The 411 MMA Top 10 7.07.14: Top 10 Current Undefeated Fighters
Posted by Alex Rella on 07.07.2014
From Chris Weidman and Ronda Rousey to Daniel Cormier, Ben Askren, Kevin Gastelum and more, 411's Alex Rella counts down the top 10 undefeated fighters in the world today!
The Top Ten Currently Undefeated Fighters Today
What's up everybody, I am Alex Rella and this is the MMA Top Ten. This week we will be looking at the ten best fighters that are still undefeated today- should be pretty straight forward. It's always cool and really impressive when fighters are able to stay undefeated even when competing at the highest level of MMA. A bunch of the fighters on the list were in action recently and some of them are current champions, which adds a little something extra to their fights. Anyway, the fighters that qualify are the ones with zero's in the loss column. No matter how bogus or controversial the loss may have been (Jon Jones), the fighter must be officially undefeated. The placement this week is based on things like current rankings in their respective divisions, record, who they've fought, impact on the sport, and some of my opinion mixed in.
Ryan LaFlare 11-0
Gunnar Nelson 12-0-1
Sean Strickland 15-0
Holly Holm 7-0
Josh Hill 10-0
10: Vitaly Minakov
Bellator's heavyweight division has never been very good. They had Cole Konrad for awhile, but he retired over two years ago and the division has been stagnant since then. Now Vitaly Minakov is at the top of the division and he's actually pretty good. He's got a good grappling game as he's a former Sambo champion like every other Russian fighter and Minakov has some good striking power as well. He won the heavyweight tournament last summer, won the title in November, and he defended it against UFC vet Cheick Kongo back in April. It doesn't look like anybody will take his top spot in Bellator for the foreseeable future.
9: Justin Gaethje
Justin Gaethje had the biggest fight of his career this weekend as he defended his WSOF lightweight title for the first time against the then also undefeated Nick Newell. The WSOF's best lightweight is now 5-0 in the company and 12-0 overall. He's a former All-American collegiate wrestler with great knockout power. Gaethje has other victories over veterans like Drew Fickett, Dan Lauzon, and JZ Cavalcante. I think he's a top fifteen lightweight and he'll likely have to go up against Melvin Guillard soon, who just won in his WSOF debut.
8: Kevin Gastelum
I really enjoyed the Jones vs Sonnen season of TUF. Originally I tuned in just to see Sonnen talk trash and rip apart Jon Jones for weeks, but it turned out to be so much better. Sonnen was one of the best coaches ever as he put his animosity towards Jones aside and put all his energy into making his fighters better. Plus the fights and level of competition were just great. The biggest surprise of the season was Sonnen's final pick, Kelvin Gastelum. Gastelum upset every fighter and truly grew better with each fight. He beat Uriah Hall in the finals and then dropped down to welterweight since he's only 5'9. Gastelum submitted Brian Melancon in his 170 lb debut, beat Rick Story by split decision, and recently had a nice comeback victory over Nico Musoke to remain undefeated at 9-0. Some people have criticized him for not making weight in his last fight, but it was one time and he's still only 22 so let's not jump to conclusions about him just yet. He's at least a top fifteen welterweight at this point and I would like to see him take on a top veteran in his next fight.
7: Myles Jury
Myles Jury first competed on season 13 of TUF, but he injured his knee on the first episode and was unable to compete. He would get another chance to compete on The Ultimate Fighter: Live as a member of Team Cruz. Jury came into the show with a perfect 9-0 record with most of his fights coming out of King of the Cage. Unfortunately, he lost by split decision to Al Iaquinta in the first round. Though Jury took his token spot on the TUF 15 finale prelims and he's run with it. Jury is now 14-0 and picked up the biggest win of his career against Diego Sanchez in his last fight. He has a fight coming up with Takanori Gomi at UFC Fight Night 52 and I expect Jury to stay undefeated.
