Tuesday night Spike TV's brand new original series Deadliest Warrior premieres at 10pm, so I figured it's a better time than ever to take a few minutes and hash out who the all-time greatest UFC warriors are.
7. BJ Penn
One of only a few fighters to hold titles at two different weight classes, "The Prodigy" has an unnatural ability to inflict pain on the lightweight insubordinates. He has wins over Matt Serra, Matt Hughes, Jens Pulver, and Sean Sherk, all of whom have held titles of their own.
His recent loss to St-Pierre has caused him to slide a little on the all-time list, but none of that changes what Penn has done in the lightweight class and, for now, he securely holds his spot at the back of my list.
6. Royce Gracie
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Without Royce Gracie, it's fair to say that mixed martial arts as we know it today would not exist. The sheer dominance of which Gracie dispatched opponent after opponent in the early days the UFC caught the attention of eager fans across the globe.
Gracie beat insurmountable odds with his unmatched jiu-jitsu skills and submitted much larger opponents en route to tournament victories at UFC 1, 2, and 4. Gracie was responsible for some of the most technical battles in the early years of the UFC and provided legitimacy in the midst of a blood sport. Without the groundwork laid by Gracie, the UFC may never found the foothold it was looking for and could very well have fallen to the wayside.
There is a little bit a Gracie's soul in every card the UFC holds and for that he always be remembered as an all-time great.
5. Matt Hughes
In one of the most competitive weight classes ever, Matt Hughes is the most decorated champion in UFC history. With a staggering 42 overall wins and a 9-2 record in title fights, Matt Hughes ruled the welterweight class for so long, the belt was practically named after him. Early in his career Hughes was charged with the task outgrowing the shadow cast by his predecessor and mentor Pat Miletich. It was an undertaking that would have crumbled most challengers, but Hughes took it on with all cylinders and never looked back. He will never again be thought of as "Little Pat."
Over his journey he recorded wins over Carlos Newton, Frank Trigg, Georges St-Pierre, and Hayato Sakurai, but perhaps the most symbolic win was his TKO victory over the legendary Royce Gracie. With it, he officially ushered out the old and welcomed the new, and though he could be controversial outside the cage, there is no denying that he was a force to be reckoned with inside it, which is why he deserves to be considered on the all-time list.