They say that second place is the first loser.
However, there is some twisted logic contained within the expression. If you’ve ever had the honor of fighting for a UFC title, it's unlikely you’d trade that in for mediocrity despite walking away empty-handed.
Think of Kenny Florian, who will likely be fighting in his third title fight later this year, when he challenges Jose Aldo for the featherweight strap. Will another expression hold up in “the third time is the charm”?
Beyond fighters who have already challenged for a UFC title and came up short, there are fighters who were champions with other organizations, but that success failed to translate inside the Octagon. Lastly, fighters who have never competed for a title—and despite how good they are—will likely never challenge for a title for various reasons.
With Zuffa Inc. (parent company of the UFC) purchasing Strikeforce, relevant fighters from that organization who could eventually find their way over to the UFC will be included. While this list may seem unbecoming on the surface, think of it as deference to the best fighters that simply fell shy of a success that so few get to revel in. While some on the list may be obvious, it is always good to be comprehensive.
With all that said, let’s get to it.