Mixed martial arts (MMA)

Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a relatively young sport, but it’s already produced some incredible fighters who have left a lasting impact on the sport’s history. Here, we’re diving into the top 25 MMA fighters of all time, regardless of weight class or gender.


MMA has seen a surge in popularity over the years, with numerous fighters making their mark in the sport’s history. Ranking these fighters definitively is no easy feat. To create this list, we’ve considered several factors, including the level of competition they faced, their achievements inside the octagon (UFC being the most prominent MMA organization), and the dominance they displayed during their peak years. Here are the top 25 MMA fighters of all time:

1. Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0)

Khabib Nurmagomedov

Khabib Nurmagomedov reigns supreme at the top of this list. With a perfect 29-0 record, his dominance in the lightweight division was unmatched. His superb grappling skills, particularly his wrestling prowess, made him virtually unstoppable. Nurmagomedov’s strategic approach and ability to control fights from beginning to end cemented his legacy as one of the most exceptional fighters MMA has ever seen Source: Sherdog – Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Fighter Page

2. Georges St-Pierre (26-2)

Georges St-Pierre

Georges St-Pierre’s well-rounded skillset and fight IQ allowed him to become a champion in two weight classes within the UFC (welterweight and middleweight). Widely regarded as one of the greatest fighters ever, “Rush” didn’t rely solely on power or athleticism. His ability to adapt his strategies and improve his weaknesses throughout his career is a testament to his dedication and fighting intelligence Source: UFC – Georges St-Pierre Bio

3. Jon Jones (27-1, 1 NC)

Jon Jones

Jon Jones boasts numerous UFC records, including the most title defenses in the light heavyweight division (13). Despite his well-documented controversies outside the octagon, his talent inside the cage is undeniable. Jones’ unique blend of size, athleticism, striking, and grappling makes him a matchup nightmare for any opponent Source: ESPN – Jon Jones: The story of one of MMA’s most talented, troubled fighters

4. Anderson Silva (34-11, 1 NC)

Anderson Silva

Anderson Silva’s reign as the UFC middleweight champion, with a record-breaking 10 title defenses, cemented his legacy as one of the best strikers in MMA history. “The Spider” possessed phenomenal footwork, timing, and knockout power, making him a must-watch fighter during his prime Source: Bleacher Report – The 10 Greatest Strikers in UFC History

5. Fedor Emelianenko (40-6, 1 NC)

Fedor Emelianenko

Fedor Emelianenko, also known as “The Last Emperor,” never competed in the UFC, but his accomplishments speak for themselves. His incredible undefeated streak of 36 fights, spanning almost a decade, and victories over top heavyweights solidify his status as a heavyweight legend Source: CBS Sports – Fedor Emelianenko: The greatest heavyweight MMA fighter who never fought in the UFC

6. Demetrious Johnson (30-4-1)

Demetrious Johnson (30-4-1)

Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson’s dominance in the flyweight division is unmatched. He holds the record for most title defenses in UFC history (12), showcasing his exceptional well-rounded skillset and fight IQ. Johnson’s movement, technical striking, and takedown defense made him a frustrating opponent for anyone daring to step into the octagon with him Source: BBC – Why Demetrious Johnson is the greatest MMA fighter of all time

7. Conor McGregor (22-5)

Conor McGregor

Beyond his charismatic persona and trash-talking antics, Conor McGregor’s striking prowess is undeniable. With lightning-fast precision and knockout power in both hands, he earned the nickname “The Notorious” for a reason. McGregor’s ability to capture UFC titles in two weight classes (featherweight and lightweight) solidified his place among the all-time greats. However, his fighting career has been marred by controversies outside the octagon.

8. Jose Aldo (31-8)

Jose Aldo

Jose Aldo’s reign as the UFC featherweight champion was historic. For nearly a decade, he defended his title a record-setting 7 times, showcasing his exceptional Muay Thai striking and well-rounded skillset. Aldo’s dominance forced the fighting world to take notice of the 145-pound weight class and paved the way for future featherweight champions. Despite a few setbacks later in his career, Aldo remains one of the most respected and accomplished fighters in MMA history.

9. Amanda Nunes (21-5)

Amanda Nunes

Amanda Nunes, nicknamed “The Lioness,” is widely regarded as the greatest female MMA fighter of all time. Her dominance goes beyond just one weight class. Nunes captured the UFC bantamweight title in 2016 and then went on to win the featherweight championship two years later, becoming the first UFC fighter (male or female) to hold titles in two weight classes simultaneously. Her powerful striking and well-developed ground game make her a threat to any opponent.

10. Stipe Miocic (20-4)

Stipe Miocic

Stipe Miocic’s reign as the UFC heavyweight champion cemented his status as a force to be reckoned with in the division. Nicknamed “Miocic the Machine” for his relentless pressure and powerful boxing, he holds the record for most heavyweight title defenses in UFC history (3). Miocic’s ability to consistently defeat top contenders and knockout power make him a true heavyweight legend .

