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Posts Tagged ‘Greatest’

For some people MMA competition is enough. Two tough guys, one cage, something has to give.

But for many, dare I suggest most, simply inserting two people into the UFC Octagon is not, in and of itself, particularly compelling. We’ve seen it—dozens, hundreds, even thousands of times.

It takes more than just organizing an athletic contest to get our attention. We need context, story or high stakes. Is a championship on the line? Is this a battle between two distinct styles?

Best of all, though? Are they getting it on because they don’t, gulp, get along?

Modern MMA turns 21 this year. It’s old enough to have a bit of an established history, old enough for us to draw some sweeping conclusions and make some broad generalizations. Here’s one—the most successful fights at the box office are contests built on pure and unadulterated hatred.

When two fighters legitimately don’t get along, MMA fans turn into vampires in a mad hunt for blood. From the earliest days, starting with Ken Shamrock storming out of a 1996 press conference prior to his fight with Dan Severn at UFC 6, bad blood has equaled big bucks.  

What follows are the 10 most intense feuds in the history of this great sport. These are the few and the proud who have either delivered in the cage, amused us in the buildup or made promoters rich.

Have more to add? Please let me know in the comments.

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UFC heavyweight Roy Nelson doesn’t think former Pride champion Fedor Emelianenko or current UFC titleholder Cain Velasquez qualifies as the best heavyweight fighter everbut it’s nothing personal, because he doesn’t think anyone else does either.

Speaking with FOX Sports, “Big Country” explained why the term “greatest of all time” shouldn’t apply to heavyweight mixed martial artists:

I don’t think there’s actually a greatest heavyweight. I think with every heavyweight there’s a style that makes for a different fight with different fighters. Styles always make fights and everybody always has a number.

Sometimes you have a bad day, sometimes you don’t. …. 

The best example would be (Junior) Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez. The first time they fought, Cain got flattened. There’s another two times where Cain made up for it, learned from his mistakes, had a bad day.

Although the legendary “Last Emperor” compiled an incredible 28-fight unbeaten streak between April 2001 and November 2009, Emelianenko‘s true talents are subject to debate after going 1-3 under the Strikeforce banner and never competing under the UFC banner. 

Additionally, Cain Velasquez, 13-1 overall, is 4-0 since suffering a knockout loss at the hands of JDS at UFC on FOX 1 in November 2011. Two of those victories came in rematches against Dos Santos, both of which he won handily. 

Nelson, who boasts a respectable 20-9 record overall, has won four of his last six fights, with all of his victories coming by way of knockout. 

However, despite an above-average level of success inside the Octagon, the portly power puncher hasn’t had anything to offer upper-tier heavyweights such as Dos Santos, Fabricio Werdum, Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier

While he lacks a signature win, a decisive victory over Mark Hunt at UFC Fight Night 52 in Japan on Saturday certainly couldn’t hurt his standing in the UFC’s 265-pound division. 

The heavyweight tilt at the infamous Saitama Super Arena headlines Saturday’s event and on paper promises to be a classic slugfest between two of the division’s hardest hitterswho also possess a couple of the most powerful chins in the weight class. 

Does Nelson make a valid point regarding the heavyweight landscape in the fight world, or does his argument make little to no sense?

 

John Heinis is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA editor for eDraft.com.

Read more MMA news on BleacherReport.com

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While the UFC pumps out enough promotion that fans can easily access its most aesthetically pleasing KOs, some of the second- and third-tier MMA organizations can’t do the same.

Generally, undercard fights on promotions like Bellator MMA, ONE FC and Legacy FC, among many others, are often missed and then forgotten. And of course these promotions all produce gloriously violent KOs on a regular basis, highlight-reel finishes that deserve recognition.

Since many bona fide head-turning KOs go unnoticed, here’s a look at the best recent slobber knockers you haven’t seen.

 

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As if Jon Jones, Daniel Cormier, Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, Dominick Cruz, Tim Kennedy and Cat Zingano weren’t enough reasons to tune into UFC 178 on Sept. 27, the two fighters in the main event just gave you one more:

But the MGM Grand Hotel lobby wasn’t home to the first confrontational moment these two men have shared—it was just home to the first physical one. Long before the challenger put his hands on the champion’s throat or Jones threw punches at a downed Cormier, they participated in what can easily be considered as one of the best war of words in MMA history. 

Let your eyes guide you through the highlights.

 

Cormier‘s UFC 173 Post-Fight Interview 

Though Cormier and Jones may have shared harsher words about each other prior to Cormier‘s dominant performance against Dan Henderson, they meant almost nothing up until this point. After two one-sided victories as a light heavyweight, the matchup against Jones the former Olympian had long since dreamed of was closer than ever at coming to fruition. 

Considering Alexander Gustafsson was next in line for a title shot against the reigning pound-for-pound king, Cormier was poised to surgically repair his bothersome knee while he waited around for his next opponent to surface from a crowded light heavyweight division. 

