MMA fans are sure to disagree about who the greatest-ever female fighter is because it does not always come down to statistics. However, there is no doubt that the MMA fighters on this list deserve to be mentioned as some of the best female MMA stars of all time.
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Number 5: Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko
The current Women’s Flyweight champion, Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko, is presently considered to be one of the greatest female fighters on the planet, and her reputation is sure to go down in MMA history. The Kyrgyzstani and Peruvian MMA fighter, and former Muay Thai fighter, gives the impression she can carry on winning for years to come. With an impressive 18 wins, no draws, and only three losses, she currently ranks number two in the UFC’s women’s pound-for-pound rankings.
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After taking a couple of weeks off, UFC will be kicking off 2020 with a return of their biggest star of the decade taking on the most decorated veteran and record holder who has never held a title. UFC 246: McGregor vs Cerrone will be one of those events that doesn’t have a star-studded undercard, and is marketed on the strength of the main event alone.
Conor McGregor will be facing Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone at welterweight; and while this is not a particularly meaningful fight from the divisional title perspective and not exactly a ‘Super-Fight’ either, it is an interesting bout which should be competitive and fun for as long as it lasts. Here, I will be taking a look at the careers of both fighters, the numerous acclaims and records they hold in the UFC, and the stylistic matchup. And if you are into UFC betting, putting some cash on whoever you think will take home the W might make watching this fight even more exciting.
We’ve recently published an article about three of the greatest unheralded fighters in MMA: Frankie Edgar, Cristiane ‘Cyborg’ Justino, and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. While ‘unheralded’ is perhaps an unfair term to use as these fighters are recognized by fans and pundits alike as all-time greats, they are typically not considered in the ‘GOAT’ discussion for various reasons. Today, we are going to discuss the careers of another five fighters who may have been at one point the best in their weight division – or even the sport of MMA as a whole – but their greatness might not be recognized by fans who have not been following the sport since it’s inception.
MMA fighters need to exhibit not only skill and strength but also persistence and resilience. They put their all into what they do and deserve the recognition that comes with success. Each of these fighters below has shown the true spirit of an MMA warrior and came out on top, showing that strength and brawn are not the only things necessary to achieve greatness. Each one has their unique methods and strategies, and they have carved a name for themselves as the some of the fighters to compete in the young sport that is Mixed Martial Arts.
These fighters have made watching MMA fights worth while. But who will be the next best MMA fighter? If you want to impress your friends with all of your MMA knowledge, betting sites can offer another way that fans can stay up to date on UFC fighters’ actions: offering advanced statistics, trends, and tips on which fighters are likely to come out on top. That way, you’ll know the picks for the next best-of list before it even comes out.
Many sports fans have witnessed intense matches in the brief history of MMA fighting. Through the years, various MMA organizations orchestrated many different fights between some of the best athletes in the sport. There are fighters like Fedor Emelianenko, Anderson Silva, Georges St Pierre, Ronda Rousey just to name a few, who are rightfully and universally recognized as the greatest athletes to participate in MMA. However there are some great fighters whose careers might have fell through the cracks of history for various reasons, and they may not be held in as high of a regard compared to their peers or according to their accomplishments in the combat arena. This article looks at a few athletes who brought fame and glory to MMA, and contributed a lot to history of the sport itself – but may not be as recognizable to the casual fan. Keep reading to learn more about them:
Also known as Cyborg, Justino is usually considered as the female counterpart of Wanderlei Silva when it comes to women’s featherweight division. Justino always perseveres whenever opportunities come her way and will usually run straight at her opponents. As blood oozes out and enters her sharp senses, she will come forward and bestow a series of strong punches that can be unavoidable for anyone who can’t dodge such quick attacks. The aggression she shows inside the cage is unparalleled. It even made it hard for MMA promoters to seek an opponent who is willing to face Cyborg, without the fear of being beaten to shreds. With the way she’s been running through almost all competition, even the haters eventually turned into her fans. Mostly, bettors are also expecting her to
perform well in every matchup. If you are an aspiring bettor, it’s now possible to bet on live MMA fights using your mobile or desktop computer, so put your money where your mouth is by placing a bet on your favorite MMA competitor! Cyborg’s upcoming Bellator debut could be your next chance to test your MMA prognostication mettle.
Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone has been competing as a professional MMA fighter for over 20 years, and in the UFC Octagon since 2011. While he’s never held a UFC belt (not even an interim one), coming up short in his only title shot against then lightweight king Raphael dos Anjos in 2015, Cerrone has remained among the MMA elite for his entire career. He has consistently been ranked in the Top 20 fighters in the world at lightweight or welterweight since his third UFC fight, a first round stoppage over Charles Oliveira, and has reached as high as #2 at 155 lbs and #5 at 170. He is also the winningest and the most active fighter in UFC history.
