoffman.
Despite being one of the very best heavyweight MMA fighters and kickboxers, Overeem still has a questionable chin.
So why is his chin still questioned since going undefeated since his last loss in 2007?
Even after a successful kickboxing career, shouldn't Overeem be accustomed to getting hit by some of the hardest punchers in the sport?
It might be due to his cardio, which was a major issue when he fought at 205 pounds. He has fixed it since then, and it may just have been the problem.
No. 5: Brock Lesnar
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Former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar doesn't have a bad chin, and he proved that in the Shane Carwin fight.
Still, there are a lot of questions that come with his reaction to getting hit.
Pressure can break fighters, and it doesn't take much to get Lesnar on the defensive side. Whenever he gets hit, he goes into a defensive mode by falling to the ground and covering up while hoping to avoid more strikes.
Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't, but Lesnar will need to work on getting hit to be able to take shots from a dangerous striker like his next opponent, Junior Dos Santos.
No. 4: Kendall Grove
Middleweight fighter and Ultimate Fighter winner Kendall Grove is the tallest fighter in the division at 6'6". At that height, fighters usually have a pretty good defense and can avoid taking a clean shot. When one does get through, it can sometimes be lights out followed by a long fall to the canvas.
Grove has suffered knockouts against Patrick Cote, Jorge Rivera, Joe Riggs, Mark Munoz and Hector Ramirez.
You need to prove your chin is legit if you want to eventually fight middleweight strikers like Anderson Silva, Wanderlei Silva and Vitor Belfort. Grove hasn't done that yet, and it's his chin that prevents him from doing so.
No. 3 :Keith Jardine
Getting hit like light-heavyweight fighter Keith Jardine did in his fight with Thiago Silva isn't a good way of proving how tough your chin is. He got knocked out for the fourth time in his career in that fight, and it wouldn't be his last.
He followed up on that loss with another KO loss to Ryan Bader in the third round of their bout. Previous KO losses came against Houston Alexander, Wanderlei Silva and Travis Wiuff.
Jardine has always had one of the more questioned chins in the sport.
He put on solid performances against the likes of Chuck Liddell and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson without getting knocked out while taking some solid blows to the chin.
No. 2: Andrei Arlovski
Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski didn't have a very good start to his career, and the end doesn't look too bright either.
In his debut bout against wildman Viacheslav Datsik, the Belarusian-American fighter was knocked out in the first round.
It would be the first of seven knockout losses in his career, including those against Tim Sylvia, Sergei Kharitonov, Brett Rogers, Fedor Emelianenko, Pedro Rizzo and Ricco Rodriguez.
Currently on a four-fight losing streak, Arlovski is looking to return to the ring. He has also expressed interested in boxing. That is a scary thought if his chin is as bad as we think it is.
No. 1: James Thompson
“[James Thompson] has a chin made out of Cinderella’s favorite slipper."—Mauro Ranallo's quote after Thompson was knocked out by Brett Rogers.
Watching DVDs doesn't help your chin, and Thompson has 11 KO losses to prove that.
Thompson is a strong heavyweight, but his chin is easy to crack. Just ask any of the fighters to get their hands on him. He has been knocked out by Aleksander Emelianenko, Butterbean, Kazuyuki Fajita, Rogers, Neil Grove and six others.
His record since 2006 is 3-12-1.