ESPN’s Top 10 UFC Fighters of All Time

Posted: November 14, 2013 in Commentary/Opinion, Top 10
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SportsCenter-Top-10-PlaysWith the 20 year anniversary of the UFC being celebrated this week, everyone seems to be feeling nostalgic. All-time top 10 lists, flashbacks, and every other kind of remembrance have been all over the internet. ESPN—the leader in sports!!!—tallied their list of top 10 fighters in UFC history.

They give equal credit for the current and former stars of the sport, so it should be an interesting debate-starter—as most top 10 lists are. Let us know what you think. Here’s ESPN’s top 10.

No. 10 (tie): Mark Coleman

The first UFC heavyweight title fight ended in less than three minutes with a submission victory for ‘The Hammer’. A UFC Hall of Famer, Coleman fought the absolute best of his era.

No. 10 (tie): Tito Ortiz

He won the UFC light heavyweight championship at the age of 25. Feuds with rival Chuck Liddell and president Dana White became a focus of his story, but Ortiz was also an outstanding fighter. His 27 UFC appearances remains a company record.

No. 9: Royce Gracie

One of the most influential figures in the history of martial arts. Gracie still holds the record for most UFC wins by submission with 11, and his record four victories in one night of work at UFC 2 will never fall.

No. 8: Frank Shamrock

The first UFC light heavyweight champion (known as middleweight champion at the time). His greatest win in the Octagon was ultimately his last, an upset finish over rising star Tito Ortiz at UFC 22.

No. 7: Randy Couture

Couture won the UFC heavyweight title just four fights into his professional career. He fought 24 times inside the Octagon, with a record 15 of those being title fights. He remains the oldest athlete to hold a UFC title at 45.

No. 6: B.J. Penn

The greatest lightweight of all time. Penn is one of the most recognisable UFC champions ever and widely regarded as perhaps the most naturally talented of them all. He is one of two men to win UFC titles in different weight classes.

No. 5: Chuck Liddell

Credited for carrying the UFC into mainstream consciousness, Liddell amassed a spectacular highlight reel in the Octagon. From 2004 to 2006, he cemented his legacy, recording seven consecutive knockouts – five for the UFC title.

No. 4: Matt Hughes

A two-time welterweight champion with seven total defences, Hughes is currently tied with Georges St-Pierre as the all-time leader in UFC wins with 18. He will forever be remembered as one of the promotion’s most dominant champions.

No. 3: Jon Jones

He’s defeated five former UFC titleholders, but the best is still to come for the 26-year-old champion. He is arguably already the top light heavyweight in UFC history, and his skills should eventually translate well at heavyweight.

No. 2: Georges St-Pierre

A perfect combination of athleticism and work ethic. St-Pierre has been exposing the weaknesses of his fellow UFC welterweights for nearly a decade. At one point, he won 33 consecutive rounds in the Octagon.

No. 1: Anderson Silva

The absolute best martial artist to ever step in the Octagon. No other fighter has consistently made talented competition look so average. His career will continue to be measured until it’s over, but as of now, he’s the best of all time.

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