FiveOuncesofPain.com 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.