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The 10 Greatest Undefeated Fighters in MMA

Unless your name is Phillip Miller, you can’t expect to go through a career in cage-fighting without losing at least once. So in honor of Fedor Emelianenko’s first legitimate defeat, we decided to take a look at the best MMA fighters who still have flawless records. Whose “0” will be the next to go? And whose win streak is just getting started? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section…

#1: SHANE CARWIN (12-0, all wins by first-round stoppage)

Notable victories:
Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 96 (TKO R1), Frank Mir at UFC 111 (TKO R1, won UFC Interim Heavyweight Championship)

Next fight:
Brock Lesnar at UFC 116, 7/3/10

He may very well take his first loss this Saturday, but right now, Shane Carwin is the most dangerous undefeated fighter in MMA — as evidenced by the fact that no opponent has made it to the second round against him, and only two have lasted past the second minute. As he immediately showed in his UFC debut against Christian Wellisch at UFC 84, Carwin has a near-supernatural ability to generate power with his 4XL fists. Though he’s backed by impressive wrestling credentials, he’s only needed those hands to achieve victory in the UFC, knocking out top contenders Gabriel Gonzaga and Frank Mir in his last two fights. Brock, get ready to have your chin tested.

#2: MEGUMI FUJII (20-0, 16 wins by submission)

Notable victories: Lisa Ward at Bodog Fight: Vancouver (SUB R1), Mika Nagano at Smackgirl: Starting Over (SUB R1)

Next fight: Bellator women’s 115-pound tournament quarterfinals, opponent TBA

One of the most effective submission artists in the history of MMA, “Mega Megu” owns the longest active win streak in the sport, but suffers from the same problem that Cris Cyborg is facing in the States — a scarcity of legitimate challengers. Now that she’s signed on for Bellator’s 115-pound tourney later this year, she can prove her reputation as a living legend who can do more than armbar pint-sized scrubettes in Japan.

#3: CAIN VELASQUEZ (8-0, 7 wins by KO/TKO)

Notable victories: Ben Rothwell at UFC 104 (TKO R2), Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 110 (KO R1)

Next fight: The winner of Lesnar vs. Carwin, date TBA

Velasquez is another member of the UFC’s new breed of heavyweights who, like Carwin, has never been outgunned in the cage and is still climbing towards his competitive peak. Known for his unstoppable takedowns and heavy hands, Cain’s quick thrashing of MMA legend Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 110 clinched his shot at the heavyweight belt. His next fight will put him up against an opponent with a skill-set similar to his own, and we’ll get to find out just how good Velasquez really is.

#4: MUHAMMED “KING MO” LAWAL (7-0, 5 wins by KO/TKO)

Notable victory: Gegard Mousasi at Strikeforce: Evolution (UD, won the Strikeforce Light-Heavyweight Championship)

Next fight: August 21st, opponent TBA

Muhammed Lawal’s first MMA fight was against Travis Wiuff, a seasoned vet who held a 54-11 record at the time — and Mo kicked his ass. Lawal has been surpassing expectations ever since, and proved the haters dead-wrong in April when he won a very lopsided decision against Gegard Mousasi. Between his wrestling cred, punching power, and speed, he’s a truly dynamic fighter who could probably hold Strikeforce’s light-heavyweight belt as long as he wants to — but being the unofficial Moneyweight Champion of the World could lead him to some very dangerous opponents.

#5: GRAY MAYNARD (9-0 with 1 no-contest)

Notable victories: Frank Edgar at UFC Fight Night 13 (UD), Roger Huerta at UFC Fight Night 19 (SD), Nate Diaz at UFC Fight Night 20 (SD)

Next fight: Kenny Florian at UFC 118, 8/28/10

It’s easy to hate on a guy who’s gone to decision in his last six fights. But in his last two appearances against Huerta and Diaz, Maynard has shown more of a willingness to stand and strike with his opponents — and it’s worked just as well for him as his wrestling. Gray’s upcoming scrap with Kenny Florian at UFC 118 could earn him a title shot, possibly against Frankie Edgar, a guy he already beat. Could 2010 be the year of the Bully?

