Who Are The Best UFC Fighters Ever?

UFC has sky-rocketed in popularity in recent years and following a massive growth Trajectory since it’s debut in 1993,  from a cult sport with barely an TV coverage, the MMA event has established itself as a truly global sport.

The global UFC follow is massive all around the world, this has all be help by great promotional work and of course a list of UFC legends.  Some of these names have helped the UFC to rival boxing when it comes to major championship belts.

Another reason for UFC’s popularity is because fighters always enter the octagon flying the flag of their home country, this helps the fan hysteria similar of the Olympics.  Speaking of Olympics, the reason why MMA isn’t an Olympic sport is because it has no international governing body for the sport.

The full history of the UFC from 1993-2001

Let’s look at some of the names that have helped the UFC skyrocket.  Here’s our 10 Best UFC Fighters Ever as of March 2022.

Jose Aldo (31-7)

Aldo may not of had the personality or showmanship of some fighters on this list, but he made up for it in the octagon where it matters.  After his first MMA defeat in November 2005, Aldo remained undefeated for over ten years winning 18 straight fights.

He was the dominant featherweight champion for years before McGregor ended his reign, at the famous 13 second bout at UFC 194.   Despite that big loss, Aldo went on to fight Edgar and win the bout at UFC 200, then subsequently fell to Max Holloway.

Aldo has amazing longevity and stayed fighting as featherweight until 2019, when he moved down to the Bantamweight division.  In 2021 he had victories over Pedro Munhoz and Rob Font to extend his winning streak to three.  Aldo at 36 years old is still a big threat in the UFC.

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Demetrious Johnson (34-4-1)

UFC on FOX: Johnson v Benavidez 2Johnson the first, current, and the only Flyweight Champion of the UFC to date. He currently holds the longest active championship reign with 11straight title defences from 2013-2017.

produced 11 straight title defenses of his flyweight championship from 2013-2017

Known for his quick striking and elusive movement, Johnson has also landed the most takedowns in UFC Flyweight history and holds the record for the latest finish in UFC history with a submission win at 4:59 of the fifth round against Kyoji Horiguchi.

He is also the only UFC fighter to record over 10 takedowns in three different fights and as of August 2017 is officially ranked by UFC as the #2 pound-for-pound fighter.

On August 4, 2018 at UFC 227, Johnson lost to Cejudo in a rematch at UFC 227 for the UFC Flyweight Championship title.  His record 11 consecutive successful title defenses ended via a split decision.

In October 2018 Johnson was traded to ONE Championship where he’s the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Champion.

Amanda Nunes (21-5)

A double champion who destroyed the best in the field –  Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey, Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm in one round each and beat Valentina Shevchenko twice, Nunes has become a UFC legend and already an all time great.

She’s the first woman to become a two-division UFC champion, and the third fighter to hold UFC titles in two weight classes simultaneously.  After loosing her Batomweight title to Julianna Pena,she’s still Featherweight Champion.

Nunes and Julianna Peña will be the coaches for The Ultimate Fighter 30 in 2022, expect the rematch soon after!

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Fedor Emelianenko

Fedor Emelianenko is by near unanimous agreement the greatest heavyweight in the history of the UFC.

His win streak speaks for itself – of Fedor’s 29-fight streak between April 6, 2001, and June 26, 2010, there were just five decisions out of 28, which equates to a finishing percentage of 82.1%.

Ten of the fights were against fighters who at some point in their careers held major MMA championships, and that doesn’t include his high profile career win over Mirko Cro Cop.

The Russian also holds career wins over Andrei Arlovski, Mark Coleman (twice), Mark Hunt, Matt Lindland, Big Nog (twice), Kevin Randleman, and Tim Sylvia and has been touted by many accomplished fighters and media outlets as the greatest heavyweight there has ever been.

Conor McGregor (22-6)

mcgregor-2 (1)McGregor was UFC Lightweight Champion and former UFC Featherweight Champion. During his mixed martial arts (MMA) career, the Irishman has competed as a featherweight, lightweight, and welterweight.

The UFC Hall of Fame

McGregor started his MMA career in 2008 and in 2012, he won both the Cage Warriors Featherweight and Lightweight Championships, holding both titles simultaneously before vacating them to sign with the UFC.

Already a major box office draw, the trash talking fighter could back it up in the ring with his flying kicks and knockout left hand punch.  In 2015, at UFC 194, he defeated José Aldo for the UFC Featherweight Championship via knockout thirteen seconds into the first round. This was the fastest victory in UFC title fight history.

Upon defeating Eddie Alvarez for the UFC Lightweight Championship at UFC 205, McGregor became the first fighter in UFC history to hold titles in two weight divisions simultaneously.

In August2017 he famously fought Floyd Mayweather in boxing match with drew 4.3 million PPV buys in North America, the second most in combat sports history.

His 2018 loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 became the biggest ever UFC pay per view event.  McGregor would follow up this with a loss to Dustin Poirierat UFC 257 in January 2021.  And then faced Poirier again for the third time at UFC 264 where McGregor lost via technical knockout in round one.

Like him or loathe him, this man was the biggest UFC star to date and is not finished yet.

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Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0)

“The Eagle” will always be best known for his demolition of Conor McGregor, whom he finished with a neck crank in the fourth round).  This UFC 229 bout became the biggest ever UFC pay per view event and excelled the Russian to stardom.

Nurmagomedov followed up this fight in UFC242 by defeating Dustin Poirier in the third round in and then destroying Justin Gaethje in the second round at UFC 254.

