In June 2010, we posted a list of the ten greatest fighters who had yet to take a loss. By November 2011, none of their perfect records were still intact, proving once again what a cruel bitch this sport is. Half of the fighters on our original list — Shane Carwin (#1), Megumi Fujii (#2), Ryan Bader (#6), Evan Dunham (#7), and Lyle Beerbohm (#10) — have even lost *twice* since then. So we decided to start over from scratch and come up with a new ranking of undefeated MMA fighters. Check it out, and let us know who you think will hold onto their ’0′ the longest. -BG
#1: DANIEL CORMIER (10-0, six wins by first-round stoppage)
Notable victories: Jeff Monson at Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum (UD), Antonio Silva at Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov (KO R1), Josh Barnett at Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Cormier (UD)
Next fight: TBA
The former collegiate wrestling star and Olympic competitor went through hell to get to where he is today. Less than three years after kicking off his MMA career, Cormier battled his way to a career-defining matchup against ex-UFC champ Josh Barnett — a catch-wrestling savant with four times as many fights on his pro record as Cormier — in the finals of Strikeforce’s Heavyweight Grand Prix. But Dan didn’t need to turn the meeting into a grappling match. As he also demonstrated against Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in his previous outing, Cormier packs enough speed and punching-power to win fights with his striking alone. It’s only a matter of time before he enters the UFC to take on the best in the world, and we have a feeling he’ll make an immediate impact.
#2: MICHAEL CHANDLER (10-0, eight wins by stoppage)
Notable victories: Patricky Freire at Bellator 44 (UD), Eddie Alvarez at Bellator 58 (sub R4), Akihiro Gono at Bellator 67 (TKO R1)
Next fight: TBA
Michael Chandler is the perfect example of how a tournament can transform a fighter from unheralded prospect to breakout star. After winning his first two Bellator appearances by swift first-round stoppage in 2010, Chandler was invited to participate in the promotion’s season four lightweight tournament. The Xtreme Couture product sliced through it, starting with a first-round submission of Polish prodigy Marcin Held, and ending with a decision win over knockout artist Patricky “Pitbull” Freire in the finals. Then, Chandler did the unthinkable — he took the lightweight belt from Eddie Alvarez, choking out the formerly untouchable Bellator champ in the fourth round of an insane Fight of the Year candidate last November. (A follow-up non-title match against Akihiro Gono was little more than a one-minute showcase of his killer instinct.) In eight months, Chandler went from 5-0 up-and-comer to newly-minted champion with a win over a top-ten ranked opponent. Is it okay if we use the “meteoric rise” cliché, just this once?