Best Lightweight MMA Fighters of All Time
Last week, Fighting Insider gave you the best Heavyweight MMA Fighters of all time. But what about the fighters from other division? Easy! Fighting Insider got it all covered. Next on the list: The Lightweights.
The MMA lightweight fighters may be small in comparison, but these guys possess a pack of mean punches. Most of them have set themselves apart in the sea of contenders, and made themselves kings of their division. That’s why Fighting Insider is listing the ten best lightweight MMA fighters of all time.
1. BJ Penn
BJ Penn is a Hawaii native that knows how to fight straight up. He is one of the best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu disciples in the world, with world-class boxing skills. Also known as “The Prodigy”, BJ Penn carries a record of 16-7-1 and secured seven out of his 16 wins by way of Technical Knockout.
2. Gray Maynard
Gray Maynard has established himself as a lightweight MMA fighter in a big way. With his remarkable record of 10-0, he shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.
3. Kenny Florian
Kenny Florian is a Peruvian-American mixed martial artist that anchors a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai skills. He is known for his appearance on The Ultimate Fighter Season One, where he lost the middleweight final to Diego Sanchez.
4. Eddie Alvarez
Eddie Alvarez is of Puerto Rican and Spanish descent, and was born and raised in a rough neighborhood in Keningston, Philadelphia. Distinct for his boxing prowess, he was a wrestler in Northeast Catholic School. After high school and eight months of formal training, Eddie Alvarez pursued a professional MMA career. He utilized his financial success to move his family out of Keningston to Northeast Philadelphia after the birth of his first son.
5. Sean Sherk
Sean Sherk is a former UFC lightweight champion that is known by being a muscle-bound animal in the octagon. He can bang in the cage, making him more worthy to be called one of the best lightweight MMA fighters of all time.
6. Shinya Aoki
Shinya Aoki is a Japanese mixed martial artist, grappler, and a former police trainee that has achieved a lot at a young age of 27. He is noted for being the World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts Lightweight Champion, DREAM Lightweight King, and former Shooto Middleweight Hero. Shinya Aoki also holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and in Judo.
7. Frankie Edgar
It is no wonder that Frankie Edgar is part of this list. His professional record of 13-1 is the fruit of his wrestling background in high school. He wrestled at Toms River High School East, en route to the New Jersey state championship tournament on three occasions. Aside from being a professional MMA fighter, Frankie Edgar is also an assistant coach for the Rutgers University wrestling team.
Gilbert Melendez began his career at WEC and Rumble on the Rock shows. He also spent some time overseas fighting for Shooto and PRIDE Fighting Championships. On June 2006, he snatched the Strikeforce Lightweight Championship belt from Clay Guida and held it for two years. On June 2008, Gilbert Melendez loss his title to Josh Thomson via unanimous decision, only to regain the title a year after.
9. Takanori Gomi
Currently fighting for UFC, Takanori Gomi is a former Shooto Welterweight Champion, a four-time All-Japan Combat Wrestling Champion, and the last and only Pride Lightweight Champion.
10. Evan Dunham
Evan Dunham worked in various jobs, like cable installer, before becoming a full-time MMA fighter. He made his professional debut on 2007, and garnered six winning streaks since then. Evan Dunham was invited to Palace Fighting Championship where he defeated Dustin Akbari, and continued to reign as an undefeated fighter.