In the world of mixed martial arts (MMA), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and its parent company, ZUFFA LLC, have a stranglehold on the best fighters in the world.
The promotion/company has literally made millions since its dubious inception, bringing the sport to the limelight. Fighters have went from having one raw style in the early days to now having three or more at their disposal by the time they enter the hallowed Octagon.
We have seen true legends of the sport emerge like Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell, Wanderlei Silva and Fedor Emelianenko, to the current champions (and future legends) such as Georges St. PIerre and Anderson Silva. But as far as MMA goes, there are many more fighters than just those competing in the UFC.
Indeed, there are great fighters who -- in many peoples opinions -- will go down as some of the greatest even if they compete in the UFC. That raises the burning question: Are the best in the sport decided by the fans or an organization that claims to have to best fighters in the world?
Regardless of your opinion, which you are encourage to share in the comments section below, there are many greats outside of the UFC. Check out the new and improved list after the jump:
10.) Cole Konrad
NCAA champion and current Bellator Heavyweight Champion, Cole Konrad is a powerhouse wrestler with solid ground and pound and top control.
Why is he ranked so low? Konrad has yet to be tested against a solid heavyweight with more than a puncher's chance. He struggled with Paul Buentello once he tried to strike. but Konrad has the potential to evolve and become a great fighter in the near future.
Eddie Alvarez is a top lightweight fighter who boasts heavy hands, brutal body shots and solid wrestling. Alvarez is one of the top Lightweight fighters not inside the UFC and could definitely regain top status with a win over Michael Chandler.
Why is he ranked so low? Alvarez's victory over Pat Curran was a good win but nothing special, he lost to Michael Chandler in a very close fight and has lost by submission twice; Alvarez could have underestimated Chandler resulting in his loss to him. Alvarez should be able to come back with a fire lit under his ass and could possibly prove that he is still the best fighter outside the UFC/ZUFFA.
8.) Glover Teixeira
Teixeira is a very durable striker with vicious knockout power in both hands, he has very solid submissions and takedown defense and is without a doubt one of the scariest looking dudes in MMA today. He possesses a ton of natural potential and may very well be the best light heavyweights outside of ZUFFA.
Why is he ranked so low? Teixeira's last victory was over Ricco Rodriguez by knockout, which now isn't as hard a task as it was six or seven years ago. Teixeira hasn't fought a solid veteran or someone coming off of a dominant win streak in quite some time.
7.) Michael Chandler
Michael Chandler proved against Eddie Alvarez that he was the "chosen one" to bring gold back to Xtreme Couture, showing incredible wrestling, improved boxing, punching power and the heart to be a champion. Not to mention he put on one of the best fights in recent memory.
Why is he ranked so low? Name his last opponents prior to the "Pitbull" win? Chandler showed weaknesses in the Alvarez fight and seemed to be slowing down as the fight went on. He has all the potential in the world right now and hopefully we will see this man rematch Alvarez sooner rather than later.
6.) Mamed Khalidov
Khalidov has brutal knockout power in both hands, high level kickboxing, brutal submissions and a vastly improving all around game. Khalidov may not be fighting the cream of the crop at middleweight and light heavyweight, but the way he is winning and how easily he is doing it deserves recognition.
Why is he ranked low? Well, as stated before, Khalidov just isn't fighting the cream of the crop, and he has one loss to Jorge Santiago, who had an extremely unimpressive UFC run.
5.) Nate Marquardt
Nate Marquardt -- although inactive since -- March still holds impressive highlight-reel knockouts and submissions over top fighters while he was in the UFC. Marquardt now competes at welterweight, posing a significant threat to any welterweight or middleweight fighter outside Zuffa.
Why is he ranked low? Marquardt has been inactive for a while and unheard from for quite some time. Marquardt's unimpressive losses that many, most notably Dana White, believe he because of choking have hindered him from being ranked higher.
4.) Fedor "The Last Emperor" Emelianenko
The King is no longer with Zuffa! Fedor Emelianenko will go down in history as one the greatest fighters to ever walk the face of this Earth. Despite his recent setbacks, Fedor is a dangerous opponent for any heavyweight fighter and has proven this time and time again.
Why is he ranked low? Fedor had an unimpressive run in Strikeforce, losing to Antonio Silva, Fabricio Werdum and Dan Henderson, who all cannot be overlooked. Fedor was the favorite in all three of those fights, which he lost by being finished by all three of those men. Fedor's dominant aura has been slowed up and he may not be the fighter he once was. Regardless, he's still a dangerous dude.
3.) Shinya "Tobikan Judan" Aoki
Shinya Aoki has collected more arms than Ronda Rousey, more legs than Paul Sass and more necks than Kenny Florian. He is a dangerous Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt who can get the fight to the ground at any chance given and may just be the best MMA grappler on the planet.
Why is he ranked low? Aoki stepped up on the big scene and lost to Gilbert Melendez in a fight where "El Nino" shut himi down from start to finish. He also got defeated by a pure kickboxer in a "SPECIAL RULES" MMA bout. Aoki needs to work on his striking defense and offense if he hopes to someday rematch Melendez and/or compete in the UFC.
2.) Jussier Da Silva
Jussier Da Silva was the top dog before his loss to Ian McCall; however, since then he's rebounded with three wins over top 10 flyweight competitors, showcasing high-level jiu-jitsu and an ever improving striking game
Why isn't he number 1? Mainly because exposure to the flyweight division isn't all that good. He has struggled in the past and is lacking in the stand up area. However, if he continues to dominate, he will be in the UFC no time.
1.) Hector Lombard
Now that Eddie Alvarez has took a fall from grace, Lombard continues to reign over Bellator and the Independent region of middleweights.
Why is he number 1? Lombard looks unstoppable. He has dangerous striking and knockout power, solid submissions, good take downs and has proven to be one of the most dominant figures outside of ZUFFA for a long time. He is virtually a problem for any fighter at 185 pounds today.
Thanks for joining me guys and your NON ZUFFA Top 10 comments below and share opinions and thoughts, also don't forget to leave your votes on the poll. Who did I miss?
Who is the best Fighter not under the ZUFFA umbrella
Hector Lombard (1838 votes)
Glover Teixeira (74 votes)
J.D Silva (24 votes)
Fedor Emelianenko (847 votes)
Mike Chandler (207 votes)
Mamed Khalidov (66 votes)
Nate Marquardt (369 votes)
Shinya Aoki (304 votes)
Eddie Alvarez (401 votes)
Cole Konrad (55 votes)
Bob Sapp (248 votes)
Other/express in comment section (72 votes)
4505 total votes