Top 15 Most Underrated MMA/ UFC Fighters

1 of 16

Top 15 Most Underrated MMA/ UFC Fighters

Top 15 Most Underrated MMA/ UFC Fighters
Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE

They are the unsung heroes, the undermined. They are the fighters that have not yet or will ever get the recognition they rightfully deserve. Despite their best efforts and success; their names may only amount as a cliff note in the annals of MMA history. It is a rather interesting reoccurring theme in history. For whatever reason, history only chooses a few to remember. Time degrades the world one second at time and even the chosen few will be forgotten one day. So where does that leave the many that are underrated? It leaves them in the painful world of the unappreciated. Granted, not all who are underrated stay underrated. There are times when the unsung heroes earn a spot in the memory of others. I have compiled a list, of who I believe are the top 15 most underrated MMA/UFC fighters. Many MMA fighters go their entire careers relatively unnoticed, despite their fighting prowess. There are thousands of MMA fighters, but only so much room for everyone’s attention. Never the less, credit is due for every MMA fighter out there who has painstakingly sacrificed their time and health. Truth be told, I believe some of the fighters on this list will transcend the status of underrated to MMA superstar. And yet by the same token, many of these fighters will always be underrated. That is why I will rate at the end of each page, if said fighter is a rising star or forever to remain an unsung hero. For any of you who think I’m way off with my predictions; then I strongly encourage you guys to offer your input and insight. Enjoy.

2 of 16

Glover Teixeira

Glover Teixeira
Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

Glover Teixeira is still a relatively unknown in terms of mainstream status, however I think this only temporary. Teixeira has terrifying power behind those heavy hands. Teixeira is expected to face Quinton “Rampage” Jackson on January 26, on UFC on Fox, a really great match up. If Teixeira can capitalize on this victory; then he’s well on his way to getting some well deserved recognition. Verdict: Rising Star

3 of 16

Cung Le

Cung Le
Mark J.Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Cung Le is by far not only one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time, but he is one of the best fighters of all time. Le is one of those old dogs, much like Randy Couture, who can still kick the crap out of the young bucks. Le, aside, from being an accomplished kick boxer and collegiate wrestler, has a decorated MMA career. Le defeated UFC legend Frank Shamrock to become the Strikeforce middleweight champ in 2008. Recently, Le KO’d Rich Franklin. Le put his MMA career on hold to pursue an acting career, where he has had moderate success. Le is now 40 and his best years are behind him, physically. Since he is devoting much of his time to his film career, sadly, he may always be an underrated fighter. Verdict: Unsung Hero

4 of 16

Chris Weidman

Chris Weidman
Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

Chris Weidman is one of the most devastating middleweights the sport of MMA has ever seen. Weidman’s natural athletic prowess is matched by his uncanny ability to master things quickly. Despite racking up impressive victories over Mark Munoz, Demian Maia, and Tom Lawlor, Weidman has gone through a rough patch. Weidman’s house was severely ravaged by hurricane Sandy and has suffered a shoulder injury. Despite these career and personal setbacks, I foresee Weidman returning to the octagon soon enough, to leave broken bodies on the canvas floor. I have high hopes for this undefeated middleweight fighter. Verdict: Rising Star

5 of 16

Tim Boetsch

Tim Boetsch
Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

If ever there was a nick name that fit a fighter’s ability; it would be Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch. It also rolls off the tongue quite nicely. Go ahead, try saying it. Boetsch fights with the berserk intensity of well…a barbarian. Boetsch had an interesting start to his UFC career, being an understudy for injured fighters. All the same, he started his career strong, manhandling David Heath. Boetsch’s career went on stronger beating notable fighters such as Yushin Okami and Hector Lombard. Boetsch was to face Chris Weidman at UFC 155, but now will face Constantinos Philippou. Boetsch could’ve really used a fight against Weidman. It would’ve been an outstanding opportunity to beat one of the best middleweights in the world. Sadly, I believe as long as Boetsch keeps fighting lower tier fighters, he may forever be underrated Verdict: Unsung Hero

