- Top Ranked: The Best Boxers to Watch Out For
The world of boxing is truly unpredictable. One minute you’re at the top of the world; the next, you’re on your back, wondering what happened, while your opponent’s hands are raised in victory. This is the world of boxing. Either you’re on the top or you’re fighting to get to the top, wreaking havoc and wrecking along the way.
Speaking of getting to the top, here is a list of fighters who are making the long, slow grind. It’s only a matter of time before they, too, get a target painted on their back.
The dissolution of the Soviet Union has become boxing’s gain. From the more famous to the up-and-coming, boxing has seen fighters like Sergiy Derevyanchenko dominate the scene. One of the many boxers who came from the Olympics, Derevyanchenko fights out of Brooklyn, New York, and expected to make waves in his division.
At only 20 years old, all eyes are on this fighter to make some noise. Perhaps this is because of the way he turned in his match against Phillip Jackson Benson. He followed this up with a very skillful conquering of experienced Denis Douglin, turning in a TKO in the 10th.
Diego Dela Hoya
With a familiar name like Dela Hoya, you can’t go wrong. Diego will to fight under his cousin’s promotion. At 22 years old, he is still undefeated in his division, winning all 18 of his fights, 9 by way of knockout. He has also done some impressive work as an amateur and as a representative of his native Mexico.
Tyson Fury’s cousin makes it to this list simply because of his impressive credentials. Winning the gold medal as an Olympian fighting in the ’12 Youth World Championships was just a start. He has since been undefeated in each of his 20 fights, winning 10 by knockout. The only thing stopping him from going all the way is his health condition involving his skin.
Lubin is the type of boxer that true boxing fans love to follow. Turning professional at age 18, he has gone 17-0 since turning pro with 12 coming by way of knockout. He has also conquered Orlando Lora and Daniel Sandoval and fights alongside Canelo Alvarez, Jermell Charlo, and Erislandy Lara. Time will tell when he will cross paths with these superstars.
These five boxers don’t certainly represent boxing; they are the future of boxing. It seems it’s only a matter of time before they become the names to follow in the world of boxing.
- 25 is the Magic Number: MMA’s Up-and-Coming Superstars
More than any other sport, MMA stands out as the most unpredictable of all athletic endeavors involving martial arts. Mixed martial arts combines all the disciplines and it truly makes for very entertaining fights. The fighters here are considered to be the pinnacle of the respective niche—jacks of all trades, perhaps masters of one.
Barring their specialty in any one sport, here are the different fighters who are set to make names in the future. They are composed of both title-holders and up-and-comers.
Brandon “The Assassin Baby” Moreno
23 years old
He’s started his future as a flyweight, but Brandon Moreno could potentially go up in weights until even featherweight. Currently 13-3 and 2-0 in the UFC, he hasn’t tasted a loss in the last 4 years. Moreno is an especially talented submission artist; about 9 of his wins had come by way of submission.
23 years old
Borg made the noise in all his 10 fights in the UFC. Notwithstanding the way he’s missed making the weight, Borg has the skills to become an awesome fighter. However, if he’s forced to move up in weight, he won’t be as exciting. Let’s hope that won’t become the case.
Cody “No Love” Garbrandt
25 years old
Ranked no.5 on the fight list, Garbrandt has, so far, defeated rival Dominick Cruz to take the UFC bantamweight title. This came after he took down Thomas Almeida and Takeya Mizugaki after the other in rapid succession. He’s since been 10-0 in all his fights, and all this at only 25 years old.
25 years old
In spite of his loss to Garbrandt, you just can’t dispel his 21-1 record as a fluke. Almeida has a no-mercy style to his fight, winning against Albert Morales in exactly this fashion. Almeida can go far as a flyweight if he keeps his fighting style ongoing.
Kevin “Motor City Phenom” Lee
24 years old
To call out Conor McGregor takes on a lot of balls and Kevin, perhaps ready to take on the world, did exactly this after his win in McGregor’s native Ireland. While he isn’t undefeated, he’s bounced back from these losses in style. A wrestling specialist, Lee has always managed to win if he forces his specialty on his opponent.
24 years old
The 10-1 fighter has created noise by way of how he managed to overcome BJ Penn. The former champion was simple crushed by Rodriguez, who simply was too good even for a prime Penn. Continuing to do like he did in that fight, it’s only a matter of time if he managed to win a title.
It’s truly exciting in the UFC side of things because of the way these fighters hold themselves against competition. Let’s hope we continue to see them at their prime and, eventually, as champions.
- Not Y but When: MMA’s Best and Brightest Future Female Champions
When you hear the term “mixed martial arts”, you get the idea of perfectly chiseled specimens fighting their hearts out. However, as in any kind of sport, even MMA has opened its doors to women. The female side of the competition is just as fierce; the competitors are every bit as focused as their male counterparts.
Here is a list of the best female fighters out there. These are a versatile mix composed of both champions and challengers.
Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino
Cris “Cyborg” has always been in the discussion for best fighters in this list. However, the lack of competition in her division has not been a friend; she hasn’t been as active as she should be. Her last victory was an impressive one, however, disposing of Tonya Evinger via knockout to win the title.
Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes
Amanda Nunes’ resume includes a lot of high profile names: twice locking horns with Valentina Shevchenko and winning, she went on to face off against Shayna Baszler, Miesha Tate, Sara McMann, and Ronda Wousey. She even managed to win a belt in the process. Her glaring weakness, her stamina, wasn’t seen in her most recent bout against Shevchenko, indicating she managed to solve it somehow.
More known as a clinical striker, Jedrzejczyk seems to know the drill. Knowing that her tactics, by itself, won’t be enough to blow away the competition, she has added more tools to her arsenal; hence, she is more known for her striking than her grappling. Despite her loss to Rose Namajunas in November, she is still one of the best to ever fight in the game.
Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko
Here is a testament to how volatile the fight game can become. Amanda Nunes won against her, true, but she was in line to fight Miesha Tate if she managed to won. However, she took the path less traveled—she fought Nunes again after victories against Julianna Pena and Holly Holm. She did lose again, though, but she still could take that belt in another time, another opponent, because of her skills.
Claudia “Claudinha” Gadelha
Claudia Gadelha has always been touted as a great fighter, even after her two losses to the same fighter—Joanna Jedrzejczyk. However, she has since created waves with her victory against rank-2 contender Karolina Kowalkiewicz. It’s an indication of how far she’s willing to go to get to the top of the rankings and to the belt.
There’s no sign how long they can keep their rankings and results. If there’s anything certain, though, it’s that these girls won’t give up the pursuit for excellence, no matter how long it may take.
- Kenta Kobashi’s Moments: The Times Kenta Put His Name on the Map
Kenta Kobashi of Japanese wrestling may be retired, but his career—all 25 years of it—gave him a lot of memories to relive. From the All-Japan Pro Wrestling stage to Pro Wrestling Noah, Kenta has logged in a few memorable matches.
Here are a few scenes worth re-watching from the consummate athlete—he also was an accomplished student of the sport of rugby, judo, and body-building.
(Tag Team) Kenta and Go Shiosaki v Kensuke Sasaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima
It is said that in the AJPW, tag team matches are no-sooner thrown around than they are seriously competed in. Props are given to this match because it featured a rookie and a veteran teaming up. Surely, Kobashi and Sasaki taught their young charges valuable things.
(Solo) Kenta v Stan Hansen
It was 1993 and the matches ran the gamut of young up-and-comers against veterans long in the game. Kenta faced off against Stan Hansen and the latter proved why he was in the game for too long. Leaving it all on the mat, Kobashi proved he had what it took to stay in the game.
(Solo) Kenta v Mitsuharu Misawa
Kenta and Misawa should arguably have had this match way before their 2003 meeting. They were slowing down when they met and fans think they should’ve met even when they were in the AJPW. However, this still had all the drama of a competition between men fighting during their prime.
(Solo) Kenta v “Dr. Death” Steve Williams
Kenta was a young and spry newcomer during 1993 and featured in many exciting matches when he showed potential. He showed this spark against Steve Williams. Kobashi managed to overcome despite Williams having him in some of the most terrifying suplexes ever seen in wrestling entertainment history.
(Solo) Kenta v Jun Akiyama
Kobashi faced off against Jun Akiyama in 2004, about a year added from his match with Misawa. It happened during his memorable GHC title defense run. Kenta also delivered one of the most memorable finishers of his career in it.
There you have it, the best matches from Kenta’s career. There will always be a few others that remain higher than these, but if we’re talking about Kenta Kobashi, surely there’s quite a few more than just five.
- The Best of the Rest: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’s Biggest Names
There are many martial arts disciplines in the world of MMA and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu stands out among the rest. Since Royce Gracie used it in his cage matches, fighters have made use of it effectively en route to their own title reigns.
Looking to become the next Gracie or Ribeiro to rule the cage? Here are a few champions who’ve effectively used jiu-jitsu inside the octagon.
Roger Gracie: Middleweight
The Gracie family name carries a lot of weight inside the cage so, obviously, Roger had a lot of it on his shoulders. He has made a name for himself as he defeated Trevor Prangley, Kevin Randleman, and Yuki Kondo—all fighters with a name. He did lose to “King Mo” Lawall. Time will tell if he’ll make a return to the ring.
Fabricio Werdum: Heavyweight
He made the rounds of the fight games, making appearances in the now-defunct Pride FC, UFC, and Strikeforce. Despite the lack of a good fist and a weak grappling game, he made use of his jiu-jitsu skills. In the process, he managed to score winds against fighters like Alistair Overeem, Antonio Minotauro, Antonio Silva, and Fedor Emelianenko.
Leonardo Santos: Lightweight
A 4-time Brazilian Jiu-jitsu world champion, Santos has experienced a sort of discrimination in the MMA world. He took matters into his own hands and signed up and competed with Ultimate Fighter Brazil II. Santos showed his fighting skill and managed to go all the way to the finals.
Bibiano Fernandes: Featherweight
If there was any fighter dubbed as a destroyer, Fernandes would be it. He is a 5-time BJJ world champion who ploughed through the featherweight division of MMA with relative ease. While he fights mainly in Japan, he is often featured in the main event of that region.
These are just four names that are currently fighting or have fought using jiu-jitsu. That most of them have been champions in the past speaks very highly about the efficiency of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. It’s a good sport to learn as well as a good discipline to keep up.