As fate would have it, Gustafsson would develop a bothersome knee of his own, effectively preventing the Swedish fighter from challenging for the title and opening the door for Cormier to step in.

 

Jones Reaches Out to His Daughter 

According to Dana White, the UFC president could overhear Cormier‘s daughter shouting in the background during the above interview. She was sure her dad would be the champion of the world.

Soon after both men agreed to step into the cage together, Jones took to a daughter of his own to let Cormier know how confident the champion and his family were about where the strap would reside on Sept. 28. 

 

Cormier Gets Creative on Instagram, Jones Responds

Cormier edited a picture, superimposing himself onto a photo of what is likely the champion’s fight against Gustafsson at UFC 165. He posted the photo in response to Jones’ decision to publicize a cut he developed during a sparring session in preparation for his next title defense. He captioned the photo with this:

September 27th I’m gonna put so many of these on [your] face @jonnybones. I can’t wait everyday I’m dreaming and thinking of you. And I’m gonna take [you] down and grind my elbow into that cut you got today. Put a bullseye on that thing. Some things should remain private. DC

Just hours later, the champion took to the same social media platform to share his sentiments on why his newest challenger is anything but. After facing challengers like Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Lyoto Machida, Rampage Jackson, Rashad Evans, Vitor Belfort and Glover Teixeira, Jones doesn’t think the Olympic wrestler has anything new to offer.

 

The Aftermath of the Infamous Brawl

Here we are. The war of words suddenly became something completely different. As if it wasn’t obvious before, the animosity is real—these dudes really, really don’t like each other. 

Able to back up what he said he’d be able to accomplish against his Olympic-level challenger, Jones signed into his Twitter account to gloat over his accomplishments in the brief scuffle. 

Cormier couldn’t let Jones have the last word.

With Nevada State Athletic Commission sanctions pending, here’s hoping this war reverts back to its verbal origins. If there is any more physicality without leather gloves on their hands and a referee within close proximity, this could be the most anticipated fight that never happens. 

 

Kristian Ibarra is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report. He also serves as the sports editor at San Diego State University’s student-run newspaper, The Daily Aztec. Follow him on Twitter at @Kristian_Ibarra for all things MMA.

Read more MMA news on BleacherReport.com

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There are currently nine UFC champions, and a 10th will soon be determined in the women’s strawweight division. While all the UFC titleholders are now at the top of their weight classes, they each took very different paths to get to where they are today.

For light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, greatness seemed to come easy. The 205-pounder quickly climbed to the top of his division and only recently faced serious adversity in a close decision win over Alexander Gustafsson.

Meanwhile, Demetrious Johnson’s road to the top was much rougher. Mighty Mouse hit some speed bumps in the bantamweight division, where he was noticeably undersized. However, the addition of a 125-pound division allowed Johnson to thrive, and he is now considered one of the most talented fighters on the UFC roster.

Other titleholders have different stories still.

Here are the current UFC champions and their greatest performances inside the Octagon.

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Throughout UFC history, there have been a multitude of champions. Some have been absolutely dominant champions, while some have lost the title in their first attempted defense. Even worse, some have lost the title without even attempting to defend it.

Today’s MMA features many new champions, and believe it or not, Jon Jones is currently the longest-reigning champion in the UFC. With many new champions dominating their divisions, it can be hard to compare them to past dominant champions.

This list will attempt to rank the 10 greatest UFC champions of all time, while considering their number of titles held, number of title defenses, the quality of their opposition as well as their performance against that opposition.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the top-10 greatest UFC champions of all time.

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UFC featherweight Conor McGregor discusses his UFC Fight Night 46 main event win over Diego Brandao, pushing Lorenzo Fertitta to do a stadium show in Ireland, how the Irish did at the event, why beating Brandao at the O2 in the way he did was the best moment of his life and more.

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It’s no secret that Dana White is a big Ronda Rousey supporter. On Friday, he took his praise for the UFC women’s bantamweight queen to a new level.

View full post on Recent News on Sherdog.com

It seems rematches have become more and more common in MMA.

Why?

Because rivalries sell in combat sports. Had it not been for the bad blood between Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate, women’s MMA probably wouldn’t be where it is today. A recent grudge between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen also helped MMA skyrocket in popularity in Brazil.

More than animosity is needed to make a great rivalry, though. If an unproven prospect starts throwing verbal jabs at Jon Jones, that alone isn’t going to get them a shot at the light heavyweight champion.

Based on entertainment value, participant competitiveness and lasting impact on MMA, here are the 10 greatest rivalries the sport has ever seen.

 

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All MMA fighters find themselves behind at one point or another.

Even active UFC legend Anderson Silva has had to come back to get his hand raised in multiple fights. And he’s far from the only champion who has had to dig his way out of a hole in the clutch.

In MMA, either fighter can end a bout at any time regardless of what has occurred throughout the contest. That is one of many things that has helped the sport grow so quickly in popularity.

With that in mind, here are the 10 greatest come-from-behind wins in UFC history. 

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