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MMA: Five Quickest Fighters in the UFC

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Five Quickest Fighters in the UFC

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Quickness and speed are oftentimes underrated aspects of the MMA game, as a fighter can use his quickness to overcome disadvantages in the strength department, and can sometimes even overcome a lack of skill if able to get out of the way soon enough. And as we all know, speed kills.

But more often than not, the quickest fighters use speed as just one of a set of many tools, and the best fighters in the UFC are often referred to as the quickest. From hand speed to elusiveness to takedown quickness to just plain blurring speed, this list has it all.

Generally, heavier fighters are slower than their lighter counterparts, but this list is based mostly on division dominance. With that being said, even the heavier fighters on this list could probably hang with the flyweights and bantamweights in the UFC.

Fighters who didn’t make the cut are some of the best in the UFC, including light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, featherweight champion Jose Aldo, and former champions Urijah Faber, Frankie Edgar, and Lyoto Machida. Even Clay Guida with his relentless forward movement and Cung Le with his lighting fast kicks didn’t make it. Even Mike “Quick” Swick didn’t make the list.

The list does, however, include four current UFC champions, perhaps the two best fighters of all-time, and the guy with perhaps the quickest hands in the history of the sport.

Check out the list in the slideshow, and be sure to follow me on Twitter @MMAMcKinney to discuss this and other MMA topics.

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5. Dominick Cruz


Just watching a Dominick Cruz fight can make you tired.

From constantly changing footwork, to blurring punches, to takedowns out of nowhere, Cruz has made a name for himself by being quicker than the other guy. And he’s done it in a divisions where speed is king at 135 pounds, making his current division dominance even more impressive.

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4. Vitor Belfort

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Vitor Belfort is on this list for two reasons: first, he made heavyweights look silly in his early career by blitzing some of the best fighters in the history of the sport. And second, he’s been able to keep his title as the man with the fastest hands in the sport since moving down to middleweight, where speed is a necessary tool and fighters blend quickness and power than perhaps any other division.

“The Phenom” may not have the exact same quickness that he had when he made his UFC debut at 19 years old, but he can still hang with the best of the best in the top organization in the world.

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3. Demetrious Johnson

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Demetrious Johnson is a perfect champion to represent the UFC’s new flyweight division, as he embodies the amazing quickness and speed that the division has become known for.

“Mighty Mouse” is also a perfect nickname for Johnson, who can regularly be seen using every square inch of the Octagon in just about every round.

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2. Georges St-Pierre

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What can you say about Georges St-Pierre that hasn’t already been said? The UFC’s welterweight champion has redefined himself many times, from a young, up-and-coming fighter, to an experienced takedown machine who is perhaps the best athlete in the UFC.

GSP can reinvent himself to be anything that he wants, but his speed and quickness will likely never go away. He showed that with a rebuilt knee he is still as spry as always, and that’s a scary thought for the rest of the welterweights in the UFC.

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1. Anderson Silva

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

If elusiveness is a key part of quickness, then Anderson Silva is a shoe-in for this list. You just simply can’t hit the man (unless he lets you), and when you do, he has an iron chin and will often drop his hands and smile while you punch him in the face.

Fact is, Silva could be on just about any list of greatest UFC fighters that you can think of, and he’s deserved that with an unparalleled 16-fight unbeaten streak inside the Octagon.