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

Kenny florianWho are the absolute most exciting fighters currently competing in the sport of mixed martial arts?

FiveOuncesofPain.comis here to answer that question, as we have painstakingly 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.

21. Urijah Faber: A 5’6″ stick of dynamite, Faber is the living, breathing definition of relentless aggression. You almost need to down an energy drink just to keep up with watching “The California Kid” and the tireless pace he consistently brings to the cage. 22 wins, 18 finishes against some of the toughest little men on the face of the earth. That’s how Urijah rolls.

22. Kazushi Sakuraba: Hands down one of the most lethal ground fighters in the sport, Saku is perhaps the most beloved mixed martial artist in all of Japan for one very obvious reason: He performs. Out of 26 career victories for Sakuraba, 19 have been finished by submission, 4 by knockout, with only 3 men making it to the judges scorecards.

23. Frank Shamrock: Ever since his very first bout with Bas Rutten during round one of the King of the Pancrase tournament in 1994, Shamrock has been giving the fans what they’ve paid for all over the globe. Some of Frank’s more memorable battles include knock down brawls with the likes of Enson Inoue, Tito Ortiz, Phil Baroni and Cung Le.

24. Paul Buentello: The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of a guy like “The Headhunter” is: That guy is a freaking warrior. Flat out. Not like all the other guys on this list aren’t, but Buentello just reeks of a willingness to die every time he enters the cage. Unbelievably, in 34 fights, only one of them has made it to the judges for Buentello. One way or another, someone’s catching a beating when Paul puts on for his city.

25. Shane Carwin: If Carwin’s 11 highlight reel finishes in 11 bouts doesn’t justify the massive heavyweight’s spot on this list, his come from behind destruction over Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 96 leaves little question. One of the most explosive and powerful athletes in the business, Carwin has the kind of power behind his punch that could bring a full grown elephant to its knees.

26. Kenny Florian: Kenny Florian finishes fights, no question about it. Out of 11 wins, Ken-Flo has put a decisive end to ten of them. Equally as dangerous on the ground with a slew of submission as he is standing with punishing Muay Thai, Florian makes it a point to put on a show every time he wraps his hands.

27. Brett Rogers: If you’re a fan of dudes getting bounced with absolutely no remorse, then “Grim” is your fighter. Standing at 6’5″ tall, and tipping the scales at 265 pounds of bad times, Rogers has annihilated every opponent that has crossed his path with explosive knees and punches. There’s one guarantee when big Brett shows up to fight: Pain in generous portions.

28. Jamie Varner: I have had the privilege of watching Varner come up in the ranks on the Arizona circuit between the years of 2003 and 2005, and if there’s one thing I can tell you from first hand experience, it’s that Jamie knows know other way than to go hard. The Arizona Combat Sports trained WEC lightweight champion’s recent wars with Rob McCullough and Donald Cerrone have established Varner as one of the most entertaining athletes in the sport.

29. Joe Lauzon: Make the mistake of judging a book by it’s cover in Lauzon’s case and it may be the last one you make. A former I.T. that looks the part, Lauzon has never gone to the judges once in his entire career in mixed martial arts. Someone ends up getting hurt every time Baby Joe puts it down for Massachusetts. Lauzon’s victims in the Octagon include Jens Pulver, Kyle Bradley and Jeremy Stephens.

30. Forrest Griffin: Who has their arm snapped in half like a dried out tree branch and comes back to knock their opponent out with the other arm? Forrest Griffin does, that’s who. Let us not forget his legendary fight with Stephan Bonnar. The bottom line with Forrest is that you know what you’re going to get every time out. You’re going to get a fighter that lays it all on the line every time he steps foot into the cage.

For Volume Two Click Here

For Volume One Click Here

16 COMMENTS
  • HonorableAggression says:

    I’m loving that Lauzon gets some love, he’s so under-rated for how exciting and skilled he is. For the most part I can see where you’re comin from Cory but I just don’t see Frank Shamrock in the top 25 by a long shot. I’m not denying what you said, I guess for me personally I’m just never really excited to see him fight on a card. Love the article, though, lookin forward to the top 20!

  • Makington says:

    Hmmm, don’t know if I would have Brett that high, and I definitely wouldn’t have Buentello up there, but a good list nonetheless. I’m still hoping we see Jim Miller, but since we haven’t yet, I don’t believe we will. I want to see Tyson Griffin in the top 10, hopefully top 5. He has the most frenetic fights every single time.

