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UFC star Joseph Duffy names his five favourite MMA fighters of all time

It wasn’t easy to narrow it down.

Joseph Duffy Joseph Duffy Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

AHEAD OF HIS big fight with Dustin Poirier at UFC 195 on Saturday, we asked Irish lightweight Joseph Duffy to name his five favourite mixed martial arts fighters of all time…

5. Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipovic

From: Croatia
Organisations: Pride, UFC, Dream
Record: 31-11-2-1

UFC 128 Mixed Martial Arts Source: AP/Press Association Images

Duffy: “In all of Cro Cop’s fights, whether it was Pride, the UFC or wherever, he was always just one kick away from a finish. He had that quiet personality as well. There was something about him that captured everyone’s attention. He had a long career and fought all the top heavyweights. I don’t think he was ever in a boring fight.”

4. Kazushi Sakuraba

From: Japan
Organisations: Pride, UFC, Dream
Record: 26-16-1-2


Duffy: “He was another one of those fighters who was constantly looking for the finish. It was nice to see someone with a good grappling game who was actually able to cause his opponents problems in all areas. Everyone remembers his first fight against Royce Gracie lasting 90 minutes but all of Sakuraba’s fights were worth watching, even towards the very end of his career.”

3. Fedor Emelianenko

From: Russia
Organisations: Rings, Pride, Strikeforce, M-1
Record: 34-4-1

MMA Strikeforce Werdum Emelianenko Source: AP/Press Association Images

Duffy: “Every time Fedor fought, you just had to tune in. He’s another guy from Pride but they’re the guys I grew up watching. Fedor had that sense of mystique about him, which made him so captivating. But when it was time to fight, he could do it all and very impressively too for a heavyweight. He’s a real icon of the sport.”

2. Georges St Pierre

From: Canada
Organisations: UFC
Record: 25-2


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UFC 167 Mixed Martial Arts Source: AP/Press Association Images

Duffy: “Another guy who had it all. Georges was a thinking fighter. No matter who he fought, he had the tools not just to win, but to dominate. The UFC welterweight division was probably the most stacked it’s ever been while he was the champion, yet he ran through those guys as if they weren’t even there. He’s been good to me here at Tristar as well. He has helped me a lot with the finer details of the game. He’s been a massive help.”

1. Wanderlei Silva

From: Brazil
Organisations: UFC, Pride
Record: 35-12-1-1

UFC 139 Source: AP/Press Association Images

Duffy: “There’s no doubt about who the number one is for me. I was never a fan of Wanderlei for his technique; it was all about his heart and how exciting he was. Even when he lost, he went out on his shield. He never held anything back. Win or lose, he always gave it 100%. That kind of mindset is hugely important in MMA, I feel. It’s something I try to model myself on. For me, Wanderlei belongs at the top.”

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About the author:

Paul Dollery

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