MMA: The Most Overrated Fighter in Each Weight Division

Mark PareCorrespondent IIOctober 10, 2011

MMA: The Most Overrated Fighter in Each Weight Division

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    There is plenty of depth nowadays in each of the weight divisions.  Developing fighters over the years through smaller organizations and even through The Ultimate Fighter TV series, we see plenty of talent come through and have much hype going into bigger fights.

    There are those, however, who don't usually live up to the hype.  For all the talk about these fighters, they clearly have holes in their game and though they have the ability to pull out wins at times, the fights themselves don't usually get talked about, other than how disappointing the fight was.

    Here are the most overrated fighters in MMA, one for each division.

Heavyweight: Roy Nelson

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    There is no question that Roy Nelson is a great fighter, don't get me wrong.  However, with what we saw in his last couple of fights, getting pushed into these high profile bouts, he has definitely choked on some crow.

    Since defeating Stefan Struve in March 2010, his fights against Junior Dos Santos and Frank Mir have exposed his one weakness: his belly.

    It has been much talked about that the strength that got Nelson the T.U.F 10 championship is the very thing that's kicking him in bigger fights.

    Even Joe Rogan has gone on record during his bouts that Nelson could drop to light-heavyweight if he lost the belly and stopped his current diet of cheeseburgers and fatty foods.

    For all the hype coming out of his UFC debut, he hasn't lived up to it, but he will remain a high profile fighter in the division for a while, just don't expect anything spectacular.

Light-Heavyweight: Ryan Bader

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    Another division, another former T.U.F. winner.  Ryan Bader quickly climbed the UFC ladder, defeating the likes of Carmelo Marrero, Keith Jardine and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.

    He was undefeated until he ran into Jon Jones.  Jones submitted Bader and since then, Bader has slipped up.

    He went into his fight with Tito Ortiz as a heavy favourite to put the former UFC light-heavyweight champion into retirement.  Instead, Ortiz earned his first win in over four years.

    Bader hasn't exactly had the most exciting fights, other than his first round KO over Vinny Maglhaes—the win that earned him the six-figure UFC contract.

    Bader has a fight against Jason Brilz at UFC 139.  A loss could possibly see him earn a one-way ticket out of the UFC.  For going from a high profile bout against Ortiz to fighting for your UFC career in a span of a year, Bader is the most overrated fighter in the light-heavyweight division.

Middleweight: Michael Bisping

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    Sorry guys, just another T.U.F.  winner that just can't get in line for a title shot.

    It's not for a lack of trying, it just seems that Bisping couldn't cut it at light-heavyweight and moved to middleweight at UFC 83.

    He has gone 7-2 since his move, including four finishes, but with a record like that, why hasn't Bisping gotten a title shot?

    It is because he is overrated and it doesn't help matters when you spit on your opponent after you knocked him out.

    He is the coach on the new season of The Ultimate Fighter, opposite Jason "Mayhem" Miller and will fight Miller at the finale.

    A win may move him up the ladder for a shot at the title but if his win isn't that impressive, he will fall down the ranks.

    For Bisping, he really hasn't been taken seriously since his "win" over Matt Hamill but then again, we can just blame the judges on that one.

Welterweight: B.J. Penn

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    B.J. Penn was the benchmark of the lightweight division and was touted as one of the better pound-for-pound fighters in the world.

    However, he just can't beat GSP.  His loss at UFC 94 proved that even though he was dominant at 155, he shouldn't move back up.

    He did.

    He lost the title and subsequent rematch against Frankie Edgar and although he looked powerful against Matt Hughes and Jon Fitch, he will never be a champion again.

    He is a well known fighter that could one day make the UFC Hall of Fame, but for the purposes of looking where he is now, the spotlight on him and what his future may hold, Penn has yet to live up to the hype.

    Until he beats Georges St. Pierre, Penn will always be overrated.

    Yes, we can say the same about Jon Fitch, but Fitch has proved to be consistent in the division.  His only loss in the UFC was against GSP and we have to go all the way back to 2002 to find the last time Fitch has lost against anyone else.

    B.J. Penn = overrated for the welterweight division.

Lightweight: Anthony Pettis

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    Remember a year ago when Anthony Pettis was supposed to fight the winner of Frankie Edgar/Gray Maynard to unify the WEC and UFC lightweight championships?

    Skip forward and we finally have justice between Edgar and Maynard and Pettis is in the midst of falling down the UFC ladder.

    He lost to Clay Guida in June and he pulled out a split decision win over Jeremy Stephens this past weekend at UFC 136.

    It's amazing the difference a year makes but for all the hype from Pettis' infamous kick to Ben Henderson at the final WEC event to becoming a victim of circumstance, to falling out of title contention makes Pettis the most overrated fighter in the lightweight division.

Featherweight: Kenny Florian

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    Kenny Florian is an excellent fighter.  He shows well rounded skills and is one of the most complete fighters in MMA.

    When the title is on the line, it just doesn't seem that way.

    For everything Florian has done, he just can't seem to seize gold if his life depended on it.

    He lost his third title fight in the UFC against Jose Aldo at UFC 136 and when it comes down to it, with everything he has done and not living up to that billing when in a big fight, Florian's name is fitting of the word "overrated."

Bantamweight: Urijah Faber

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    When you think of the bantamweight division, you think of Urijah Faber.

    The California Kid is one of the most exciting fighters in the game and we know he can get the job done but it's not a matter of what you have done, it's a matter of what you have done lately.

    He earned a unanimous decision win over Eddie Wineland in his UFC debut and got a shot at Dominick Cruz.  Cruz and Faber put on a "Fight of the Night" performance at UFC 132, but for the amount of skill that Faber has, this fight really disappointed me.

    Who knows, it may have been that Cruz was simply better that night but since Faber lost the WEC Featherweight Championship to Mike Brown in November 2008, Faber hasn't really struck me as the same fighter.

    He is a marketer's dream but when we look at what he's done recently, he is the most hyped fighter in the division and without a belt to show for it, we can say Faber is overrated.

    What do you think?  Who is the most overrated fighter on this list or any other fighter you think could get added to this list?

    Post your comments below but be respectful.  Let's have a healthy debate on the issue.

     

    Mark Pare is a Featured Columnist. You can follow him on Twitter and don't forget to check out his sportswriter page.