For the majority of MMA fighters, their goal is to one day end up in the UFC, and follow the path of their idols inside the cage. Whether it’s their fighting style, the way they conduct themselves inside and outside the cage, or just the impact they have on up-and-coming athletes, UFC fighters, past and present, are what most of these below athletes are looking to become.
Here’s a look at the favourite UFC fighter of 10 MMA fighters from Alberta and B.C.
Alex Martinez: Anderson Silva
“The ability he has to be able to jump in the octagon and perform the way he does against the best is something that not many can do. He’s the reason why I started MMA in the first place.”
Matt Krayco: Robbie Lawler
“He’s one of the last pioneers still competing at the highest level, making his debut when he was 18 years old, and is now 36. He’s very passionate when it comes to fighting, and they don’t call him ‘Ruthless’ for nothing.
Chad Anheliger: Jeremy Stephens
“He is always trying to finish the fight and punish his opponents. He never just looks for the safe win; he’s a killer, and puts fear in all his opponents.”
Josh Heinz: Shane Carwin
“He was old school. He never trash-talked, and just backed everything up with his fists. He worked a full-time job while doing his UFC run. He’s one of the toughest guys, in my opinion, and one of the nicest.”
Jett Grande: Khabib Nurmagomedov
“He has amazing pressure, cardio, and grappling with great takedowns.”
Patrick Ward: Conor McGregor
“He’s never boring. Every time he fights, we are guaranteed a good show.”
Sierra Dinwoodie: Sarah Moras
“If it weren’t for her, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today in the MMA world. She’s been an inspiration and a huge help to me, both on and off the mats. Not to mention she’s got the meanest arm-bar around.”
Evan Piercey: Max Holloway
“I like his style of fighting. He will fight anyone put in front of him, and whenever he gets in the cage, it’s always entertaining. He’s willing to stand in the pocket and throw, which makes for exciting fights.”
Michael Hill: Rory MacDonald
“He was one of 10 guys that were my first training partners out of Toshido MMA. He bleeds Toshido MMA like the rest of us. I’ve tried to copy his routine ever since I stepped foot in the gym. He’s the best welterweight in the world. He’s fought the toughest guys, and beats them. And when he has been defeated, he jumps right back on the horse like a true warrior and gets right back into battle. If you’re a young fighter, you want to model after Rory.”
Melissa Croden: Stephen Thompson/Fedor Emelianenko
“Thompson is one of my favourites. His movement before and after a combination is truly an art. He is light on his feet, with a classic karate rhythm, and is able to capitalize on his opponent’s mistakes. He is masterful at maintaining range, as well as timing his devastating finishes.
My other favourite is, of course, Emelianenko. I appreciate the way he approaches a fight. His walkout alone is something of great beauty. He has a cold stare, and you can tell he is purely in the moment before a fight starts. This mentality is what makes him one of the greats.”