The Hungriest Up-and-Coming Fighter in Each Weight Division

Riley Kontek@@BigRIlesMMAFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2012

The Hungriest Up-and-Coming Fighter in Each Weight Division

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    There are a number of up-and-coming fighters making names for themselves these days. These fighters are all encroaching on title shots or just getting their feet under them in large promotions like the UFC.

    As seen in every sport, the hungrier the athlete, the better the results. Hunger drives athletes to bring their best every time and prove they are better than their opponents.

    Here are the hungriest fighters in each division. 

Flyweight: Louis Gaudinot

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    Louis Gaudinot has always been a flyweight, but when he entered The Ultimate Fighter, he had to fight at bantamweight, automatically making him one of the smallest fighters on the show.

    On the show and in the finale, he would lose to two fighters, who are considered large bantamweights, Dustin Pague and Johnny Bedford, solidifying his case to return to 125.

    Since then, he has faced off with John Lineker, who missed weight in his first fight at flyweight. Fighting against a much larger opponent on fight night, Gaudinot went out and submitted Lineker in a tough fight.

    With a chip on his shoulder and an irritation for fighting much larger men, Gaudinot is hellbent on reaching the top. With his experience fighting larger men fueling him, he looks to have a bright future.

Bantamweight: Mike Easton

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    Since entering the UFC, not many fighters have been more hungry or energetic as Mike Easton. With only three UFC fights under his belt, which are all wins, Easton's rise to the top is fueled by his hunger to win.

    His path has been slow, but steady. He started off against lower-tier Byron Bloodworth, finishing him with a vicious knockout. He then won a slugfest against middle-of-the-pack Jared Papazian, which showed his all-around prowess.

    In his latest fight, he defeated long-time vet Ivan Menjivar. This was the biggest test to date for "The Beast" and he passed with flying colors.

    Currently, his teammate, Dominick Cruz, holds the belt. If Renan Barao wins the unification bout, expect Easton to gain ferocity on his quest toward the title.

Featherweight: Chan Sung Jung

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    One of the top contenders of the featherweight division is also the hungriest at this current date since Chan Sung Jung has his eyes set on gold. 

    Jung, since two disappointing losses in the WEC, has looked like a man on a mission. He has dazzled the masses with insane finishes as of late. 

    He owns the only ever Twister submission victory in UFC history (vs. Leonard Garcia), he knocked out former title challenger, Mark Hominick, in seven seconds and he submitted a top contender in Dustin Poirier via D'arce Choke.

    Jung is a certified star now. It hasn't gotten to his head yet, as he is still hungry as ever.

Lightweight: Donald Cerrone

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    Donald Cerrone has fought seven times since entering the UFC in February of 2011. He has won six of those fights and pulled in six fight night bonuses in that time.

    That sounds like a hungry man to me.

    Furthermore, he hasn't been shy about calling out top fighters. Anthony Pettis is currently in his sight, which could be a potential No. 1 contender bout. 

    Cerrone has his sight set on the title, and his hunger has him on a fast track to the top.

Welterweight: Erick Silva

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    What is the best way to make a quick name for yourself in the UFC? How about demolishing your first couple opponents in the first round.

    Erick Silva has been nothing less than stellar since entering the UFC. Although he owns a disqualification against Carlo Prater, it was highly controversial. 

    Other than that, he has destroyed Luis Ramos and Charlie Brenneman. The Brenneman fight was especially impressive, as Silva shook off the powerful wrestler en route to a submission win.

    Silva's hunger has earned him high marks and is bringing him top challengers. He will face Jon Fitch in Brazil at UFC 153.

Middleweight: Chris Weidman

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    From unknown prospect to possible title challenger, life in the fast lane has been a dream for the hungry Chris Weidman.

    In his five fights with the UFC, Weidman has dominated the competition. He owns decision wins over Alessio Sakara and Demian Maia, submissions of Jesse Bongfeldt and Tom Lawlor and a brutal knockout of Mark Munoz in his latest skirmish.

    Weidman's hunger has brought him to the brink of the title. If his attitude stays the same, he will hold the belt sooner than later.

Light Heavyweight: Alexander Gustafsson

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    Sweden's Alexander Gustafsson has looked like a man possessed as of late, dominating opponents and throwing his name in the hat as a contender.

    Gustafsson has used his boxing, submissions and speed to overwhelm opponents such as Thiago Silva, Matt Hamill and James Te Huna. With names like that on his resume, Gustafsson has earned a bout with the legendary Mauricio Rua, which could potentially earn him a title shot.

Heavyweight: Daniel Cormier

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    Daniel Cormier is the king of Strikeforce, but he now has his sights on dominating the UFC.

    The undefeated Olympic wrestler has looked like a man possessed in all of his fights, dominating everyone put in front of him. When he wasn't originally in the Strikeforce tournament, a fire was lit under him that had him beat notables Jeff Monson and Josh Barnett, who he beat as a replacement in the tournament.

    Cormier's hunger could bring him a title shot in the future. He is only getting better and more dangerous.