11. Daniel Cormier (22-3, 1 NC)

Daniel Cormier

Daniel Cormier, also known as “DC,” enjoyed success in both the light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions of the UFC. An Olympic wrestler, Cormier used his exceptional takedowns and ground control to dominate opponents. He captured the light heavyweight title in 2015 and later went on to win the heavyweight championship in 2018, becoming a two-division UFC champion.

12. Dominick Cruz (24-3)

Dominick Cruz

Dominick Cruz, nicknamed “The Dominator,” is known for his footwork, elusiveness, and technical striking in the bantamweight division. His unique footwork and head movement allowed him to avoid his opponent’s strikes while creating openings for his own counterattacks. Cruz’s reign as UFC bantamweight champion was lengthy, with him defending his title five times.

13. B.J. Penn (16-14-2 NC)

B.J. Penn

B.J. Penn was a true pioneer of MMA versatility. He captured UFC titles in both the lightweight and welterweight divisions, showcasing his well-rounded skillset and ability to adapt to different weight classes. A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under the legendary Renzo Gracie, Penn’s ground game was some of the most feared in the sport during his prime.

14. Dan Henderson (“Hendo”)

Dan Henderson

A true iconoclast, Dan Henderson’s career spanned Pride, Strikeforce, and the UFC, solidifying him as an MMA journeyman who competed at the highest levels. Nicknamed “Hendo” for his grit and fighting spirit, Henderson is famous for knocking out Wanderlei Silva in Pride, a fight widely considered one of the greatest MMA bouts ever. Renowned for his thunderous overhand right and devastating slams, his excellent wrestling complemented his knockout power. Despite never claiming a major championship, Henderson’s longevity, exciting fighting style, and victories over hall-of-famers solidify his place as a legend.

15. Chuck Liddell (“The Iceman”)

Chuck Liddell

A fan favorite for his aggressive brawling style and devastating knockout power, Chuck Liddell earned the nickname “The Iceman” for his calm demeanor before fights, a stark contrast to his ferocious fighting style. His string of memorable knockouts in the UFC light heavyweight division during the mid-2000s cemented his status as a legend. Liddell’s wars with Tito Ortiz and rivalries with other top contenders are legendary chapters in MMA history.

16. Randy Couture (“The Natural”)

Randy Couture

An MMA pioneer who achieved success across multiple weight classes (middleweight, light heavyweight, heavyweight), Randy Couture was nicknamed “The Natural” for his well-rounded skillset and exceptional wrestling base. One of the first fighters to truly implement a game plan and utilize strategic wrestling to control fights, Couture won UFC titles at light heavyweight and heavyweight, defeating legends like Tito Ortiz and Kevin Randleman. His longevity and ability to reinvent himself throughout his career are truly inspirational.

17. Ronda Rousey (“Rowdy”)

Ronda Rousey ("Rowdy")

A true trailblazer in women’s MMA, Ronda Rousey transitioned from judo to become the UFC’s first women’s bantamweight champion. Nicknamed “Rowdy” for her aggressive fighting style and dominance in the early stages of her career, her judo expertise translated into devastating armbar submissions, winning her fights in seconds. Rousey’s brash personality and in-octagon dominance helped propel women’s MMA to the mainstream. Despite challenges later in her career, her impact on the sport remains undeniable.

18. Henry Cejudo (“Triple C”)

Henry Cejudo ("Triple C")

An Olympic gold medalist wrestler who successfully transitioned his skills to MMA, Henry Cejudo is nicknamed “Triple C” for his claim to be the greatest combat athlete of all time (champion in wrestling and two UFC weight classes). Cejudo captured UFC titles in flyweight and bantamweight, showcasing his well-rounded skills and wrestling dominance. His exceptional athleticism, coupled with his wrestling background, made him a difficult matchup for any opponent. Known for his flamboyant personality and self-promotion, Cejudo remains a controversial yet accomplished fighter.

19. Israel Adesanya (“The Last Stylebender”)

Israel Adesanya ("The Last Stylebender")

A rising superstar with a meteoric rise in the middleweight division, Israel Adesanya is nicknamed “The Last Stylebender” for his technical striking, unique movement, and innovative use of feints. Adesanya’s exceptional kicking technique and creative combinations have earned him highlight-reel knockouts. His undefeated record in the middleweight division and victories over top contenders have fight fans excited for his future potential.

20. Eddie Alvarez (“The Underground King”)

Eddie Alvarez

A champion in both Bellator and the UFC, Eddie Alvarez, nicknamed “The Underground King” for his success before coming to the UFC, proved his dominance across different promotions. Known for his exciting fighting style, a blend of wrestling and aggressive striking, Alvarez’s 2016 upset victory over Khabib Nurmagomedov remains a significant moment in lightweight history. A true warrior who always gave it his all inside the octagon, Alvarez is a respected figure in MMA.

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