In case you didn’t know, we feature career-long All-Time MMA Rankings.  Using monthly snapshots as fuel (that we refresh every month), we derive Top 25s for each division, Women and Absolute.  We also have a Peak Divisional Dominance list, but this is quite different as it looks at absolute peak, relative to the state of the division at that sliver of time.

We stop each list at Top 25, partially because every list has to stop somewhere, but mostly because we really don’t want to get into arguments as to why #74 is ranked higher than #76 — the list can get quite noisy once you get beyond the Top 25…. where things become really tight.

In any case, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the 5 highest-ranking Absolute fighters that never fought in the UFC or any organization that ZUFFA has acquired… and here we go.

Fighters are listed with their career records and all-time rankings:


5. Bibiano Fernandes (16-3 | Bantam: #8 | Feather: #23 | Absolute: #82)

Quite possibly the best fighter in recent history steering clear of the states along with Shinya Aoki, Fernandes has actually made the Top 25 in two divisions within our All-Time MMA Rankings.  As these have traditionally been weaker divisions, he is far from the Top 25 within the Absolute list.


4. Kiuma Kunioku (34-24 | Middle: #19 | Welter: #37 | Open/Heavy: #75 | Absolute: #74)

Although his total record leaves something to be desired, Kunioku holds an extensive career history with impressive wins over Frank Shamrock, Masakatsu Funaki, Yuki Kondo and Nate Marquardt.  An often forgotten, underrated fighter.


3. Pat Curran (20-5 | Feather: #7 | Light: #170 | Absolute: #68)

His recent ledger which has lifted him to become one of the best Featherweights not in the UFC, caused him to rise quickly up the Featherweight ranks.  You have to think at only age 26, he’ll find himself in the UFC at some point in the near future, thus making him ineligible for future updates of this list.


2. Mamoru Yamaguchi (26-9-4 | Fly: #2 | Bantam: #60 | Absolute: #67)

A portion of the three-headed Flyweight dragon that ruled Shooto, Yamaguchi looks to be on his way to retirement going 0-3-1 in his last 4 fights.  Still, his prime was an impressive one for the Flyweight history books.


1. Eddie Alvarez (25-3 | Light: #9 | Absolute: #51)

Heads up this list by a fairly large margin, like Curran, it seems hard to fathom that he won’t end up in the UFC shortly.  Even considering he has pooled almost all of his points in one division, it is still impressive to see him in the Top 10 of such a historically rich division without fighting within the confines of ZUFFA.


The Next Three: Masakatsu Funaki (#92), Shinichi Kojima (#94), Rumina Sato (#99),

Posted on May 2, 2014 by jcs

Historical Ranks | Comments (2)

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    • jcs says:

      I honestly expected Funaki to creep into this list, but he did most of his damage in the very beginning over in Pancrase when it was the same dozen or so guys beating and losing to one another on (seemingly) a monthly basis.

    • Ked Becker says:

      Fighters who had success in Asia have usually been been very disappointing when they tried their hand at the top promotions. Jorge Santiago, Shinya Aoki, Tatsuya Kawajiri and Takanori Gomi were all once top ranked fighters but failed to deliver when they fought other top ranked fighters not from Asian promotions.
      after watching Bibiano Fernandes’ last fight against Ueda I suspect that would be the case with him too if he ever made the transition. he looked very unimpressive against a very weak opponent, who had nothing for him on the feet, on the ground and in takedown defense.

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