Which fighter was the biggest overachiever ever?

Discussion in 'MMA Forum' started by Samart'sTeep, Oct 1, 2021.

  1. Samart'sTeep

    Samart'sTeep Member Full Member

    Nov 17, 2019
    I don't mean this thread as an insult. By overachiever I mean someone who was not thought of as a particularly athletic, talented or naturally skillful fighter but still managed to transcend those limitations to have a successful career. Which fighter had the most success relative to his limited ability? I think it's admirable to achieve nearly all of your potential as a fighter and few guys ever do that.

    Would it be a guy like Michael Bisping? People hated Bisping not just because of his personality, but because they thought he was a hype job created from the Ultimate Fighter to push the sport in the UK. I remember when Dan Henderson sent him to the shadow realm with that overhand right when Bisping circled right into the shot moving to his left like an amateur. People were so happy at the time. He was thought of a bottom level top ten guy at best. He would beat the guys he was supposed to beat and lose to any real contender.

    But despite losing an eye and suffering devastating loses to fighters like Belfort and Rockhold, he kept going. He eventually got his chance and beat the great Anderson Silva. A post-leg break, old Anderson Silva but Anderson Silva none the less. He had to gut out that performance, too, after that flying knee. But that Silva was still a good figher. And then he knocked Rockhold out clean with that left hook taking advantage of his horrible boxing defense. He got his opportunity and he made the most of it. I don't think even his biggest haters could deny his heart and the sacrifices he made to the sport, to the point of losing an eye, to achieve his dream.

    Rafael Dos Anjos is another good candidate. In his first two UFC fights, he was a highlight victim of Jeremy Stephens uppercut and lost a decision to Tyson Griffin. He quit due to a broken jaw against Clay Guida. He was considered at best an average UFC level fighter and nobody expected much. Certainly nobody ever expected he would become a champion.

    But at his best, he was formidable. He essentially ruined Pettis' tenure as an elite fighter beating him down over 5 rounds. He backed him up the whole time and battered him with left roundhouse kicks and left hooks to the body and left straights to the face. People forget but after his wins against Melendez, Cerrone and Henderson, Pettis was thought of as being a special offensive talent. Dos Anjos just took him apart.

    There's a lot of guys who could fall into this category, but who would you pick as the biggest overachiever in MMA history?
  2. cross_trainer

    cross_trainer Bergeron Avatar Club Full Member

    Jun 30, 2005

    Had no MMA experience or grappling skill to speak of, but leveraged his star power to force a competent wrestler to agree to an unwinnable ruleset. Got a draw, too.
  3. Brixton Bomber

    Brixton Bomber Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Sep 21, 2013
    Bisping is a great shout.