National Hispanic Heritage Month is once again upon the United States during the uneven time of September 15th to October 15th. As MMA Freak has done the past few years, the top 10 Hispanic fighters of the past year will be recognized and their accomplishments reviewed. This list is ranked on wins and quality of opponents:
10) Fernando Gonzalez
Bellator MMA veteran Fernando Gonzalez fought and won against Gilbert Smith at Bellator 151 on March 4th.
9) Alexa Grasso
Alexa Grasso earned a victory over Jodie Esquibel at Invicta FC 18 and earned Fight of the Night honors. The talented, undefeated Mexican Strawweight is now signed to the UFC and can certainly make a splash in the division.
8) Yoel Romero
Following his drug suspension, Yoel Romero will face Chris Weidman. In December if fought Ronaldo Souza.
7) Cain Velasquez
Cain Velasquez successfully bounced back from his loss last year by defeating Travis Browne at UFC 200. While injuries has continued to hinder the 2X UFC Heavyweight Champion, he can still come back for another title shot.
6) Chico Camus
After a loss to Kyoji Horiguchi, Chico Camus has won two matches in the Resurrection Fighting Alliance. One can only assume that Camus will continue with the future merger of RFA and Legacy FC if the UFC doesn’t call.
5) Jimmie Rivera
Jimmie Rivera is on a nineteen fight winning streak with wins over Urijah Faber and Iuri Alcantara. His latest win against the former at UFC 203 has only elevated his status as a rising contender among the UFC bantamweights.
4) Joseph Benavidez
One of two coaches on season 24 of The Ultimate Fighter, Joseph Benavidez is on a five fight winning streak. He is set to face fellow TUF coach and Hispanic American, Henry Cejudo at the TUF 24 Finale on December 3rd.
3) Yair Rodriguez
Yair Rodriguez is on a six fight winning streak, with five of them in the UFC, the most recent being last month against Alex Caceres. The inaugural The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America winner is certainly on a role.
2) Dominick Cruz
Despite fighting only three times in the past four years due to injuries, Dominick Cruz has managed to win and defended the UFC Bantamweight Championship against the likes of TJ Dillashaw and Urijah Faber respectively.
1) Eddie Alvarez
Eddie Alvarez defeated Anthony Pettis and Rafael dos Anjos this year alone. The latter victory on July 7th not only earned Alvarez a Performance of the Night bonus, but also earned him the UFC Lightweight Championship.