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Anderson Silva, Jon Jones and the 20 Most Dominant Fighters in MMA Today

Andrew BarrCorrespondent IAugust 29, 2011

Anderson Silva, Jon Jones and the 20 Most Dominant Fighters in MMA Today

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    Anderson Silva defeated Yushin Okami this past weekend, at UFC 134, defending his middleweight championship for the ninth time and extending his record-setting win streak in the UFC to 14.

    With this win, Silva has further solidified himself as the most dominant figure in mixed martial arts, but there are tons of fighters out there chasing after the title of "most dominant man in MMA."

    While most fighters are miles behind Silva in terms of dominance, there are still many fighters in MMA right now who are on tears of their own.

    Due to the unpredictability of MMA and the many ways a fighter can lose a bout, it's always impressive when a fighter manages to be a consistent force with their division.

    Here's a look at the 20 most dominant fighters in MMA today...

Honorable Mentions

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    Ronaldo Souza

    Rashad Evans

    Rory MacDonald

    Dan Henderson

No. 20: Cole Konrad

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    Current Win Streak: 8 fights

    Wrestlers have long been the dominant force in MMA, and so it's not surprising to see the NCAA Division I star, Cole Konrad, on this list.

    Konrad is the current Bellator heavyweight champion and is 8-0 in his professional career.

    If he hopes to move up this list, Konrad will need to step in the cage with some more high-level competition —Bellator has slim picking, as far as top talent goes— and also finish some more fights.

No. 19: Ben Askren

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    Current Win Streak: 8 fights

    Ben Askren's story is very similar to Cole Konrad's.

    Ben is a decorated amateur wrestler who made the transition into MMA.

    He is the Bellator welterweight champion and undefeated in his first eight fights.

    Like Konrad, Askren will need to win some more fights and beat some more notable opponents if he wants to move up this list.

No. 18: Daniel Cormier

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    Current Winning Streak: 8 fights

    What a surprise, another decorated wrestler on a list of dominant MMA fighters.

    It's not secret that wrestling is the best background a fighter can have heading into mixed martial arts, and the number of wrestlers you'll see on this list only proves that point further.

    Daniel Cormier is currently fighting for Strikeforce and has made his way into the Strikeforce Grand Prix, defeating Jeff Monson to become an alternate for the tournament, and then entering the mix when Alistair Overeem was forced to pull out.

    Cormier is a perfect 8-0 and will be looking to establish himself as a huge up-and-coming prospect by defeating Antonio Silva later this month.

No. 17: Melvin Guillard

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    Current Win Streak: 5 fights

    Level of opposition faced and number of finishes are relevant factors when looking at a fighter's dominance, and what is why Melvin Guillard is sitting ahead of a few men who have longer winning streaks than him.

    Melvin has won his last five fights and finished three of those opponents with strikes.

    He is considered one of the best strikers in the lightweight division and has showed on many occasions how quick and lethal his hands can be.

    People are starting to consider Melvin a force to be reckoned with in the UFC's lightweight division and a win over Joe Lauzon at UFC 136 would likely put him in the hunt for a title shot.

No. 16: Carlos Condit

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    Current Win Streak: 4 fights

    Carlos Condit, like Guillard, is another fighter who isn't necessarily on the longest winning streak, but has ended his last few fights in spectacular fashion and defeated some serious, high-level fighters.

    Condit has finished his past three fights in a row, the men on his hit-list being Rory MacDonald, Dan Hardy and Dong Hyun Kim.

    These impressive victories have gotten Condit noticed, and the UFC currently has him set to face BJ Penn at UFC 137, to determine the No. 1 contender for Georges St-Pierre's welterweight title.

No. 15: Eddie Alvarez

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    Current Winning Streak: 7 fights

    Eddie Alvarez is the Bellator lightweight champion and one of the most promising young prospects in the sport.

    Despite not having competed in the UFC, Alvarez has a reasonable number of wins over quality opponents.

    Some of the bigger names on his resume are Pat Curran, Roger Huerta and Josh Neer.

    Alvarez has great striking, accentuated by having vicious power in his hands and, right now, this guy would probably be a handful for any lightweight on the planet.

No. 14: Chad Mendes

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    Current Win Streak: 11 fights

    Chad Mendes is considered by most to be the No. 2 ranked featherweight fighter on the earth.

