The 10 Most Impressive Current Streaks in MMA

Steven Rondina@srondinaFeatured ColumnistFebruary 15, 2013

The 10 Most Impressive Current Streaks in MMA

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    Who doesn't love a good pattern? Whether it's win-win-win or loss-loss-loss, seeing things happen again and again is always fun.

    When there are as many things to check out as there are in MMA, there is a lot of room to see interesting streaks. Looking only at winning streaks over and over...where's the fun in that?

    So, instead, how about we take a peak at some of the wildest things in MMA today? Who has used skill to find success again and again? Who just keeps on losing? What crazy coincidences have just slipped under your radar?

    Find out right here!

Joe Lauzon: Nine Straight Fights with Fight Night Bonuses

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    Joe Lauzon is the undisputed champion of getting extra cash from Dana White. While the popular lightweight has a tough time pulling together winning streaks, he still stacks paper like few others in MMA.

    In his last nine fights, Lauzon has collected five wins, four losses, five Submission of the Night checks and four Fight of the Night checks. That's a lot of dough. While Lauzon himself didn't get a bonus check for his fight at UFC 144, Anthony Pettis earned Knockout of the Night for kicking his head clean off.

    In 14 UFC fights, Lauzon has earned 12 bonuses. He is currently tied with middleweight champion Anderson Silva for the record for most bonuses, though Silva has 16 fights in the UFC. That in mind, you can make a pretty solid case that J-Lau is the most exciting fighter in MMA. 

Anderson Silva: 10 Consecutive UFC Title Defenses

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    The most successful UFC fighter of all time makes this list with flying colors, and for good reason.

    Anderson Silva exploded into the UFC by destroying Chris Leben, a popular, iron-chinned fighter who rose to fame on The Ultimate Fighter season one. From there, he was quickly matched against at-the-time champ Rich “Ace” Franklin and kneed his face clean off, a kind of beating rarely seen in title fights.

    Aside from an ugly stretch between Patrick Cote's knee exploding and Demian Maia being scared stiff at UFC 112, Silva has delivered us nothing but exciting wins in his reign as champion. Whether it's his knockout of Nate Marquardt, his rear-naked choke on Dan Henderson or his last-minute shocker at the expense of Chael Sonnen, there are plenty of highlights from Silva's many years as champion.

    Even today, it's hard to imagine who could knock Silva from the top of the middleweight pile.

Bob Sapp: 10 Losses in a Row

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    Some fans look back on Bob Sapp in a positive light. After all, he was a mountain of meat that delivered eight fearsome knockouts in his first 10 wins in the Japanese Pride, K-1 and Dream promotions. Since leaving Dream, though, Sapp's career has been a downright nightmare. At this point, "The Beast" is the most internationally recognizable tomato can there is.

    Does a former WWE wrestler need somebody to quickly establish his credibility as a mixed martial artist? Does a body builder need a bag to remind everyone that he can punch really super-hard? Are you hosting an event where you need to show off a hometown favorite?

    Sapp, in all these situations, is the man to call and his phone has been ringing off the hook for years.

    He is on a 10 fight losing streak, and is 2-14 since 2007 against very, very light competition. Probably the best fighter he has faced is James Thompson, best known for his wiggle-wobble ear that got punched flat by Kimbo Slice. Thompson is no world beater, by the way, having lost to folks like John-Olav Einemo, Kazuyuki Fujita, Brett Rogers and Eric “Butterbean” Esch.

    Suffice it to say, Sapp is probably the least successful fighter in MMA today.

Forrest Griffin: Eight Fights in a Row Against Past, Present or Future Champions

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    When you sit atop an up-in-the-air division for a very long time, crazy things can happen. In the case of Forrest Griffin, this has resulted in him squaring off against some of the best light heavyweights (and a couple of the best middleweights) in MMA history.

    In chronological order, he fought against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Rashad Evans, Anderson Silva, Tito Ortiz, Rich Franklin, Rua again and then Ortiz for a third time. This streak stretches back nearly six years to UFC 74.

    During this run, Griffin has gone 5-3. While he nearly broke this streak by fighting Phil Davis at UFC 155, he withdrew from the bout due to a knee injury. He could draw this out even further if he gets matched up against Evans or Shogun again.

Renan Barao: 19-Fight Winning Streak (30-Fight Unbeaten Streak)

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    Renan Barao is a scary dude, and he has one of the lengthiest winning streaks in the sport today. Barao has a 29-1 (1) record. That one loss came in his very first pro fight. Since then, victory has been the standard for the fearsome bantamweight. 

    If it wasn't for a random no contest thrown into the middle of that stretch, he would have a 29-fight winning streak. While the majority of those fights have been in smaller Brazilian promotions, he has had little difficulty establishing himself as an elite fighter since joining Zuffa.

