McGrath ranks UFC’s top 25 fighters of all-time: part 3 (11-15)

By David McGrath, MMATorch Contributor

Jose Aldo (photo credit Gary A. Vasquez © USA Today Sports)

Welcome back to our list of the top 25 UFC fighters of all-time. Be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2 and come back everyday until Monday to see who is ranked #1.

15. Cain Velasquez

MMA record 14-2

Key wins : Brock Lesnar, Travis Browne, Junior dos Santos, Antonio Silva

Titles held: UFC heavyweight championship

Cain Velasquez is certainly one of the most dominant heavyweights and impressive fighters of the modern era. With wins over Brock Lesnar and Junior dos Santos the cardio machine was a force to be reckoned with. Injuries have slowed Cain unfortunately. Word is that he is training and at age 36 is ready to come back and further solidify his legacy after two years away from the cage.

14. Tito Ortiz

Key wins: Stephan Bonnar, Chael Sonnen,Forrest Griffin, Ryan Bader, Ken Shamrock (three times), Vitor Belfort

Championships held: UFC light heavyweight championship

Ortiz, the UFC Hall of Famer is a true pioneer of the sport. The former light heavyweight champion defended the title five times and beat the top competition of the day. Ortiz was known for ground and pounding opponents and was a submission expert. Ortiz was also a legendary trash talker and was a big part of UFC’s rise to success in 2006. His UFC 66 fight with Chuck Liddell was the first UFC pay-per-view to break 1 million buys.

13. BJ Penn

MMA record 16-12

Key wins: Jon Fitch, Renzo Gracie, Matt Hughes, Matt Serra, Takanori Gomi

Titles held: UFC Hall of Fame inductee, lightweight and welterweight champion

This legend and multiple weight class class champion was part of the first class of UFC’s revamped Hall of Fame in 2015. Penn became legendary for competing in five weight classes from featherweight to heavyweight. Penn is one of only five multiple weight division champions and his trilogy with Matt Hughes remain fan favorites. The jiu-jitsu practitioner earned his black belt in an astounding three years.

12. Jose Aldo Jr.

MMA record : 27-4

Key wins Frankie Edgar, Chad Mendes, Urijah faber, Jeremy Stephens

Titles Held: UFC inaugural featherweight champion, WEC featherweight champion

Jose Aldo Jr. is simply one of the most dominant fighters of any weight class in UFC history. Get this, Aldo was undefeated starting November 2005 until December 2015. The striker Aldo is as formidable on his feet as he is with his takedown defense. He’s still doing it too, recently defeating the dangerous Jeremy Stephens by knockout via a brutal liver shot. Aldo may be in line for a title shot again in the near future and further cement his legacy.

11. Royce Gracie

MMA record: 15-2-3

Key wins Ken Shamrock, Kazushi Sakuraba, Dan Severn, Patrick Smith

Titles held: UFC 1,2, and 4 tournament winner and UFC hall of fame inductee.

Royce Gracie absolutely dominated the early UFC scene with his Gracie style jiu-jitsu. Gracie won three of the first four UFC tournaments mostly submitting his opponents with lapel and rear naked chokes. Gracie is a pioneer of MMA jiu-jitsu and has been teaching and inspiring jiu-jitsu practitioners for four decades. Along with Ken Shamrock, Gracie was the very first inductee into the UFC Hall of Fame.

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