Connect with us


“Top of the Food Chain Series” Volume 4: The Best Boxing

Derek Bowe



An essential striking approach is boxing and will forever be an integral part of a fighter’s arsenal in mixed martial arts. The ability to maintain range with a jab, get inside with body hooks, cut off angles by circling a foe with hooks to the head, land damaging shots within the clinch or blast a ducking opponent with an uppercut. All of these techniques enable a fighter to execute effective striking. Below is a list of fighters who employ different approaches to their boxing attack, none being any less effective, as they are the ones who do it the best.

#5 Conor McGregor, Featherweight, UFC

Conor McGregor has a plethora of talents, one of which is his ability to manage the range. One way he is able to close the distance is by leaping in with a big left straight. The straight which McGregor throws is thrown with a ton of force, as the momentum comes right along with it, being that it is a lunging technique. It’s clearly the Irishman’s most dangerous punch. Along with dealing damage, it’s also used to close the distance and open up an inside boxing attack where Conor loves to go to the torso with combos of alternating body uppercuts. When the straight is thrown, opponents like to cover up to protect against and absorb the big strike. In doing that, he’s creating an opening to the inside without being countered. McGregor uses this technique with flawless execution and this is what makes his hands dangerous enough to round out this list.

#4 Junior Dos Santos, Heavyweight, UFC

Junior Dos Santos would have found himself at the number one spot on this list three years prior, but his style has changed since. Dos Santos had a style similar to that of a fencer, which is a surprising comparison considering Dos Santos is a heavyweight. He would use feints to the head, jab to the body, dart out, then close with a huge overhand right which numerous opponents fell victim to. Since then, Dos Santos has become more of a puncher who throws big power shots, looking to floor his opponents early on. Junior uses more of a jab at the head to set up his overhand, that usually follows with a big left hook to the body or hook to the head. Cigano has become more of a knockout punch boxer, than a volume puncher he used to be. His skills are definitely high-level enough to maintain a spot on this list, as any opponent understands the danger waiting for them in hands of Dos Santos across the Octagon.

#3 Anderson Silva, Middleweight, UFC

Once considered the pound-for-pound number one fighter on the planet while sitting as the middleweight champion, Anderson Silva’s skills in the Octagon were unmatched. One such skill that had been overlooked was his boxing ability. Anderson Silva would likely be considered to have some of the best defense that has been seen in the sport, largely due to head movement which has been compared to something out of the movie The Matrix, exhibited in his bout against former light heavyweight champion Forest Griffin. Silva has a stiff jab which has allowed him to control distance and set up an array of strikes he possesses. While Silva uses his boxing primarily as setup, the effective nature of his boxing is his most underrated quality. It deserves every bit the recognition it should be getting, certainly one of the best in the game.

#2 Frankie Edgar, Featherweight, UFC

Frankie Edgar is the epitome of volume puncher. Every successive timeout, Edgar looks to be getting better and better in the striking department. He showed why he deserved to be on this list against the likes of Urijah Faber his last time out where he confused the likes of Faber with his unpredictable combos to the head and body of California Kid while Faber looked confused and out of sorts with his single punch attack. Edgar likes to work high to low, then finish off with a lead hook to the head before exiting the pocket. He mixes straights and hooks, not usually loading up on any particular punch, yet landing three to five punches in each exchange. His quickness, coupled with diversity, places Edgar in a close second for top notch boxing in the sport.

#1 Robbie Lawler, Middleweight, UFC

The number one placeholder, the fighter whose hands are the primary golden ticket to his success is middleweight champion, Robbie Lawler. Lawler has it all when it comes to boxing, he goes to the body, goes to the head, punches with power on the inside, closes the distance, and is unpredictable in his combinations. The southpaw throws with an effortless amount of power, his punches looks smooth, and free flowing, not forced, and unnatural. Lawler has a powerful jab which sets up his left hook up top. After the left hook up top, he enjoys going to the body with a lead right hook, followed by a left uppercut. Robbie does not seem to favor any particular punch as all of them are dangerous with the amount of power the champion possesses. Combination ability, range management, head movement, and power make Lawler one of the best boxers in mixed martial arts.

