The elbow is one of the most lethal weapons that the modern UFC fighter can utilize against their an opponent. Not only do elbow strikes generate huge amounts of power, they can also cause fight-ending cuts and lacerations.
However, there are only a select few fighters who have true mastery over the utilization of elbow strikes. In the following list we will go over five current UFC fighters who have a particular penchant for elbow attacks.
#5 Matt Brown
In his prime, Matt Brown may well sit at the top of this list. But now, in the twilight of his career, he is not as threatening. Despite this, Brown's elbows are still harsh.
Whenever a fight with Brown enters the clinch, his opponents are placed in instant danger. He also has a tendency to use an elbow as he steps into close range, often to brutal effect, with the fight against Tim Means being a great example.
#4 JoJo Calderwood
Outside of the UFC octagon, Scotland's Joanne Calderwood is cheery and soft-spoken. However, when she steps into the octagon, a whole other beast comes out. Calderwood sports a classic mauy thai style, with elbows and knees aplenty.
If she is able to grab her opponent in a thai clinch, they often leave it bruised and bloody, as she peppers them with a barrage of slicing elbows and heavy knee strikes. She is also not against throwing the odd spinning elbow.
#3 Jon Jones
Jon Jones' early UFC career was built upon the usage of vicious elbows that could leave his opponents with huge gashes or simply knock them unconscious. The former light heavyweight king has somewhat strayed away from using them as much as he did in his youth, but they are still a brutal weapon in his arsenal.
Jones has multiple finishes via elbows on his UFC record, including stoppages over Brandon Vera, Chael Sonnen and Vladimir Matyushenko. Jones' only pro loss was a DQ for using illegal downward elbow strikes against Matt Hamil.
#2 Leon Edwards
Leon Edwards' appitude for elbow strikes often goes unappreciated among UFC fans due to his low finish rate. However, they are a tool that he consistently uses in every fight to great effect. It is not only his willingness to throw the strike, but his timing which makes them so damaging.
The knockdown against Gunnar Nelson was particularly clean. Edwards can be seen anticipating Nelson's advance, avoiding a strike and landing a vicious elbow that knocked Nelson to the ground. It was also a technique he used to great effect against Nate Diaz, using a spinning strike off the break to leave the Stockton native with multiple lacerations.
#1 Tony Ferguson
It is hard to make a case for any UFC fighter to have been more lethal with elbow strikes than 'El Cucuy'. Tony Ferguson is willing to throw his elbows from essentially any position.
His naturally fluid fighting style means that even when he misses strikes, he is able to use his momentum to land elbows in a variety of different ways. The jab, slip and spin combination against Donald Cerrone is a great example.
He also utilized them to great effect against Kevin Lee, even after getting taken down. Lee later stated that the damage caused by the elbows on the ground was a key factor in Ferguson's victory.
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