MMA Worldwide Magazine put together a list of the 50 most exciting MMA fighters of all-time. I’ve been unable to locate the full list anywhere online but ProElite.com has the top 10.
Here it is to save you a click:
- Excitement level of fighting style
- Finishing ability
- Personality/antics in and out of the ring
- Fan Attachment
This list compiles all the fighters, past and present, that fans just can’t wait to see. You mark your calendar, fill up the cooler and sit on the edge of your seat the entire fight. So this is our tribute to the fist-slinging, blood-pouring, smack-talking and absolutely most entertaining fighters we have had the pleasure to watch. Enjoy!
- Anderson Silva – gets the top ten started with a bang. Having knocked out someone on four different continents, “The Spider” promises action every time he enters the cage or ring. Vicious Muay Thai punches, knees and elbows, Silva has devastated even accomplished strikers. And he’s not a bad dancer either.
- Genki Sudo – has quite the bag of tricks at his disposal. Some of his “standard” techniques include spinning back fists, flying triangles, flying arm bars and turning his back to his opponent simply to taunt him. Although recently retired, he will not soon be forgotten due to his EXTREMELY unorthodox style of fighting along with his colorful ringmanship.
- Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto – is a bad, bad dude. This featherweight is a powerful wrestler, tenacious striker and unrelenting in his attack. Cocky and entertaining, “Kid” is a rock star in Japan, dating a supermodel and appearing in commercials and billboards constantly. You can almost see the delight in his eyes when beating his opponents senseless.
- Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett – proves training is overrated but has the natural ability to stay afloat. Probably the most colorful character in fighting, he slings leather like it’s going out of the style. “Krazy Horse” is better known for his grand entrances, smack talking weigh-ins and his patented back flip off cage walls. If Ric Flair and Kevin Randleman had a kid, it would be “Krazy Horse”.
- Bas Rutten – is the face of MMA. A brutal kickboxing style and sophisticated ground game have kept audiences happy since 1993. Never mind the fact he was a UFC and Pancrase champion, his humor and charm have landed him positions as spokesman for the IFL and Mark Cuban’s new organization on HDNet. Also a heavily sought after coach, “El Guapo” has kept his student’s opponent’s insides churning with his patented, “Leeever Kick!!!”
- Takanori Gomi – is considered the number one lightweight in the world. His strong wrestling background started out as his base for MMA until he realized something…he can hit like a truck! Many a fighter has been on the receiving end of his brutal hooks and paid the price dearly.
- Mauricio “Shogun” Rua – is the MMA equivalent to Ryu from Street Fighter 2. An arsenal of striking weapons that relate closer to a videogame than a cage fight, “Shogun” opened the book on the Chute Boxe style with knees, roundhouse kicks, stomps, soccer kicks…you name it. The ex-male model only has one move left to master, shooting fireballs out of his hands!
- Wanderlei Silva – has the most appropriate nickname in fighting, “The Ax Murderer.” If you had to show a fighter to someone who had never seen MMA before, this is who you would choose. With a face only a mother could love, Silva would fight a panther with rabies if you allowed soccer kicks. Ferocious, tenacious, remorseless, guys like Silva are why no one goes to war with Brazil.
- Quinton “Rampage” Jackson – patented his own move, the Slampage. A promoter’s dream, Jackson is a powerful striker, hilarious, buff and, of course, has that bitchin’ chain. A superstar in Japan after his run in Pride, it took only two fights before he became an MMA celebrity in the states. After he is done fighting, he will easily find work either acting, commentating or teaching at an MMA school with his personalized martial art of “Whoop Dat Ass.”
- Kazushi Sakuraba – is perhaps the easiest person to place on this list. “Saku” helped bring the sport where it is today with his in-ring antics, exciting fighting style, hilarious pressroom tricks and a knack for making everyone he meets a fan. It would take another Top 50 list to catalog his stellar performances and would still not be enough for what he deserves. From cart wheel guard passes to fights in higher weight classes to his epic battles to dispel the Gracie myth, we have but two words for you Sakuraba . . . Thank You!
Sure to be hotly debated by messageboarders everywhere. I’ll keep trying to find the full list and I will post it if I do.
These types of lists are always a little on the frustrating side because no one is going to agree (while the possibility of a KO is always there I’m never going out of my way to catch a “Krazy Horse” fight). But the next few days will likely be pretty slow news-wise due to Thanksgiving…so it’s something to read and occupy a little of your time.
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