Honorable Mentions: Jorge Masvidal, Al Iaquinta, Jose Aldo, Rory MacDonald, Rampage Jackson, Nick Diaz

Onnit Primal Bells
Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login


Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz in the works for UFC 223



UFC 223 looks to add a variety of intriguing bouts. With Paul Felder vs. Al Iaquinta reportedly set for the unannounced UFC 223 card, the promotion looks to add a high stakes female flyweight match-up. According to, sources confirmed a bout between Felice Herrig and Karolina Kowalkiewicz, is in the works for the pay-per-view card.


Assuming the match-up does come to be, both women have much to gain from a victory. For Herrig, she currently sits on a four-fight win streak. A streak in which the strawweight contender defeated Kailin Curran, Alexa Grasso, Justine Kish, and Cortney Casey. The MMA veteran, Herrig, began fighting professionally in 2009. As of late, her issues with the marketing machine that is the UFC have intensified.

After demonstrating her technical prowess over Justine Kish at UFC Fight Night 122: Chiesa vs. Lee, Herrig put her emotions on display. She stated at the post-fight media scrum, “Sometimes, I feel like, I’m not young and beautiful enough for the UFC to want to promote me. And it’s sad because I’ve really worked so hard to be here and it’s hard to see these people who’ve not been through what I’ve been through. Who just got into the UFC at the right time. They’re getting all these opportunities and I see how hard I work to get here and it’s just like, it doesn’t matter. I just feel like, ‘I’m not pretty enough and I’m not getting any younger'”.

A frustrated Felice Herrig then spoke to in December. She claimed, “Aside from (former UFC women’s strawweight champ) Joanna (Jedrzejczyk), I’m the only strawweight who’s gone on a four-fight winning streak. That’s a fact. At this point, I want to fight someone in the top 10. It doesn’t really make sense for me to keep fighting girls that are ranked below me. That’s the whole point. If I want to keep working my way up. I fight the most dangerous girls outside the top 10”. The #9 ranked women’s flyweight has a point. In her UFC career, she recorded one loss in six appearances. Yet, she has one co-main event booking, while fighters like Michelle Waterson, booked the main event in her second UFC bout. In Waterson’s third bout, she received a co-main event scheduling. Understandably, Felice Herrig is upset with her situation.

Later in her interview, Herrig brought up Kowalkiewicz as a potential next opponent. “For whatever reason, I really want to fight Karolina. I just think that would be an exciting fight… Stylistically, I really like that fight. She’s ranked above (me), and it may be a good gauge for me,” she stated. Right now, it looks like Herrig is close to getting what she wants.

Kowalkiewicz last fought in her native country of Poland on the UFC Fight Pass card, UFC Fight Night 118: Cowboy vs. Till, in October. The Polish star defeated Jody Esquibel, after losing consecutive contests to former UFC female strawweight champion, Joanna Jedrzejcyk and Claudia Gadelha, respectively.

A win for either makes a good case for the next or an eventual title challenger. Kowalkiewicz holds a victory over current division champion, Rose Namajunas. While a win for Herrig would further establish her impressive win streak and undoubtedly give her the boost in the rankings she deserves.

Onnit Primal Bells
Continue Reading


Douglas Lima found out about change to co-main event at Bellator 192 from the internet



Bellator 192 fight card has gone through a shake-up over the past week. Bellator president Scott Coker revealed last week that the scheduled welterweight title fight between Rory MacDonald and champion Douglas Lima will now be serving as the co-main event and the heavyweight matchup between Chael Sonnen and Rampage Jackson would instead take top billing. At the time no explanation was made for the change. Monday Douglas Lima was a guest on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani to discuss this change.

