10 Best MMA Fighters of All Time – G.O.A.T. of MMA

December 27, 2022
From: Spartacus
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Hold onto your hats, folks, because we’re about to dive into the exhilarating world of MMA and rank the greatest fighters of all time! It’s no secret that MMA has seen some of the most talented athletes to ever step into the octagon, including the likes of Khabib Nurmagomedov, Jon Jones, Demetrious Johnson, Anderson Silva, and Georges St-Pierre. These fighters have dominated their respective divisions and left fans in awe of their skills. But let’s not forget the group of fighters who have achieved title glory in multiple weight classes, such as Daniel Cormier, Conor McGregor, Amanda Nunes, Henry Cejudo, and Georges St-Pierre. We will take a deep dive into the careers and achievements of these legendary fighters and rank them accordingly. Get ready to witness greatness!

Ranking the Best MMA Fighters of All Time

We’ve got everything from epic records to jaw-dropping PPV buys, and we’re about to rank them all. But before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s talk about what makes an MMA fighter truly great. Is it their technique? Their raw power? Their ability to put on a show for the fans? It’s all of these things and more! We’ve scoured the archives and analysed every fight to bring you the top ten fighters in the history of MMA. And don’t worry, even the ones who didn’t quite make the cut are getting an honourable mention.

Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes

Get ready to meet the queen of the octagon, the one and only Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes! This fierce Brazilian fighter is at the top of her game and has been dominating the women’s divisions for years. She’s a two-division champion, holding both the bantamweight and featherweight titles simultaneously. And let’s not forget the list of legends she’s taken down – Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm, and Cyborg, just to name a few. Sure, she may have lost her bantamweight belt once, but she took it back in style with a win against Juliana Pena. With a record of 22-5, Amanda is undoubtedly the best pound-for-pound fighter in women’s MMA. Give it up for the champ!

“The Notorious” Conor McGregor

Let’s put our hands together for the one and only Conor McGregor! He’s the man who took the world of MMA by storm and changed the game forever. With his fiery personality and incredible fighting skills, he became both the UFC Featherweight and Lightweight champion, not to mention the king of PPV buys.

Remember that epic 13-second knockout of Jose Aldo that sent shockwaves through the entire sport? And how about the legendary rivalry with Nate Diaz, where they went toe-to-toe in some of the most thrilling fights ever seen in the octagon? But Conor didn’t stop there. He went on to win the UFC Lightweight championship at UFC 205, becoming the first fighter to hold two belts at the same time. And if that wasn’t enough, he even stepped into the boxing ring to take on the great Floyd Mayweather.

Sure, Conor’s had some bumps in the road lately, with losses to Dustin Poirier and Khabib Nurmagomedov. But let’s not forget the massive impact he’s had on the world of MMA. He’ll always be remembered as one of the all-time greats.

Henry “The Messenger” Cejudo

This dude is a bonafide champ in not one, not two, but THREE different championships! That’s right, folks, he’s a former Olympic gold medalist and a two-division UFC champ. His nickname, “Triple C,” is well-deserved. Cejudo’s most impressive feat was defeating the mighty Demetrious Johnson to become the UFC Flyweight champion. And he didn’t stop there! Henry beat the bantamweight legends T.J. Dillashaw and Dominick Cruz, cementing his legacy as a true MMA badass. Although he’s currently retired, he’s been teasing a comeback, and fans are itching to see him back in action against Aljamain Sterling.

Daniel “DC” Cormier

Daniel Cormier, the heavyweight champ and former Olympian was a BEAST in the octagon, crushing almost everyone he fought except for Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic. When he was the UFC Light Heavyweight champ, he defended his title against top dogs like Anthony Johnson, Alexander Gustafsson, and Volkan Oezdemir. Sure, he lost to Jones, but the bout was called a no contest because of some shady stuff Jones did. But listen, DC bounced back and snatched the UFC Heavyweight title from Stipe Miocic in a major victory. Cormier’s a Hall of Famer now and works as a commentator for the UFC, but his epic fights and dominant career will never be forgotten!

Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko

Back in the day, before the UFC was ruling the MMA world, there was a promotion called Pride FC. And oh boy, did they have some of the best fighters out there! We’re talking about Alistair Overeem, Mirko Cro Cop, Mauricio Rua, Dan Henderson, and the list goes on. But the king of them all, the heavyweight champion of the world and the one and only emperor of Pride FC was Fedor Emelianenko. This guy was unbeatable, taking down legends like Mirko Cro Cop, Antonio “Minotauro” Nogueira, Mark Hunt, and Mark Coleman. However, his luck changed when he faced Fabricio Werdum in Strikeforce, and his career took a hit. But hey, let’s not forget his glory days! Fedor was a master of the MMA game and could take on anyone. It’s a shame he never fought in the UFC, leaving us with a big “what if.” Still, Fedor is a legend, currently fighting in Bellator FC and boasting an impressive MMA record of 40 wins and only 6 losses.