6 of 16

Jon Fitch

Jon Fitch
Mark J.Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Jon Fitch is a man who puts his heart and soul into every fight he can. Fitch has been criticized by some fight fans for his lack luster performances. Fitch is a very meat and potatoes kind of fighter, he uses just the essentials to win and he does a damn good job at it. Fitch may not be the UFC’s favorite fighter. In 2008, he was released by the UFC for a dispute involving naming rights. However, his release lasted less than 24 hours. Fitch has had a decorated career, defeating Tiago Alves, going the distance with Georges St-Pierre and fighting to a stand still with BJ Penn. Fitch is one of the toughest fighters on his roster, but none of that matters unless he can secure a title fight. Verdict: Unsung Hero

7 of 16

Ryan Couture

Ryan Couture
Scott Olmos-US PRESSWIRE

It’s hard to say where the career of Ryan Couture is going. Couture is a very good fighter. He may never reach the pinnacle of MMA stardom that his father Randy Couture has, but never the less he is quiet talented. Couture, like his father is a very effective grappler and patient fighter. Couture has had a good career in Strikeforce. Sadly, with the oncoming demise of Strikeforce, the future of the younger Couture’s career is hazy to make out. If he can transition into the UFC, he could have a bright future with the tutelage of his father. Couture is expected face K.J. Noons on January 12th at Strikeforce’s final event. After that, there is no telling where his career will go. With this uncertainty in his career it’s hard to make heads or tails of where he will be in the next year. Verdict: Unsung Hero

8 of 16

Ben Fodor

Ben-Fodor
Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

There are very few MMA fighters who moonlight as superheroes, well kind of superhero. Ben Fodor is better known by his pseudonym, Phoenix Jones and for his crime fighting antics. Fodor is a very talented fighter holding an 11-0 record. Fodor is very well rounded; he has a solid stand up and ground game. Not to mention, physically he’s a monster, using this aspect to dominate his opponents. Fodor has decided to dedicate his time to playing a skewed version of grown-up cops and robbers; rather than cultivate a serious MMA career. While me and many others are reluctant to condone his crime fighting, never the less I have respect for his decision. Verdict: Unsung Hero

9 of 16

Renan Barao

Renan Barao
Kelvin Kuo US PRESSWIRE

Renan Barao is a kid with limitless potential. The interim UFC bantam weight champ is riding a rapid wave of success; by having one of the longest winning streaks in the UFC. Barao fights with the speed, ferocity and intensity of a mad dog. Once Barao goes in for the first attack, he won’t stop until his opponent is utterly beaten. Barao, a former WEC fighter, has taken his dominance from that playing field to the UFC. Barao, seems unstoppable with fast, precise strikes and his highly refined BJJ. Barao has had a great start to in the UFC and his momentum is only getting stronger. Once Barao can secure a title around his waist, he will no doubt be a name everyone will remember. Verdict: Rising Star

10 of 16

John Makdessi

John Makdessi
Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE

John Makdessi is a relative new comer to the UFC. Makdessi started off his career with victories over Paul Audinwood and Kyle Watson. However, he went through a minor rough patch losing his next two UFC matches against Dennis Hallman and Anthony Njokuani. That changed, when he recently defeated Sam Stout at UFC 154; outwitting Stout with accurate strikes and counter strikes. Although Makdessi is not the most powerful striker; he is by far one of the most accurate. Makdessi’s timing is incredible and he is very efficient with his cardio. As mentioned, not the most powerful striker, his quick strikes and accurate timing pick apart his opponents, piece by piece. Makdessi has had moderate success in the UFC, but he has made an impact and I can see this fighter soon climbing the ranks in the lightweight division. Verdict: Rising Star

11 of 16

Pablo Garza

Pablo Garza
Eric Bolte-US PRESSWIRE

Scarecrows are seldom intimidating to anything but crows, with the exception of a colorful Batman villain and UFC fighter Pablo Garza. Garza totes the name Scarecrow obviously due to the fact of his lanky stature. Garza, being 6’1 and 145 is unusual, but gives him more advantage over shorter opponents in his weight division. Garza got notoriety after putting Fredson Paixao on stretcher, after delivering a flying knee, ending the fight at 51 seconds. Garza’s most recent victory was over Mark Hominick at UFC 154. Again, Garza’s lanky frame proved to be a valuable asset that night. Hominick was at a clear disadvantage, being much shorter. Aside from being a good striker, Garza is very good on the ground. I can see this scarecrow being a top contender in a matter of time. Verdict: Rising Star

12 of 16

Ben Rothwell

Ben Rothwell
Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE

Big Ben Rothwell has been around for a long time now and is a decorated veteran, coming under UFC legend Pat Miletich. Rothwell began his career in the UFC in 2009, facing the terrifying Cain Velasquez. Velasquez beat Rothwell in the second round via TKO, despite Rothwell clearly getting up. The results are somewhat controversial, truth told; if the fight had continued, Velasquez would’ve destroyed Rothwell. If the fight had continued, Rothwell would’ve eventually gassed out and Velasquez would’ve won anyway. Rothwell is a burly, heavy hitter with good KO power, but he maybe past his prime and unable to stand with the top heavyweights. Verdict: Unsung Hero

13 of 16

Yushin Okami

Yushin Okami
Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

Veteran MMA fighter, Yushin Okami, is another fighter who has been in the game for a long time. Despite his highly successful career, he has managed to stay under the radar of popularity. Okami, like another underrated fighter Jon Fitch, is a highly technical, aggressive fighter. His stand up, while simple and formulaic, is very fast and effective, while the same can be said about his ground game. Okami started off his career in his native Japan with various small leagues. After roughly four years of climbing the ranks, he signed with the UFC in 2006 and has been there ever since, making one hell of an impression. Throughout the course of his career, Okami has scored victories over Evan Tanner, Mark Munoz, and Alan Belcher, to name a few. In fact, Okami and Belcher are set to fight again at UFC 155. Okami is still young enough, to set the course of his career to stardom. I believe he has the time and potential to get there. Verdict: Rising Star

14 of 16

Alan Belcher

Alan Belcher
Joe Camporeale-US PRESSWIRE

Alan Belcher is one of the UFC’s more experienced fighter’s, in terms of prior martial arts training, holding three black belts in BBJ, Tae Kwon Do and Kickboxing, respectively and my god, does it show. Belcher is a very quick, aggressive and tricky fighter. Belcher is able to pick apart opponents and quickly find openings in their style and is able to completely control a fight. There are times when he can get a bit wild and out of control, making it easy for a more controlled fighter; like Yushin Okami, to take advantage of. Never the less, Belcher is one of the top middleweights in the sport and has what it takes to earn himself a title and well earned recognition. Verdict: Rising Star

15 of 16

Kim Dong Hyun

Kim Dong Hyun
Mark J.Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Kim Dong Hyun is one of the most underrated fighters in MMA. Hyun has some of the best takedowns and vicious strikes in the UFC. Hyun has had incredible victories over Paulo Thiago and Nate Diaz. Hyun’s match against Karo Parisyan was shrouded in controversy. Parisyan won via decision which brought on a cacophony of boos from the attending audience and an outcry from UFC fighters. It was later discovered that Parisyan tested positive for three painkillers. The Nevada Athletic Commission ruled the fight a no contest. Hyun has a bright future in the UFC, with his effective striking and takedowns. Verdict: Rising Star

16 of 16

Myles Jury

Myles Jury
Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIREW

Although still very young, Myles Jury has amassed a lot of MMA experience, starting his career at 17. Jury has an impressive record of 10-0. Jury is an aggressive, hard working fighter. Since Jury has been exposed to MMA at such a young age, he has really had the time to understand what works and what doesn’t work in the cage. Jury is very much a product of pure, raw MMA, like Rory MacDonald. Jury made his UFC debut at The Ultimate Fighter: Live Finale, defeating Chris Saunders via submission. Jury is fueled by a hard work ethic and an absolute desire to rise to the top in the light weight division. Verdict: Rising Star

