Just this weekend I was treated to a complete an utter shellacking of an over-hyped Chavez Jr. at the hands of pound-for-pound great Sergio Martinez. Martinez made a complete fool of Chavez up until the 12th round. To be quite honest I didn't think Jr. had it in him to not only take such punishment from a guy as quick as Martinez but also comeback to almost knocking Maravilla out at the final minutes of the fight.
That got me thinking, "I wonder if Chavez could take the same amount of punishment in an MMA fight...with 4oz gloves instead?" Which then led my mind to wonder about who the guys with the best beards are in MMA.
So here is a lil list about who I believe have the best chins in MMA today.
1. Dan "Fucking" Henderson (as he is commonly referred as by the various amounts of dudebros I have the pleasure of watching the fights with)
One needs only to look at the absolute monsters he has been in the cage with, such as Shogun, Fedor, Anderson, Feijao, Nog bros, Yvel, Wanderlei, Rampage and Vitor who have to their credit 150 knockouts combined overall, yet none of them, or actually no one at all has been able to stop the old man via strikes. Will Jones be the first to do it? Wouldn't bank on it.
2. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua
Reason for his number 2 spot? Watch his fight with Dan Henderson.
3. B.J. Penn
If this was a list of who has the biggest cajones in MMA BJ would most certainly be number 1 if not at least top 3. BJ has gone up against guys not only a weight class above his but several, as was the case when he took on karateka master and former LHW kingpin Lyoto Machida in a light-heavyweight bout. He took Jon Fitch, longtime 2 WW in the world at the time, to a draw, fought GSP in two occasions, the first where he put a boxing clinic on Rush in the first round before he faded in the later rounds, and even engaged Nick Diaz in a boxing bout, despite knowing the advantage for him would be on the mat. What is perhaps is even more impressive is the fact that BJ has yet to be knocked down by any type of strike in his MMA career.
4. Roy Nelson
Perhaps it's all the stored fat in Big Country's system or perhaps it is the crazy 80s mullet, but whatever it is that gives Nelson his supernatural ability to absorb punishment has done wonders for him. Nelson took punches from all angles from current HW champion Junior dos Santos, a left high kick from a faded Cro Cop, but a left high kick nonetheless, an innumerable amount of knees from Werdum, who have him the lovely cut pictured above, and Mir. The only man to ever stop him was Andrei Arlovski, who according to cameldog.net, is the most offensive fighter in MMA thus far. Not bad for a self admitted "under-achieving fatty".
5. Mark Hunt
Reason? I'll let this do all the talking:
Honorable mentions: and reasons they didnt make the top 5
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira- if i had written this article 4 years ago, Minotauro would be number 1 for sure, but since then he has been stopped by Cain and Mir.
Chris Leben- perhaps it was those painkillers switching the "zombie" mode on..
Anderson Silva-has shown a good beard but did manage to get dropped by Sonnen, who many consider to be a "light" puncher.
Nick Diaz- has had his chin-checked by some heavy hitters like Semtex, Cyborg and Zamroskis and managed to keep his legs from going haywire.
Stephan Bonnar- took a savage beating against Jones which would have fell lesser men. To this day Jones credits Bonnar with being his toughest fight. Bonnar has never been stopped by strikes or submissions.