Anderson “The Spider” Silva

The one and only Anderson Silva is a legend in the world of mixed martial arts, and he’s one of the most exciting fighters you’ll ever see. Not only is he the greatest middleweight champ of all time, but he was also the king of the pound-for-pound rankings for a hot minute. And let’s not forget, he held onto his UFC Middleweight championship for ten title defences, breaking records left and right! Even though he hit a rough patch after losing to Chris Weidman, he still managed to deliver some great performances. Plus, he even tried his hand at professional boxing, going toe-to-toe with none other than Jake Paul. Unfortunately, Anderson lost that bout, but hey, the Spiderman’s still got it! You can’t deny the legacy of Anderson Silva, he’s an all-time great in mixed martial arts!

Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson

Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson is no small fry in the MMA world. He was the top dog in the UFC flyweight division for a hot minute and held onto that championship belt for a record-breaking 11 defences. He took on some of the toughest fighters out there and made them look like they were swatting at flies. Unfortunately, after a close split decision loss to Henry Cejudo, Mighty Mouse was shipped off to ONE FC for Ben Askren. But don’t worry, he’s still slaying the competition and holding the ONE FC Flyweight championship belt. It’s a bummer we won’t see him back in the UFC, but hey, that’s just how the cookie crumbles.

Now, on to the next big guns on our list. We’ve got three legendary fighters vying for the title of GOAT, and coming in at number three is the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov

We’re talking about the undefeated, undisputed king of the lightweight division – Khabib Nurmagomedov! This guy’s got a record of 29 wins and 0 losses – yep, you heard that right, ZERO losses! He’s a grappling mastermind, hailing all the way from Dagestan, and he’s submitted more opponents than we can count. His skills are so next-level that he hardly lost any rounds during his entire UFC career. And let’s not forget about that epic victory against the notorious Conor McGregor, which put Khabib on the map as one of the biggest names in combat sports. Unfortunately, Khabib retired after the passing of his beloved father, but not before going out with a bang – a submission win against the tough-as-nails Justin Gaethje.

But don’t worry, Khabib Isn’t just sitting around twiddling his thumbs. He’s taken on the role of coach, passing on his skills to the next generation of fighters. One of his star pupils is Islam Makhachev, who’s already making waves in the UFC and recently snagged the Lightweight championship. As for Khabib himself, only time will tell if he’ll make a comeback to the octagon. But no matter what he decides, there’s no denying the mark he’s made on the world of MMA.

Jon “Bones” Jones

The champ, the one and only Jon “Bones” Jones! This guy is the cream of the crop, the best of the best, and the undisputed king of the light heavyweight division. He’s taken on all comers, defeating legends left and right like it’s nobody’s business. And let’s not forget, he won his first UFC title at the tender age of 23!

But let’s be real, Jones has had his fair share of controversy outside the octagon. We’re talking about failed drug tests, car accidents, and a whole lot of drama. It’s like he’s trying to give Conor McGregor a run for his money in the headline-making department.

Despite all that, Jones is still one of the most talented fighters to ever grace the UFC. He’s got a record of 26 wins and 1 loss, and his only defeat was due to a disqualification for some illegal elbows. And if the rumours are true, we might just see him go for the UFC Heavyweight belt against the scary man himself, Francis Ngannou. So stay tuned, fight fans, because Jon Jones is always ready to put on a show.

Georges “Rush” St-Pierre

We’ve finally reached the peak of our list, the one and only Georges St-Pierre! This Canadian superstar is the welterweight champion of champions, and some say he’s the best fighter to ever grace the octagon. Georges was a master of strategy and cunning, and he took down some of the biggest names in the business, including Nick Diaz, Jake Shields, Josh Koscheck, and Carlos Condit. He held the UFC Welterweight championship for an astounding nine defences, a record that’s yet to be beaten. And if that wasn’t impressive enough, he avenged his only two losses to Matt Serra and Matt Hughes by beating them both in dominant fashion.

After his 2013 bout against Johnny Hendricks, Georges took a break from fighting, but he came back with a vengeance in 2017 to challenge Michael Bisping for the UFC Middleweight championship. And guess what? He won it! That’s right, folks, Georges St-Pierre became the Middleweight champion, too! But he’s since retired, leaving behind a legacy that’s simply unparalleled. In fact, he was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2020, and that’s just one of the many honours he’s received. Georges St-Pierre is the definition of a true martial artist, and his fighting spirit will continue to inspire generations of fighters to come.

