The UFC has been home to thousands of fights and we have been honoured to have seen theworld's greatest fighters practice their art. From the near-perfect Georges St-Pierre to the unstoppable Jon Jones to the biggest superstar in Conor McGregor, every UFC great comes in their own style. With over 40 UFC events in a year broadcasted on TV or online, with plenty of UFC odds to bet on, we witness a UFC superstar shine in every era.
But a few simply stand out as the cream of the crop. Below Canada Sports Betting presents a list of the ten best UFC fighters of all time.
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A native of Quebec, Canada, St-Pierre quickly rose through the MMA ranks and was nicknamed "Rush" for his fast-paced fighting style.
St-Pierre captured the UFC welterweight title twice and set several UFC records including most wins in a title fight and most consecutive title defences in the welterweight division. With his unrelenting work ethic, St-Pierre became a master in every facet of MMA from wrestling to grappling to striking.
After initially retiring in 2013, St-Pierre returned in 2017 to defeat Michael Bisping and capture the middleweight title making him just the fourth UFC fighter to become a two-division champion.
Most importantly, St-Pierre never had any off-cage incidents nor was he busted for steroids. He remains the exemplary fighter to this day. Who is the best fighter in the UFC? Georges St-Pierre.
#2 Jon Jones | USA | 24-1 (1 NC)
Already known to most as the "GOAT" (greatest of all time), the only thing stopping Jon Jones is... Jon Jones. A career mired in controversy, Jones took several steps back from the MMA spotlight due to multiple issues off the cage. He has had several run-ins with the law, has a well-known drug history, and has been busted for performance-enhancing drugs (PED's). Twice.
Regardless, Jones's UFC resume is unmatched. He is the youngest fighter to win a UFC title at 23 and is virtually unbeaten (his only loss is a bogus disqualification). Jones has defeated several champions and future Hall of Famers like Daniel Cormier, Rashad Evans, and Shogun Rua.
Jones may already be the best UFC fighter right now, but his tainted history will always be an asterisk.
#3 Daniel Cormier | USA | 22-1 (1 NC)
If it weren't for Jones, Cormier would be the greatest UFC fighter of all time. The UFC's fifth two-division champion and second simultaneous champion aka "double-champ" has only lost to Jones. He has beaten the best of both the heavyweight and light heavyweight division and has done so in remarkable fashion.
As a 30-year-old former wrestler, Cormier entered MMA late in his career. Yet he starched the competition in Strikeforce. He debuted in the UFC and challenged Jones for the title, which is still just the only loss in his MMA career.
Cormier is the second-best next to Jones. But even if he never beats him, his MMA career coupled with his broadcasting role makes him one of the promotion's most iconic figures.
#4 Demetrious Johnson | USA | 28-3-1
Johnson was at one point the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. The flyweight king was unbeatable and set a UFC record for most consecutive title defences with 11, a record that may be unbreakable.
Though he wasn't exactly a star, Johnson was the complete MMA fighter. He was strong in every aspect of the game: the mat, the clinch, the stand-up etc. He has held unbelievable records such as the latest submission in UFC history (last-second submission) and is only the second fighter to be awarded a post-fight bonus in all four categories (Fight, Knockout, Submission, and Knockout).
The only knock on Johnson is how he never fought above 125 and never made a "super-fight". Either way, his status as an all-time great is already cemented.
#5 Amanda Nunes | Brazil | 17-4
As the first woman to ever become a two-division champion (and just the third fighter overall to become a "double champ"), Nunes is undoubtedly the greatest female fighter to grace the octagon.
Both Ronda Rousey and Cyborg dominated women's MMA. Then Nunes destroyed both of them in just a minute each. Nunes has defeated five UFC champions including three champions from three weight classes. Not bad for a fighter who had to come up the ranks the hard way and was an underdog in two of the biggest women's fights.
But when she choked out Miesha Tate to capture the bantamweight title, the world realized her superstar potential. She has also headlined two blockbuster pay-per-views and continues to be the UFC's premier female fighter.
#6 Anderson Silva | Brazil | 34-10 (1 NC)
Once upon a time, Anderson Silva was the GOAT. He was running through both the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions and clowned MMA legends like Rich Franklin, Forrest Griffin, and Vitor Belfort. It took him a while to become a superstar, but he was synonymous with the UFC in his prime.
