The world of Mixed Martial Arts has been growing in popularity quite steadily over the last few years. Big personalities like Derrick Lewis are bringing eyes to the sport with clips from his fights and interviews going viral, and the fact that a lot of people just seem to be falling out of love with other combat sports like boxing. Purely because of the sheer amount of big-name fighters who just don’t seem to want to fight each other for some reason. Or maybe it is just the fact that casual fans are starting to understand some of the more intricate aspects of MMA, like wrestling and jiu-jitsu.
Today, we’re going to be taking a look at some of the greatest ever mixed martial artists to come out of Ohio. This will be somewhat backed up by stats, but also there will be a little bit of favoritism in there. I’ll be putting up a list of who I think the top 3 mixed martial artists from Ohio are, and then I’ll be breaking it down fighter by fighter, going into their records and achievements, etc. So let’s not drag our feet any longer. Here is my list;
- Stipe Miocic – 20-4
- Forrest Griffin – 19-7
- Cody Garbandt – 12-5
I’m going to go through this list from 3 to 1, so I’ll be starting off with Cody ‘no love’ Garbrandt. Cody is an active fighter on the UFC roster. He has fought at Bantamweight and Flyweight before recently returning to the Bantamweight division. Cody won the Bantamweight title after his 11th straight win in a fight against future UFC Hall of Famer Dominick Cruz. Cody would, unfortunately, lose the belt in his next fight against T.J. Dillashaw, where he lost by TKO in the 2nd round. He would be given an immediate rematch, but again he would lose that fight by knockout in the first round.
Since then, things have been a little rough for Cody. He’s had a fair few losses to Pedro Munhoz, Rob Font, and Kai Kara-France, all big names in their divisions. But that doesn’t stop the fact that Cody is one of the most impressive fighters in the UFC. His last win came over Raphael Assuncao, a highlight reel knockout. Genuinely one of the most brutal knockouts I have ever seen in my life. Does he make my list because I like him? Perhaps! But he is still incredible.
Next is Forest Griffin. Forest is the only retired fighter on this list, but also he is currently in the UFC Hall of Fame. Forest fought the who’s who of the light heavyweight division, including wins over Mauricio Rui, Tito Ortiz, and the late Stephen Bonnar. The Bonnar fight was when he won the very first season of The Ultimate Fighter, making history in the series. He went on to win the Light Heavyweight title by way of a unanimous decision over Quinton Jackson. He then immediately lost the title the same year in a fight against Rashad Evans. He is rightly a Hall of Famer and will forever be known as one of the best light heavyweights to enter the octagon.
We’ve spent a little bit of time looking at the past, but now it’s time to look forward, and since we were talking about Light Heavyweight royalty in Forest Griffin, where better to start than UFC 283? UFC 283 features yet another fight for the vacant Light Heavyweight title after Jiri Prochazka opted to vacate the belt featuring an injury, and then the fight between Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev ended up in a draw. This time around, we see veteran Glover Teixeira Vs. Jamahal Hill for the strap.
Starting with that main event, you will be pleased to know that both fighters come in with exactly the same odds here. To win outright, you can get both Glover Teixeira and Jamahal Hill at -110, which returns $9.53 from $5. While there isn’t much else available on this fight right now, if you check out many of the Ohio based legal sports betting apps closer to the time, you will find many markets, including methods of victory, whether that’s knock out, decision or submission.
The only other fight on the card with odds right now is the co-main event. This one is yet another rematch for the UFC flyweight championship. Between Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno, this is the FOURTH fight between the two, and the record currently stands at 1-1-1, one win a piece and one draw. The belt is currently in Figueiredo’s hands, but who do the experts think takes fight 4? Well, Figueiredo currently edges this one at -125, returning $9 from a $5 stake, with Moreno coming in at +100, which returns $10 from $5. So quite a tight one indeed!
Finally, the one, the only, Stipe Miocic. Arguably the greatest Heavyweight of all time. Miocic is an absolute juggernaut of the heavyweight division. He boasts a 20-4 record, including two title wins, four title defenses, and a list of wins over some of the biggest names the division has ever had to offer. I’m talking Roy Nelson, Gabriel Gonzaga, Andrei Arlovski, Fabricio Werdum, Alistair Overeem, Junior dos Santos, Daniel Cormier (twice), Francis Ngannou… Is that enough for you? While it’s true, Stipe hadn’t fought in the UFC for a while, not since March 2021, when he lost his belt to a much improved Francis Ngannou. There is no denying everybody wants to see him back in the octagon.
Stipe has been a fan favorite for as long as I can remember. He’s a very humble guy with the mentality of a champion, but not only that, he works as a part-time firefighter and paramedic in Oakwood and Valley View, Ohio, and he allegedly wants to become a full-time firefighter once he retires from MMA. So now only is the man a heavyweight god, but he’s a true superhero also. Rumour has it he’s supposed to be fighting Jon Jones next, but this has been whirling around the rumor mill for the longest time at this point. Who knows when we’ll see Stipe again? I’m eagerly anticipating his return.
So, what do you guys think of the list? Are there any fighters listed that you don’t think to deserve to be in this top 3? If that’s the case, who would you guys put in their place? I think the top 2 are kind of undeniable, Stipe has to be the greatest Ohio-born mixed martial artist of all time, and then Forrest Griffin has to be second or third. But maybe that slot I gave to Cody Garbrandt is a slot that’s up for debate.