    In both the WEC and UFC, Barao has racked up six wins over some of the best in his division, including Scott Jorgensen, Brad Pickett and Urijah Faber. He will be looking to extend that streak this Saturday as he faces off with Michael McDonald in London.

    Stay excited for his inevitable showdown with Dominick Cruz once the champ comes back from his nagging knee injury.

Georges St-Pierre: 10 Events with over 500,000 PPV Buys

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    Georges St-Pierre has been the clear-cut biggest draw in the UFC for years and years now, and representing that are the ten straight cards where he was the main or co-main event that have netted over 500,000 buys.

    During that stretch he has fought fan favorites like Matt Hughes (their third fight garnered 750,000 buys), not-so-fan-favorites like Jon Fitch (which still drew 625,000), and fellow champions like Jake Shields (the historic UFC 129 sold over 800,000). That doesn't even include UFC 100.

    That is a downright astounding mark when you compare it with any other UFC fighter. Even Anderson Silva has struggled to successfully string together numbers like that (his fights with Dan Henderson, Patrick Cote and Yushin Okami all fell short of 350,000 buys).

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again. White could put together St-Pierre against a wicker basket and it would probably end up one the highest-grossing events of the year.

Leonard Garcia, Yoshihiro Akiyama: Four Losses Without Getting Kicked from UFC

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    The UFC loves cutting fighters. Loves it.

    We saw Gerald Harris cut after going 3-1 in the UFC (and two of his wins earned him Knockout of the Night). Some guys, though, just don't get cut. Leonard Garcia and Yoshihiro Akiyama are two of those fighters.

    Garcia has never been the best featherweight. Exciting for sure. However, Garcia hasn't won a fight by something other than a controversial split decision since knocking out Hiroyuki Takaya in 2008. Some will claim that Garcia was robbed of a win in his most recent fight but...well...he really wasn't, as Max Holloway landed hard counter rights every time Garcia got close enough.

    Akiyama is the greater anomaly, though, as he kept climbing the UFC rankings in spite of loss after loss. Seriously! He went from Chris Leben to Michael Bisping to Vitor Belfort to Jake Shields! How does that happen?

    While losing four times in a row isn't necessarily going to get you cut (see Dan Hardy), it's still surprising when fighters aren't given the heave-ho after three.

Sean Sherk: 29 Months Without Fighting

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    Sean Sherk has fought some of the sport's best, including Georges St-Pierre, Nick Diaz, Kenny Florian, BJ Penn and Frankie Edgar.

    His last fight, however, was a controversial split decision victory over Evan Dunham. That took place, by the way, on September 25, 2010 at UFC 119, which was headlined by Mirko Cro Cop vs. Frank Mir. How long ago does that feel?

    Injury after injury, crack after fracture after tear, the former lightweight champion has been kept from fighting for more than two full years. Now 39 years old, Sherk is still actively looking to get back in the Octagon, if his body will let him.

    He is hoping, praying, that everything can stay in place and intact long enough to let him get another fight in. With two bouts left on his contract with the UFC, the door is open for his return. It's hard to imagine him pulling it off at this point, but it's hard not to hope he does.

Ronda Rousey: Nine Straight First-Round Armbar Victories

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    Think about playing Street Fighter, and think about that one friend who won almost every game by throwing hadokens again and again. You caught on eventually, right?

    Well, Ronda Rousey's opponents have not. She keeps beating whatever poor so-and-so that happens to get locked in the cage with her using the same move again and again. Granted, working around hadoken spam is a lot easier than defending yourself from somebody with an Olympic bronze medal in taking people down, but still.

    With the exception of her thriller with Miesha Tate, every one of her wins came in the opening minute. Her Strikeforce debut against Sarah D'Alelio is the only one of her fights that doesn't have “Submission (Armbar)” in the method slot. Instead, it reads “Submission (Flying Armbar).”

    Rousey is looking to continue that streak at UFC 157, where she will face off with Liz Carmouche in the UFC's first ever women's fight.

Lavar Johnson: 23 Fights Without Going to a Decision

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    Go to Lavar Johnson's Wikipedia page, hit ctrl+F, and type in "decision." You get zero results. That's crazy. Not one time in his nine-year, 23-fight career has Johnson made a judge earn his paycheck.

    Over those 23 fights, he owns a 17-6 record. Fifteen of those wins are by knockout, and two are by submission. As for his losses, one has come via knockout, the other five by submission.

    The heavyweight division, obviously, is known for its finishes and Johnson may be the greatest example of that. Watch him square off against fellow finisher (and finishee) Brendan Schaub at UFC 157 and see if he makes it 24 fights in a row.