MMA is a thrilling sport that showcases a variety of fighting styles, including striking. Many fighters have made a name for themselves with their impressive striking abilities, earning victories and titles through their precise punches, kicks, and knees. In this article, we’ll be looking at 10 of the best MMA athletes who have stood out for their effective and often feared striking skills. From Wanderlei Silva and Mauricio Shogun to Jon Jones and Anderson Silva, these fighters have left their mark on the sport with their impressive standup fighting skills.
With 27 wins in his career by knockout, the Brazilian became known as “Assassino do Machado” at the height of his career when he gave a show at PRIDE FC. His accurate shot, added to his extremely aggressive style, gave the Brazilian a career worthy of a sports legend.
PRIDE Grand Prix champion in 2005, the Brazilian was also UFC light heavyweight champion in 2010. Feared since the PRIDE era, the Brazilian won 27 victories throughout his career, 21 of them by knockout.
Elite kickboxer Dutchman Overeem drew attention for being a heavyweight athlete with a lot of speed and deadly knees. An MMA competitor since 1999, he now has 60 professional fights, including 47 wins.
With strong roots in karate, the Brazilian stood out for his unique striking style. Almost perfect in his counterattacks, he became UFC light heavyweight champion by defeating fellow Brazilian Maurício Shogun. Throughout his career he collected impressive knockouts, with highlights for the victories over Randy Couture (UFC 129) and Vitor Belfort (UFC 224), both with an accurate frontal kick.
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic
Former Croatian police officer Mirko Filipovic is another legend of the sport who stood out for his excellent level of striking. Kickboxing champion for the K-1 event, the athlete migrated to MMA and played in the extinct Pride Grand Prix, where he used his perfect kick to the head to achieve a good part of his knockouts. Heavyweight Pride Grand Prix champion in 2006, he repeated the dose in 2016 by winning the GP again, this time for the Rizzin FC organization at the age of 42. He ended his MMA career in 2019 when he beat Roy Nelson and scored his tenth win in a row.
A meteoric career gave Jones the status of the youngest athlete to be UFC champion when he beat Brazilian Maurício “Shogun” with a dominant performance. Owner of precise elbow strikes and one of the greatest reach in all of MMA, the young athlete lined up former light heavyweight champions in his title defenses. His only career loss came via disqualification, which was highly contested, when he landed illegal elbows on Matt Hamill.
The Brazilian expert striker has won several impressive knockouts throughout his career. Practicing muay-thai since he was 8 years old, his knockout against Terry Etim in 2012 at UFC Rio de Janeiro is still repeated to exhaustion due to the plasticity of the round kick knockout.
The tormentor of Brazilian José Aldo, McGregor was known for his provocative style, but his striking skills are indisputable. Owner of an almost perfect left hand counter, the Irishman was UFC featherweight and lightweight champion simultaneously. After that, he made his debut in professional boxing against the legendary Floyd Mayweather.
Since his peak in the WEC, the Brazilian’s aggressiveness has stood out. He even won a match in just 7 seconds when he applied an overwhelming knee to Cub Swanson, a move that is repeated until today. Upon arriving at the UFC in 2010, when the event inaugurated the featherweight division and saw the Brazilian defeat Canadian Mark Hominick by unanimous decision and become the first featherweight champion in the history of the organization. In his career, he remained undefeated from May 2006 to October 2014 and is still cited as one of the biggest names in the sport.
When it comes to standup fighting, Anderson Silva is virtually unanimous in being cited as the greatest of all time. When he’s not at the top, he’s among the first. Throughout his career, he stood out for having an almost perfect reading of his opponents, anticipating their movements, making unimaginable feints and impressive knockouts. He managed to remain UFC champion for 7 consecutive years and made 10 belt defenses, one of the record holders in that regard.
In conclusion, the MMA athletes mentioned in this list have all made a name for themselves in the world of mixed martial arts with their impressive striking skills. From Wanderlei Silva’s aggressive style and Mauricio Shogun’s feared punching power, to Anderson Silva’s almost perfect reading of opponents and Conor McGregor’s almost perfect left hand counter, these fighters have consistently demonstrated their ability to deliver impressive knockouts and victories. Whether through precise punches, devastating kicks, or deadly knees, these athletes have earned their place as some of the best in the business when it comes to striking in MMA.