It is baseball’s equivalent to the Dominican Republic. Amazing talent has come from this South American country, some of whom are Rickson Gracie, Royce Gracie, Anderson Silva, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Jose Aldo.
UFC president Dana White has been called Brazil the new Mecca of mixed martial arts, as the fans are the most plentiful and rabid on the planet. The nation's love of the sport is only amplified by the amazing talent that the country has produced.
Here are the top 10 fighters to emerge from the MMA powerhouse that is Brazil.
1 Anderson Silva
Across the board. No ifs, ands or buts.
Not only is Anderson Silva the top Brazilian fighter in mixed martial arts, he is also the greatest MMA fighter of all-time.
Silva was a killer in Pride FC, and he’s only gotten better. Since coming to the UFC, Silva has been unstoppable. Silva has become the Wayne Gretzky of the sport, as he has set multiple records, including most consecutive wins (14) and most title defenses (nine).
He's usually dominating in his fights. In the rare cases he faces adversity, he still finds a way to come out on top. An incredible striker and BJJ artist, Silva has done the impossible in MMA and continues to mystify fans worldwide.
SIDEBAR to ANDERSON
• Consecutive Wins: 15
• First-Round Wins: 17
• Last Loss: 2006
• Career Record: 31-4
• Knockouts: 18
2 Royce Gracie
The original UFC champion, the pioneer of modern mixed martial arts. That is Royce Gracie.
With no weight classes or time limits, Gracie baffled audiences watching UFC pay-per-views by defeating much larger fighters with the effective flair of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Gracie became a living infomercial for the art and introduced the world to how effective it is. During that span in the UFC, Gracie won 11 straight fights and three tournaments. All 11 of those victories came by submission.
SIDEBAR to ROYCE
• Began Career: 11 straight wins
• Ken Shamrock Bout: 36 minutes
• First 12 Fights: Ended in Round 1 (11 wins, 1 draw)
• Career Wins: 12
NOTE: The full story is in the July issue, which is on the newsstands now (May 15).
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