Fighters you need to know to call yourself a true MMA fan


As big as MMA is becoming, it still hasn’t taken over the world. However, there are casual fans that are starting to watch MMA and know some of the more well-known fighters such as Forrest Griffin, Brock Lesnar, GSP and BJ Penn. However, there are fighters in other organizations who they haven’t of heard, but they really should get to know before you can call yourself a true MMA fan.

Here’s my personal list of awesome fighters, which the casual MMA fan probably hasn’t heard of.

Phil Davis

A successful collegiate wrestler at Penn State, Phil Davis has a MMA record of 5 wins 0 losses. The 6′2, 205 pound fighter has amazing takedown offence and defense, to mix with his impressive striking. For his UFC debut, the UFC created a bout featuring himself against Brian Stann. It was obvious that  his striking could be better. However,  he is still quite a young fighter and many expect him to do major things in the light heavyweight division over the coming years, as long as he can continue to progress with his training.

Young Prospect for the UFC

Jon Jones

With his unorthodox mix of unexpected striking and Greco-Roman wrestling, Jones has amassed a 10 wins 1 loss MMA record, although this one loss was a controversial disqualification loss to Matt Hamill. Many see him as the future of the light heavyweight division alongside Phil Davis.

Future Champion?

Jon Jones Highlights

Shinya Aoki


The Japanese submission genius is well-known amongst hardcore MMA fans. However, anyone who isn’t watching MMA in Japan is probably scratching their head at him. However, Aoki is an incredibly dangerous submission fighter. Known for his eccentric attitude and amazing ground game, Aoki will try to submit his opponents at any point. Whether it’s an Arm bar or a Triangle Choke, Aoki is a BJJ and Judo master. Aoki will make his US debut on the Strikeforce: Nashville card. 

Can Aoki have a successful debut in the US?

Aoki Highlight Reel

Shane Carwin

Okay, unless you’ve been living under a rock you know Shane Carwin’s name. However, have you seen any of his fights or know anything about him? The unbeaten heavyweight has amassed an unblemished record of 11 wins with no losses. Carwin has been thrusted into the limelight, after knocking out the majority of his opponents in the first round of the fight. Known for bulking physique, heavy hands yet humble mannerism, Carwin is making the most of his situation and is gunning for the UFC Interim Heavyweight title against Frank Mir next Saturday.

Possible contender for Brock Lesnars title?

Shane Carwin Highlights

Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto

Another popular Japanese fighter, Kid Yamamoto is legendary for his aggressive style. Not only does he hold an impressive 17 wins 3 losses MMA record, but he has also obtained many grappling credentials in wrestling. These credentials include coming first place in his first place in Sophomore, Junior and Senior year in high school.

Although Kid Yamamoto lost his last fight, many expect him to bounce back sooner rather than later.

Will be able to win the featherweight championship?

Kid Yamamoto Highlights

These are just a few great fighters, who many may of heard of, but know nothing about.

Keep an eye out for them.


1 Comment

  1. Genki Sudo.

    The first true successor to Kazushi Sakurabas style of unorthodox grappling and striking mixed with great showmanship he absolutely tore through the competition in both MMA and kickboxing.

    Most of his wins came by flashy submissions like flying triangle chokes and rolling rear naked chokes but in kickboxing he would knock people out with series of spinning backfists.

    Now, when I say “unorthodox” I don’t mean it in the Keith Jardine “never really understood the concept of boxing” way. I mean it in the purest sense; no one else fought like he did and no one has replicated it since. He would frequently turn his back on his opponent for no apparent reason, dance mid-fight, fire off submissions or strikes with no set up and so forth.

    He retired on top much to the fans’ surprise and disappointment and now dedicates himself to twin careers as a wrestling coach and as a pop artist. He should rightfully be remembered though for his awesome entrances, his weird as hell fighting and his post-fight celebrations.

    Some hightlights from his career. (btw, whoever made the video has great taste in fighters but I can’t say the same for the music)

    And for shit’s and giggles, one of his music videos:

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