Unfortunately for Mr. Spider, he fell from grace hard. It started with that embarrassing loss to Chris Weidman then the gruesome leg injury then the steroid scandal. Now, Silva is a ghost and can't win a fight to save his life.
Fans would look back to the days when Silva seemed invincible. His Matrix-like counter-striking style was brilliant as was his quiet but cocky personality. His retirement is near but he still remains a fan favourite today.
#7 Jose Aldo | Brazil | 28-5
Aldo may be the most underappreciated legend of his era. The one they call "Scarface" at on the Iron Throne and ruled the featherweight division. With seven consecutive title defences in four years, Aldo's reign as champion was impressive albeit riddled with injuries.
Among greats, Aldo defeated include Frankie Edgar (former lightweight champion) and Hall of Famers Urijah Faber and Kenny Florian. Aldo's greatness can be further attributed to how he stood out in an era dominated by wrestle-boxers as he used his impeccable takedown defence and powerful leg kicks.
Regrettably, his 13-second knockout loss to McGregor has put a huge damper on his otherwise spotless legacy. But even in defeat, the brash McGregor honoured Aldo as a true Brazilian champion. And he will be remembered as such.
#8 Chuck Liddell | USA | 21-9
The "Iceman" was one of the UFC's first superstars. With his trademark mohawk and blue shorts, Liddell was known to fans for his intoxicating style of fighting. Liddell was the textbook definition of a "brawler". Using his NCAA Division I wrestling background, Liddell stuffed wrestling and kept the fight standing where he would assault fighters and knock them out.
Until now, Liddell has the UFC records for most wins and knockouts in the light heavyweight division. Liddell's wars with Randy Couture, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, and Wanderlei Silva are all-time classics. In 30 pro bouts, 20 ended via a knockout.
There aren't many fighters today who are like Liddell thanks to the evolution of the sport. But Liddell is still an icon and still a beloved figure in UFC lore.
#9 Randy Couture | USA | 19-11
Couture was like the Brett Favre of the UFC: he never aged. The legend began his UFC career at the age of 34 and won the UFC 13 heavyweight tournament. He would go on to become a six-time UFC champion, three as a heavyweight and two as a light heavyweight.
Using his Greco-Roman wrestling, Couture was one of the best MMA wrestlers. He managed to neutralize powerful strikers like Vitor Belfort and Pedro Rizzo and has wins over younger more vigorous fighters like Tim Sylvia, Chuck Liddell, and Tito Ortiz.
Couture is also the only UFC fighter to win a championship after becoming a Hall of Famer and he is also the oldest champion in MMA history. Also, he was the first to ever become a two-division champion.
#10 Conor McGregor | Ireland | 21-4
The UFC's greatest superstar is also one of their all-time best fighters. McGregortook over the UFC the moment he arrived. His gift for trash talk coupled with outrageous outfits and one-punch knockout power quickly made him the sport's biggest attraction.
In his nine UFC victories, McGregor knocked out eight with four in the first round including his record-setting 13-second KO of Jose Aldo. His other accolades include becoming the first simultaneous two-division champion (and third overall to become two-division champion) and earning the most consecutive post-fight bonuses with eight.
Love him or hate him, fans clamour for McGregor to return to the UFC as he generates buzz and brings the promotion revenue. But as long as he keeps backing up his talk, he will remain a superstar.
Canadian UFC Fighters
Canada has yet to find a successor to St-Pierre although there is a slew of talent who makes the country proud. The list of best Canadian UFC fighters of the present time starts with Elias Theodorou and Olivier Aubin-Mercier. The two are The Ultimate Fighter graduates and two of the best grapplers in their respective divisions, middleweight and lightweight. They stand outside the top-15, but a few big wins and they could be in contention again.
On the women's side is Felicia Spencer, an undefeated featherweight who could be the next champion.
And as far as prospects, there are a few. Hakeem Dawodu is a promising featherweight with nifty striking skills. He could be the next action fighter. Gillian Robertson in the flyweight division has racked up wins and could be a ranked fighter with a few more.
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