    He is undefeated and his win streak is impressive, but Mendes will need to finish fights more often and face some higher-level competition if he wants to climb this list.

    Unfortunately for Mendes, the UFC's featherweight division is its weakest one, and so there are not that many serious contenders for Mendes to fight.

No. 13: Gray Maynard

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    Current Win Streak: 0 fights

    Gray Maynard's last fight went to a draw so he technically isn't on a win streak, but before that draw he had won eight in a row.

    Maynard has never been beaten and has defeated some of the most prominent lightweights in the world. Names like Frankie Edgar, Kenny Florian and Jim Miller come to mind.

    The only thing preventing Maynard from being higher on this list is the manner in which he has been winning fights. Many of his wins have been by decision and two of his last three decision victories were split-decisions.

    At UFC 136, he is fighting Frankie Edgar for the third time and if Maynard wins, he could shoot up into the top ten.

No. 12: Gilbert Melendez

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    Current Win Streak: 5 fights

    Gilbert Melendez is the Strikeforce lightweight champion and arguably the greatest 155-pound fighter outside the UFC.

    He is a very well-rounded fighter, possessing fearsome striking, a strong ground game and incredible speed.

    The only thing stopping Melendez from climbing higher up this ladder is the lack of competition for him in Strikeforce.

    This guy needs to make his way over to the UFC as soon as he can.

No. 11: Alistair Overeem

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    Current Win Streak: 7 fights

    Alistair Overeem is believed by many to be the best heavyweight fighter outside of the UFC—though it looks like he'll be signing with the promotion soon enough.

    Overeem is often noted for his striking, given that he is a K-1 champion, but he also has a slick submission game to complement his kickboxing.

    For years, 'Reem was tearing through opponents in the heavyweight division and fans became frustrated that he wasn't taking on any high-level competition.

    Earlier this year, he silenced those critics, defeating Fabricio Werdum via unanimous decision. Werdum was considered a top ten heavyweight at the time the two men fought.

No. 10: Nick Diaz

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    Current Win Streak: 10 fights

    Not only has Nick Diaz won 10 straight fights, one of the longer streaks on this list, he has finished nine of those 10 fights.

    The thing holding him back, a problem many of the fighters on this list, is the level of competition he has faced.

    Realistically, the best competitor Diaz has fought during his win streak was Jason Miller at the Strikeforce: Nashville post-fight brawl —and that wasn't exactly a fair fight.

    Coming off a stunning KO victory over Paul Daley, people are beginning to take Diaz more seriously as a legitimate top contender, but he still has some work to do if he wants to be talked bout amongst the elite.

    Diaz is set to face Georges St-Pierre at UFC 137. That fight should let us know, for sure, whether the scrappy kid from Stockton has what it takes to hang with the best in the world.

No. 9: Hector Lombard

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    Current Win Streak: 18 fights

    Hector Lombard has the longest winning streak of any fighter on this list with 18 consecutive wins, 14 of those wins being finishes.

    However, literally none of those wins have been over any sort of relevant competition.

    Lombard's stats look great, but even the best can-crusher out there can only make it so far up this list.

    This guy needs to get himself into the UFC, or at least Strikeforce, so that the world can see if he really is that good, or if he just looks good because he's fighting nobodies.

No. 8: Jon Fitch

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    Current Win Streak: 0 fights

    Like Gray Maynard, Jon Fitch is technically not on a win streak right now because his last fight ended in a draw. Before that fight, Fitch had won five in a row.

    Fitch loses some points for rarely finishing a fight, but he also gains some points for using his special brand of grinding to completely shut his opponents down. In so many of his fights, he's been able to use the exact same strategy to neutralize his opponent's offense and sap their will.

    Not everyone is keen on Fitch's style, but at 13-1-1 in the UFC, no one can argue its effectiveness.

    After being stuck on the sidelines for most of 2011 with a shoulder injury, Fitch was recently given the okay to fight again.

    Expect him to be making his return to the cage sometime soon.

No. 7: Dominick Cruz

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    Current Win Streak: 9 fights

    Dominick Cruz is the UFC's current bantamweight champion and one of the most unique and fun-to-watch fighters in the sport.

    Cruz has his own special style of striking that makes him effective because it's so unusual and so difficult to prepare for.

    If I had to describe Cruz' stand up, it's something like if you were to cross Frankie Edgar with Keith Jardine.

