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3/23/16: Top Five Current Fighters From New York
With New York State finally passing legalization on mixed martial arts, today we look at five of the best current fighters hailing from the Empire State.
5. Dave Branch: The two-division World Series of Fighting Champ hails from the Bronx, and has won nine of his last ten fighting at both middleweight and light heavyweight. His sole loss in that stretch came against light heavyweight UFC title contender Anthony “Rumble” Johnson. He’s stopped four straight opponents, and continues to roll on in the WSOF cage.
4. Al Iaquinta: The 28-year-old out of Wantagh, New York is a legitimate contender in the UFC’s lightweight field, winning seven of eight since a runner-up finish on The Ultimate Fighter’s live season in 2012. Though his loss was a surprising upset to Mitch Clarke, he’s scored signature TKO wins over lightweight staples Ross Pearson and Joe Lauzon.
3. Aljamain Sterling: The undefeated Uniondale bantamweight has already racked up four wins in the Octagon, and just signed on for a new deal after testing his current value on the market. An immensely talented competitor at just 26, Sterling’s scored a couple of excellent submission wins in a row, and looks poised to make a title run by 2017.
2. Chris Weidman: Though he lost the UFC Middleweight Championship in December, Baldwin’s Weidman is still sitting among the elite at 185 lbs. He dethroned Anderson Silva, he defended the title twice, and he’s hoping to regain the belt at UFC 199 in order to defend it in his home state when the UFC is able to debut at Madison Square Garden.
1. Jon Jones: Though he currently calls Albuquerque home, Jones is a native son of Ithaca in upstate New York. Perhaps the best pound for pound fighter in the world, Jones’ only adversity throughout his UFC run has been self-inflicted. He returns next month at UFC 197 in an attempt to recapture the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship he never actually lost.
What’s your list? We’d like to hear from you on your favorite fighters out of New York state, and as always best responses will be compiled for our Reader Reax section. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts!
[Jon Jones art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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