The 10 Best British Fighters In MMA
10 Best British Fighters
The UFC's global expansion plan is increasing MMA's popularity in almost every country around the world. Dubbed as the fastest growing sport in the world, it is mostly watched in the USA, Canada and Brazil, but viewing numbers have shown steady improvement in Europe and South America.
Britain has created perhaps one star for the UFC, possibly more, but nowhere near as many as a country that produced Lenox Lewis, Amir Khan and Joe Calzaghe should have. Michael Bisping is most definitely the biggest British MMA star to date, and yet his wins over questionable opponents have left British fans looking for a new hope.
Fans have seen many British MMA fighters burst on to the UFC scene only to fade into limbo, and fighters such as Che Mills and Andre Winner show the obvious lack of wrestling coaching in Britain. Most British fighters are brought up boxing, and even English grapplers like Terry Etim and Paul Sass have more capable boxing than America's elite fighters.
Jimi Manuwa is the newest star in the British scene, and has destroyed one American, one Canadian and one Frenchman in his three bouts in the UFC. While fighters shouldn't be classified by their nationality, it's difficult to not keep European fighters separate from the American fighters, due to them being the minority. British fans are among the most passionate in any sport, and while they are still searching for their new and first UFC champion, the sport will only grow more popular in the country.
Tom Watson – Another British fighter in poor form is Tom 'Kong' Watson, who has lost two back to back decisions still possesses the rough and tough fighting style that can win him a few fights. Watson needs to seriously improve his wrestling defense in order to make his mark on the middleweight division.
Scott Askham – The BAMMA middleweight champion is currently undefeated and bares physical gifts that could carry him in to the UFC. Towering at 6-foot-3, the young fighter possesses deadly knees from the clinch and even holds an incredible four second knockout win.
10. Michael Page
A man with undeniable talent, Michael Page has been doing his best Anderson Silva impersonations for his career first five fights. Perhaps that's unfair on Page, as he is most certainly his own fighter, but his attacks are remarkably matrix-like. Watch him as he continues to tear a hole in the Bellator and Superfight League scene.
9. John Maguire
John Maguire has recently found a new home at Cage Warriors, following three consecutive losses in the UFC. He has moved down to lightweight, and his keen boxing as well as 'gypsy jiu jitsu' will hopefully find him back in the UFC.
8. Norman Parke
The ultimate fighter victor holds an incredible record of 19-2, with three straight wins in the Octagon against three tricky opponents. He will have to avoid the dangerous submissions of Leonardo Santos in his next fight if he wants to be a danger in the lightweight division.
7. Luke Barnatt
Another Cambridge fighter, Luke Barnatt has certainly found his stride in the UFC, coming off a destructive win against Andrew Craig. Undefeated and hungry, he will be looking to extend his run with a win over Mats Nilsson in what should be an entertaining matchup.
6. Ross Pearson
Ross Pearson has long been the staple of British MMA, only second to Michael Bisping. His boxing is some of the best in the division and looks to be getting better coming into his 30's. A rematch with Melvin Guillard is a tough match for him, but it should be a war.
5. Paul Daley
Paul Daley is the most naturally talented British fighter there is, containing immense power in both hands and some nice striking IQ. He dropped the invincible Nick Diaz a couple of times and has a stunning knockout reel.
4. Brad Prickett
Brad Pickett is one of the most well-rounded fighters in the flyweight division, and even holds a win over current champion Demetrious Johnson. Pickett has fallen at the last hurdle in his career, being out-gunned by No. 1 contenders, but he is still one of the most sound fighters in the UFC.
3. John Hathaway
A man forgotten too many times, John Hathaway is one of the unsung heroes of British MMA. Posting a 17-1 career record, Hathaway has defeated notable contenders in Diego Sanchez, John Maguire and Rick Story, and will be facing Dong Hyun Kim in his next fight.
2. Jimi Manuwa
The man that steps up to fight Alexander Gustafsson is a brave one. Jimi Manuwa faces the Swede in a possible title contendership after coming off three straight wins in the UFC. No one has lasted in the Octagon with Manuwa, as every opponent has been forced to give up under his overwhelming striking.
1. Michael Bisping
Michael Bisping has forever been the UFC's posterboy for British MMA. His title dreams have been shattered by the likes of Vitor Belfort and Dan Henderson, but who doesn't lose to those two except for Anderson Silva? Bisping is lined up to fight Tim Kennedy and will likely be back in the title talks after that one.