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FiveOuncesofPain’s Fifty Most Electrifying Athletes Of Mixed Martial Arts Vol. II

Houston AlexanderWho are the absolute most exciting fighters currently competing in the sport of mixed martial arts? is here to answer that question, as we have pain stakingly reviewed the careers of hundreds upon hundreds of the game’s top athletes in an effort to help establish the most complete inventory of the most electrifying performers in MMA.

Among the most contributing factors in the decision making process involved in compiling this extensively researched list were (in order):

A) Consistency. More than two or three boring fights in a career will make it hard for any fighter to make this list. Loud jeers during previous bouts due to lack of activity are big no-no’s.

B) Recent activity. The last year is the most relevant, with the year prior to that being second, and so on, and so forth. If you had a terrible fight in 2004 but you’ve been bringing it ever since, I’m not going to hold it against you.

C) Finality. Decisions can be exciting for sure, but more often than not there’s nothing more exciting than decisive finality. Taking your fate out of the judges hands consistently is what the fans like to see, and will be rewarded here.

D) Competition. If you’ve been doing nothing but highlight reeling guys all over your hometown in North Dakota somewhere, ant the North Dakota Fighting Alliance shows, there’s a good chance a lot of people haven’t heard of you yet, so you’re not making this list, sorry.

So come along as we count them down from #50 and work our way down the ranks ten fighters at a time, wrapping up with the top ten and complete list that will be published on Friday.

31. Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos: This female chupacabra may very well be the single gnarliest woman currently walking the face of the earth. Santos is going to try to decapitate her opponent (victim) at every opportunity. Watching Cyborg lay vicious beatdowns on some of the female mixed martial artists that have crossed her path in the past can evoke that same violent/sick feeling in the pit of your stomach that comes after watching a series of one-sided street fights on Youtube.

32. Houston Alexander: I’m not sure who this Demian Decorah guy is, but he must be one tough SOB. The reason being, he’s the only guy that has ever gone the distance with the Nebraskan smashing machine known as Houston Alexander. Thirteen bouts, and only one has made it to the judges scorecards for Alexander. His fights end suddenly, and violently.

33. Dan Hardy: “The Outlaw” is going to bring it every single time, that you can be sure of. Known for big knees, punches and kicks, Hardy leaves it all in the cage every time he throws on a pair of 5 Oz. gloves. His back and forth war with Marcus Davis was undoubtedly one of the better brawls of 2009.

34. Phil Baroni: With a career record of 13-11, one doesn’t have to be an expert to come to the realization that “The New York Bad Ass” will never be the baddest ass of his weight class. Thankfully we have seen change of the tide begin in the UFC where fighters like Phil Baroni are being rewarded for their constant ability to entertain. Easily one of the hardest punchers in the business, Baroni has engaged in memorable fights with fighters such as Frank Shamrock, Ikuhisa Minowa and Pete Sell. Plus, who can forget Phil’s epic pummeling of Amar Suloev during UFC 37. Still one of the worst beatings ever caught on film.

35. Takanori Gomi: Along with being one of the most consistently entertaining fighters from the land of the rising sun, Gomi may very well be the hardest pound for pound puncher in all of Japanese MMA. His see-saw war with Nick Diaz during PRIDE 33 was MMA’s answer to Marvin Hagler vs. Tommy Hearns, a true battle for the ages.

36. Anthony Johnson: There are one of two guarantees when watching an A.J. fight: You’re either going to see someone take a horrifying beating or you’re going to see an absolute war. Both bouts with Kevin Burns were among the more savage fights in recent UFC memory, while some of the men that have been transformed into highlight reels for Johnson include Chad Reiner, Tommy Speer, Kevin Burns, Luigi Fioravanti and Yoshiyuki Yoshida.

37. Roger Huerta: Huerta’s relentless fighting spirit and heart make him nearly incapable of taking part in a lackluster bout, even when he’s fighting Gray Maynard. Some of the more memorable bouts Roger has taken part in recently include battles with Leonard Garcia, Kenny Florian, and who could forget his war with Clay Guida during the TUF 6 Finale.

38. Murilo “Ninja” Rua: Ninja is a natural born killer, no doubt about it. If he’s standing across from you in the cage, he’s trying to introduce you to your expiration date. Rest assured that if Murilo has taken part in a less-than-exciting bout in the past, it was because he was being pinned down and muffled by superior wrestlers. On the feet, it’s kill or be killed for Ninja. Only one of Rua’s last ten bouts have made it to the judges, which was a drag out, slugfest against Riki Fukuda at DREAM 8.

39. Dustin Hazelett: The most stunning statistic on McLovin’s resume has got to be the fact that he has finished four of his five Octagon victims with death defying submissions. It’s like you know it’s coming, and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. Flying armbars, reverse armbars, upside down armbars, triangles and anaconda chokes; if it can snap a limb or induce unconsciousness, Dustin’s an expert at it.

