What is it about a beard that we all love so much?
It's a tough thing to define, but I think we love beards because they remind us of a simpler time.
You see a beard and what do you think of? A lumberjack, a farmer, Amish people... Zeus, Chuck Norris, how cool you, yourself, would look with a beard, or...I'm getting off track.
There's a certain simplicity to a beard, just as there is a certain simplicity to fighting.
We live in a complicated world these days and it's nice that two guys can step into a cage, shut out the world, and it's just them in there. There's something pure about that.
That's why we love a fighter with a beard. We see them in that cage —with their beards— and we wish that our lives could be that pure and simple.
...Either that or the beards just look cool. I don't really know what I'm talking about.
Anyways, let's take a look at the greatest facial hair we've ever seen in the UFC.
These fighters are not ranked in any order because that would be pointless. Among a list of bearded men, there can be no losers, only winners.
We never really saw it in the Octagon, but Matt Hughes can grow some solid facial hair.
Matt grows out his face fuzz during his time away from mixed martial arts, when he goes on hunting trips.
If that deer was still alive, it would compliment Hughes on his beard.
When asked why he never sports facial hair in the Octagon, Matt said that he couldn't stand the idea of someone punching his beard.
I tried really hard to find a better shot of Brock Lesnar with a soul patch, but I'm ultimately glad that I could not. That way I can spare all of you the visual torture of looking at a close up of this monstrosity.
Lesnar will appear again later in this list and redeem himself, but this soul patch is a shameful attempt at facial hair.
I'm sorry you all had to see this.
Here we see Court McGee sporting a beard referred to by many as the "Leonidas," made popular by Gerard Butler in the movie "300."
Court's is a slight variation, as he does not sport the mustache, but the basic concept of short on the sides and longer at the bottom, stretching out to a point, is there.
If McGee needed to lose an extra half pound at the weigh-ins and was presented with the option of either shaving his beard, or giving up half his earnings, I bet he would keep the beard.
This one isn't complicated and it doesn't need to be. It's just a standard full beard, neatly groomed.
Earlier in his career, Jeremy Stephens could be seen sporting a chin-strap, one of the more frowned upon forms of facial hair.
We can forgive him for that, though, because he has learned the error of his ways and upgraded to the full beard.
It's nice when a fighter's facial hair says something about who they are.
When Jim Miller fights, he is a wild man.
I don't know about you guys, but when I look at Miller in this picture, with his manly and slightly unkempt beard, that's exactly the impression I get.
By traditional standards, Keith Jardine's goatee is actually pretty awful. The long part is too scraggly.
However, sometimes certain people can pull things off for reasons that are unexplainable.
Keith pulls this beard off.
I am 90 percent sure that the whole reason Nate Marquardt needed testosterone therapy is that his body was using most of its testosterone to grow this awesome beard.
Very few men can pull off a goatee and a mullet.
Harold Howard is not one of those men, but the goatee looks good.
Johny Hendricks has one of the bushier face-warmers on this list.
You would think that he's celebrating his victory over Admir Sadollah, but he's actually just really stoked about his beard.
Liddell makes this list because he chose his facial hair and he stuck with it.
It may not be the coolest beard in the world, but he's had it for so long that it is a part of him.
A Chuck Liddell without that facial hair would not be a Chuck Liddell that we know.
After suffering back-to-back knockout losses to Paul Daley and Rick Story, Dustin Hazelett decided to strategically grow his beard out.
Good luck knocking him out now, fighters. How are you going to find his chin under all of that super-manly facial hair?
Randy Couture is one of the most badass guys on the planet, and sporting a beard helps him to look the part.
Nothing else really needs to be said. I'll let the beard do the talking.
During his tenure with the UFC, Cheick Kongo has been mostly clean shaven.
However, Kongo grew out the old food-trap leading up to his fight with Patrick Barry—as if he needed to look any more intimidating.
The beard may very well have won that fight for Cheick. He came about as close to getting knocked out in the first round of the fight that anyone can come. A little bit less padding, and he might have gone unconscious.
Heath Herring is a jack of all trades when it comes to facial hair.
Over the course of his career, Heath has tried out many different styles of beards, some of which looked bad, some of which which looked okay.
You have to respect a man who is willing to experiment with his facial hair. How do you you think awesome things like handlebar mustaches and mutton chops were invented?
Herring also pulls off the standard full beard pretty well.
Two years ago, Carlos Condit lost a split decision to Martin Kampmann.
Then he grew a beard.
Since then he has won four straight fights.
There you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Beards win fights.
Don Frye is a menacing man with a menacing mustache.
Mustaches are one of the most underrated forms of facial hair and have been donned by such great men as Tom Selleck, Mahatma Gandhi and Ned Flanders.
Alessio Sakara is a man who loves his tattoos, as you can tell just from this shoulders-up picture of him.
One night after having a bit too much to drink, Sakara had much of his jawline tattooed and almost immediately regretted the decision.
He grew that hair jungle on his face to cover it up.
It all worked out in the end; his beard looks awesome.
Look at that little smile.
Do you know why Robbie Lawler smiles that little smile, dear reader?
You guessed it. It's because he has a beard.
Robbie's beard is so thick and impenetrable that the U.S government hides military secrets in there.
I told you Brock would be back to redeem himself, and boy, is he ever!
It's surprising that it took Brock as long as it did to grow out his beard.
He lives in the middle of nowhere and his house is surrounded by acres of forest. Lesnar loves the simple things and has described himself as a "meat and potatoes" kind of guy. Brock also enjoys hunting.
How can a man like that not have a beard? It should be mandatory for him to have at least a five-o'clock shadow at all times.
The way Jon Fitch fights and his beard have a lot in common.
It's not the prettiest thing to look at, but you sure do have to respect it.
Okay, I exaggerated. They have one thing in common.
If you're a parent, keep your children a minimum of 10 feet away from Andrei Arlovski's beard.
A small child fell into it six years ago and has not been seen since.
Tank Abbott is, like Chuck Liddell, a man who is known by his beard. If he shaved it off, you wouldn't recognize him.
Abbott sports an elongated version of a goatee. People often underestimate the usefulness of long beards.
Long beards are surprisingly absorbent and eliminate the need for household products like sponges and napkins.
Dan Severn has a mustache, also known as a mouth hat.
Severn is a legend in the sport of mixed martial arts and has been in 124 professional matches.
His mustache's professional fights have not been as well documented, but it's been speculated that it's taken part in more than 150.
Kimbo Slice's beard is so excellent that it's almost unbelievable.
I'm beginning to suspect that the reason he shaves the top of his head is so that he can glue said hair to his face in order to increase the thickness and length of his beard.
Must investigate further...
People who make jokes about Chuck Norris' beard are facial hair newbies.
Real facial hair enthusiasts make jokes about Evan Tanner's beard.
Because it's way better.
They say that beneath Chuck Norris' beard is not his chin, but another fist.
You know what's beneath Evan Tanner's beard? More beard.