- Mixed Supremacy: The Top Fighters from 2016 and 2017
Over the span of two years, UFC has grown even more. These fighters are well-versed in a lot of disciplines—hence, the term ‘mixed martial arts’. You should be armed in a versatile mix of martial arts disciplines when you face them as well, or you risk setting yourself up for failure.
Here are the best fighters from 2016 and 2017. They have worked their asses off and it’s paid off. There are some familiar names in this list—former and current champions as well as top challengers for the throne.
Michael Bisping (2016)
Bisping experienced a great start to his year on account of beating Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva. As if that year wasn’t enough, he took the next fight—a battle against former conqueror Luke Rockhold—on short notice. Notice that we said ‘former’ because Bisping won the fight handily in the first round. He went on to defeat another former conqueror in Dan Henderson.
Conor McGregor (2016)
This fighter was certainly busy during this year. For a tune-up, he fought Nate Diaz as a replacement for his botched fight with Rafael Dos Anjos. He split the fight with Diaz; he came up with a loss the first time but avenged his defeat handily in their second meeting. He followed this up by defeating lightweight Eddie Alvarez en route to becoming the first multi-titled UFC fighter.
Dominick Cruz (2016)
The list of his comeback was against well-established foes. TJ Dillashaw, Urijah Faber, and Cody Garbrandt weren’t pushovers. However, Dillashaw relinquished the title Cruz once lost; Faber lost to him through unanimous decision; although he lost to Garbrandt, his year had already been good.
Cris Cyborg (2017)
Cyborg, one of the names long bandied about in the fight game, made her name soar higher in 2017. She faced off against Holly Holm and Tonya Evinger in rapid succession; she conquered Evinger handily, but wouldn’t stop there. She also dropped Holly Holm to successfully defend her title and win the title in the process.
Demetrious Johnson (2017)
The fighter also known as the ‘Mighty Mouse’ made waves during 2017. Already known as one of the best, he only added the names of Ray Borg and Wilson Reis to a long list of his victims on the way to the top. This ensures his place among the all-time list for best and successful defenses in the UFC.
Rafael Dos Anjos (2017)
Dos Anjos moved to welterweight to avenge his losses to Tony Ferguson and Eddie Alvarez. However, he managed to rewrite his career with big wins over Neil Magny and Robbie Lawler. These victories may have placed him in line to challenge for the title belt.
These fighters, through grit and determination, managed to get their titles. It only goes to show what focus and concentration will bring you, as long as you put enough time in it.
- Total Entertainment: Best Wrestling Matches You Need to Watch
Through the years, the World Wrestling Entertainment—known then as World Wrestling Federation but more commonly termed as WWE—has provided us with some thrilling matches. It stands when an organization has lasted as long as it had lasted. There is only so much space to relay all the matches in a single article.
Here are some of the best matches to have happened that you need to watch. This is for entertainment, sure, but it’s also a testament to human prowess and the drive to succeed.
Match: Bret Hart v. Shawn Michaels
Event: Wrestlemania XII – Iron Man match
Hart and Michaels have had a long time to foster a feud that is as old as the WWE itself. However, the defining moment of that feud was when they faced off for an ‘Iron Man’ match. The match was noted for the grit they both showed in that they battled to an hour-long draw. However, Shawn Michaels finally managed to win, fulfilling a ‘childhood’ dream he never knew was possible.
Match: CM Punk v. John Cena
Event: WWE Championship – Money in the Bank ‘11
Perhaps, it’s the rebel streak of Punk that stood high and mighty during this show. However, it was also notable because Cena faced off against CM Punk in his native Chicago. He faced off not only against Punk, but against an entirely hostile crowd. In the end, Cena also managed a little rebel in himself when he bade Mr. McMahon goodbye.
Match: The British Bulldog v. Bret Hart
Event: SummerSlam ’92 – Intercontinental Championship
While it served as the opener to an equally riveting match between The Ultimate Warrior and ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage, the Hart v. British Bulldog match featured a family in turmoil. With a family divided, it only served to heighten up the flavor of a match made in front of Davey Boy Smith’s hometown crowd.
Match: The Ultimate Warrior v. Macho Man Randy Savage
Event: Wrestlemania VII – Retirement Match
While this retirement match was everything but great for the one retiring, it was still classic because it was ahead of its time. Randy Savage awesomely pulled off five elbow drops before the Warrior retaliated with shoulder blocks. Never mind everything else—it was still a classic.
These matches only serve to put more emphasis on the ‘entertainment’ factor of wrestling. Still, they stand the test of time as matches that stand to show the determination of everyone involved.
- 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.