Since the birth of MMA and UFC 1, the question has been put, just who is the best fighter of all. What is the best Martial art or discipline to have in a fight? Is it Boxing, Ju-Jitsu, Muay Thai or any of the other forms of combat. Since the early days of MMA, fighters have grown and developed their craft to form incredible techniques using a variety of disciplines. First of all, the best MMA fighter of all times must not be the best in martial arts. He or she should have the greatest will to win, to train off the reel, and not to be afraid of other fighting artists. In UFC, MMA, and mix-fight, the best MMA fighters of all time are about the strength of spirit, not the strength of muscles.
As the sport develops so too does the talent and knowledge of the MMA fighter.
In this article, we will discuss who makes the cut as the top MMA fighters. While it is extremely difficult to narrow this list, I have ultimately chosen 6 fighters who I think are the best MMA fighters to have fought in or outside the UFC.
I know not everyone will agree with this list but this is just my opinion and here is how I will break it down and decide.
We will breakdown it down from 6 to 1. Considering factors are: Number of Titles won, their fighting record, Consecutive title defenses, organizations fought in, the fashion of wins, and overall dominance in the sport of MMA.
The Greatest MMA Fighter of All Time – Killing Force from Russia And Brazil
6: Fedor Emelianenko ‘The Last Emperor’ 38-6
Our list begins with two top MMA fighters who have always been a thread for their competitors. The first one is a winner of a PRIDE championship from Russia Fedor Emelianenko. Being the biggest fighter from Russian Federation, his every fight is a true highlight of all the sports. The second one is not as big, but no less dangerous. Anderson Silva, one of the top Brazilian greats. He held a record of the longest title streak ever in history. His speed, fury, and dexterity have fought his space in the range of the best MMA fighters of all time.
One of the most decorated fighters in MMA and the only one on this list that did not fight in the UFC, Fedor Emelianenko is the Russian Heavyweight Powerhouse that conquered PRIDE Fighting Championship from the early to mid-2000s.
With notable wins over Mark Hunt, Cro Cop, Andrei Arlovski and Chael Sonnen, Fedor is a hardcore MMA fan favourite fighter. Using his powerful striking and Sambo skills to dominate opponents Emelianenko was deceptively strong. He was famously signed to the UFC to face WWE legend Brock Lesnar in a heavyweight bout but the deal fell through in the end.
5: Anderson ‘Spider’ Silva 34-10
Anderson Silva is easily one of the biggest superstars in MMA. The Brazillian has some spectacular wins over top-class opponents and reigned dominant with one of the longest title streaks in UFC history.
Anderson Silva has an incredible highlight reel of knockouts dominating some of the greatest fighters in the UFC and Strikeforce. Silva has claimed the UFC Middleweight title and has fought at Light Heavyweight also. Anderson’s flamboyant and flashy style was incredible to watch during his prime and is considered the greatest by many fans.
Top MMA Fighters Who Have Become a Glory of United States
The list continues with a couple of fighters having just 5 defeats for both. Number four is Daniel Cormier, a figter who used to be in the Olympic team. What makes him the greatest MMA fighter of all time? It is all about a number of his trophies. Demetrious Johnson keeps the pace in the light weights. Protecting his title for an incredible 11 times makes him the best MMA fighter of all time in flyweight.
4: Daniel Cormier 22-2
Daniel Cormier is one of the most decorated fighters in the UFC as a member of the 2008 American Olympic team, A Strikeforce Heavyweight champion, King of the Cage Heavyweight Championship and UFC Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight crowns. He has also entered the elite few that can wear the title of Champ Champ and is the only one on this list. You only have to look at his record and people he has fought to see how dominant he is and why he deserves to be first on this list.
Although he has technically lost twice to Jon Jones, one of those fights was a close decision and the other was ruled a no-contest after Jones failed a drug test post-fight. Cormier is a great example of a champion and to become a Champ Champ at 40 years of age you have to be pretty badass.
3: Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson 29-3
Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson is the most dominant Flyweight of all time holding an incredible UFC record for most consecutive title defences with 11. Not only that but he is the most dominant UFC champion of all time. Now signed with ONE Championship the former UFC champ has had some incredible victories over some talented fighters including Henry Cejudo, Ray Borg, John Dodson, and Joseph Benavidez.
The only flaw in this immaculate record is the fact that DJ started to run out of competition in the Flyweight division. Although often tempted to jump up a weight class to compete in a super fight, Mighty Mouse opted to stay in the 125-pound division and dominate to defend his throne until his close fight defeat to Henry Cejudo in 2018.
The Best MMA Fighters – Prominent and Eternal Olympus Residents of MMA
If we talk about technique and a fight as a masterpiece, George St Pierre is the best MMA fighter of all time. He is the one who prefers winning by score. Still, this Canadian fighter is a thread for anyone daring to step into the octagon. And, the greatest MMA fighter of all time, a person letting other fighters win only once, is Jon Jones. The youngest UFC champion of the time rules the light heavyweight.
2: George St Pierre ‘GSP’ 26-2
George ‘Rush’ St Pierre. In my opinion, GSP is one of the greatest Mixed Martial Artists of all time. The Canadian grew up being bullied in school which resulted in him learning Karate to defend himself ultimately leading to a career in MMA. George has an incredible record of 28 wins with only 2 losses.
The only reason I have not chosen GSP as number 1 is because of his win fashion. Only 8 of his 26 wins were by way of knockout. Although it is a low rate he is still one of the most successful MMA fighters of all time with a winning streak of 10 title defenses in the UFC’s Welterweight division. He also won the Middleweight title by beating Michael Bisping in 2017 via R.N.C.
1: Jon ‘Bones’ Jones 25-1
The most controversial on this list for sure, Jon Jones is one of the most talented fighters to step into the octagon. A naturally gifted fighter with amazing strength and technique, Jones has taken down some of the all-time greats to become the youngest UFC champion and the most dominant light heavyweight champion of all time. His infamous battles against Daniel Cormier prove that he is one of the greatest mixed martial artists ever coming out on top on both occasions.
Jones has had a dominant reign in the light heavyweight class and has some plans to move to Heavyweight. Breezing through top competition such as Alexander Gustafsson, Quintin Rampage Jackson, Chael Sonnen, Lyoto Machida and many many more makes Jon Bones Jones the greatest fighters of all time.
While these fighters make the list of my top MMA fighters of all time, they may not make everyone’s list. Let me know if you agree or disagree with the list. Leave a comment below.
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