The Five Best Fighters in Mixed Martial Arts

Who in their right mind would argue that Mirko Cro Cop belongs in the top 5 heavyweight fighters in the world? Well, I’ll also put him in the top 5 all around fighters in the world. Now that Mirko has joined the UFC it’s clear that Tim Silvia’s days as champion are numbered. Mirko will hold the UFC heavyweight title in 2007, I’d put money on that one. Mirko’s strength is most certainly his striking, including the best high kicks in the business. Victim’s of Cro Cop’s left high kick is a list of MMA royalty…I wonder if he can get that kick 6 foot 7 (Tim Silvia’s height).

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira makes my list as the fourth best fighter in the world. He recently defeated Josh Barnett in a decision. I’ve never seen Nog get badly beaten in a fight, although Fedor certainly had his number. He’s probably been the most consistent heavyweight in the world over the last 5 years, a tough submission master who also strikes well and has a solid chin. He’s beaten names like Mirko Cro Cop, Josh Barnett, Bob Sapp and almost every other heavyweight worth mentioning (with the exception of Fedor).

Chuck Liddell comes in at number three, the third best MMA fighter in the world. Nobody on the planet can argue that Chucks fists have dynamite in them. He has unbelievable knock out power, but he is so much better than that. Even the best ground game fighters in the world (Tito, Babalu, Randy) have been unable to take Chuck to the ground and keep him there. Randy did it, but that was three years and many fights ago. The only fighter to beat Chuck without being beaten in return is Quintin Rampage Jackson, expect to see that rematch in late 2007 or early 2008

I consider George St Pierre to be the second best MMA fighter in the world. His dominant performance against Matt Hughes at UFC 65 cemented this position for him. Not only did he beat Matt to the punch with outstanding stand up skills. He also beat him to the kick with a devastating left high kick which ended up finishing the fight. But George did more than stand with Matt (previously considered unstoppable at welterweight). When Matt Hughes tried to take GSP down, he was easily stopped. When the fight did go to the ground it was St Pierre on top of Matt. George has also beated BJ Penn in a gutsy decision performance and stopped Frank Trigg easily, in fact, he made Trigg look like an amateur fighter.

Who is the best heavyweight MMA fighter in the world?

Was there ever any doubt, despite a disappointing performance against Mark Hunt, Fedor Emelianenko is certainly the best heavyweight fighter in the world. I also believe based on his dominance, that he should be crowned king of all MMA fighters. People have become so accustomed to Fedor dominating his competition that a submission late in the first round against one of the best heavyweight fighters in the world (Mark Hunt) is considered a poor performance. Fedor is toughness, he doesn’t look like your classic fighter, but he is amazing to watch, he just wins and convincingly. I don’t really think there is a close #2, the only fighters with a chance against Fedor are Cro Cop and Hunt due to their punching power…but those are slim chances at best. Fedor has victories over every fighter to face him in the Pride Fighting organization. I just don’t see a fighter on the map who even comes close to his skills and strength.

MMA Sponsorships – Practical Advice to an MMA Fighter

The world of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) is becoming more mainstream and thus more complex on a business level. An athlete needs to treat himself like a corporation if he or she wants to maximize revenue potential. The only way to do that is through a specific, well thought out and properly implemented marketing strategy. Traditionally, there are 3 ways for a fighter generate revenue: through professional fighting, sponsorship dollar generation, and training. Here are few things to consider when planning your career in MMA:

1) Should I have a manager? Absolutely. A fighter’s management team should be there to schedule events, appearance, seminars, promotional parties, and sponsorship coordination.

2) How much should I pay my manager? I manager typically requires around 20% – 25% of their fighter salary. Sometimes an agent is employed as well. An agent would deal with sponsors and would coordinate with the manager on scheduling. A manager typically doesn’t receive a salary . Fighters are often managed by their trainer.

3) Develop an online presence. If you don’t have a website and a MySpace account. Make that happen. MySpace is a great networking tool. Having a website highlighting your fights, training, and contact information becomes an invaluable piece of your marketing campaign. Promoters pay more to fighters who have a following. It only makes sense because that sells tickets. Get you name out there. Have video’s uploaded. They help with traffic and give a promoter the opportunity to view you sparring or fighting. A website also gives you additional “real estate” to advertise your sponsors. The exposure you give your sponsor, the more valuable you become.

