Top 10 must-see MMA fighters

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Mixed martial arts hit a bit of a slow stretch as of late, with UFC and Bellator MMA simultaneously in a rare lull of back-to-back weeks off.

This break won't last -- in fact, fight fans have grown accustomed to having at least one live event every weekend to look forward to.

And as the sport gets ready to kick back into high gear, with a busy summer schedule approaching, ESPN.com decided to poll its MMA contributors to determine their favorite athletes to watch. Which fighters, at this moment, are the most fun to watch on any given night?

Our panel consists of MMA reporter Brett Okamoto, SportsCenter anchor Max Bretos, MMA editor Greg Rosenstein and MMA digital contributors Phil Murphy and Eric Tamiso. Each member provided his top 10, and points were assigned and added up accordingly.

Without further ado, ESPN.com's top list of "must-see" fighters:

1. Conor McGregor (48 points) Lightweight

"It's almost become a cliché to rank McGregor at the top of a list (any list), but there's a reason this guy is the highest-paid athlete in the sport. Love him or hate him, he is wildly entertaining. He's a genius at getting you invested and he delivers on fight night. He hits all categories. Must-see." - Brett Okamoto

"Don't let his mouth overshadow his in-cage credentials. Say what you want to discredit his holding of two belts simultaneously; he was the first to do it. He's maniacal about the art of movement, and it shows. He ended a decade-long reign by Jose Aldo with one punch -- in one of the UFC's most memorable moments ever. Then he completely bewitched and finished one of the most experienced and durable lightweights in the world in Eddie Alvarez." - Phil Murphy

2. Jon Jones (38 points) Light heavyweight

"You don't need a system to tell you why Jones is watchable. He's one of the greatest natural talents in the sport's history. And he seemingly wages a daily battle within himself to not sabotage his own career." - Okamoto

"He has had a layoff, however he is the No. 1 guy out there who still has that air of invincibility." - Max Bretos

3. Cody Garbrandt (28 points) Bantamweight

"This kid is expressively violent. He won't turn a press conference into a theatrical production, as perhaps only McGregor can, but his approach to a fight is grave sincerity, which fans tend to appreciate. He's 25, with superstar potential." - Okamoto

"Bucking the perception that guys 135 pounds or under do not have knockout power. He has my attention." - Bretos

"There's normally a trade-off between speed and power. That's not the case with the reigning UFC bantamweight champ. He earned that title shot by knocking out three opponents -- including uber-prospect Thomas Almeida, at the time undefeated -- in a total of 8 minutes, 59 seconds. Then he dominated the previously unhittable Dominick Cruz like we've never seen before. And at 25, his best in-cage performances, you'd imagine, are yet to come." - Murphy

4. Nate Diaz (23 points) Lightweight

"Makes me want to visit Stockton. I do not think anyone enjoys fighting more, and that includes getting hit. The American tough guy success story." - Bretos

"How can you not like a guy who is just willing to brawl, no matter what? We saw that twice against Conor McGregor and in a host of other fights throughout his career. Is Nate the most talented MMA artist? No. But he's arguably the most fun to watch." - Greg Rosenstein

5. Tony Ferguson (20 points) Lightweight

"Ferguson is, to be sure, a little crazy. Legitimately seems to invite pain -- and thrive in it. He's underappreciated because his methodology of trash talk doesn't always produce mainstream headlines, but he is about as watchable as they come." - Okamoto

"The all-around fighting style of 'El Cucuy' is very compelling. He's quickly becoming the second-best talker behind McGregor in the UFC. And like Conor, he backs it up." - Bretos

6. Yair Rodriguez (12 points) Featherweight

"He's a video game come to life. His fight against Alex Caceres was as fun a fight to witness as I can remember. Precise, spinning strikes encapsulate beautiful violence. And no one today matches 'El Pantera' in that regard. He's poetic in the cage. And he seems to genuinely enjoy entertaining fans. Plus, at 24, his best years are ahead of him." - Murphy

"The jury is still out, as he needs some bigger fights. What I have seen suggests future UFC box office star." - Bretos

T-7. Cris Justino (10 points) Featherweight

"There just aren't many female knockout artists in the sport right now, but 'Cyborg' fits that description and then some. Her fights haven't always felt like 'events,' but you wonder if all that will take is some extra bells and whistles from the promotional side." - Okamoto

"Justino is demolition personified. No nickname better fits a fighter among MMA's elite. In 12 fights since October 2008, not only has she beaten every opponent, none survived to hear the scorecards. She strings together punches, elbows, kicks and knees seamlessly and ruthlessly. In fact, in writing the case for her, I moved her up two spots in my rankings. She's an absolute must-watch." - Murphy

T-7. Michael Page (10 points) Welterweight

"Questions remain about the caliber of his opposition to be sure, but he's a human highlight reel (sorry, Dominique). When the door shuts behind 'Venom', you can't look away. He's a rattlesnake in the cage, luring in his prey before lashing out with blinding, lethal strikes. The crack his knee made against Evangelista Santos' skull -- immediately fractured -- is one of the nastiest knockouts in recent years. Few in MMA history have a highlight reel that match MVP's." - Murphy

"My colleague Phil Murphy did a good job summing up what Page represents as a fighter. Me? I'm going to leave you with two words: flying knee." - Rosenstein

9. Nick Diaz (9 points) Welterweight

"The OG Diaz. His high-pace style alone would place him high on this list, but Diaz is much more than that. He's brilliant and self-destructive in many ways. Complicated dude. Demands millions to fight, but will also fight you for free if circumstances ever call for it." - Okamoto

10. Diego Sanchez (8 points) Lightweight

"Diego Sanchez's best days may be behind him. But he's as much a walking tip of the cap to old-school MMA as anyone on the UFC roster. He's a fearless brawler who had a bout named Fight of the Year three times. He had a string of five matches in which he won Fight of the Night honors four times, capped by his all-time-great UFC 166 slugfest against Gilbert Melendez. Whether you favor 'The Dream,' 'The Nightmare' or 'Lionheart' as his moniker of choice, few fighters have ever brought fans to their feet with the same regularity as Albuquerque's native son." - Murphy

"I forever became a Diego Sanchez fan in his epic fight against Gilbert Melendez. In arguably my favorite round ever (the third), Sanchez -- blood everywhere on his face and body -- continued to trade nonstop punches and nearly pulled the late upset. He now appears on the tail end of his career, but I'm always excited to see what he's going to bring." - Rosenstein

Others receiving votes: Joe Lauzon (7), TJ Dillashaw (7), Robbie Lawler (7), Yoel Romero (7), Cub Swanson (6), Jose Aldo (6), Max Holloway (6), Donald Cerrone (6), Tyron Woodley (4), Stipe Miocic (4), Darrion Caldwell (3), Robert Whittaker (3), Amanda Nunes (2), John Lineker (1)