UFC Power Rankings: Jose Aldo and the 5 Best Fighters Nobody Is Talking About
Last weekend, we saw UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones successfully defend his title for the first time since winning it back in March.
Jones has been one of the most popular fighters in the UFC, alongside other champions Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre.
The UFC is slowly building into one of the most popular sports in the world and is seemingly adding new fighters each and every day.
Because of this, not every fighter can be covered or talked about and many talented fighters don't get the recognition that they deserve. With the absorption of the WEC, the UFC has added two more weight classes, and several more fighters, which has made covering every fighter an impossibility.
Some of the top fighters in their respective divisions, including featherweight champion Jose Aldo, have been overshadowed by other fighters.
Fighters who are undefeated or on tremendous hot streaks may miss out because they may not be as popular as others.
With the growing popularity of mixed martial arts, the amount of talent not being talked about will only grow.
Here are the top five fighters no one seems to be talking about.
5) Carlos Condit
Before coming to the UFC, Carlos Condit was the king of the welterweight division in World Extreme Cagefighting.
After capturing the vacant title in 2007 against John Alessio, Condit went on a three-fight win streak and none of them went to a decision.
Condit has made a name for himself as a finisher, whether it be on the feet with his excellent striking, or on the ground with his sensational submission skills.
The UFC would absorb the WEC's welterweight division and "The Natural Born Killer" would make his UFC debut in 2009 against a tough Martin Kampmann and lost a close split decision.
Since then, Condit has gone on a tear with four straight wins, including knockout victories over former No. 1 contender Dan Hardy and the always tough Dong Hyun Kim.
However, after those victories, it seemed that Condit was not receiving the praise that he deserved.
In his fight with Hardy, it was the Brit's first fight since losing to Georges St-Pierre for the UFC welterweight championship.
Hardy was dominated, but was able to roll out of two submission attempts and kept the fight interesting, which is more than I can say for other St-Pierre victims.
After Condit was able to score the knockout victory, he received some praise, but more attention was sent towards Hardy as he had not only suffered back-to-back losses, but suffered his first knockout loss in his career.
The UFC did not believe Condit was ready to challenge for the title just yet and threw talented wrestler Kim his way, and Condit went right through him at UFC 132.
Condit had defeated two top 10 fighters in the division and the UFC still did not think he was ready as he was slated to face BJ Penn at UFC 137.
However, fate seems to work in mysterious ways, as Condit will finally get his title shot against St-Pierre and he got it just by showing up to a mandatory press conference.
No. 1 contender Nate Diaz did not show up to two mandatory press conferences and UFC President Dana White was forced to pull him from the main event and put Condit in his place to face St-Pierre.
In a division that has only focused on the French Canadian cleaning it out and moving up to face Anderson Silva, Carlos Condit has slowly risen to a top contender to put that move on hold.
He should get his deserved recognition if he is able to take down St-Pierre and capture another title.
4) Clay Guida
Lightweight contender Clay Guida has certainly had his ups and downs in the UFC.
One thing is certain, however: Guida puts on an entertaining fight every time he steps into the Octagon and leaves it all on the line.
He rebounded nicely from the losses and has since gone on a four-fight win streak.
The 29-year-old put together three straight impressive submission victories over Shannon Gougerty, Rafael dos Anjos and former Pride lightweight champion Takanori Gomi.
There was a good chance that Guida would face the loser of the Gray Maynard and Frankie Edgar title fight in January, but since the fight ended in a draw, a rematch was needed and Guida had to wait for an opponent.
Another fighter who had to wait for an opponent was No. 1 contender and WEC lightweight champ Anthony Pettis, who was eager for his first fight in the Octagon.
Instead of waiting for the third fight between Maynard and Edgar to take place, Pettis decided to fight again and got Guida as an opponent.
Guida went up against a high-flyer in Pettis and controlled the fight, picking up the unanimous victory.
In my eyes, Guida showed enough in the victory to earn him his first title shot, but all of the focus in the division seemed to be on Edgar, Maynard and Jim Miller, who was on a seven-fight win streak at the time and thought of as the next challenger for the belt.