Last year, we published an article musing on who will be the first UFC fighter to achieve 30 fights in the promotion, and did a follow-up piece a few months later. Since then, Cowboy went from 27 UFC bouts at the time of the first article, to the current record of 32. So despite a disappointing loss to Tony Ferguson at UFC 238, Cerrone remains a legend of the Octagon and a future lock for the UFC hall of fame.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at Donald’s accomplishments (striking statistics courtesy of UFCStats.com).
Top flight athletes are always looking at what to do after their current career comes to a conclusion. But for gold medal Olympic wrestler Jordan Burroughs, will he give the fans what they want and make the jump to Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)? Bonusbets.com reports on the subject.
Jordan Burroughs himself isn’t saying much yet about any potential move, though he knows the lure of the octagon having witnessed many other wrestlers make the same jump.
“I’ve arrived at a place too where I’m seeing all of these guys that I once trained alongside become champions—and this is not a shot at any of those dudes—but if these guys can become champion, then I know I can become a champion because I possess all the same qualities that these guys possess.
It’s exciting, it’s exciting. It’s something that I’d definitely consider. If I do consider fighting, it won’t be until after the Olympic games in 2020, and then from there I’ll reevaluate, see if it’s something that would be a realistic option for me.”
Speaking on The MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting) Burroughs was asked about a potential future in MMA and had this to say:
Some time back, we published an article speculating on who will be the first UFC fighter to reach 30 bouts in the Octagon.
Almost six month later, some of the fighters on this list added to their tally, while others retired or left the promotion. Let’s take a look at who is now the most likely to reach this record first – and the seven has dwindled down to 5 active fighters.
But first, a few notes:
Next, the dropouts since the last article:
[#NR MW] Michael Bisping
Michael Bisping has officially announced his retirement from MMA in May 2018, sharing the current record with 29 UFC fights.
That said, here are our remaining five, listed in the order of likelihood that they will reach the magic number 30 first:
There aren’t many serious MMA fans who haven’t heard of Rafael Dos Anjos, a respected and feared welterweight fighter. Rafael is a dangerous Brazilian 3rd degree Jiu-Jitsu black belt, who has notable victories over dangerous fighters like Robbie Lawler, Donald Cerrone, and Nate Diaz. RDA is an elite striker in the eyes of many, a dangerous jiu-jitsu ace and one of the greatest Lightweights of his generation.
Born the capital of Brazil, Rio de Janiero, in 1984 to a modest family, Rafael was constantly getting involved in street fights in school and in the harsh streets of Rio.
This led to a young RDA being introduced to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at the age of nine. He was inspired after watching a Rickson Gracie fight, “Vale Tudo Japan”, an early televised Japanese MMA tournament. According to Dos Anjos, once he began training the street fighting quickly stopped.
Rafael over the years earned his blue belt at the age of 16 under the tutelage of Mr. Barradas. He quickly went on to make a name for himself at Blue Belt by winning a National Championship. RDA was quickly promoted to Purple Belt, where he continued to have success winning the Rio de Janeiro State Championship then the World Championship.
RDA continued his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training and won 3rd place at the Brazilian National BJJ Championship on two occasions as a Brown Belt. This earned him a coveted spot in a restricted group of National Medalist.
Eventually, RDA accomplished the ultimate goal of any Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, being awarded his Black Belt in 2005.
Rousimar Palhares is quite a polarizing figure within the MMA community and for good reason. He is a dangerous jiu-jitsu expert and has earned a reputation for his submission holds. However, despite this he is an accomplished grappler with an MMA record that’s nothing to sneeze at. Nicknamed Toquinho, for “little tree stump”, comes from his short stocky build. Toquino gained 16 submission victories in MMA with 12 of those coming from leg locks.
The Brazilian jiu-jitsu stand out faced major hurdles and challenges before he ever set foot in an octagon. While most children were going to school, ten year old Palhares along with his sisters worked 13 hour days on a plantation. All while making just enough money to barely survive. From sun up to sun down, he worked, taking care of cattle and cleaning the plantations. Palhares had no opportunity to study or go to school when he was just 10 years old.
As Palhares grew older, his family had enough money to afford him minimal free time. He immediately dove into training martial arts. He first started training Capoeira and then transitioned into Karate. From there he began training jiu-jitsu and with his compact powerful frame he instantly gravitated to it.
When he was 25, Palhares decided to take a leap of faith and left the plantation life and moved to Rio de Janeiro. Once he got to Rio, he began training at Brazilian Top Team. Palhares began his MMA training with the likes of Murilo Bustamante, Ricardo Liborio, Mario Sperry, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Vitor Belfort and Paulo Filho.
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