    Awkward looking or not, Cruz' style has worked well for him, allowing him to go without defeat in his last nine outings.

    The only thing keeping Cruz from a higher spot on this list is his lack of finishes and how close some of his fights have been. When he fought Joseph Benavidez in 2010, he only won by split decision, and his most recent fight with Urijah Faber was also a closely contested matchup.

No. 6: Cain Velasquez

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    Current Win Streak: 9 fights

    Cain Velasquez is on a tear right now.

    This guy is undefeated, currently holds the UFC Heavyweight Championship, and has finished eight of his nine opponents.

    Recently, Velasquez has been showing off some much-improved stand up, easily dominating the likes of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Brock Lesnar on their feet.

    There's really nothing Velasquez could be doing any better right now. He just needs to keep winning fights and he'll move up the list.

No. 5: Junior Dos Santos

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    Current Win Streak: 8 fights

    Some may be surprised to see Junior Dos Santos ahead of the UFC heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez, but I think it's legitimate.

    Dos Santos has fought more of the division's top talent than Velasquez has and often looked more impressive in victory, accumulating several highlight-reel knockouts since entering the UFC.

    Velasquez also showed that he had some holes in his armor when he fought Cheick Kongo, but Dos Santos has not had that kind of revealing performance yet.

    Which of these two is truly the more dominant force will be settled later this year when they meet in the Octagon.

No. 4: Jose Aldo

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    Current Win Streak: 12

    Jose Aldo is one of the most explosive and dynamic strikers in MMA.

    His vast superiority to those in his weight class when it comes to striking, combined with his solid grappling skills, have made him nearly untouchable.

    Aldo is in a position similar to Anderson Silva, in that he is the king of a relatively weak division and so there are not a lot of guys to challenge him.

    As a result, Aldo's resume is littered with so-so fighters, and that's stopping him from being slightly higher on the list.

    Still though, he is one of the best fighters in the world today and probably only two wins away from being considered the greatest featherweight fighter of all time.

No. 3: Jon Jones

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    Current Win Streak: 4 fights

    UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is only on a four-fight win streak right now, but if he hadn't accidentally got himself disqualified against Matt Hamill, he would be on a 14-fight streak.

    We still need to see quite a bit more from Jones in terms of testing himself against elite competition, but no one—not even Anderson Silva—has looked as dominant as Jones has on his way to the top.

    Not one of Jones' opponents has been able to come close to beating him. Most have been unable to mount any significant offense, period.

    A lot of people are touting Jones as the next stage of MMA and given that he is walking through all his opponents, is a UFC champion, is only 24 years old, and has no serious holes in his game, it's hard to disagree with them.

    Jones will defend his championship for the first time at UFC 135, against Quinton Jackson. Jackson is just the kind of big name that Jones needs to beat in order to keep building his legacy.

No. 2: Georges St-Pierre

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    Current Win Streak: 9 fights

    Some might disagree with Georges St-Pierre's placement on this list, given how much I've emphasized the importance of finishing throughout this list, but St-Pierre is sort of the exception to that rule.

    He might not finish fights often, but he frequently dominates his opponents in all areas and is usually able to completely shut down their offense en route to his victories.

    St-Pierre also has one of the most impressive resumes of anyone on this list.

    His current nine-fight streak consists of names like Matt Hughes, BJ Penn, Matt Serra, Jon Fitch, Thiago Alves, Josh Koscheck and Jake Shields.

No. 1: Anderson Silva

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    Current Win Streak: 15 fights

    Nobody should be surprised to see Anderson Silva atop this list—both because it's obvious that he deserves the spot and I also think I mentioned in the opening slide that he was No. 1.

    Silva holds the record for the most consecutive wins in the Octagon with 14, shattering the previous record of eight.

    He also holds the record for most consecutive title defenses, shattering the previous record of five.

    In addition, he also has the second most fight bonuses in UFC history, with eight.

    During his time in the UFC, only one man has really given Silva a run for his money and that man was on PEDs. Other than that, Silva has been walking through everybody.

    He resume might not be as impressive as St-Pierre's in terms of quality of opposition, but Silva's many unforgettable finishes and many broken records more than make up for that.

    Without a shadow of a doubt, Anderson Silva is the most dominant fighter in MMA today.

    Andrew Barr is a Featured Columnist for Bleacherreport.com. For updates on what's happening in the world of MMA, follow him on Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/AndrewBarr8

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