He retired in March 2021 with a pristine 29-0 record, having left his lightweight championship behind as possibly the best wrestler/grappler that the sport has ever seen.

Nurmagomedov was the longest-reigning UFC Lightweight Champion, having held the title from April 2018 to March 2021, and was ranked #1 in the UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings at the time of his retirement.

Stipe Miocic (20-4)

Miocic successfully defended his heavyweight championship against Alistair Overeem, Junior dos Santos and Francis Ngannou all in succession.  He then won two out of three fights from Daniel Cormier to win that epic trilogy.

Don’t count him out following his second-round KO loss to Ngannou at UFC 260, Miocic is considered the best Heavyweight fighter of all time and he’s still hungry.

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Jon Jones (26-1, 1 no contest)

Greatest UFC Fighters

This fighter who would have been much higher on this list if it were not for his unfortunate and repeated history involving performance-enhancing drugs (he failed drug testsafter UFC 182, 200, 214 and 232).

and many other legal trouble.  But Jon Jones is still a fighting and UFC legend with with 10 light heavyweight title defences

His attacking capabilities are second to none. His style leaves all of his opponents scrambling for a way to get back into the fight, or to even secure a foothold while facing him.  is win loss record to 26-1, Jones’s only professional loss is a very controversial disqualification against Matt Hamill.

His last fight was in February 2020 where he defeated Dominick Reyes but not retired yet!  As of 2022, he is #7 in the UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings.

Georges St. Pierre (26-2)

A three-time former Welterweight Champion of the UFC, having won the title twice in 2006 and 2008, as well as an Interim title in 2007.

Frequently cited as one of the best UFC fighters of all time, St-Pierre was ranked as the #1 welterweight in the world for several years by Sherdog and numerous other publications.

In 2008, 2009, and 2010 he was named the Canadian Athlete of the Year by Rodgers Sportsnet. Fight Matrix lists him as the top MMA Welterweight of all time and most accomplished fighter in MMA history.

He retired on December 13, 2013, with nine straight welterweight title defences, holding the record for most wins in title bouts and the second longest combined title streak in UFC history (2,204 days).  He then returned to the Octagon in November 2017 at UFC 217, when he defeated Michael Bisping to win the Middleweight title, becoming the fourth fighter in the history of the UFC to be a multi-division champion.  Legend stamp approved.

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Anderson Silva (34-11, 1 no contest)

anderson-silva-586521A former UFC Middleweight Champion. Silva holds the longest title streak in UFC history, which ended in 2013 after 2,457 days, with 16 consecutive wins and 10 title defences.

He has 13 post-fight bonuses, the second most in UFC history. UFC president Dana White and several mixed-martial-arts publications have called Silva the greatest mixed martial artist and best UFC fighter of all time.

Silva retired in 2020 after a string of defeats unique fighting style and early career domination of the octagon made him a global icon in the sport.

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Outside the top 10

Randy Couture

Aggressive-Randy-CoutureDuring his tenures in the UFC, Couture became a three-time UFC Heavyweight Champion, two-time UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, an interim UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and the UFC 13 Heavyweight Tournament Winner.

Couture is the first of only three fighters to hold two UFC championship titles in two different divisions (along with B.J. Penn and Conor McGregor).
A fighter who would have been much higher on this list if it were not for his unfortunate history involving performance-enhancing drugs, Jon Jones is still one of the fighters who are yet to be properly defeated in his time with the UFC or even outside.

Matt Hughes (45-9)

A two-time UFC Welterweight Champion, UFC Hall of Fame inductee, and NJCAA Hall of Fame inductee, Hughes’ tenures in the Ultimate Fighting Championship saw him put together two separate six-fight winning streaks, defeating all the available opposition in the welterweight division, and defended the belt a then-record seven times.

Hughes was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in May 2010 during the UFC Fan Expo in conjunction with UFC 114 and to this day is considered pound-for-pound one of the best UFC fighters of all time.

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Ronda Rousey (12-2)

She is the former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion, as well as the last Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion. She won 12 consecutive MMA fights, six in the UFC. She won 11 of those fights in the first round, nine of them by armbar submission.

In May 2015, two magazines ranked Rousey as the most “dominant” active athlete.In September 2015, voters in an online ESPN poll selected Rousey as the Best Female Athlete Ever.

Later that month, she claimed to be the UFC’s highest paid fighter, male or female. In 2015, she was the third most searched person on Google. As of January 2017, Rousey is ranked the #4 female bantamweight fighter in the world according to the UFC.

Rousey retired fromMMA in 2016 after loosing Amanda Nunes, then signed to the WWE in 2018.  She is Rousey is the only woman to win a championship in both the UFC and WWE, as well as the only woman to headline a pay-per-view event in both companies.

BJ Penn (16-14-2)

As a former UFC Lightweight Champion and UFC Welterweight Champion, Penn is one of only three fighters in UFC history to win titles in multiple weight classes, as mentioned above.

Penn was also a Co-champion in the UFC 41 Lightweight Tournament, due to an eventual draw opposite Caol Uno in the tournament finale.

Through his tenures as champion, Penn unofficially unified the UFC Lightweight Championship (against Sean Sherk) and broke the all-time lightweight title defense record.

In a testament to being one of the best UFC fighters ever, Penn was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame, as the inaugural inductee in the Modern-Era Wing by career-long rival Matt Hughes, during International Fight Week in July 2015.

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