Those ‘Other Guys’
Many would argue that the UFC is slowly, if not already, becoming a monopoly. After cementing their status after capitalizing off of their epic, and utterly successful first season of The Ultimate Fighter. After years of maintain their image, the UFC swooped in and bought out their top competitor, PRIDE. Now, with names such as Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell, Matt Hughes, BJ Penn and Rich Franklin being joined by names such as Shogun Rua, Wanderlei Silva, Rampage Jackson, Big & Little Nog, Anderson Silva and Mirko Cro Cop, the UFC seemed primed to take over.
Over the years they have absorbed the WEC, ushering in a deeper lightweight class as well as debuting their featherweight and bantamweight divisions. Not long after, the company that owned the UFC, Zuffa, purchased Strikeforce. It wasn’t long before the UFC took over the contracts of guys like Jake Shields, Mayham Miller, Nick Diaz and Allistair Overeem. The major competition at this point is Bellator FC, who is known for their fantastic fights with considerably lesser known talent.
Recently, their Middleweight champion Hector Lombard became a free agent, and the bidding war was too much for the much smaller Bellator, and Lombard jumped ship to the UFC. This got me thinking, who are the guys not in the UFC that would make an impact in their ranks.
The Best of The Rest:
Eddie Alvarez-Fighting for nearly a decade, Alvarez has only suffered three losses. With an impressive 23 wins, 13 have come by KO/TKO. Eddie is coming off of an impressive TKO victory over the highly regarded Shinya Aioki, avenging one of these three losses.
Jussier da Silva-The 27 year old Brazilian touts an impressive 13-1 record. Fighting since 2005, da Silva for some reason did not get a call from the UFC when they implemented their newly minted flyweight division. His only loss, Ian McCall, however did get a call. In a young division, da Silva could do serious damage if given the chance.
Gilbert Melendez-Considered by a bulk of the MMA world as the best 155’er, El Nino is the reigning Strikeforce lightweight champion. At 21-2, Gilbert has avenged both of those losses and has cemented himself amongst the top non-UFC fighters today.
Daniel Cormier-A late bloomer, the 33 year old Cormier holds a 10-0 record. After an improbably run in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, where he racked up wins over Jeff Monson, Antonio Silva and Josh Barnett, many feel Cormier a legitimate threat. With the UFC recently absorbing the Strikeforce Heavyweight class, it’s almost a given that
Cormier will be dawning UFC gloves in his next fight.
Luke Rockhold-With talented Middleweights in the UFC, why not add one more? Rockhold holds gold in Strikeforce, and has amassed a 9-1 record. With wins over Paul Bradley, Ronaldo Souza and Keith Jardine, Rockhold has proven he can hold his own.
Michael Chandler-The Xtreme Couture member currently holds the Bellator Lightweight title after an amazing bout with Eddie Alvarez (Click here to catch their epic match-up!) At 10-0, Chandler has big wins over Eddie Alvarez, Akihiro Gono, Patricky Freire, and Marcin Held.
We mentioned him earlier, but if you aren’t familiar with Hector Lombard, took a glance at this brutal KO victory he had back at Bellator 44!