UFC has just come off another exciting event, as the number one ranked pound-for-pound fighter, Islam Makhachev, defeated the second ranked pound-for-pound fighter, Alexander Volkanovski, in a five round decision to claim the lightweight title at UFC 284. The fight has brought continued attention to UFC as its popularity continues to soar.
UFC’s excitement will continue on Saturday March 4 with UFC 285, as Jon Jones will take on Ciryl Gane in a heavyweight bout. The fight will be Jones first fight in over three years and the first time that he will step into the octagon in the heavyweight class. With the legend making his return to UFC, I thought that it would be fitting to list who I believe are the best five fighters in the history of UFC.
1. Jon “Bones” Jones
This entry should really come as no surprise. Jones has dominated the UFC ever since he made his debut back in 2008. He has compiled a 20-1 record in the UFC with one fight ending in a no contest.
Jones won his first title in 2011 when he defeated Mauricio Rua en route to claiming the light heavyweight title. This led to eight title defenses before the UFC stripped Jones of his title in April 2015 for a supposed hit-and-run felony charge.
Jones returned to UFC action nearly a year later as he reclaimed the light heavyweight title in a victory over Ovince Saint Preux in April 2016. Jones went on to win five more title defenses before vacating his light heavyweight title in order to face Ciryl Gane in the upcoming heavyweight title fight at UFC 285.
2. Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov
While he didn’t enjoy the longest career in UFC, few can challenge his dominance during his time as champion. Nurmagomedov retired from the UFC in 2021 after going undefeated with a 13-0 record.
“The eagle” won hirst first title after defeating Al Iaquinta in April 2018 to claim the lightweight title. He won three title defense matches against impressive opponents Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, and Jusin Gaethje. Despite his retirement at the early age of 31, his impact on the UFC is expansive.
3. Georges “Rush” St. Pierre
One of the UFC’s most legendary fighters, Georges St. Pierre has one of the most impressive UFC resumes of all time. The Canadian was able to compile an impressive 20-2 record while fighting across numerous weight classes.
St. Pierre’s first loss came in his first title fight against Matt Hughes in 2004. Over two years later in November 2006, St. Pierre defeated Matt Hughes in a rematch, as he was able to claim the welterweight title. Unfortunately, he was unsuccessful in defending his title as his second and final career loss came in his next match against Matt Serra in April 2007.
However, history repeated itself as St. Pierre was able to defeat Matt Hughes again and reclaim the welterweight title in December of 2007. Following this fight, “Rush” was able to complete ten successful title defenses which lasted nearly six years.
St. Pierre took the next step in his career when he returned to octagon after a four year absence from November 2013 to November 2017. He decided to move up weight classes and compete in the middleweight division. He was able to defeat Michael Bisping as he became the new UFC middleweight champion.
4. Anderson “The Spider” Silva
One of the most decorated fighters in the history of the UFC, Anderson Silva truly is a tale of two careers. Silva participated in twenty-five UFC matches across his fourteen year tenure as he compiled a 17-7 record with one no contest.
Silva began his career 2006 and claimed the UFC middleweight title in his third UFC fight against Rich Franklin. This led to a record fourteen consecutive title defenses, which spanned for over six and a half years. “The Spider”’s run came to an end after he was defeated by Chris Weidman in October 2012.
Silva’s last career title fight came in a rematch against Chris Weidman, as he was defeated by knockout. After this point, Silva suffered a number of disappointing victories and was only able to win one more career fight against Derek Brunson in February 2017.
As he began his illustrious career 16-0, Anderson Silva experienced swift downfall as he finished his career 1-7 with one no contest. Despite the disappointing finish to his career, Silva was able to solidify himself as a UFC legend and one of the best MMA fighters of all time.
5. Stipe Miocic
Widely regarded as the best UFC heavyweight fighter of all-time, Stipe Miocic is truly a legend who has established himself over the past half decade. Miocic began his UFC career in October 2011 and has built a 13-4 record since then.
It took almost five years and a 7-2 record before Miocic was given a shot at the heavyweight title. He defeated Fabricio Werdum in May 2016 and claimed the UFC heavyweight title. This led to three title defenses, one against current heavyweight title holder Francis Ngannou, before he lost his title in a defeat to Daniel Cormier in July 2018.
This led to a rematch against Cormier a year later in August 2019, as he was able to win by knockout and reclaim the heavyweight title. He was successful in an additional title defense rematch against Daniel Cormier in August 2020.
Unfortunately, Miocic lost the UFC heavyweight title to Ngannou in March 2021 and has not competed in the UFC since then. Miocic is apparently eyeing a return to the UFC in the next year and could improve his case as one of the best UFC fighters of all time.
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