40. Alistair Overeem: An absolute monster out of Holland, “The Demolition Man” is one of the most dangerous human beings currently breathing. Out of 43 fights, only 4 have made it to the final bell for Overeem. That’s nearly 40 bouts that have ended violently for Alistair. Whether he’s battering opponents with big knees and punches or locking in his trademark standing guillotine, Overeem looks to finish things decisively every time out.

  • HonorableAggression says:

    I like this concept, of judging fighters by the excitement they bring and not just on how high ranked they are. Well written and funny, the cris cyborg description was especially awesome.

  • If all of Baroni’s fights ended quickly, then he’d be electrifying.

    But after the three minute mark, he goes from electrifying to horrifying.

  • hindsightufuk says:

    ah come on phil is always entertaining! cant knock him for being energetically challenged!

    good calls on hardy, phil, ninja and gomi. they may not win many awards these days but they all been in some great fights

  • sides666 says:

    hardy above silva for the excitement factor are you kidding me

  • Makington says:

    Very glad with your picks of Hazelett, Santos, and especially Gomi. This list is already shaping up very well. I can’t wait to see who you have as number 1.

  • Makington says:

    sides666: hardy above silva for the excitement factor are you kidding me

    Although I don’t know if I would put him as low a 41, I can definitely see Cory’s reasoning now that I thought of it. He does have one of the best highlight reels in MMA, but he also just recently had 2 of the most boring fights I’ve ever seen. In fact, Leites/Silva might be the complete worst fight I’ve ever had to watch. Seeing Thales literally turtle up for 25 minutes with a never ending crowd boo is pretty convincing. In fact, the only one time the crowd cheered was when they showed GSP on the big screen.

    Atleast we know that Marquardt, Belfort, or Henderson all make for an absolute war so we are in a win/win/win situation for his next fight.

  • moosebaby02 says:

    33. Dan Hardy: “The Outlaw” is going to bring it every single time, that you can be sure of. Known for big knees, punches and kicks, Hardy leaves it all in the cage every time he throws on a pair of 5 Oz. gloves. His back and forth war with Marcus Davis was undoubtedly one of the better brawls of 2009

    no offense but his last 3 fights in the UFC two decision one finishes other than that his resume out side of the UFC is not a murders row of talent………but if your going buy a guy who brings it every time against people he has nothing to worry about and nothing to lose than ya 33 is a great spot for him…especially ahead of Silva

  • edub says:

    “Seeing Thales literally turtle up for 25 minutes with a never ending crowd boo is pretty convincing.”

    So why should Silva get punished for his opponent quiting in the middle of a fight.

    Also something should be said of looking exciting agains cans and looking exciting against the best fighters in the world.

  • edub says:

    Ok these are great articles and i love the premise, but I cant get around the fact that u have anderson all the way down at 41 behind guys like Baroni and Murilo Rua. Ill stop commenting on these until the end. I got a feeling your gonna put Shogun in the top 5 somewhere too. Which would be a shame.

  • Makington says:

    I’m not hating on Silva. I blamed the boring fight on Leites for literally refusing to stand near Anderson. It was still an incredibly boring fight that Silva was in, no matter whose fault it really was. The same thing with his Cote fight, which was another sleeper. Anderson Silva is tied for my favourite fighter, and has been for years, so the last thing I would do is hate on him, but yeah, I can definitely see Cory’s reasoning behind it.

    And it’s not like Silva is actually getting punished over this. I don’t think Anderson will feel too bad that Cory ranked him only 41 on his opinion piece. Still a good read.

  • Connor Cobain says:

    Im glad Alistair Overeem is only 40th. I really don’t think he’s that good.

  • Rich S. says:

    So far, the list looks about right..

    Once you take into consideration the fact that Anderson isn’t quite the same as he used to be (albeit, still invincible) , his placement is sort of justified..

    Although, I would think Rumble would be a littler higher up..

    A lot of fighters are known for putting on a good fight, but Anthony is one of those rare fighters that practically GUARANTEES a knockout..

    Not only have all 5 of his octagon victories come by way of knockout, but 3 of those came in under a minute.. Now, THAT’S electrifying.

  • BigDave says:

    This list is very well done Cory. Great topic for debate. We all have guys we really like and want to see at the top of this list (I’ll give you a Cookie to put GSP #1 😉 ) and guys that we want to not see on this list at all (2 cookies to leave Penn off the list 😉 ) which makes it fun.

    I’m looking forward to seeing where you have guys like Jose Aldo, Eddie Alvarez, Clay Guida, Carlos Condit, and maybe my all time favorite Jens “Lil Evil” Pulver.

  • twyg says:

    If one of your main points is not letting the fight go to the cards then Tank Abbott and Bob Sapp are in the top five. They either win by KO or gas out and are finished.


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