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.