UFC

The 5 Best UFC Fighters You've Never Heard of

Dan HiergesellFeatured ColumnistJune 2, 2014

The 5 Best UFC Fighters You've Never Heard of

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    Chris Hyde/Getty Images

    It's difficult to stand out in the pack, especially when it comes to an internationally clad entity like the UFC.

    As the biggest mixed martial arts company in the world, the promotion lives and dies by the new talent they bring in and the overall marketability of the old fighters they already have.

    That professional system often leaves really good fighters prying for their own 15 minutes of fame. But sometimes their efforts are trumped by pay-per-view snubs, a lack of camera time or the inability to flourish upon arrival.

    That said, here are the five best fighters in the UFC right now that you probably haven't heard of.

    If you're a diehard fight fan, then you most certainly should have, but for the casual fan in search of some new up-and-coming talent, here you go.

Alex White

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Alex White was an absolute beast in his UFC debut.

    Pinned up against a veteran who was initially expected to fight Mike Brown, White made quick work of Estevan Payan by outpointing him at every turn.

    Blessed with advantageous size for a 25-year-old featherweight, White's natural strength and ability to utilize his range in all facets of a fight should spell ultimate success.

    We don't know for sure how the undefeated striker will fare against top divisional foe, but a budding ground game should allow him to stay on his feet, letting his hands to do the talking.

Alberto Mina

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    Alberto Mina was expected to face Zak Cummings back in March at UFC Fight Night 37, but Cummings came in eight pounds over weight and the Brazilian wanted no part with him.

    The decision to back out may have delayed his UFC debut, but in the long run it was a smart move.

    In any case, Mina remains one of the most highly touted prospects on the UFC roster yet to make his first Octagon appearance.

    The owner of a perfect 10-0 record, finishing each one of those wins by either submission, knockout or TKO (eight in the first round), Mina should be as feared on his feet as he is on the ground.

    Not to mention the 32-year-old is one of the better Judo practitioners currently gracing the welterweight division.

Joe Ellenberger

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    Widely known as Jake's brother, it's time that Joe Ellenberger got his due.

    Outside of his miraculous comeback from paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria—a rare disease that destroys healthy red-blood cells—Ellenberger's professional record speaks for itself.

    He's 14-1 with eight finishes by knockout or TKO, four by submission, and a knack for overpowering opponents with strong wrestling and an even stronger will to win.

    If "Excalibur" can maintain his first-round ferocity and mix in some nasty ground-and-pound, there's no telling how far up the lightweight ladder the 29-year-old can climb.

Alex Garcia

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    Equipped with one of the more versatile and devastating skill sets you'll find in any top prospect in the sport today, 26-year-old Alex Garcia should be considered a threat to any welterweight.

    Currently training under the Tristar Gym banner, "The Dominican Nightmare" has already recorded two very impressive UFC victories, including a 43-second knockout of Ben Wall in his promotional debut.

    As one of the more athletic and explosive talents in the weight class, Garcia's potential is through the roof. The only problem has been his inability to land on a main card.

    I'm sure the UFC will take his talents into consideration when booking his next fight, but whoever it is, they better be prepared for a war.

Doo-Ho Choi

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    As the quintessential top prospect in all of MMA, Doo-Ho Choi encompasses so much promise as an up-and-coming threat in the UFC's featherweight division.

    At only 23 years of age, he has already shown similarities to that of fellow South Korean Chan-Sung Jung, better known as "The Korean Zombie."

    But where "The Korean Superboy" differs from a top contender like Jung is his ability to pick his shots. He most certainly possesses the natural power and gritty finishing ability that Jung does, but Choi is more methodically in his approach.

    His calculated attacks and incomparable faints have already begun to stir the pot. Let's hope his overseas success translates into the Octagon because a young striker like him belongs on the big stage.

     

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