Honourable Mentions

Hey, don’t think we forgot about the other great fighters out there! It was super tough to narrow down this list to just ten, so we’ve got a few honourable mentions for you. These fighters are all amazing in their own right and could easily have made the cut:

  • Jose Aldo
  • Kamaru “The Nigerian Nightmare” Usman
  • Stipe Miocic
  • BJ Penn
  • Matt Hughes
  • Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic
  • Israel “The Last Style Bender” Adesanya
  • Ronda “Rowdy” Rousey
  • Cris Cyborg

Conclusion 

Well, there you have it – our top 10 greatest MMA fighters of all time! From the electrifying knockouts to the jaw-dropping submissions, these fighters have left a lasting impact on the sport of mixed martial arts.

We may never be able to definitively say who the greatest fighter of all time is, but we can all agree that each of these fighters has left an indelible mark on the world of MMA. Whether they are still competing or have retired, their legacies will continue to inspire generations of fighters to come.

So, if you’re an MMA fan or just someone who appreciates the art of combat sports, take a moment to appreciate the incredible feats of these fighters. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll see a new fighter emerge and challenge their throne. But for now, let’s sit back and enjoy the incredible journey that these fighters have taken us on.

FAQs

Who are the top 10 MMA fighters of all time?

Ranking the top 10 MMA fighters is a challenging endeavour that is often subject to individual opinions and the specific criteria used. However, generally, names like Georges St-Pierre, Anderson Silva, Fedor Emelianenko, Demetrious Johnson, Jon Jones, Daniel Cormier, Amanda Nunes, Conor McGregor, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and Henry Cejudo often make the list.

Who is Amanda Nunes and what are her notable accomplishments?

Amanda Nunes is a Brazilian MMA fighter widely regarded as one of the greatest female fighters of all time. She has been a dominant force in both the bantamweight and featherweight divisions. Her most notable wins include defeating Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, and Cris Cyborg. Nunes is the first woman in UFC history to hold titles in two different weight classes simultaneously.

How did Conor McGregor impact the world of MMA?

Conor McGregor has been a polarising yet transformative figure in the world of MMA. His brash persona and trash talk revolutionised the marketing aspect of the sport, drawing unprecedented attention and revenue. Additionally, McGregor is the first fighter in the UFC to hold titles in two different weight classes simultaneously.

What titles has Henry Cejudo won and what makes him a standout fighter?

Henry Cejudo has won both the UFC Flyweight and Bantamweight titles. What sets him apart is his Olympic gold medal in freestyle wrestling, making him one of the most decorated combat athletes in history. His wins against Demetrious Johnson and T.J. Dillashaw are often cited as evidence of his excellence.

What significant victories did Daniel Cormier have in his career?

Daniel Cormier’s resume includes two UFC titles in the heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions. Notable victories include wins against Anthony Johnson, Stipe Miocic, and Alexander Gustafsson. His only significant losses came against Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic, both of whom are considered among the best in the sport.

Why is Fedor Emelianenko considered an MMA legend despite never fighting in the UFC?

Fedor Emelianenko’s legacy is built on an unparalleled run in Pride FC where he was virtually unbeatable. He defeated top competition like Mirko Cro Cop, Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira, and Mark Coleman. Despite never fighting in the UFC, his consistent domination against high-caliber opponents makes him a legend.

What records did Anderson Silva set during his career?

Anderson Silva held the longest title reign in UFC history at 2,457 days and defended his middleweight belt 10 times. He’s also known for his incredible striking ability and has multiple “Fight of the Night” and “Knockout of the Night” awards to his name.

What are some career highlights for Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson?

Demetrious Johnson is known for his incredible skill set that encompasses striking, wrestling, and submission skills. He held the UFC Flyweight title for nearly six years, defending it 11 times, a record in the division. His “Mighty Wiz-Bar” submission against Ray Borg is often cited as one of the most impressive finishes in MMA history.

What is Georges St-Pierre impact on the world of MMA?

Georges St-Pierre is often lauded for his professionalism and sportsmanship, which helped elevate the perception of MMA. He dominated the welterweight division, defeating legends like Matt Hughes and B.J. Penn. His return to capture the middleweight title years after his initial retirement solidified his status as one of the greatest fighters of all time.

How did Khabib Nurmagomedov influence the MMA landscape?

Khabib Nurmagomedov, often known simply as Khabib, brought a new level of grappling expertise to the sport. His ground-and-pound style became almost synonymous with inevitable victory. With an undefeated record at the time of his retirement, including a dominant win over Conor McGregor, Khabib cemented his legacy as one of the greatest lightweight fighters in MMA history. His impact transcends the Octagon; he’s become a cultural icon, particularly in his home country of Russia, elevating the sport’s global profile.

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