Benson Henderson reacts between rounds during his bout against Clay Guida during the UFC on FOX event at the Honda Center on November 12, 2011 in Anaheim, California.
One thing about UFC guys ... they are extremely tough. Here's a look at the toughest fighters in UFC ...
"Big Country" has had some absolute wars in the UFC, including being the only man to take UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos to a decision and is coming off a war with Fabricio Werdum at UFC 143 that earned "Fight of the Night" honors. When it comes to heart, nobody has one bigger than Nelson.
It's as if Guida likes the taste of his own blood. The more he bleeds, the tougher he fights. Guida has never been knocked out in 41 career fights. Out of his 15 fights in the UFC, five of them have won "Fight of the Night." And his insane battle with Diego Sanchez in 2009 ranks #13 on the list of "100 Greatest UFC Fights." There's not a better package of toughness and determination in the UFC.
He might be called "The Dream" now ... but Sanchez will always be a nightmare for opponents. The 5-time FOTN winner is as relentless as they come. His wins over Karo Parisyan and Clay Guida won him "Fight of the Year" in both. Few can match Sanchez's pace or toughness.
One half of the fight that helped put the UFC on the map, "The American Psycho" has an iron chin and high tolerance for pain. In 21 career fights, Bonnar has never been knocked out or submitted. Two of his losses came after the ref stopped the fights for severe cuts ... decisions that Bonnar argued against in the cage. His bloodbath against Forrest Griffin in 2005 with forever give him a place on this list.
Love him or hate him, Leben is one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC. Always one to push the action, Leben has only went to a decision in 5 of his 19 fights in the Octogon. The beating Leben took at the hands of Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 116, only to pull out an amazing triangle submission in the closing seconds of the 3rd round, remains one of the greatest displays of heart in UFC history.
Garcia would rather set fireworks off in the ring that strategically win a fight than care for his own well being for that matter. There is nothing more that Garica loves to do in the cage than stand in front of somebody and trade leather. And despite this aggressive style, Garcia has yet to look up at the lights in 24 career fights. A mainstay in the WEC/UFC 2007, Garcia has earned "Fight of the Night" honors in four of his last six fights.
Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira
Nogueira has a had like a brick wall. The submission expert is not afraid to stand and trade blows, and he often uses his exceptional chin to close the distance against opponents to get them to the ground. In December, Nogueira shot way up the tough meter in his last fight against Frank Mir where, instead of tapping to get out of an impossible submission attempt, Mir has to break Minotauro's right arm for Nogueira to technically submit for the first time in his storied career. Nogueira had surgery a week later and is already expected to return to full-time training by March, a recovery of less than four months for an injury that was feared to be career-threatening.
No nickname. No fancy fighting style. Just sheer heart, determination...and a little bit of crazy. That is what the former UFC Light Heavyweight champion brings to the cage every time he enters. Griffin once broke his arm in an amateur MMA fight blocking a kick, and instead of stopping the fight, he only went on to knock out his opponent for the win. His fight against Stephan Bonnar will forever be remembered as one of the greatest brawls in UFC history.
There's no way we can put together this list without including a guy nicknamed "The Korean Zombie." Joe Rogan declared Jung's epic slugfest against Leonard Garcia at WEC 48 as the "Fight of the Decade." Few can take as much punishment as Jung while still pushing the pace forward and taking the fight to their opponent. You might want to bring a weapon to the cage should you ever find yourself standing across the cage from Jung.
"The Skyscraper" has had his fair share of wins and losses in the UFC, but one thing that he always brings to the cage is excitement. Nobody can match the height of Struve in the Octogon, and few can match his willpower to fight back from tough odds. A massive cut did not stop Struve from submitting Denis Stojnic at UFC 99. Struve took an absolute beating in the first round against Christian Morecraft at UFC 117, only to pull off the stunning comeback win with a knockout twenty-two seconds into the second round, which allowed viewers to be treated to Struve's disgusting mess of a face in the post-fight interview.