4) Fight! Take as many make sense fights as you can to build your record and your reputation. The way to get your name out there by fighting reputable fighters.

5) Be a professional. No one likes to deal with a jackass. You are a fighter. Fighters already have a reputation for being unruly. Set the bar a little higher for yourself. The better your behavior, the more an organization wants to affiliate with you! It only makes sense.

6) Don’t take fights you can’t win. If you ever feel like you’re not ready for a fight, don’t take it! Many promoters try to take advantage of new fighters by putting them up against people they really have no business with in the ring. This is a great way to end your career before it even gets off the ground. It can be tempting to fight a big name. It’s great when you can and you’re prepared to do so.

7) Be a showman. Make a point to be an exciting fighter. Take it your opponent. Be the aggressor. People come out to be entertained. The more you are a performer, the more performances you can expect to get.

8) Ask for the money! You spend money everyday. Whether it be at a supplement store, a deli, or dry cleaning. Anyone you spend your money with is a potential sponsor. It will give them a chance to give back for the loyalty you’ve shown them as a customer. Don’t be shy. You’re fighter! Go get your money. Now you can sell them an advertising space on your shorts, your shirt, your hat, your banner and now your website! That’s a lot of levels of exposure! That’s why corporations are willing to pay you, for exposure.

Doing these things will at least get you started in the right direction. The hard part is sticking to your training. Training for MMA is grueling. It’s the guys who just don’t get hurt seem to be the ones who make it. So train regularly. Don’t overtrain. Stretch and eat right. If you do all these things you will at least be started on the right path. So live, love your job, and be smart. This sport is growing so fast and the business side of things is still catching up. Good luck and keep fighting!

The UFC Toronto And The Ultimate Fighter

The UFC Toronto stands for Ultimate Fighting Championship. It takes place in a ring called, “the octagon.” Inside the octagon are the two competitors, or fighters, and one referee. The referee ensures the rules of the fight are not broken, and if they are, the referee may give out penalties, such as, point deductions. In non title fights, there are three 5 minute rounds. Title fights have five 5 minute rounds.

The fighters can win the match a few different ways, for example, knockouts and submissions are among the favorite finishes for most fans. Then there are wins by referee stoppage, disqualification for illegal attacks and TKO (Technical Knockout). The least favorite way to end the fight for most of the fans, would most likely be, going to the judges cards.

There are 3 judges for every fight. These judges score the fighters by aggression, ring control and fighting technique. A fighter can score a max of 10 points per round, whichever fighter has the most points at the end of the fight, is declared the winner. For fighters, it is never good to leave it in the hands of the judges, because anything can happen at that point. Many fighters have looked like they dominated the entire fight, but lost when it came down to the judges cards.

Point deductions and disqualifications can occur if a fighter performs any illegal actions during the fight. Some of these actions include, head butting, eye gouging of any kind, biting, hair pulling, groin attacks, clawing or gouging, and striking the head or spine with a downward elbow. These attacks put the fighters at risk for permanent damage, therefor may not be done.

The growing popularity of the UFC has spawned a television reality show called, The Ultimate Fighter. This show has changed formats over the past few years, but the way this competition works is, fighters from all over, come together to compete against each other for a contract to fight professionally with the UFC.

In this competition, there are 2 teams, each team has a professional UFC fighter as their coach. The competitors live together in a house for six weeks with no televisions and no telephones. Their only job, is to train, learn from their coaches, and work as hard as they can, to become the next ultimate fighter, and win the UFC contract.

During this six weeks, the fighters are matched up for two 5 minute rounds. Whichever fighter loses the fight, is eliminated from the competition and is no longer eligible for the contract. However, there have been a few cases, where a fighter has been eliminated, but then had the rare opportunity to come back and try again.

Once the elimination comes down to the final two competitors, each fighter goes home to train with their own team, then comes back to fight live in front of thousands of eager fans in the UFC 129 Toronto main event. The winner of this final fight, receives the UFC contract, and a chance to show the whole world, what he brings to the table, in the world of mixed martial arts.