The UFC’s president Dana White had a stab at creating the ultimate MMA fighter during a media appearance ahead of UFC London last night and with that in mind, we attempted to one-up the boss with a creation of our own.
Dana White spoke on the BBC MMA Show and with the entire UFC roster past and present at his disposal, this is what he came up with.
Hands: Chuck Liddell
Feet: Mirko Cro-Cop
Chin: Jon Jones
Brain: Conor McGregor
Heart: Frankie Edgar
Mouth: Dominick Cruz
A decent list, sure, but we’re confident we can deliver a better Frankenstein’s monster of MMA icons.
Hands: This is perhaps the most difficult selection to make. Of course with Dana’s choice, Chuck Liddell, you have one of the most feared knockout artists the game has ever seen. It really does depend on what you want from a fighter. You could take the polished boxing mechanics of a Junior dos Santos or a Jorge Masvidal, or alternatively – if you’re looking for brain-busting power – why not take a Dan Henderson or even a Conor McGregor.
In my eyes, however, in terms of hands there only one winner and it’s Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson. We’ve all seen fighters with better jabs, more precise shots, and even more variety in their hands but when it comes down to it, if you stand with Rumble, he has more than enough in his locker to put you away in a fashion that will instantly immortalize you on his ever-expanding highlight reel.
He may well be retired but he leaves behind him one of the most terrifying resumés in the sport.
Feet: Ok, Dana White may well have hit the nail on the head with Mirko Cro-Cop. I mean, it’s hard to argue against the fact that he was the most devastating kicker in the history of the sport. The idea that he was also a heavyweight at a time when the weight-class was beyond stacked only adds to the level of notoriety he managed to earn himself during that period.
As for our pick, it really is a toss-up. Sure, the likes of Edson Barboza or José Aldo and their vicious brand of muay-thai would work for most but there really just something mesmerising about the fluid dexterity of Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson that stands out amongst all others.
His point-karate background has enabled him to adapt the usual MMA kicking game into something much more clinical and despite his shortcomings when facing off the welterweight champ Tyron Woodley, his victory in his last outing against Jorge Masvidal showcased Wonderboy at his very best.
Chin: If we’re basing this one on a particular fighter’s prime years, then the front-runners are pretty obvious. The likes of the Diaz brothers, Justin Gaethje, Frankie Edgar, Diego Sanchez or Dan Henderson could easily get the nod but if we’re looking at sheer stubbornness in the face of some of the hardest-hitters in the game’s history, there’s only one man who can take the cake.
Mark Hunt might have seen his legendary chin cracked on more than enough occasions in both his career as a mixed martial artist and as a kickboxer, but in his heyday, few could believe exactly how hard it was to hurt him, something that was evidenced by his numerous wars in both PRIDE and the UFC.
Brain: Fight IQ is becoming an increasingly big topic with every passing year in this sport. The ability to adapt to any situation as soon as it presents itself can often be what defines a champion’s success and in Dana’s pick, he went for one of the most intelligent fighters on the roster today, Conor McGregor.
For us, the fighters who missed out could easily be subbed in for our eventual pick. With a lineup of Demetrious Johnson, Tyron Woodley, and Jon Jones, you have three athletes who have proven time and time again that they are able to overcome some of the trickiest challenges but our number-1 pick this time around has to be the former two-weight world champion, Georges St-Pierre.
As far as the vast majority of us are concerned, GSP holds a perfect record in pro-MMA competition. His two losses, to Matt Serra and Matt Hughes, were both avenged in dominant fashion and in each of his remaining bouts, he showed a clear ability in risk assessment, technical grappling and game planning. Some might have taken issue with his methodical approach to the sport but with a record of 26-2, there can be no denying his effectiveness.
Heart: How do you define heart in a fighter? Lots of unsuccessful fighters can boast massive amounts of heart while lacking the technique to back it up. The heart that allows you to keep fighting on irrespective of your potential success in a particular fight could well be detrimental to your health in the longrun but for the sake of this list, let’s try and strike a balance between determination and the success that comes out of it.
Eddie Alvarez, Junior dos Santos, Frankie Edgar and Dan Henderson could all have been selected here but if you look at Urijah Faber‘s career as a whole, he manages to edge it out. This is a guy who walked through one of the most brutal leg-kicking displays at the hands of José Aldo back in 2010, the guy who fought Mike Brown with two broken hands – resorting to using virtually everything else at his disposal rather than quit.
He might have fallen short when it mattered most against top-level competition in the UFC, but if you’re doubting Urijah Faber’s heart, you really haven’t a clue.
Mouth: Let’s mix it up a bit here. Sure, Dana’s shout, Michael Bisping, is a pretty solid pick. The Count has spent years at the very top of the game and despite the memorable feats he achieved inside the octagon, when he finally hangs up his gloves, his pre and post-fight soundbites will be remembered as fondly as any win or loss.
But despite the obvious picks like Bisping, Conor McGregor or even Chael Sonnen, we’re going to side with Dominick Cruz on this one.
Cruz’s trademark gift of gab may not be as outrightly brash or aggressive as some of his competition but he somehow always manages to make his verbal-sparring partner look moronic by comparison. Yes, he did end up losing out in pretty stunning fashion to Cody Garbrandt at UFC 207, but before anything took place inside the cage, Cruz was having his way with ‘No Love’ on the mic, making him stutter quite frequently and resort to some hilariously bad comebacks.
So there you have it! The hands of Anthony Johnson, the kicks of Stephen Thompson, the chin of Mark Hunt, the brain of Georges St-Pierre, the heart of Urijah Faber and the mouth of Dominick Cruz.
Not a bad combination, eh?
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena