FanPost

UPDATED: Brutal Power: The Heaviest Hitters by Division

 

A few weeks ago, Bad Left Hook featured a fanpost listing who, in the author's opinion, were the heaviest punchers of each division. It got me thinking what a similar list would look like for MMA. Who do you simply not want to lay leather on your chin, at any costs?

 

The issue that arose quickly to mind was what heavyweight hits the hardest... Shane Carwin or Alistair Overeem? I think Carwin clearly throws heavier hands, but Overeem's knee is possibly the most powerful single strike in MMA. In the spirit of being to lazy to reconcile that line of thought, I decided to make two categories; one for punching and one for overall striking.

 

My thoughts on power are not that the greatest technique gets you ranked, but the ability to turn lights out. You'll notice fighters who are not highly regarded on here, but simply hit really fucking hard. That's all I'm looking for.

 

This list is a rough draft off the top of my head, with a few options in each category ranked loosely. If you all would be so kind as to provide suggestions of guys I missed, I'd love to have us come to a borderline consensus and have a workable final product.

UPDATE: The original list is in block quotes. The update is above it. Let me know what you guys think!

Heavyweight:

Hands: Shane Carwin, Junior dos Santos, Fedor Emelianenko

Overall: Alistair Overeem, Pat Barry

 

Light Heavyweight:

Hands: Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, Mike Kyle, Ryan Bader

Overall: Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, James Irvin

 

Middleweight:

Hands: Drew McFedries, Vitor Belfort, Dan Henderson, Robbie Lawler

Overall: Melvin Manhoef, Anderson Silva, Nate Marquardt

 

Welterweight:

Hands: Paul Daley, John Howard

Overall: Thiago Alves, Anthony Johnson

 

Lightweight:

Hands: Melvin Guillard, BJ Penn, Takanori Gomi, KJ Noons

Overall: Duane Ludwig (too dated?)

 

Featherweight:

Hands: Mike Brown, Marlon Sandro

Overall: Jose Aldo

 

Bantamweight:

Hands: Demacio Page, Brian Bowles, Joseph Benavidez

Overall: Miguel Torres

 

Now that we have a more complete list, here's what I notice:

 

Anybody at heavyweight should have KO power. Stefan Struve should be one of the least likely guys to score a KO based on body type but lo and behold he can do it. Big guys can just put you out. I will give Brock and honorable mention for being a gorilla, and with some more technique he could easily find himself an entrant on this list. Ray Mercer was left off because... he's not really an MMA fighter. Pedro Rizzo needs to fight somebody that isn't years beyond their expiration date, but has looked pretty crisp lately.

Light heavyweight brings more size, but fewer standouts for KOs than middleweight. My theory is that it's a more skilled division and harder to turn the lights out on somebody because of it. Poor sportsmanship aside, Mike Kyle can punch people really fucking hard. I had to make a tough decision between Thiago Silva and Ryan Bader, with Feijao being in consideration for overall power. Lots of guys at LHW that you wouldn't want punching you.

Middleweight has some serious sluggers. When Leben, Cote, Scott Smith, Sakara, and Wanderlei don't make a power list, you know there's some scary hands being thrown around. I'm not quite sure why it's so stacked with heavy striking guys, but there are some great matches to be made out of this. Lawler vs. Manhoef was such a treat.

Paul Daley is the king of his division for punching power. That's it. While Koscheck, Paulo Thiago, and Matt Serra have shown the ability to put people out, nobody has the level of consistency as Daley in power punching. Ben Saunders could make the overall list if he gets better striking from range, but his clinch work is downright nasty.

While there's some heavy hands in the division, here is no scary muay thai wreckingball at lightweight. The closest is Kenny Florian, who has very good technique and can certainly wear guys down, but does not turn off the lights with his striking. This seems like a huge opening for Jose Aldo should he move up.

As you get lighter, it's harder to knock someone out. Pretty standard rule of combat sports. Which makes what Jose Aldo does so spectacular. He may not be able to blast you with hands like Junior Dos Santos, so he makes his knees do the work. Incredibly impressive. His teammate Marlon Sandro has been on a tear of KOs lately, and his uppercut is nasty. Manny Gamburyan needs a few more wins before I'm totally sold on his power, but knocking Mike Brown out cold with a short punch is a damn good start.

Oh, Demacio Page... how did I forget you? Scary power, not to be messed with. Benavidez really impressed by turning out Rani Yahya cold. Very solid. Miguel Torres is still the most diverse striker with finishing power in the division. Dominic Cruz may have a tough time finishing guys at the very top of the division with his striking, but his heavy kicks certainly have potential to get some late TKOs. I'd like to see him go to later rounds with somebody who may be more finishable than Benavidez.

I'm considering making this a series, with the most relentless takedown artists and the most submission savy specialists (alliteration!) in the coming weeks. Is anybody else interested in that, or should I keep this a personal project?

Heavyweight:

Hands: Shane Carwin, Junior dos Santos, Fedor Emelianenko

Overall: Alistair Overeem, Pat Barry

 

Light Heavyweight:

Hands: Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, Houston Alexander

Overall: Mauricio "Shogun" Rua

 

Middleweight:

Hands: Drew McFedries, Vitor Belfort, Dan Henderson, Scott Smith

Overall: Anderson Silva, Nate Marquardt

 

Welterweight:

Hands: Paul Daley, John Howard

Overall: Thiago Alves, Anthony Johnson

 

Lightweight:

Hands: Melvin Guillard, BJ Penn, Takanori Gomi

Overall: Duane Ludwig (too dated?)

 

Featherweight:

Hands: Mike Brown, Marlon Sandro

Overall: Jose Aldo

 

Bantamweight:

Hands: Scott Jorgenson, Joseph Benavidez

Overall: Miguel Torres


\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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