It was the decade that gave us the “Lord of the Rings” and “The Passion of the Christ,” “Shrek” and “Finding Nemo.” “American Idol,” “Lost,” “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” all reached our living rooms, while Kanye West’s “Gold Digger,” Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” and Alicia Keys’ “No One” hit the airwaves. Tom Landry, Dale Earnhardt, Johnny Cash and Michael Jackson died. Terrorists perpetrated the 9/11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast and Barack Obama became the first African-American elected President of the United States.
Meanwhile, mixed martial arts hit its stride and exploded in popularity, as “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series breathed new life into a dying sport. The Ultimate Fighting Championship reached unprecedented heights in America, while Pride Fighting Championships collapsed in Japan. Strikeforce, EliteXC, Bellator MMA and the International Fight League were born. The latest installment in the Sherdog Top 10 series series shines the spotlight on the best and most influential fighters of the 2000s. In order to be eligible, nominees had to have debuted no later than 2006 or competed in at least 10 fights during the decade.
OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: Kazushi Sakuraba, Mauricio Rua, Mirko Filipovic, Tito Ortiz, Quinton Jackson, Jose Aldo, Takanori Gomi, Frank Mir, Jake Shields, Shinya Aoki
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