1 of 16

Top 15 Most Underrated MMA/ UFC Fighters

Top 15 Most Underrated MMA/ UFC Fighters
Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE

They are the unsung heroes, the undermined. They are the fighters that have not yet or will ever get the recognition they rightfully deserve. Despite their best efforts and success; their names may only amount as a cliff note in the annals of MMA history. It is a rather interesting reoccurring theme in history. For whatever reason, history only chooses a few to remember. Time degrades the world one second at time and even the chosen few will be forgotten one day. So where does that leave the many that are underrated? It leaves them in the painful world of the unappreciated. Granted, not all who are underrated stay underrated. There are times when the unsung heroes earn a spot in the memory of others. I have compiled a list, of who I believe are the top 15 most underrated MMA/UFC fighters. Many MMA fighters go their entire careers relatively unnoticed, despite their fighting prowess. There are thousands of MMA fighters, but only so much room for everyone’s attention. Never the less, credit is due for every MMA fighter out there who has painstakingly sacrificed their time and health. Truth be told, I believe some of the fighters on this list will transcend the status of underrated to MMA superstar. And yet by the same token, many of these fighters will always be underrated. That is why I will rate at the end of each page, if said fighter is a rising star or forever to remain an unsung hero. For any of you who think I’m way off with my predictions; then I strongly encourage you guys to offer your input and insight. Enjoy.

2 of 16

Glover Teixeira

Glover Teixeira
Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

Glover Teixeira is still a relatively unknown in terms of mainstream status, however I think this only temporary. Teixeira has terrifying power behind those heavy hands. Teixeira is expected to face Quinton “Rampage” Jackson on January 26, on UFC on Fox, a really great match up. If Teixeira can capitalize on this victory; then he’s well on his way to getting some well deserved recognition. Verdict: Rising Star

3 of 16

Cung Le

Cung Le
Mark J.Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Cung Le is by far not only one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time, but he is one of the best fighters of all time. Le is one of those old dogs, much like Randy Couture, who can still kick the crap out of the young bucks. Le, aside, from being an accomplished kick boxer and collegiate wrestler, has a decorated MMA career. Le defeated UFC legend Frank Shamrock to become the Strikeforce middleweight champ in 2008. Recently, Le KO’d Rich Franklin. Le put his MMA career on hold to pursue an acting career, where he has had moderate success. Le is now 40 and his best years are behind him, physically. Since he is devoting much of his time to his film career, sadly, he may always be an underrated fighter. Verdict: Unsung Hero

4 of 16

Chris Weidman

Chris Weidman
Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

Chris Weidman is one of the most devastating middleweights the sport of MMA has ever seen. Weidman’s natural athletic prowess is matched by his uncanny ability to master things quickly. Despite racking up impressive victories over Mark Munoz, Demian Maia, and Tom Lawlor, Weidman has gone through a rough patch. Weidman’s house was severely ravaged by hurricane Sandy and has suffered a shoulder injury. Despite these career and personal setbacks, I foresee Weidman returning to the octagon soon enough, to leave broken bodies on the canvas floor. I have high hopes for this undefeated middleweight fighter. Verdict: Rising Star

5 of 16

Tim Boetsch

Tim Boetsch
Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

If ever there was a nick name that fit a fighter’s ability; it would be Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch. It also rolls off the tongue quite nicely. Go ahead, try saying it. Boetsch fights with the berserk intensity of well…a barbarian. Boetsch had an interesting start to his UFC career, being an understudy for injured fighters. All the same, he started his career strong, manhandling David Heath. Boetsch’s career went on stronger beating notable fighters such as Yushin Okami and Hector Lombard. Boetsch was to face Chris Weidman at UFC 155, but now will face Constantinos Philippou. Boetsch could’ve really used a fight against Weidman. It would’ve been an outstanding opportunity to beat one of the best middleweights in the world. Sadly, I believe as long as Boetsch keeps fighting lower tier fighters, he may forever be underrated Verdict: Unsung Hero

