MMA10: Top 10 non-UFC fighters
Chandler, Fitch rank among top non-UFC fighters following this week's cuts
Editor's note: Insider presents MMA10, a weekly top-10 poll of MMA fighters, trainers and coaches on a variety of topics. This week: the top 10 non-UFC fighters.
The pool of highly talented fighters looking for work expanded rapidly Wednesday when the UFC dismissed a record-setting 16 fighters in a single culling. Most shocking of the cuts was perennial welterweight contender Jon Fitch, who was only a few months removed from a Fight of the Night performance.
In addition to the new free agents, there is a talented pool of fighters at BellatorMMA, RFA and the World Series of Fighting, who all deserve recognition. To assemble our list of the top non-UFC fighters, we asked our panel to consider anyone not currently under contract with Zuffa.
Here is our ranking of the top 10 non-UFC fighters in mixed martial arts:
The former NCAA All-American wrestler has defended his Bellator belt twice, but it's his fourth-round victory over Eddie Alvarez that still stands as his most notable win. With competent hands and an aggressive style rooted in American combat jiu-jitsu, Chandler has the most skill and ferocity of any fighter not signed under the Zuffa banner. If BellatorMMA CEO Bjorn Rebney can deliver high-quality opponents (or even a rematch with Alvarez) to Chandler, the 26-year-old could propel himself into the discussion as a top-10 pound-for-pound fighter.
To see the rest of the top 10 non-UFC fighters in MMA, become an Insider today.
MORE MMA HEADLINES
- Davis-Bader added to UFC event on Jan. 24
- UFC: Edgar submits Swanson in fifth round
- War Machine pleads not guilty to 34 charges
- Belfort passes drug test prior to UFC title shot
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
MMA Insider: Must reads
In case you missed them, here are some must reads articles from MMA Insider.
Foley: Jose Aldo vs Ben Henderson Read
Foley: Jon Jones vs Cain Velasquez Read
Foley: Georges St-Pierre vs Anderson Silva Read
Bold MMA predictions Read
Fights that must happen Read
Challengers for Jon Jones Read
All-time champs Read
Fighters on UFC bubble Read
Pro athletes in MMA Read
Non-UFC fighters Read
Ex-Strikeforce fighters Read
MMA10: All-Time Middleweights Read
MMA10: All-Time Light Heavyweights Read
MMA10: All-Time Heavyweights Read
MMA10: Finishers Read
MMA10: Comeback fighters Read
MMA10: Top strikers Read
MMA10: Top wrestlers Read
NFL? NBA? MMA?: Which non-MMA athletes might make good fighters? Read
Building the perfect fighter: T.R. Foley creates the ultimate 'Frankenfighter' who could beat Jon Jones. Read