#6: RYAN BADER (11-0, 8 wins by stoppage)

Notable victories: Vinny Magalhaes at the TUF 8 Finale (TKO R1, won the season’s light-heavyweight contract), Keith Jardine at UFC 110 (KO R3)

Next fight: TBA, possibly at UFC 119 in September

Ryan Bader got his start wrestling at ASU — just like Cain Velasquez — but it’s his rapidly improving standup game that sets him apart from the hordes of other wrestlers-turned-fighters. After going 7-0 in regional promotions, Bader entered the eighth season of The Ultimate Fighter and ran through Kyle Kingsbury, Tom Lawlor, Eliot Marshall, and Vinny Magalhaes to win the 205-pound bracket. Subsequent decision wins over Carmelo Marerro and Eric Schafer proved that Bader is more than just a reality show fighter. His knockout of Keith Jardine at UFC 110 proved that he belongs among the best in the division.

#7: EVAN DUNHAM  (11-0, 8 wins by stoppage)

Notable victories:
Efrain Escudero at UFC Fight Night 20 (SUB R3), Tyson Griffin at UFC 115 (SD)

Next Fight: TBA

A high-school wrestler turned jiu-jitsu specialist, Evan Dunham has been an underdog in all four of his Octagon appearances — and he’s played the spoiler every single time. The Xtreme Couture product first entered the Octagon as a late replacement at UFC 95, knocking out Per Eklund early in the first round. He then hustled out a decision against longtime MMA vet Marcus Aurelio at UFC 102, before shocking TUF 8 lightweight winner Efrain Escudero with a Submission of the Night-earning armbar at UFC Fight Night 20. And while many fighters refuse to go up against training partners, Dunham jumped on the opportunity to square off against Tyson Griffin earlier this month at UFC 115 — a gamble that paid off with an impressive decision victory. We’re not sure who he’ll take on next, but it might be time for oddsmakers to stop sleeping on this guy.

#8: JOHN HATHAWAY (14-0, 9 wins by stoppage)

Notable victory: Diego Sanchez at UFC 114 (UD)

Next fight: TBA

He’s your worst nightmare — a Brit with takedown defense. After going 3-0 in the UFC, toiling away in prelim fights on European cards, Hathaway got a huge opportunity to welcome Diego Sanchez back to the welterweight division at UFC 114. The 22-year-old London Shootfighters product didn’t just beat Sanchez — he dominated him in every aspect of the match. Now he’s officially a player in the UFC welterweight division, and England’s next great MMA hope.

#9: SARAH KAUFMAN (11-0, 8 wins by KO/TKO)

Notable victories: Miesha Tate at Strikeforce Challengers 1 (UD), Takayo Hashi at Strikeforce Challengers 6 (UD, won the Strikeforce Women’s 135-Pound Championship)

Next fight: Roxanne Modafferi at Strikeforce Challengers 9, 7/23/10

Strikeforce’s 135-pound women’s champ may not get as much attention as Cris Cyborg — you can blame her patient, technical style and current string of decision wins — but she might be just as unbeatable as her heavier Brazilian counterpart. With her sharp boxing and airtight takedown defense, she has allowed her opponents to do absolutely nothing besides bleed all over the cage. Well-traveled veteran Roxanne Modafferi is as crafty as they come, and will present the toughest test of Sarah’s career, but if there’s a hole in Kaufman’s game we haven’t seen it yet.

