Every individual has a different definition of the best MMA Fighter. And hence the rankings may vary based on different criterion’s, but here’s our list of the Best MMA Fighters of All Time based on several parameters, include each Fighter’s prime years in the field, longevity which focuses on their performance in those years and uniqueness that sets the best MMA Fighters apart from others.
So, here goes, our list of the Top Ten Best MMA Fighters of All Time.
1. Kazushi Sakuraba
A Japanese MMA fighter and a professional wrestler, Kazushi earned himself the title of “The Gracie Hunter” when he defeated Royler, Royce, Renzo and Ryan Gracie. He also defeated fighters such as Marucus Silveira, Vernon White, Carlos Newton and Quinton Jackson when he was at the peak of his performance. His win over the Gracies definitely helped him become one of the greatest fighters of all time.
2. Bas Rutten
Rutten achieved himself the UFC Heavyweight Championship for his win over Kevin Randleman. His best wins include Maurice Smith, Jason DeLucia, Frank Shamrock, Masakatsu and Tsuyoshi Kohsaka. Rutten enjoyed a long prime time that got him some legendary wins. He was also one of the first high level stand up fighters to make it big in MMA.
3. Randy Couture
Known as one of the most dominate UFC heavyweight fighter, Randy Couture or as they call him”The Natural” has earned his spot on one of the Best MMA Fighters of all time. His win over Jeremy Horn, Kevin Randleman, Tsuyoshi Kohsaka and Pedro Rizzo has certainly made him one of the most challenging fighters of all time. Couture has also been a part of the first TUF reality show as a coach.
4. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
Better known as Minotauro or Rodrigo, this Brazilian mixed martial artist enjoyed a long prime time inside the ring. He started his career by entering in the Fighting Network Rings taking part of the King of Kings 1999 tournament. He won a total of 34 matches out of 40 mostly by submission over his opponents. His most memorable wins were opposite Heath Herring, Mark Coleman, Josh Barnett etc.
5. Wanderlei Silva
As they called it “The Axe Murderer”, Wanderlei Silva is a Brazilian-American mixed martial artist. He entered the UFC in UFC Brazil: Ultimate Brazil opposite Vitor Belfort. Silva gained a total of 35 wins out of 40 in his career mostly by knocking out his opponents. His best wins were against Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Hidehiko Yoshida, Kazushi Sakuraba, Dan Henderson etc.
6. Royce Gracie
A Brazilian MMA fighter for Bellator MMA, Gracie was also a UFC Hall of Famer and a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. Gracie’s most memorable wins in the MMA ring were against his worst enemies Ken Shamrock (1-0-1) and Dan Severn (1-0). He also won 3 out of his first four UFC tournaments and ushered in modern MMA. He scored a total of 15 wins out of 20 in his career mostly by submission.
7. Matt Hughes
A two times Welterweight Champion, UFC Hall of Fame inductee and NJCAA Hall of Fame inductee, Matt Hughes was an American mixed martial artist. His greatest wins were over Georges St. Pierre, Carlos Newton, Sean Sherk, Frank Trigg and BJ Penn. Hughes won a total of 45 matches out of 54 mostly by knockout or submission. He slammed his opponent in his debut match, which later became his signature move.
8. Georges St. Pierre
Often known as GSP, Georges is a Canadian mixed martial artist who also been a three times Welterweight Champion of the UFC. Also known as the greatest MMA fighter during his prime time, Georges secured 25 wins out of 27 matches mostly by decision. His best wins were against Karo Parisyan, Jay Hieron, Jason Miller, Sean Sherk, Thiago Alves etc.
9. Fedor Emelianenko
A Russian heavyweight mixed martial art champion, Sambist and Judoka, Fedor “The Emperor” currently competes in Rizin Fighting Federation. He started his career in 2000 and secured four consecutive victories since his debut. His most memorable wins include defeating Antonio Rodgrigo Nogueira, Ricardo Arona, Mirko Filipovic, tim Sylvia, Andrei Arlovski etc.
10. Anderson “The Spider” Silva
One of the greatest and Best MMA Fighters of All Time. Anderson Silva holds the longest title streak in the history of Ultimate Fighting Championship with 16 consecutive wins. He is also a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black belt. He secured a total of 33 wins out of 41 matches mostly by knockout. Also, he has 13 post fight bonuses, the second most in the UFC history. His best wins include Chael Sonnen, Yushin Okami, James Irvin, Rich Frabklin, Travis Lutter etc.
See also; 10 best female mixed martial artists.