Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell is one of the UFC's top stars, and the among the most recognizable faces in the business. His Mohawk and tattoos give him a unique look, and he fits the image many people have of MMA fighters.
2 of 11Kent Horner/MLS/WireImage
After knocking out Chuck Liddell in less than two minutes to capture the UFC Light Heavyweight championship, Quentin "Rampage" Jackson has established himself as one of the top dogs in UFC. He will make his first title defense against PRIDE welterweight and middleweight champion Dan Henderson.
3 of 11Courtesy of UFC
Few fighters in MMA understand the business as well as Ortiz. Always colorful and controversial, Ortiz generates interest in the sport and his fights like few others. He was a large part of the UFC's pay-per-view success in 2006, as his fights with Forrest Griffin, Ken Shamrock and Chuck Liddell drew strong buy rates.
4 of 11Courtesy of UFC
Gracie was the UFC's top star in the early days, winning three different one-night tournaments. Fans were educated as to the power of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu by Gracie, who left UFC after a draw with Ken Shamrock at UFC 5. Gracie went to Japan to fight for Pride and K1, and then returned to America to fight Matt Hughes at UFC 60.
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"Captain America" is perhaps the most beloved figure in mixed martial arts. The classy Couture has operated best in the role as underdog. Counted out repeatedly throughout his career, Couture pulled out surprising upsets on numerous occasions. His most recent victory was also his greatest. At age 43, he came out of retirement to regain the UFC Heavyweight Title from Tim Sylvia, who had a distinct height and weight advantage.
6 of 11Courtesy of UFC
Georges St. Pierre
St. Pierre is a new breed of high level athlete who chose MMA as his sport from an early age. The French Canadian destroyed top flight competition en route to the UFC Welterweight Championship, including Sean Sherk, Frank Trigg and Matt Hughes. St. Pierre then suffered a shocking upset loss to Matt Serra. He will need to defeat elite wrestler Josh Koscheck to earn a title rematch with Serra.
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"The World's Most Dangerous Man" was one of the early stars of UFC, but left for greater money from the then World Wrestling Federation. After fulfilling a three-year contract with the company, Shamrock returned to fighting for Pride and UFC. He was a major force in the popularity rise of the UFC. His feuds with Royce Gracie and Tito Ortiz are arguably the two most important in the company's history.
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This Hillsboro, IL native drew the Ultimate Fighting Championship's lowest modern buy rates. Then he appeared on the company's "Ultimate Fighter" television show and his no-nonsense country boy persona turned him into a star. His fights last year with Royce Gracie, B.J. Penn and Georges St. Pierre were major events.
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Mirko Cro Cop
A former K1 kickboxing star, Cro Cop joined UFC earlier this year. His spectacular leg kicks made him a superstar in the Japanese Pride Fighting Championships, and a hero in his home country of Croatia. He serves in the Croatian parliament and his fights do enormous television ratings in that country.
10 of 11Courtesy of UFC
A former high school math teacher, Franklin is one of the more unassuming fighters in the UFC. Look or no look, he has an impressive 8-1 record and is one of UFC's most marketable stars. Following a recent setback against Anderson Silva, Franklin is looking to regain the UFC Middleweight Title.
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The Hawaii native first reached UFC fame by choking out Matt Hughes at UFC 46. After briefly working as part of the K-1 organization, Penn returned to UFC in 2006 and lost close matches to Georges St. Pierre and a rematch with Hughes. He also serves as a coach for The Ultimate Fighter 5.
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