  • G-DUB says:

    Yeah … you completely lost me with Spider Silva at #41. Sorry. No matter which way you slice it, there is no way you could justify half of the guys between #20 and #40 being more “electrifying athletes”. Paul Buentello?? Really? Can he really even be considered an “athlete”? Even with his last 2 out of 3 snoozers, you can’t deny Silva the top 10.

  • keyboardwarrior says:

    Great list so far. I agree with you on Silva at #41, how quickly people forget that just two fights ago everyone was complaining that he was boring. Looking forward to seeing Wanderlei and Clay Guida in the top 5!

  • Rich S. says:

    Hey, back in the day, Frank Shamrock blew minds..

    Maybe there’s a couple of guys I’m forgetting, but I don’t see how Faber didn’t make top 5.. I know there’s still guys like Vitor, Wanderlei, Chuck, Randy, and Rampage left, but Urijah gives 150% EVERY SINGLE TIME (even if he has 2 broken hands) ALL THE WAY TIL THE 5th BELL RINGS..

  • edub says:

    See G-Dubs comment for my sentiment. Frank Shamrock and Sakuraba are legends but i thought recent activity and consistency were big parts of your list?

  • Makington says:

    He did get quite throughly dismantled by Nick Diaz until he put a stop to him. Does that count as an exciting fight? Frank Shamrock being excitingly crap-kicked for 3 rounds?

  • BigDave says:

    Ok when i first saw buentello on here i was like Really? but when you think about it its kinda true that he deserves a place on here. Not the most skilled but good heart and will to fight.

    Now the one pick you have had on this list that has me scratching is frank shamrock. Its not because of his fights because he has been in some wars with great fighters but he has looked bad in his last 2 fights and he only has 7 fights this decade. So the only one of your criteria that I see Frank fitting into is D) the competition.

    But as I said before great artcles that give us alot to discuss here.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Buentello has acually gone to a decision twice, but he is a great fighter to watch.

  • Rich S. says:

    Also, I’m hoping we don’t see Machida too much higher on the list..

    Yes, he’s a champion, and he’s never lost.. But, up until 2 fights ago, he was boring, for lack of a better term, and barely had any fans outside the hardcores..

    And even NOW, his style prevents him from being “electrifying”..

  • edub: See G-Dubs comment for my sentiment. Frank Shamrock and Sakuraba are legends but i thought recent activity and consistency were big parts of your list?

    Shamrock’s fight with Cung Le was intense but that was what? Almost two years ago?

    Saku, I’m down with even if his losses aren’t so much losses as they are massacres now. Hell, even he wins, he’s mauled!

    Faber really should be higher, that kid is unbelieveable.

    But Rogers? Buentello? Noooooooooooo… Rogers fight with Abongo nearly put me to sleep.

  • twyg says:

    like i said wait for tank and sapp in the top five.

  • moosebaby02 says:

    Faber at 21???? i cant stand the guy but at least i have enough respect for him to consider him in the top 15 at least
    Rogers ko’s people, but who are Chris Clark, Stan Strong, Brian Heden, Mark Racine are what ever a ko over a tomatoe can is just as easy as ko’ing some stiff compation, like the only real fight he had with Arlovski. i guess he should be at 27

    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.

  • Niv says:

    Overall I find the list pretty good, I can see where some debate can come on a few selections, but that’s what this list really is about anyway.

    I’ll put my two cents in here on number 1, I predict it’s going to be Wanderlei Silva. The Axe Murderer isn’t what he used to be, but he’s arguably still the most exciting fighter in the world. He brings it every time he steps into the ring and fights with no regard for himself.

  • submit662266 says:

    Alright, I can see that the fighters are being “ranked” in a fashion that will certainly stir the pot. It is working and I’ll bite. One of the major considerations cited is recent activity. At least 4 of the fighters listed in this set of 10, however, are considered because of fights from 3, 5, and in Forrest’s case 6 years ago?!

    I also agree with what G-Dub said above.

    In news not related to MMA, I’m truly sad to see that the Yankees won. What is the world coming to?

  • cocoonofhorror says:

    😆 this list is just bizarre.

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