Sports Authority of India: Best combat athletes in history

Some of the most exciting things to watch on television today are combat sports such as Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts. However, this rise to fame wouldn’t be possible without the larger than life fighters that poured their heart out every time the bell rang and they were locked in the ring with their opponent.

Here at Sports Authority of India, we love looking back at some of the best fighters in the game whether they be active or retired. We consider them warriors who love to fight while thousands of people stand in awe while watching them. That’s why in this blog, we’ve decided to look back on some of the biggest names that this industry has produced.

This way we can recognize their talents, look back on their fond memories in the sport and most importantly, give them their deserved attention for many years to come. If you want to learn more about them, keep on reading!

UFC 

The leading promotion in Mixed Martial Arts is UFC. It was one of the first companies to ever promote this type of sport back in 1993 and they’ve proven to be successful with the millions of pay-per-view sales they’ve sold over the years. 

The UFC has produced tons of stars throughout its time in cable tv and streaming. However, this billion-dollar company won’t be where it is today if it weren’t for these talented athletes:

Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva

The GOAT conversation in combat sports is entirely subjective, especially when you consider that there are different weight classes involved. However, if you’re going to talk about Middleweight fighters, the greatest athlete to ever grace the octagon is undoubtedly Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva.

To help give you an idea of how talented this fighter is, check out the people that he has defeated throughout his career: (Also, take note that they were all finished spectacularly.:

  • Chris Leben
  • Rich Franklin
  • Dan Henderson
  • Rich Franklin
  • Demian Maya
  • Stephen Bonnar
  • Vitor Belfort
  • Chael Sonnen.

To make it even more impressive, Anderson Silva defeated the fighters we’ve stated above consecutively. He didn’t lose one match between these talented athletes while also holding the Undisputed Middleweight Championship.

What made Silva stand out though was his unorthodox fighting style which didn’t fail to wow the audience and his opponents. It wasn’t like anything we’ve seen before in the sport and it’s also the reason why he instantly became a favourite in the promotion.

His arsenal consisted of flashy head kicks, quick jabs and powerful punches. However, what made him more impressive was the fact that he was untouchable during his prime. This is thanks to his world-class head movement which helped him dodge any kind of strike thrown by his opponents.

Aside from that, he’s also a black belter in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu which makes him equally dangerous on the ground. All in all, he was a well-rounded fighter and champion that dominated his weight class for 6 straight years recording 16 consecutive wins.

Khabib Nurmagumedov

Only a few fighters have managed to leave the cage unscathed but with Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagumedov, you can argue that he managed to go through his entire career unharmed. The Eagle retired in 2021 with a record of 29 wins and no losses which is more impressive considering the talent that he fought throughout his Lightweight title reign. Also, he headlined UFC’s biggest pay per view record alongside Conor Mcgregor back in 2018’s UFC 229. 

Some of the biggest names that he fought and defeated throughout his career include:

  • Rafael Dos Anjos
  • Conor Mcgregor
  • Dustin Poirier
  • Justin Gaethje.

These people are the most dangerous fighters in UFC today and he dominated each one of them in every round. It’s much more impressive knowing that he finished all of them through submissions.

The lightweight GOAT doesn’t do any flashy moves and isn’t a knockout artist but what you will see when you see him fight is amazing grappling and wrestling skills. The technical moves that he does inside the octagon make it look easy but in reality, he sunk in thousands of hours to perfect his craft.

Khabib is extremely dangerous on the ground as he’s proven time and time again with his world-class wrestling. He used them against each competitor thrown in front of him and was successful in each match. This is thanks to his talented team, coaches and most importantly, his late father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov.

Additionally, his wrestling skills were honed at a young age when he wrestled against bears in Russia during his childhood.

Georges St-Pierre

Moving over to the Welterweight division, there have been several talented fighters throughout the years but the best one to date is Georges ‘Rush’ St-Pierre. Although one could argue that the 2 losses ruined his record, you have to remember that he spectacularly avenged both of these.

GSP also helped put UFC on the map thanks to his amazing talent which made him a strong pay-per-view draw. Watching him work on his opponents was a thing of beauty as you can see the technicality that he brings to the table. Whether it be striking, grappling or ground game, you can expect GSP to bring his A-game. To this day, he remains to be the greatest of all time in the welterweight division.

To help give you a better idea of how talented this man is, here is the list of some of the toughest opponents that he fought throughout his career:

  • Thiago Alves
  • Dan ‘The Outlaw’ Hardy
  • Josh Koscheck
  • Matt Serra
  • Carlos Condit
  • BJ Penn
  • Matt Hughes.

After his historic welterweight reign, GSP further cemented his GOAT status when he came back from his retirement 4 years later. He moved one weight class higher and defeated the top guy in the form of Michael Bisping who was the champion at the time. This made him a champion in 2 divisions before his permanent retirement in 2019.

Boxing

Before MMA fighting became a thing, the combat sport that dominated the world was boxing. Until today, it’s one of the most famous and exciting sports to watch on television and for good reasons, one of which is the talented fighters that they’ve produced over the years. This includes:

Floyd Mayweather Jr.

When it comes to the modern era, many people consider Floyd Mayweather Jr. as the greatest boxer of all time which is hugely thanks to his flawless record of 50-0. This is more impressive considering that he went toe to toe on the ring with other fighters whom other people consider the greatest and somehow he left the ring relatively unharmed.

During his 19-year career, he was never in trouble inside the ring as his opponents barely get to touch him with their gloves. This is because of his amazing shoulder roll technique which he perfectly mastered throughout the years.

Some of his most notable victories were over the following fighters:

  • Manny Pacquiao
  • Shane Mosley
  • Ricky Hatton
  • Juan Manuel Marquez
  • Marcos Maidana
  • Miguel Cotto
  • Oscar De La Hoya
  • Conor Mcgregor.

His talent inside the ring helped him land a whopping 15 world titles in multiple weight divisions.

Manny Pacquiao

You can’t mention Floyd Mayweather without mentioning his rival from the Philippines, Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao. Although their inevitable match in the ring didn’t go in his favour, this doesn’t put a damper on the former world champion.

What makes Pacman’s career impressive is that he’s the only boxer in the history of the sport to hold 8 division titles simultaneously. However, his journey towards this title wasn’t easy as he was faced with the most talented boxers that the sport has ever seen. This includes:

  • Miguel Cotto
  • Oscar De La Hoya
  • Ricky Hatton
  • Shane Mosley
  • Juan Manuel Marquez
  • Antonio Margarito
  • Marco Antonio Barrera
  • Erik Morales.

What’s more impressive is that he brutally finished these opponents to the point. where he was dubbed ‘The Destroyer’. This amazing feat will be hard to replicate and we’re certain that there won’t be another record like that shortly or even ever. 

Manny is beloved by boxing fans around the world because you can see how passionate he is about the sport. He fought through generations and during his bout with Keith Thurman, he proved that he could still defeat current talents even at the age of 40.

Try your hand at combat sports today!

These are some of the most talented athletes that graced the combat sports industry. Not only were they a huge reason for the industry’s success but they’ve also helped in shaping what their respective sports look like today. If this inspired you to dawn a pair of boxing gloves, then we encourage you to try your hand at it! Just know that it won’t be easy but if it’s your passion, we know that you won’t let anything get in your way to achieving your goal.

For more sports content, feel free to read up on our other blogs here at Sports Authority of India!

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