The following guest post was written by Aaron Walker.
What was once a sport consigned to feature only on the fringe of sports programming has now evolved into a phenomenon that's captivating millions. The Cinderella story of MMA Fighting is no different than the stories its characters share. We've seen the sport grow. Watched its characters evolve. We've roared with joy when they were triumphant over their competitors, and felt each blow as they were defeated. And in the past 10 years, we've witnessed some amazing moments and sensational fights.
And throughout it all, some characters have made the MMA story much more enjoyable. These fighters have earned their place in the history books but still continue to fight for their story. These are the top 5 deadliest fighters still in the game.
Since entering the MMA World over a decade ago, in 1997, no one can doubt Silva's position in this top 5. His impressive record of 33-4-0 says it all, having only ever lost 4 fights. Silva wasn't blessed with an amazing fighting education filled with college and daily classes. He had to learn by practicing with neighborhood kids that could afford to take Jiu-Jitsu classes. Regardless, this unconventional training didn't halt his growth. Even UFC President Dana White has called him the "greatest mixed martial artist ever." Silva holds the longest winning and title defense streak in UFC history, as well as having been Middleweight Champion for both Cage Rage and UFC. And when you're already the champion for 10 consecutive seasons, there aren't many new accomplishments to gain.
Jamie Varner wouldn't typically be a name you’d still see on a list for best MMA fighters today, but his history tells us that he’s something to be afraid of. Varner's had a long career in UFC fighting, one which saw him at the top of the game, to virtually non-exist, and thrown back in the mix. This year marks his 10th anniversary since he began fighting in MMA, just coming back from agonizing knockouts and injuries that saw him consider retirement. Once a World Extreme Cagefighting Lightweight Champion, Varner's experience makes him a deadly threat in the current game.
Compared to the rest of the members on this list, Jones is an amateur. In fact, Jon "Bones" Jones didn't even make his debut in the fighting world until only 5 years ago, in 2008. But the American Mixed Martial Artist’s performances have been so impressive it would be wrong to leave him out of this list. In fact, his record shows only one loss, which only came from a disqualification. As a result, the fans still largely view him as undefeated. That’s because in only 3 years' time, Jones became UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, making him the youngest champion in UFC history. With credentials like that and an extensive list of defeats over some previous champions, Jones has proved he's one of the deadliest.
The UFC Welterweight champion, Georges St. Pierre has won his title 4 times straight from 2003 to 2007. Also with an impressive 24-2-0 record, St. Pierre has only ever seen defeat twice in his UFC career that began over a decade ago. He's won praise as the #1 welterweight in the world and managed to win Canadian Athlete of the Year, despite being part of a sport still in its infancy.
Dan Henderson, aka Hendo, comes from a slightly different background. An accomplished fighter outside of MMA, Hendo has represented the United States as an Olympic wrestler. Over a 15 year career, Hendo has earned awards galore, being called MMA Fighter of the Year on numerous occasions. Before UFC absorbed the various MMA leagues, Henderson claimed titles as the last Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion as well as Pride's Welterweight and Middleweight champion. Despite his age, Henderson continues to win tournaments with his insane right hand knockout power. Coupled with his inability to be knocked out, Hendo is surely one of the world's deadliest MMA fighters still in the game.
Aaron Walker is a MMA-obsessed, music-loving blogger who often writes about sports and technology. He wrote this post on behalf of Vista College, one of the finest online colleges. To see more of his work, you can follow him on Twitter under the handle @aaronwalker77.