#10: LYLE BEERBOHM (14-0, 12 wins by stoppage)

Notable victories: Duane Ludwig at Strikeforce Challengers 2 (SUB R1), Vitor Ribeiro at Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery (SD)

Next fight: TBA; possibly Josh Thomson

Before we knew the name Court McGee, there was Lyle Beerbohm — a former meth-addict who found salvation through cage-fighting. As the story goes, Beerbohm became interested in MMA while watching The Ultimate Fighter at Washington State Penitentiary, started training in jiu-jitsu the day he got out of the joint, and had his first amateur MMA fight a week later. He went 12-0 as an ammy before turning pro in 2007, then won another 14 consecutive fights on the strength of his ground-and-pound and choke-submissions, including stoppage wins over UFC vets Gerald Strebendt, Rafaello Oliveira, and Duane Ludwig. (He also won all his fights in prison, by the way.) Beerbohm competes in awful-looking multi-colored shorts hand-sewn by his mother, which has earned him the nickname “Fancy Pants.” Mock him at your own peril.

Honorable Mentions: Ben Askren (6-0), Joe Soto (9-0), Lyman Good (10-0), Johny Hendricks (8-0), Travis Browne (10-0), Phil Davis (6-0)


Cagepotato Comments

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jamesmedley- September 30, 2011 at 2:00 am
So as you may know, the poster left isn't any more current.

Phil Davis was forced from his bout with Rashad Evans due to a knee injuries, without any alternative has been seen as yet by 1:30 AM EST.

Since we’ve become that taken proper care of, I recently did articles concerning the correct one-loss mma fighters in MMA, in recognition of Rashad Evans. I used to be now prone to perform the very best undefeated mma fighters in recognition of Phil Davis.

Well, Davis is going, but I’m still creating this content.

Now, without further ado, listed below are the most effective 10 undefeated mma fighters in MMA.
Medical assistants
Crusader86- June 30, 2010 at 9:31 am
Bones should definitely be on the list, even if with an asterisk. His only loss was because Mazzagatti and was trying to talk to a deaf guy who couldn't see at the time.
Clyde- June 30, 2010 at 5:16 am
Fair enough on that one Coma. I haven't seen the fight. But I thought that the ruling had been (effectiveley anyway) that Fedor had won via DQ due to what was ruled an illegal strike (intentionally thrown or accidental clip, either way). But then wasn't cleared to fight in the next round so the ruling was overturned in order to keep the tournament going. Which is quite different to cut stoppages like Penn/Sanchez.

Fuck it, he's lost now anyway with no dispute. Apart from any wild conspiracy theories floating about but let's ignore the crazies.
fatbellyfrank- June 29, 2010 at 11:40 pm
I hope Carwin keeps his record this weekend, and I'm with you K-onda, young Hathaway is the guy off this list I'm looking forward most to see fight again, and hopefully soon, his scrap against Sanchez was the first time I've actually seen him fight, but damm he looked good in every aspect during that fight.
fatbellyfrank- June 29, 2010 at 11:36 pm
@ Lysol, what a fucken good idea, I've already started.
k-onda- June 29, 2010 at 7:01 pm
You gotta throw "Bones" on here, at least with an asterik. On this list I think Velazquez and that Hathaway kid are the most dynamic all-round round bad ass guys. I hear Carwin's got all-round game, but don't know it till I sees it, not that his ability to rock a dude aint freaky.
frndlylion- June 29, 2010 at 6:49 pm
Beerbohm lives in my town. Gotta love the local guys who do well.
Lysol- June 29, 2010 at 5:16 pm
We can argue whether or not an illegal strike was thrown in Fedor's first loss even more, but I suggest we masturbate instead. At least then, when we're finished, we'll actually have something to show for it.
KrmtDfrog- June 29, 2010 at 5:02 pm
I would take Askren over Fancy Pants at the moment, simply because his thrashing of Hornbuckle was a lot more impressive than Beer's wins over Ludwig or Ribiero (altho the Shaolin one was pretty good).
ComaPlata- June 29, 2010 at 4:42 pm

TK did NOT, one more time, did NOT throw an "illegal strike". Seth DID throw and illegal strike. The rules were that they could not THROW elbows, not that an elbow couldn't touch the opponent. Fedor slipped his punch and caught the elbow as the arm extended. If Tavares would have been cut by the soccer kick and they ruled it a loss for him due to cut I would agree that it was BS. That however was not the case. Seth DID throw and illegal strike, TK did NOT.
Clyde- June 29, 2010 at 4:27 pm
@ comaplata. Yes, but you have to consider that being unable continue after what is ruled an illegal strike can't really be scored as a loss. like if Brad Tavares had been ruled the loser after suffering an illegal kick while downed. Or if you knocked out your opponent by wearing a knuckle duster over your regulation gloves.

