In the world of combat sports, few arenas command as much respect and reverence as the MMA Octagon. Whether it’s the UFC, Bellator, One Championship or another league, the tales spun here are of epic victories, crushing defeats, and moments of unparalleled excitement that leave us wanting to witness more. Today, here’s our list of the top ten fighters who’ve made their mark in the sport.
Known as “The Spider,” Silva held the UFC Middleweight Championship for a record 2,457 days, a feat unmatched till today. Silva’s precision strikes and elusive movement made him a legend.
Silva once even owned a Burger King franchise in Brazil, where he also appeared in a BK commercial with Brazilian soccer star, Neymar.
St-Pierre, or GSP, is considered one of the sport’s greatest welterweights. With a professional record of 26-2, GSP dominated the division for years.
St-Pierre has made it clear that his love of martial arts came from the trauma of being bullied as a child, which led him to learn Kyokushin karate. He’s now a highly sought-after coach and mentor who wants to inspire other children to take a step towards learning self-defense and building confidence along the way.
Jones’ reign as the youngest UFC champion in history at 23 was marked by his innovative striking and wrestling ability. Despite personal controversies, his skill in the cage is undeniable.
Jones isn’t the only athlete in his family though! He has two brothers who are NFL players, Arthur and Chandler Jones, making theirs one incredibly athletic family.
“The Eagle” boasts a perfect professional record of 29-0. Known for his grappling and ground-and-pound style, Khabib retired as the reigning UFC Lightweight Champion.
Some say Khabib was destined to be a fighter from a young age! In a viral video from his youth, Khabib is seen wrestling a bear, which I’d say is a clear indicator the man doesn’t fear much of anything.
Emelianenko’s impressive record and dominance in PRIDE FC established him as one of the best heavyweight fighters. His Sambo-based ground game was terrifying, making him ultimately the hottest commodity when he went to finish his career at Bellator.
Fedor also served in the Russian military and was awarded national honors. He later went on to become a member of his country’s presidential council on sports.
“Mighty Mouse” Johnson’s mastery over the UFC Flyweight division was unrivaled, defending his title a record 11 times. He’s currently showcasing his skills in ONE Championship. Johnson is an avid gamer and has a popular Twitch channel where he livestreams video games.
The first woman on our list, Nunes is the reigning UFC Women’s Bantamweight and Featherweight Champion. Known for her knockout power, she’s defeated every former champion in her divisions, and retired after maintaining her status.
Cormier, a former Olympic wrestler, is one of the few fighters to hold titles in two UFC divisions simultaneously (Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight). Cormier is a dedicated high school wrestling coach in his home state of California.
Penn is considered one of the greatest lightweight fighters. “The Prodigy” is known for his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills and his unforgettable battles with Georges St-Pierre and Frankie Edgar.
Penn earned his black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in just three years, one of the quickest ever to achieve this feat.
“The Iceman” Liddell is a UFC Hall of Famer who helped bring MMA into the mainstream with his exciting knockout style and unforgettable rivalry with Tito Ortiz.
Liddell made a guest appearance on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2009, proving he’s got moves outside the Octagon too.
These fighters have defined what it means to be an MMA athlete, proving their prowess in the Octagon and becoming legends in the process. So the next time you need to memorize some MMA trivia to impress your friends, remember we’ve got you covered!