The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is the most real and popular sport that features mixed martial arts. UFC has been running for over 25 years, and along the journey, there have been many great fighters who have been part of the sport.
Listing some of them as the best UFC fighters of all time would be a difficult and controversial task. Every single MMA fighter claims to be the best, but if we follow their results and consistency, it becomes clear that they are talking nonsense.
Today, we have taken upon ourselves to list the greatest MMA fighters in the UFC ever. We also would like to disclaim that some of your favorite UFC fighters may not even make the list. We are going deep today, every single match, knockout, title, and its defense counts.
Also, UFC has been getting a serious challenge from WWE recently that also features some great wrestlers fighting for the top. You can check out some of the best WWE fighters here.
10. Matt Hughes
Matt Hughes secures the bottom spot, in our opinion. He was a real hard worker; in fact, he fought nine times in 2001 alone. In his last fight of that year, he defeated Carlos Newton by a knockout to grab his inaugural UFC welterweight title.
He won this title twice in his career, and between his two such runs, he successfully defended his title seven times. In his best years, he defeated some of the top UFC fighters like Matt Serra, B.J. Penn, Georges St-Pierre, Sean Shark, and Newton (twice).
9. Conor McGregor
McGregor is easily the most famous UFC star in the world right now. He is also very vocal about his supposed status as the best MMA fighters of all time.
There is no doubt that McGregor is one of the top MMA fighters. Not because he is able to express his thoughts brilliantly but mainly because of his in-ring agility and technical skill.
He infamously knocked out Joe Aldo in 13 seconds to cop his first featherweight championship. He also knocked out Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight title and became the first UFC fighter ever to hold these two together.
8. Daniel Cormier
Conor is surely the first to hold two UFC titles simultaneously, but he is certainly not the only one. Daniel Cormier held the heavyweight and light heavyweight title simultaneously. Unlike Connor, he has defended his titles several times.
He has defended his light heavyweight title three times and his heavyweight title once. Cormier did lose to Jon Jones twice and even though one of them was declared a no-contest due to Jones failing a drug test, his victory was more due to Jones’ failing.
7. Jose Aldo
Just because Connor defeated him for the featherweight belt in 2014, doesn’t mean he is not a better fighter than McGregor. The Brazilian star won 18 straight fights from 2006 to 2014. He was also recognized as the greatest featherweight ever in that period.
After the 2014 defeat, Jon Jones has been slipping though, he lost against Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway in this bout. After dropping to the bantamweight division, he controversially conceded against Marlon Moraes.
6. Khabib Nurmagomedov
Nurmagomedov has not stepped a foot wrong in his MMA career so far. He sits proudly at a mouth-watering 28-0 record. Almost all of his wins have been dominant victories, and finding his weaknesses is highly difficult.
The only reason why he is not higher in this list is the lack of signature wins. His win against McGregor is the only one that comes into mind in this regard. If he finally fights Tony Ferguson, his standings can significantly improve.
5. Demetrious Johnson
Currently dominating the ONE Championship’s flyweight division, Johnson secured his place as one of the greatest ever in UFC. After transitioning to the UFC’s flyweight division and winning the inaugural Flyweight title in the UFC, he successfully defended his title for the record 11 times.
During these bouts, Johnson displayed unmatched skill and creativity in the octagon that made him the top pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC. After leaving the UFC, followed by a controversial loss to Henry Cejudo, he joined the ONE Championship and was successful there.
4. Fedora Emelianenko
Emelianenko was the baddest fighter out of the lot at PRIDE. During the period of 2001 to 2009, Emelianenko won 27 back-to-back fights and won the heavyweight title while defeating and dominating some of the top MMA fighters in the world.
The only way his inevitability can be challenged is through the matchmaking process of PRIDE and his absence from the UFC octagon. Despite all that, every MMA fan knows that Emelianenko’s ability as one of the best MMA fighters of all time cannot be denied.
3. Georges St-Pierre
GSP is undoubtedly that best welterweight of all time. He has won the UFC welterweight belt twice and defended it on nine different occasions successfully.
In his entire career, GSP lost against only two guys, Serra and Hughes, both of whom were defeated in the rematch by GSP. He retired on the top after defeating Johnny Hendricks in a brutal and controversial game. He is surely one of the best UFC fighters of all time.
2. Anderson Silva
Anderson Silva is, without a doubt, holding a successful resume. He has had a 17-fight winning streak along with ten successful title defenses in his career. His performances in the octagon are some of the most beautiful and flawless ones in the sport.
Silva has won three light heavyweight titles as well. He was so dominating between the bells that did not only defeat men, he destroyed them. Regardless of his hard and fast fall from grace, Silva js surely one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time.
1. Jon Jones
Jones’ journey in the octagon has been filled with controversies. Although he has lost once in his entire career and that too was a cheeky disqualification against Matt Hamill, he has made a lot of off-field mistakes like failed drug tests and legal problems.
Despite all of that, when it comes to his fighting abilities, he is the greatest UFC fighter of all time. He is agile, dynamic, and exposing in the octagon. Apart from this, he is able to make mental fight calculations and adjustments in a better way than anyone else.
Despite being so mainstream, UFC has the biggest and baddest MMA fighters of all time. The fighters are from all over the world. Amidst this, choosing the best UFC fighters of all time is equivalent to choosing the greatest MMA fighters of all humanity.
The rankings mentioned above are highly influenced by the facts and not our personal bias.
Another thing we would like to point out is that most of the newer fighters may be at the same level as some of these fighters here, but the key to greatness lies in consistency, and we are sure that as the time passes by, more and more new MMA fighters will come in the play.