Hello manics, it's been a while since I've written anything but I was thinking about this while watching Lion Fights on AXS.TV.
There's a lot of debate about who the best fighter on the planet is among fans of combat sports.
A lot of people will tell you Floyd Mayweather is the best "fighter" on the planet. He's undoubtedly the best boxer of his generation, especially below 154lbs.
He's considered a boxing welterweight, or 147lbs for the uninformed, though his upcoming fight at against Saul "Canelo" Alvarez 42-0-1 (31KO) at 154lbs. So he's basically a MMA featherweight who has dabbled at lightweight.
At 44-0 (26 KO), his record and resume are incredibly impressive. He was a bronze medalist at the 1996 Olympics, he's had about 14 world titles in 5 different weight classes under various boxing sanctioning bodies (WBC, IBF, WBA, ect). He is ranked #1 at 147lbs and is the P4P #1 ranked boxer.
No lets compare him to Jose Aldo, who is a P4P top 3 MMA fighter and considered the #1 145lbs MMA fighter in the
world by pretty much everybody except those that like Bellator a little too much.
At 22-1 (13 KO, 2 SUB), he is an incredible athlete with great MMA Muay Thai, a legitimate Brazilian Jujitsu black belt and a killer instinct many fighters lack. He's the former WBC Featherweight champion and is the current UFC Featherweight Champion. His one loss was a 155lbs against a 16-9-1 journeyman named Luciano Azevedo back in 2005. There are talks of him moving up to 155lbs in the near future because the weight cut is getting a bit more difficult as he gets older. But it's one of those situations, "why change what's working?"
Lets be honest here...
Resume to resume it's not even close.
However, records don't tell to "whole story." The quality of Mayweathers early opposition isn't very high, as is common practice for many top boxing prospects. Look at heavyweight boxing prospect Deontay Wilder. He is 28-0 with 28 knockouts. His last win was against 31-7, 41 year old Audley Harrison. He's had some good wins, hell that is a decent win, but he's not exactly knocking on the Klitschko's door asking for a title shot. But this isn't about him, this is about the little guys.
My point is boxers are often protected until they are 20-0+. NOT ALL THE TIME.... but a lot of the time. MMA fighters don't get carried as long which is why fighters like 20-0 Khabib Nurmagomedov are such a rare thing. Aldo has fought among the best in the world, and fights them consistently with a chance he could lose, whereas Mayweather, even in his title defenses always seems to be fighting inferior competition. He's expected to win. His fight against Canelo Alvarez is a surprise because Alvarez is younger, bigger, and extremely skilled.
Aldo was supposed to fight Anthony Pettis (16-2) as we all know, but Pettis got hurt and now he's facing Chan Sung Jung (13-3). The "Korean Zombie" is one of my favorite fighters to watch, but we all know what's likely going to happen: Chan will lose. Frankie Edgar (16-4-1) was a much more dangerous fight for Aldo even with his lack of finishing ability simply because the pace and never say die attitude he has. Aldo takes a risk when he fights the best where Mayweather historically hasn't in my opinion.
Look at the numbers... or the Tale of the Tape:
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Record: 44-0 (26 KO)
Record: 22-1 (13 KO, 2 SUB)
This fight will never happen... because we've come to apples and oranges; both fruit, but very different. We throw in the tomato and pineapple and we're really fucked. Aldo would probably win in an MMA rules match and I daresay a kickboxing/Muay Thai match. Mayweather would outclass him in pure boxing, plain and simple.
But back to the tomato and pineapple. Muay Thai kickboxing, K-1 Rules, San Shou, IKF... a group of fighters we tend to forget because they aren't as popular or known in the USA or the west in general... maybe some of you Europeans? A few of us like K-1 and Glory and Lion Fights and the like, but unless the fighters names are CroCop or Semmy Schilt or Tyrone Spong or Peter Aerts or Badr Hari, you probably don't know them. And those guys are all heavyweights.
The IKF Full Contact 147lbs champion is Lionel Picord (59-2). Never heard of him? Neither have I. I decided to do a little research and the sheer amount of kickboxing federations and rankings and rule-sets is intimidating. I looked at some of the rankings on the IKF website and many of the champions and top contenders don't have the best records... It's almost as if it's a little more chaotic in kickboxing because they don't have the same system you see in boxing...
If you go check out the Glory roster, you'll find some guys in the weight class that are pretty decent, including Japanese fighter, Yuta Kubo. He's 40-4 (18 KO) He's fought in K-1 and Glory and a few other promotions...
He's 25 years old, 5'9" and seems to bounce around weight classes. He's held 9 titles in various promotions and weight classes. Mind you this is just the information I've gathered during an evening. I could spend hours or days researching the top kick boxers but... I don't really feel like it.
How would he do against Mayweather or Aldo?
Now lets look at a fighter who competed at Lion Fight 10, the event that spawned this horrendous and wordy fanpost:
Record: 143-27-6 (52 KO)
What? 176 fights.... and he's only 31? Holy shit right? He's held so many Muay Thai titles it's pointless in naming them all. He's a link to his wikipedia page if you're curious.
I'm fairly confident he would defeat either Mayweather or Aldo in a striking match. And he's not even the best Muay Thai fighter in the world....
Look at the main event fighter, Yodsanklai Fairtex.... 184-71 (71 KO).... at 28 years old.
I'm afraid I'll get some hate here... but in a striking match up he would make Mayweather his bitch. Pure boxing... Mayweather... but... yeah.. even with his 71 losses.
We're trying to make sense of a fruit salad that has all the wrong fruits.
I'm not quite sure the point I'm making is... just that all of our debates about the top fighters in the world are so close minded... we focus on MMA and that's ok... we throw in a few boxers just for the hell of it sometimes. But we forget that there's Muay Thai, kickboxing, Combat Sambo, and now they are doing this "BKB Bare Knuckle Boxing" nonsense were they wear MMA sized boxing gloves and stand in a circle and fight. Looks kinda badass actually....
Here are links to the boxing and MMA rankings put out by ESPN. You don't have to agree with them but consider them...
Combat sports is a hot mess of randomness.
No I didn't drink any alcohol prior to writing this...
And yes, I expect the "Did not read" gif :)