6 of 16

Jon Fitch

Jon Fitch
Mark J.Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Jon Fitch is a man who puts his heart and soul into every fight he can. Fitch has been criticized by some fight fans for his lack luster performances. Fitch is a very meat and potatoes kind of fighter, he uses just the essentials to win and he does a damn good job at it. Fitch may not be the UFC’s favorite fighter. In 2008, he was released by the UFC for a dispute involving naming rights. However, his release lasted less than 24 hours. Fitch has had a decorated career, defeating Tiago Alves, going the distance with Georges St-Pierre and fighting to a stand still with BJ Penn. Fitch is one of the toughest fighters on his roster, but none of that matters unless he can secure a title fight. Verdict: Unsung Hero

7 of 16

Ryan Couture

Ryan Couture
Scott Olmos-US PRESSWIRE

It’s hard to say where the career of Ryan Couture is going. Couture is a very good fighter. He may never reach the pinnacle of MMA stardom that his father Randy Couture has, but never the less he is quiet talented. Couture, like his father is a very effective grappler and patient fighter. Couture has had a good career in Strikeforce. Sadly, with the oncoming demise of Strikeforce, the future of the younger Couture’s career is hazy to make out. If he can transition into the UFC, he could have a bright future with the tutelage of his father. Couture is expected face K.J. Noons on January 12th at Strikeforce’s final event. After that, there is no telling where his career will go. With this uncertainty in his career it’s hard to make heads or tails of where he will be in the next year. Verdict: Unsung Hero

8 of 16

Ben Fodor

Ben-Fodor
Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

There are very few MMA fighters who moonlight as superheroes, well kind of superhero. Ben Fodor is better known by his pseudonym, Phoenix Jones and for his crime fighting antics. Fodor is a very talented fighter holding an 11-0 record. Fodor is very well rounded; he has a solid stand up and ground game. Not to mention, physically he’s a monster, using this aspect to dominate his opponents. Fodor has decided to dedicate his time to playing a skewed version of grown-up cops and robbers; rather than cultivate a serious MMA career. While me and many others are reluctant to condone his crime fighting, never the less I have respect for his decision. Verdict: Unsung Hero

9 of 16

Renan Barao

Renan Barao
Kelvin Kuo US PRESSWIRE

Renan Barao is a kid with limitless potential. The interim UFC bantam weight champ is riding a rapid wave of success; by having one of the longest winning streaks in the UFC. Barao fights with the speed, ferocity and intensity of a mad dog. Once Barao goes in for the first attack, he won’t stop until his opponent is utterly beaten. Barao, a former WEC fighter, has taken his dominance from that playing field to the UFC. Barao, seems unstoppable with fast, precise strikes and his highly refined BJJ. Barao has had a great start to in the UFC and his momentum is only getting stronger. Once Barao can secure a title around his waist, he will no doubt be a name everyone will remember. Verdict: Rising Star

10 of 16

John Makdessi

John Makdessi
Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE

John Makdessi is a relative new comer to the UFC. Makdessi started off his career with victories over Paul Audinwood and Kyle Watson. However, he went through a minor rough patch losing his next two UFC matches against Dennis Hallman and Anthony Njokuani. That changed, when he recently defeated Sam Stout at UFC 154; outwitting Stout with accurate strikes and counter strikes. Although Makdessi is not the most powerful striker; he is by far one of the most accurate. Makdessi’s timing is incredible and he is very efficient with his cardio. As mentioned, not the most powerful striker, his quick strikes and accurate timing pick apart his opponents, piece by piece. Makdessi has had moderate success in the UFC, but he has made an impact and I can see this fighter soon climbing the ranks in the lightweight division. Verdict: Rising Star