After Miller's streak ended in a fight against former WEC lightweight champion Ben Henderson where the New Jersey native was dominated, Henderson threw another wrench in Guida's title plans.
While all of this was going on, Guida sat respectfully on the sidelines, waiting for the UFC to call with his next opponent.
As much as Guida wanted to fight for the title, he was one of those fighters who would do whatever the UFC told him and go up against whoever they chose for him.
Now, Guida will take on Henderson in the UFC's first card on Fox and, with a win, will find himself in the top three of the division.
3) Junior Dos Santos
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When talking about the UFC heavyweight division, one name tops the others as the most-talked about: Brock Lesnar.
The former professional wrestler has been out of action since the end of The Ultimate Fighter due to a second stint of diverticulitis. He had to pull out of his fight against opposing coach Junior dos Santos.
In his place, Shane Carwin stepped in and was dominated by the superior striking of dos Santos.
"Cigano" has had a steady climb up the heavyweight ladder. The UFC has put top talent in front of him and he has won with ease.
With the win over Carwin, dos Santos earned a title fight against current champ Cain Velasquez on the UFC's first card on Fox.
Even with the title shot in hand, it seems that dos Santos is not getting the recognition that he deserves. Going undefeated in any division in the UFC is tough for any fighter and dos Santos has made it look easy.
However, dos Santos has gone incognito as there has been more interest in Lesnar's return and his fight against former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem than there has been for a title fight between two undefeated fighters in the UFC.
Not being the center of attention does not seem to bother dos Santos, but with a victory against Velasquez, he will find himself the talk of the town in the heavyweight division.
2) Dominick Cruz
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In October of last year, the UFC absorbed World Extreme Cagefighting and most of its featherweight, bantamweight and lightweight rosters.
Two new UFC titles were created for the bantamweight and featherweight classes and were awarded to the top fighters in the WEC.
The bantamweight championship was awarded to Dominick Cruz, who won the WEC title back in March of last year over Brian Bowles.
After losing to Urijah Faber for the WEC featherweight title, Cruz has gone on an amazing hot streak, winning nine straight fights and defeating talented fighters in Joseph Benavidez, Scott Jorgenson and Faber in their rematch in Cruz's first UFC title defense.
Cruz will face another fighter who does not seem to be talked about much in Demetrious Johnson.
Johnson will be one of the toughest tests in Cruz's title reign, but if he can notch another victory, his status as an elite fighter will continue to grow as will his winning streak.
As impressive as Cruz's streak has been, he and featherweight champion Jose Aldo have been overshadowed by the higher weight classes in the UFC.
Fighters like Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre have been watched and cheered for since the organization's beginning while Cruz and Faber are still considered new faces.
Like any new fighter, it will take some time for the amount of fans to increase, but if Cruz's UFC wins continue to pile up, he will be one of the more popular fighters faster than we know it.
1) Jose Aldo
Featherweight champion Jose Aldo takes the cake as the best fighter that no one is talking about.
Just like Cruz, Jose Aldo has gone on an impressive hot streak since losing his last fight back in 2005.
Aldo has won 12 fights in a row and, unlike Cruz, has done so in dominating fashion.
Out of Cruz's nine straight victories, only one of them has gone to a decision. In Aldo's 12 victories, he has finished more than half of them.
The most impressive was that against Cub Swanson when he landed a double flying knee only eight seconds into the fight, ending it quickly and taking the knockout of the night awards.
There are not a lot of fighters out there who can land a flying knee, let alone a double flying knee, which is just another example of Aldo's talent.
In Aldo's first UFC fight, he took on Canadian Mark Hominick in his backyard in Toronto.
The fight went to a decision, but Aldo did everything he could to end the fight early. However, Hominick had no quit in him and continued to push forward, even with a massive hematoma on his head. The fight took fight of the night honors easily.
UFC fans' first taste of Aldo was not his most impressive performance, which is one of the main reasons he has not been talked about as much as he deserves.
Over time, however, there is no doubt that Aldo's talent and finishing ability will emerge in the UFC, skyrocketing the Brazilian to one of the most popular fighters in the sport.