We are all aware of the class hierarchy involved in the game of mixed martial arts. There are the best of the best, like Anderson Silva, Georges St-Pierre, Cain Velasquez and Jose Aldo, among other UFC champions.
Next, you have the true title contenders that are also among the very elite fighters in the world, fighters like Junior Dos Santos, Mauricio Rua, Gray Maynard and Rashad Evans. These men are gamers who are expected to contend for the title or be in and near the top three in their respective weight classes.
After those two classes, you have an unbelievable number of fighters who want to be considered for the title, who have been or are working towards that next class. Experienced veterans hanging on by a thread and young up and coming lions ready to make that jump are all in this mix and jockeying for that chance to get to that next level.
Out of this class comes the dark horse for the title—the man who may not be a sure thing to get there but who gets there anyway through hard work, determination and timing.
Here are my top three dark horses for the title in each weight class of mixed martial arts.