11 of 16

Pablo Garza

Pablo Garza
Eric Bolte-US PRESSWIRE

Scarecrows are seldom intimidating to anything but crows, with the exception of a colorful Batman villain and UFC fighter Pablo Garza. Garza totes the name Scarecrow obviously due to the fact of his lanky stature. Garza, being 6’1 and 145 is unusual, but gives him more advantage over shorter opponents in his weight division. Garza got notoriety after putting Fredson Paixao on stretcher, after delivering a flying knee, ending the fight at 51 seconds. Garza’s most recent victory was over Mark Hominick at UFC 154. Again, Garza’s lanky frame proved to be a valuable asset that night. Hominick was at a clear disadvantage, being much shorter. Aside from being a good striker, Garza is very good on the ground. I can see this scarecrow being a top contender in a matter of time. Verdict: Rising Star

12 of 16

Ben Rothwell

Ben Rothwell
Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE

Big Ben Rothwell has been around for a long time now and is a decorated veteran, coming under UFC legend Pat Miletich. Rothwell began his career in the UFC in 2009, facing the terrifying Cain Velasquez. Velasquez beat Rothwell in the second round via TKO, despite Rothwell clearly getting up. The results are somewhat controversial, truth told; if the fight had continued, Velasquez would’ve destroyed Rothwell. If the fight had continued, Rothwell would’ve eventually gassed out and Velasquez would’ve won anyway. Rothwell is a burly, heavy hitter with good KO power, but he maybe past his prime and unable to stand with the top heavyweights. Verdict: Unsung Hero

13 of 16

Yushin Okami

Yushin Okami
Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

Veteran MMA fighter, Yushin Okami, is another fighter who has been in the game for a long time. Despite his highly successful career, he has managed to stay under the radar of popularity. Okami, like another underrated fighter Jon Fitch, is a highly technical, aggressive fighter. His stand up, while simple and formulaic, is very fast and effective, while the same can be said about his ground game. Okami started off his career in his native Japan with various small leagues. After roughly four years of climbing the ranks, he signed with the UFC in 2006 and has been there ever since, making one hell of an impression. Throughout the course of his career, Okami has scored victories over Evan Tanner, Mark Munoz, and Alan Belcher, to name a few. In fact, Okami and Belcher are set to fight again at UFC 155. Okami is still young enough, to set the course of his career to stardom. I believe he has the time and potential to get there. Verdict: Rising Star

14 of 16

Alan Belcher

Alan Belcher
Joe Camporeale-US PRESSWIRE

Alan Belcher is one of the UFC’s more experienced fighter’s, in terms of prior martial arts training, holding three black belts in BBJ, Tae Kwon Do and Kickboxing, respectively and my god, does it show. Belcher is a very quick, aggressive and tricky fighter. Belcher is able to pick apart opponents and quickly find openings in their style and is able to completely control a fight. There are times when he can get a bit wild and out of control, making it easy for a more controlled fighter; like Yushin Okami, to take advantage of. Never the less, Belcher is one of the top middleweights in the sport and has what it takes to earn himself a title and well earned recognition. Verdict: Rising Star

15 of 16

Kim Dong Hyun

Kim Dong Hyun
Mark J.Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Kim Dong Hyun is one of the most underrated fighters in MMA. Hyun has some of the best takedowns and vicious strikes in the UFC. Hyun has had incredible victories over Paulo Thiago and Nate Diaz. Hyun’s match against Karo Parisyan was shrouded in controversy. Parisyan won via decision which brought on a cacophony of boos from the attending audience and an outcry from UFC fighters. It was later discovered that Parisyan tested positive for three painkillers. The Nevada Athletic Commission ruled the fight a no contest. Hyun has a bright future in the UFC, with his effective striking and takedowns. Verdict: Rising Star

16 of 16

Myles Jury

Myles Jury
Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIREW

Although still very young, Myles Jury has amassed a lot of MMA experience, starting his career at 17. Jury has an impressive record of 10-0. Jury is an aggressive, hard working fighter. Since Jury has been exposed to MMA at such a young age, he has really had the time to understand what works and what doesn’t work in the cage. Jury is very much a product of pure, raw MMA, like Rory MacDonald. Jury made his UFC debut at The Ultimate Fighter: Live Finale, defeating Chris Saunders via submission. Jury is fueled by a hard work ethic and an absolute desire to rise to the top in the light weight division. Verdict: Rising Star


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