6: Lauren Murphy
About a month ago I did a list of ten Invicta fighters I'd like to see compete in the UFC, so I thought it was pretty cool to see that Lauren Murphy signed with the UFC this week. It's tough for Invicta FC to have a quality bantamweight division while the UFC recruits the best fighters in the world, but their former champ is pretty good. Murphy has an impressive 8-0 record. She beat Miriam Nakamoto to become the inaugural champion back in December and she also has wins over Kaitlin Young and Sarah D'Alelio. She takes on Sara McMann in her UFC debut in August at UFC Fight Night 47 and a win there should put her title contention. I don't see her beating Rousey, but an undefeated champion vs champion fight makes for a fun build.
5: Cat Zingano
Before coming to the UFC, Cat Zingano had a perfect 7-0 record which included multiple titles at 125 lbs, 130 lbs, and 135 lbs. This also included wins over Raquel Pennington, former Strikeforce number one contender Takayo Hashi, and current Invicta champ Barb Honchak. In fact, the fight with Honchak was the only one that went to the judges. She earned her shot at Ronda Rousey and the UFC women's bantamweight title back in April 2013 when she beat Miesha Tate in the TUF 17 finale. This was a really great fight that showcased the new division and a fairly unknown Zingano. Things haven't been going so well for Zingano since then. She's had several injuries and recently a death in her family. There's been talk of her returning to action in September, but hopefully she doesn't rush back too soon from either one. Zingano seemed like a legitimate threat to Rousey back when she beat Tate, but she's been on the sidelines for a really long time now and Rousey keeps getting better. Luckily for Zingano the division is still fairly thin and there doesn't appear to be another clear top contender at the moment.
4: Ben Askren
Easily the best welterweight outside of the UFC today, Ben Askren will be fighting for One FC's welterweight title on August 29th against Nobutatsu Suzuki. The former Karate champ Suzuki is coming off victories over Phil Baroni and Brock Larson, but he's no match for Askren. It's a shame Askren may never get the chance to compete against the best welterweights in the UFC because he is a truly talented fighter no matter what Dana White may say. The former Bellator champ is now 13-0 and defended his title four times over there. He used to be one of those incredibly boring wrestlers that just laid on top of guys for decision victories, but Askren has finished three guys in a row in pretty entertaining fights too. Askren signed a six fight contract with One FC, but hopefully he at least goes to the WSOF when it's over.
3: Dan Cormier
I just want to see Dan Cormier fight for a UFC title. Cormier He could have already had one at heavyweight, but he's best friends with the champ so now he's at light heavyweight. Cormier is on the sidelines now as he'll be having knee surgery shortly, but he'll likely fight the winner of Jones vs Gustafsson next. I think he's a legitimate threat to beat Jon Jones with his Olympic level wrestling and great boxing. Cormier is now 15-0 with victories over Dan Henderson, Josh Barnett, Roy Nelson, Frank Mir, Jeff Monson, Soa Palelei, and Antonio Silva. I loved Strikeforce so I think it would be awesome to see their Heavyweight Grand Prix champion win gold in the UFC and I'm going to bet big on him if he gets the chance to.
2: Ronda Rousey
Rowdy Ronda Rousey needed only 16 seconds to win this weekend. The quickest win of her career wasn't even by armbar either, she took Alexis Davis down and just pounded her face in. Davis isn't some trashcan either. Davis truly earned her title shot with a five fight winning streak and is one of the best female fighters in the world, but even then she was no match to the ever improving Rousey. This was her fifth Strikeforce/UFC title defense, she's now 10-0, and I don't think any other woman in the UFC will take her title anytime soon.
1: Chris Weidman
The best middleweight in the world and UFC champ comes in at number one this week. Chris Weidman defended his title for the second time this weekend as he defeated Lyoto Machida by unanimous decision. Weidman is now 12-0 having defeated Machida, Demain Maia, Uriah Hall, Mark Munoz, and Anderson Silva twice. What's crazy about Weidman is how he's clearly getting better with each fight too. Weidman will most likely go up against Vitor Belfort next if he gets cleared to fight. I would pick Weidman to win even if Belfort was still on TRT.
So let me know how you guys would rank them or maybe I left a fighter out that you thought should be in the top 10.
As always, let me know if there are any topics or fighters you would like to see ranked in the future.
Next week will be the ten best fights between TUF coaches.