Most Famous MMA Fighters
To help you get your feet wet with mixed martial arts (MMA) or as a solid refresher course, we wanted to put together a list of some of the most famous fighters in the sport.
Now, this is not going to be a complete list as there are too many greats to mention but it's going to be a great starting point. We've included some older fighters that helped shape the sport, and we've also included some newer fighters that are up and coming or currently dominating the landscape.
This is by no means supposed to serve as a "Most Famous Fighters of All-Time" type list. This is just an introductory to get you up to speed on some of the bigger names in the sport.
Anderson "The Spider" Silva
Arguably one of the best of all times, Anderson Silva made his UFC debut on June 28, 2006, and quickly rose the ranks of Middleweight Champion.
Silva holds the record for the longest title streak defense in UFC history with 10 title defenses. Silva also has 13 post-fight bonuses which are the sign of a fighter that not only knows how to get the job done but does so while entertaining. If we had to make our argument, we would say he is the best of all time.
Georges St. Pierre
The former UFC welterweight champion known commonly as GSP is also easily one of the greats of all time. Not only did GSP claim the title several times, but he was also ranked the #1 welterweight for years by Sherdog and was the Canadian Athlete of the Year for 2008, 2009, and 2010 (Rogers Sportsnet).
After stepping out of the sport a few years back for personal issues, there are rumors that GSP is looking to make a comeback and fight again in the UFC.
Stepping outside of the UFC, Fedor Emelianenko is one of the toughest MMA fighters in the history of the sport. As the PRIDE Heavyweight Champ and the WAMMA Heavyweight Champ, Fedor has fought the best of the best and been victorious.
Just look at this list of names he's conquered - Gary Goodridge, Mirco Crop Cop, Mark Hunt, Pedro Rizzo, and Andrei Arlovski. This is one of the scariest lists of men on the planet. In his 40s now, Fedor still can be seen fighting and still bringing the pain.
Moving back to the UFC but away from the men, the list wouldn't be complete without mention of Ronda Rousey. An Olympic bronze medalist in Judo, Rousey went on a 12 fight win streak with 11 of those wins coming in the first round and nine of them by armbar.
Rousey's streak came to an abrupt halt when she lost to Holly Holm, a decorated boxer, in 2015. Since then, Ronda has had troubles in the Octagon and has since left the sport and is pursuing a career in film.
While most think Rousey will not be coming back to MMA, she is still young, and it's completely possible she might get the itch again and make it back into the cage. As fans, we'd love to see this.
Randy "The Natural" Couture
With an impressive background in collegiate and Greco-Roman wrestling, Randy "The Natural" Couture has seen the honors of being a three-time UFC Heavyweight Champion, two-time UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, an Interim UFC Light Heavyweight Champion as well as the UFC 13 Heavyweight Tournament Winner.
The man has been around in the sport since the beginning and is credited with helping to shape the sport into what it is today. Also to add to his list of accolade, Couture has competed in 15 title fights and is the fourth member to be inducting into the UFC Hall of Fame.
In his 50's now, Couture won four UFC fights in his 40s showing us all that age is merely a number. Not only has Randy been famous in the UFC, but he's done quite a bit in the acting realm including starring in the movie The Expendables.
Also with a strong wrestling background, Matt Hughes has been involved in some of the most famous fights in UFC history. As the Welterweight Champion of the UFC, Hughes defended his title seven times.
Hughes also defeated every single opponent in the division which is an impressive feat on its own. Hughes also found himself inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2010.
A master at Brazillian Jiu Jitsu, B.J. Penn is a must have on our list of famous fighters. As one of the top pound for pound fighters in the UFC, Penn has been the UFC Lightweight Champion and the UFC Welterweight Champion.
Penn has also competed in four different weight classes throughout his tenure in the UFC. Dana White, the UFC President, gives Penn credit as the man who brought the popularity of the lower weight classes into the mainstream by helping to build out the 155 lb division and by bringing some exciting fights
If you've ever seen the Irish fighter knocking people out and expertly running his mouth, you've met Conor McGregor. Currently active in the UFC, McGregor is picking apart fighters in several different divisions. Currently (at the time of this article) he is the UFC Lightweight Champ and was the former UFC featherweight champ.
He only lost the second distinction because he wanted to change weight classes to get some tougher opponents. McGregor is easily the biggest pay per view draw in UFC history, and there are rumors he's in talks to box Floyd Mayweather, though, we'll believe that when we see it.
One of the hardest hitting men in the world, Chuck Liddell is credited with helping to bring MMA out of the shadows and into the mainstream. Inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2009, Liddell has been involved in some of the most famous battles in the history of the sport.
As the UFC Light Heavyweight Champ, Liddell has defended his title against some of the baddest in the sport until finally losing the title to Rampage Jackson at UFC 71.
The former two-time UFC Light Heavyweight Champion burst onto the scene as one of the most dominant fighters in the division. His long reach and unorthodox striking made for a vicious attack that most struggled to fight against.
Unfortunately, Jones has had quite a bit of trouble with the law. He was stripped of his title in response to felony hit and run charges and has had issues with performance enhancing drugs that currently have him on a suspension.
As fans were hoping Jones can get his act together and get back in the ring because he's an absolute joy to watch fight.