11 Fighters The UFC Should Sign In 2011

Yoshiro Maeda (MMA record: 28-9-2)

Most fans remember Maeda for his incredible battle with Miguel Torres for the WEC bantamweight title at WEC 34. He’s not a top ranked fighter by any means—going 5-4 since that bout—but he’s an incredibly exciting competitor nonetheless. Maeda’s current two fight win streak should be more than enough momentum to earn him a new Zuffa contract.

Vitor Vianna (MMA record: 10-1-1)

Vianna is the star pupil of MMA legend Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva. He is a two-time world Brazilian jiu-jitsu champion and a six-time National jiu-jitsu champion in Brazil. In addition to his grappling prowess, Vianna is also a dangerous striker with vicious punching power similar to his mentor Silva.

Vianna tried out for The Ultimate Fighter 13 so there is a very good chance he will compete on the reality series, especially if Silva ends up coaching.

Yuri Villefort (MMA record: 6-0)

Villefort is another young prospect that could make waves in the UFC’s welterweight division. The American Top Team product is a truly refined mixed martial artist. His standup ability seems to be his strongest asset but he is also very capable on the ground and in the clinch. The unbeaten welterweight is improving at a rapid rate and would be a wise signing for the UFC.

Mayhem Miller

Jason “Mayhem” Miller (24-7)

As it stands, Miller is contractually obligated to Strikeforce, but something tells me that won’t last the entire year. Call it a bold prediction but I believe “Mayhem” will get out of his contract before the summer and will re-sign with the UFC almost immediately. Miller has voiced his frustrations with Strikeforce publically before, and UFC President Dana White recently expressed interest in signing the Bully Beatdown star.

Dave Herman (20-2)

When it comes to the heavyweight division there are two fighters that fans want to see in the UFC more than anyone else; Emelianenko and Overeem. Unfortunately, we probably have a better chance of seeing Rosie O’Donnell do a front flip than ever seeing those two fighters in the Octagon.

There is one heavyweight, however, that would be in the realm of possibility for the UFC to sign and his name is “Peewee” Herman. Don’t be fooled by his ridiculous nickname, Herman is a beast who started his career off with 15 consecutive stoppages. The Lloyd Irvin trained fighter could certainly make some waves if giving the chance to fight in the world’s premier MMA organization.

Jonas Billstein (9-0)

Billstein is a 19 year old prodigy with eight stoppage wins to his name. Fighting out of Cologne, Germany, Billstein could be a valuable asset to the UFC as they look to expand their German audience. Some might argue that he’s far too young to fight on the big stage, but I disagree entirely. The light heavyweight prospect already has nine professional victories on his record. That’s more than most fighters twice his age had in their first few bouts. Plus, bantamweight prospect Michael McDonald is the same age and he’s fighting for the UFC.

Chris Weidman (MMA record: 4-0)

A product of the Serra-Longo fight team on Long Island, NY, Weidman is the most promising middleweight prospect in MMA entering 2011. A former wrestling coach at Hofstra University, Weidman was a former two-time NJCAA and two-time NCAA Division I All-American wrestler prior to entering the sport and holds a wrestling win over UFC light heavyweight contender Ryan Bader.

His phenomenal athleticism and superb wrestling base make him a handful for any fighter in the division. He could be a future champion and if he isn’t signed to a UFC contract this year he will get there with time.

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