The point isn't that doctor's stoppages shouldn't count as wins/losses, it's that fedor's one previous loss was a technicality where had the fight occured as a standalone bout as opposed to part of a tournament, he would have been ruled the winner if the fight had ended in the exact same way, thus leading people to question the legitimacy of the loss. It's not like you could say that say Shogun didn't lose to coleman when his arm broke or Jared Hess didn't loose because his leg broke. Those were legitimate reasons to stop the fight to protect someone from not only losing, but putting their long term health at risk. Just like when Diego lost.

However, some people aren't always convinced by how Fedor won a couple of his decision so I suppose history is in how you interpret it.
RwilsonR- June 29, 2010 at 4:20 pm
Not according to BJ's mom.
Fedor Penn- June 29, 2010 at 4:10 pm

I love Penn but GSP whooped his ass!
Patrick- June 29, 2010 at 4:06 pm
King Mo's 0 will go.
ComaPlata- June 29, 2010 at 3:54 pm
Not defensive, just stating my side of the argument. Would it be better if I just sat back and accepted everything everyone else said instead of trying to legitimately come to a conclusion based on the facts? I don't expect you to, either.

Why did they stop the BJ Sanchez fight? Cut. Why did they stop the Fedor TK fight? Cut.

I think that is pretty much CUT-and-dry. (you see what I did there?)
ArmFarmer- June 29, 2010 at 3:46 pm
Dude the bj/diego comparison just doesn't work. Yeah it was a cut that ended the fight, but he was getting demolished. He had 0 offense. No way he had any hope of winning that fight. Not a good comparison in a discussion about questionable losses like Jones and Fedor's.
Goat- June 29, 2010 at 3:45 pm
I think a great argument can be made that Arona won that fight.

Why are you being so defensive?
Are we not men?
El Guapo- June 29, 2010 at 3:42 pm
Diego got his ass beat for 4+ rounds. That much I know. If you saw the fight you would, too.

And I'm not a computer geek so you can save your "technicalities"
ComaPlata- June 29, 2010 at 3:33 pm
@El Guapo

Look up Diego's record. His loss to BJ is "TKO (cut)". Not "Getting the shit beat out of him by Baby J"
RwilsonR- June 29, 2010 at 3:30 pm
Most BJ Penn fans seem to think none of his losses are "actual losses", so does he count?
for the love of mma- June 29, 2010 at 3:30 pm
Seriously? Gray Maynard undefeated? i seen him lose when he slam his own head into the floor while fighting Rob Emerson! call it what you want but it wasnt pretty!
ComaPlata- June 29, 2010 at 3:30 pm
It was NOT an illegal strike. He threw a punch, Fedor slipped it and was cut by the passing elbow. I place full blame on Fedor for not slipping fast enough. He put his eye in the path of it. It was not the other fighters fault that he was born with an elbow attached to his arm.
El Guapo- June 29, 2010 at 3:29 pm
Yeah, I thought elbows were illegal in Fedor's "first loss"??

And Diego didn't lose because of a cut, he lost because Baby J was beating the living shit outta him..
dumbfucks- June 29, 2010 at 3:27 pm
Pretty disappointing picks to be honest. Half those guys wouldn't be in there if it wasn't for them being signed with UFC. Lyle clearly lost his last fight against Shaolin too, faaaiiiiil.
ComaPlata- June 29, 2010 at 3:25 pm
If poorly implemented rules is your logic than, Arona's loss to Fedor was BS. So if his loss was BS than Fedor's win is BS.