The Ten Greatest MMA Fighters of All Time
There was a time when most people thought that MMA was not a serious sport compared to boxing. Many sports fans looked down on MMA, as they felt it was a gimmick compared to the skill required to be a professional boxer.
All those people have changed their tune over the past 20 years as MMA has become a mainstream sport worldwide and arguably overtaken boxing in terms of popularity and relevance.
More people enjoy fights such as Rodriguez vs. Lemos than boxing bouts, as they involve greater athleticism, unique moves, and interesting tactics.
Whether you are a new fan of the sport or have been following MMA for a long time, you may want to know about the fighters considered a class above the rest. Below is our definitive list of the top ten MMA fighters of all time.
1. Khabib Nurmagomedov
The longest reigning champion of the UFC lightweight division, Khabib Nurmagomedov is one of the best athletes to have ever played the sport. Not only does he win most of his fights, but Khabib usually succeeds on the octagon with style. Having beaten the likes of Conor McGregor during his prime, Khabib has very little left to prove in UFC regarding his status as a top champion.
2. Georges St-Pierre
During his peak, Georges St-Pierre was one of the most impressive all-round athletes in MMA. He won UFC championships in two divisions, both welterweight and middleweight. Such an achievement means he will always rank among the greatest athletes to have stepped foot in the ring.
3. Jon Jones
When he first won the UFC Championship, Jon Jones achieved the honor of being the youngest person to do so at the age of 23. He is a two-time light heavyweight champion of UFC, while he also holds onto several crucial records that make him stand out from his peers. He has the most title defenses and the longest winning streak in the sport.
4. Anderson Silva
Ask a casual fan who they know in MMA, and they would likely name Anderson Silva. While he is not objectively the very best to participate in this sport, he is up there with the greatest. Silva had one of the longest title holds in MMA history, managing 2,457 days as a champion in UFC. He also won 16 successive matches during that time.
5. Demetrious Johnson
A very impressive athlete in the UFC, Demetrious Johnson won the flyweight championship in his prime. When he did win the title, he also went on to beat a record for the most consecutive title defenses in that division while also managing the most takedowns in the flyweight history of UFC.
6. Conor McGregor
Even though his fame goes beyond the sport of UFC and makes him recognizable worldwide, Conor McGregor is also an incredible athlete. In his prime, he was one of the best UFC fighters in the world. His left hand could knock down anyone when he was on form, while he may still have life left in him to win one or two more UFC titles.
7. Jose Aldo
The first-ever UFC featherweight champion, Jose Aldo, has a special place in the sport’s history. He is a three-time champion in that division and went nearly a decade undefeated at the very top of the sport. While he did lose a fight against Conor McGregor later in his career, fans would do well to remember what a dominant force he was at his peak.
8. Stipe Miocic
A two-time heavyweight champion in his prime, Stipe Miocic was outstanding at both boxing and wrestling. With a total of 24 fights under his belt, Miocic managed an impressive 20 wins, 15 knockouts, and only 4 losses in the sport. While some of those losses were brutal, he always got back up and went on to win another important clash in his career.
9. Daniel Cormier
A successful UFC athlete in both the light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions, Daniel Cormier, was only the second fighter in history who managed to defend titles in both of those divisions. While he does not have the name recognition of some other stars of the sport, he will always be remembered by MMA experts as one of the very best to step into that dangerous octagon.
10. Dominick Cruz
Nicknamed “The Dominator” for his style and determination, Dominick Cruz is one of the only men to defeat Demetrious Johnson when he was in his prime. Cruz retired after 26 fights, winning 23 and only losing three times. He also beat the likes of TJ Dillashaw and Brian Bowles at his peak.