Mixed martial arts is the most dynamic sport on the planet. Physical tools necessary to excel as an ultimate fighter include strength, endurance, speed, eye-hand coordination and power.
In layman's terms, power is referred to as explosiveness. Physiologically, explosiveness is the ability to deliver force quickly.
In short, possessing explosiveness means that a fighter can transfer his strength and speed through his strikes quicker than his opponent.
With the evolution of athletes in this world, each subsequent generation is becoming faster, stronger, quicker and more explosive.
The UFC has benefited tremendously from this evolutionary tract of Darwinian theory.
The explosive abilities of Bas Rutten and Frank Shamrock were a rarity inside the famed Octagon. Nowadays, that explosiveness is the standard that most mixed martial artists possess.
Even though more fighters possess all the necessary traits needed to be successful inside the cage, a select few practitioners stand above the rest with respect to their explosiveness inside the Octagon.
Just a side note: This slideshow pertains to currently signed UFC competitors who are on the active duty list. Sorry, Brock Lesnar—even though you are an explosive dynamo, I did not add you to this list.
Additionally, "The Phenom" Vitor Belfort possesses the most explosive hands in the UFC, historically. His return to the famed Octagon has been short-lived since his recent re-signing.
Therefore, because Belfort does not have a recent body of work illustrating his explosiveness, I have kept him off this list as well.
Please follow along as I provide the most explosive UFC fighters competing today.
I welcome your comments.
At 6'3", 260-plus pounds, Matt "Meathead" Mitrione is not the quintessential explosive fighter inside the Octagon.
But do not let his size fool you. Mitrione possesses devastating power in both hands and delivers his punches with lightning-fast accuracy.
His most recent bout with Christian Morecraft at UFC Live 4 on Versus was a stand-up exhibition by Mitrione.
As I sat cage-side providing analysis for Bleacher Report, I was impressed by "Meathead's" fast hands and strength in his punches. The strikes he landed rattled Morecraft's head and sent the big man reeling to the canvas on more than one occasion, ultimately garnering Mitrione a knockout victory.
With five professional fights to his credit, Mitrione has already amassed four knockout victories within the UFC.
This Duke Roufus prodigy will continue to improve on his overall fight game and rely on his explosiveness as he elevates through the UFC heavyweight division.
Quite possibly a victim of his own marketing machine, "Suga" Rashad Evans is more widely known for his personal feud with current UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and his Twitter soap opera with Quinton "Rampage" Jackson than his talents inside the Octagon.
All slights aside, Evans is an incredible athlete who possesses excellent strength, stamina, footwork and the ability to knock out opponents through his devastating punches and explosive kicks.
A wrestler by pedigree, "Suga" has evolved into an all-around mixed martial artist and is currently the No. 10-ranked pound-for-pound fighter on the planet.
With two Knockout of the Night honors, including a highlight-reel head kick to Sean Salmon in 2007, as well as an explosive knockout of the legendary Chuck Liddell from a thunderous overhand right at UFC 88, Evans continues to implore his innate ability to deliver explosive strikes at any point during his fights.
Evans will need to utilize all his talents as he competes against the very talented Phil Davis at UFC 133 in August of this year.
My No. 10 choice of "Lil' Heathen" Jeremy Stephens may come as a surprise to some.
However, with 14 knockouts in 20 victories inside the cage, Stephens is one explosive fighter.
A lightweight competitor, Stephens has annihilated exceptional talent including Marcus Davis, Rafael dos Anjos and Cole Miller.
An established boxer, "Lil' Heathen" has lightning-fast hands that find their mark, delivering brutalizing punches.
Additionally, a complementary Muay Thai practitioner, Stephens has tremendous power in his kicks and the ability to finish fights with all eight weapons.
A diverse fighter with tremendous explosiveness, this lightweight competitor will need to continue to knock out his opponents to work his way up through this deep UFC division.
Carlos Condit delivered an explosive knee to the chin of the once-undefeated Dong Hyun Kim at UFC 132, catapulting "The Natural Born Killer" into title contention versus the UFC welterweight champion, Georges St-Pierre.
Always possessing explosiveness in his strikes, Condit's aggressive style has awarded the Jackson's Submission Fighting pupil with 13 knockout victories.
Tremendously well-rounded, "The Natural Born Killer" possesses the ability to finish fights with his hands, kicks, elbows and obviously with his knees.
Epitomizing the term explosive, Condit is rightfully deserving of the No. 9 ranking on this list.
"The Crippler" Chris Leben has been a polarizing figure since his debut under the UFC banner as a cast member in The Ultimate Fighter season one.
Outspoken, brash, arrogant and the quintessential punk, Leben has accosted fellow fighters and alienated fans with his attitude and demeanor.
Even though Leben is not a public relations Boy Scout, he is widely recognized for his fighting ability.
Truly one of the most gifted mixed martial artists, "The Crippler" has an iron jaw and fists of fury that have wreaked havoc through the middleweight division.
Prior to his loss to Brian Stann on New Year's Day, Leben had defeated three straight opponents, earning Fight of the Night and Knockout of the Night honors in two of those matchups.
Most recently, "The Crippler's" explosive hands found their mark on the jaw of Wanderlei Silva at UFC 132, knocking out "The Axe Murderer" in only 27 seconds of Round 1.
More of a one-dimensional-style striker who destroys opponents with explosive punches, Leben continues to impress in the UFC middleweight division.