“I was little bummed, but it is what it is, it’s business you know. I was pretty excited you know? Being the main event, having Rampage fight as the co-main event, I was happy there. Then I was bummed out that they changed it back to the co-main event. It’s not going to change a thing for me, I’m just focusing on the fight.”

Lima has been notoriously looked over in the eyes of fight fans. A longtime member of Bellator and a two-time champion has not gotten the notice he deserves and hopes to get.

“I found out through the internet, nobody tells me anything, I didn’t know. the same thing happened in New York, I thought my fight would be before the two main events there, but it ended up being the first fight of the night on Pay-Per-View. Hopefully, it doesn’t take anything away from the fight, you know spotlight and stuff.”

Lima is looking to make all the naysayers take notice at Bellator 192 that takes place at The Forum in Inglewood, Califonia on January 20th.

“This is the fight I’ve been waiting for for a long time. To get my name out there, to get people to know who I am. I’ve been delivering a lot of good fights, fights fans like to watch but no attention yet. I’m hoping though that after a win over Rory this week it will really put my name out there and show all these welterweights out there that I am for real.”

Onnit Primal Bells
Continue Reading

Fight Announcements

Al Iaquinta vs. Paul Felder rescheduled for UFC 223 in April



MMA fans around the world wept in deep sorrow when Al Iaquinta withdrew from a bout scheduled for UFC 218 against Paul Felder. Weep no more, for Paul Felder faces Al Iaquinta at UFC 223. Rumblings behind the match-up, first reported by, came Sunday night before confirmed the bout scheduled for unannounced pay-per-view card, later in the evening.


The original bout fell through due to a severe knee injury to Iaquinta. He spoke to BJ Penn Radio about the injury nearly a week before the December 2nd, PPV event in Detriot. The Long Island real estate agent claimed, “I tore my PCL and my MCL maybe three or four months ago… for me to really put in a full training camp and do what I need to do, I would’ve had to just focus on fighting and physical therapy… it was the kind of thing where all roads led to me not kind of taking a risk and fighting on December 2nd”.

Iaquinta went on to say, “I kind of accepted the fight, but I never signed a bout agreement… I was kind of told I had to give them an answer pretty quick. It was a fight I thought I really wanted. I thought it was a good stylistic match-up for me, so I accepted the fight, and then thinking about it over the course of a day, we realized it probably wasn’t a smart decision for my health, for everything”.

An outspoken lightweight, he is not the first of his kind. Al Iaquinta is no stranger to idly waiting on the sideline for the UFC to make a move. Contract disputes and other bad strokes of luck left the Serra-Longo with three octagon appearances since 2015. The feud between Iaquinta and the promotion comes as a surprise when looking at the credentials of the aforementioned fighter. With an octagon record of 8-2, he earned notoriety as one of the best lightweights in the world. During his time in the UFC, he defeated Kevin Lee, Ross Pearson, Joe Lauzon, Jorge Masvidal, and most recently Diego Sanchez.

His opponent, “The Irish Dragon”, Paul Felder, holds an impressive UFC record of his own. At 7-3, Felder defeated tough competition as well. His record notes wins over Daron Cruickshank, Jason Saggo, Stevie Ray, and Charles Oliveira. Even more impressive than his record, his knockout ratio. At this stage of his career, Felder knockouts 55% of his opponents (10 knockouts in 18 career pro bouts).

Like his opponent Iaquinta, Paul Felder has a separate career outside of fighting. As many should notice, Felder found a role as a color commentator with the promotion he fights for. Following the footsteps in a long line of fighters before him, Felder announced multiple events alongside another new addition to the UFC broadcast team, Brendan Fitzgerald.

PPV card, UFC 223 and its location are not official yet. Despite a lack of an announcement, the event takes place in Brooklyn, New York at the Barclays Centre, according to multiple reports. Currently, the card features no official bouts. Reports state Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (per Jim Edwards), and Evan Dunham vs. Mairbek Taisumov (per Farah Hannoun) are both in the works for UFC 223.

Onnit Primal Bells
Continue Reading