"The All-American" Brian Stann arrived in the WEC promotion like a hurricane, defeating his first five opponents by (T)KO, all in the first round, and capturing the light heavyweight championship title.
Fast-forward two years, and Stann debuted in the UFC middleweight division with the same hurricane presence competing against Chris Leben at UFC 125.
Demonstrating his physical tools, Stann unloaded on "The Crippler" with a multitude of kicks, knees and punches that sent Leben reeling to the canvas, forcing a stoppage at the 3:37 mark of Round 1.
Tremendously explosive, this former Marine and collegiate football player is an all-around athlete with exceptional strength, power, agility, quickness and movement.
Two more decisive victories for "The All-American" should award Stann a title shot against the legendary Anderson Silva for the UFC middleweight crown.
At 6'2", 255 pounds of explosive muscle, this juggernaut steamrolled through his first four opponents in the UFC heavyweight division, including knockout victories over Frank Mir and Gabriel Gonzaga.
His two most recent losses to former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar and the current No. 1 contender for the title, Junior dos Santos, are the only two blemishes on Carwin's mixed martial arts career.
Known for his one-punch knockout power, each opponent who stands with "The Engineer" is aware that his night may be over with one solid punch delivered by Carwin.
Tremendously explosive, possessing heavy hands and continuing to evolve in his overall fight game, Carwin's abilities are what fables are based on.
Junior "Cigano" dos Santos is a human wrecking machine. This soft-spoken Brazilian, humble outside of the cage, is a destructive force inside the Octagon.
Quite possibly the best heavyweight boxer, dos Santos delivers punches with explosiveness and accuracy unrivaled within the division.
Dropping top-tier talent with a single punch, "Cigano" has devastated some of the best in the world, including Mirko Cro Cop, Shane Carwin and Fabricio Werdum.
Lightning-fast hands coupled with explosive power have blessed this Brazilian star and have awarded dos Santos the right to challenge current UFC heavyweight title holder Cain Velasquez for the championship in November of this year.
Fireworks will light up the night sky when dos Santos and Velasquez engage in a battle for the ages in San Jose.
"The Young Assassin" Melvin Guillard is one of the purest athletes to grace the famed Octagon.
With lightning-fast hands and feet, swift movement and tremendous strength and power for a lightweight, Guillard's physical tools are unprecedented within the division.
Couple his athletic ability with his continued maturation under the tutelage of Greg Jackson, and Guillard has become a threat for the UFC lightweight championship.
Possessing the ability to explode at a moment's notice, "The Young Assassin" can turn the tide in a fight instantly.
Most recently, Guillard's destruction of Shane Roller at UFC 132 impressed not only fight fans worldwide, but the UFC brass itself.
A few more decisive victories in which "The Young Assassin" takes out top-tier talent with his explosive striking combinations, and the UFC will be forced to provide Guillard a title shot.
Deservedly the No. 4 choice on this list, Melvin Guillard is truly an explosive fighter.
Anderson "The Spider" Silva needs no introduction to fight fans worldwide. The current UFC middleweight champion is also the No. 2 pound-for-pound fighter on the planet.
Appropriately nicknamed "The Spider," Silva seemingly waits patiently during his fights for his opportunity to strike.
And strike with explosiveness and ill intent he does.
Silva has beaten some of the greatest MMA practitioners the world has ever seen, including Rich Franklin, Vitor Belfort and Dan Henderson.
With lightning-fast punches, explosive kicks and jaw-breaking knees, there seems to be no limit to Silva's abilities inside the Octagon.
Will this legendary icon ever be defeated again inside the Octagon? I do not know that answer. In the meantime, I am pleased to watch Silva's amazing talents as he continues to devastate each opponent who dares to challenge his throne.
Explosiveness is the ability to deliver force quickly—and only one MMA practitioner performs that talent better than Jon "Bones" Jones.
Jones, the current UFC light heavyweight champion, is a genetic freak. There is not a single strike that is outside of the abilities of this champion.
Known for his unconventional offense, including spinning back elbows, spinning back kicks, overhead suplays and destructive knee strikes from the clinch, Jones is an explosive striker who has annihilated his competition.
Being a champion within the UFC requires a little luck, the blessings of a higher power and training.
"Bones" has transformed the athletic ability blessed upon him into a successful mixed martial artist who has fully capitalized on his talents inside the Octagon.
Once in a generation there is an athletic talent that stands head and shoulders above the rest. Basketball had Michael Jordan during the '90s. Boxing had Mike Tyson and now Manny Pacquiao.
Today in the UFC, the one single athletic talent that is greater than all of the rest is current UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo.
Aldo is a genetic anomaly. Designed without a single slow-twitch muscle fiber, the DNA that makes up this current champion must have been engineered in a lab.
This Brazilian star delivers bone-crushing leg kicks, dynamite strikes with his fists, skull-shattering knee strikes and vicious elbows.
Additionally, Aldo's explosiveness is on display as he moves fluidly throughout the Octagon. With the ability to fly through the air at the drop of a dime, Aldo can transfer power in any direction at any time.
The term explosive does not even do this champion justice. His abilities are greater than that definition. However, there is not a adjective to describe the level of talent that Aldo possesses.
Rightfully the No. 1 most explosive fighter in the UFC, Jose Aldo will continue to ravage opponents as he defends his UFC featherweight championship.