Ultimate Fighting Championship
UFC is the most promising and famous organization relating to Mixed Martial Arts. It has a big fanbase all over the world. The Journey of UFC begins in 1993, almost 28 years ago with a main event featuring Royce Gracie vs Gerard Gordeau. After that, UFC has come a long way with its successful business plan and become one of the most famous organization in sports industry. Dana White, the President of UFC, is the real worrier behind its success. Obviously now he is a billionaire but the journey was not very smooth. There was a time when UFC was banned in USA in 1997 for it's brutal nature. But eventually it becomes famous among people and nowadays it's Pay per view events are sold at a price of almost 70$ with an average 5 million pay per view buys worldwide.
Few things that makes UFC unique from the other organization is that, UFC can give reward to real talent. Well, if you are a UFC fan you might be surprised that why I tell you this? UFC pays their fighter very low, even less than their Ring Girls! Well, this is true. UFC fighter deserves more money than what they get paid now. Recently, Jon Jones, showed his frustration about the amount of money is given to him for fights. Salary of fighter totally depends on how popular the fighter is. Conor Mcgregor, One of the most famous personality in modern day sports and the face of UFC around the world, generates almost 1.5 million Pay per view in his each events due to his popularity. So he gets paid much higher than other fighters. But UFC always pick the talented fighter around the world and from other organization who can fight and give them chance to shine. There are many examples which I am not going to tell, because almost 90% UFC fighter is in this list. UFC helps the fighter to shine, but it is really difficult to stay. Some fighters cannot stand on their expectation and fails to prove themselves. But some fighters are exceptionally well and proved why they are the best. In this list We are talking About 10 Such fighters who proved themselves since 2015.
10.Henry Cejudo -
He is famous in the name CCC (Olympic Champion, Bantam weight Champion and Flyweight Champion) and self-clamied G.O.A.T . His MMA nickname is "The Messenger " . He is weigh around 135 lbs and with a height of 5'4", he holds a pro MMA record of 16 win and 2 losses. He is retired now but he is showing a lot of interest to return in octagon. The 2008, Olympic Gold Medalist, started his MMA career in 2013. His fight IQ is one of the best in UFC.
Cejudo makes his UFC debut in 2014 against Dustin Kimura and won by unanimous decision. After that he won 3 more fight in a row. Finally, in April ,2016 he got his first loss against the great Demetrious Johnson. In the next fight he again lost to Joseph Benevidez in a split decision. But after that he showed significant improvement and won 6 fights in a row. In August, 2018, in a rematch, he beat Demetrious Johnson in split decision and won flyweight championship. He also defeated Marlon Moraes for Bantam weight title in UFC 238. In his regime, he beat big names as Demetrious Johnson, T.J.Dillashaw, Dominic Cruz, Marlon Moraes etc.
9. Kamaru Usman-
'The Nigerian Nightmare' Kamaru Usman, definitely deserve to put some respect before his name. He immigrate to USA at the age of 7. He started to learn wrestling in Nebraska. He won 1st place in 2010 NCAA Division II wrestling championship. He makes his pro MMA debut in November, 2012. His only loss to Jose Caceres, came in his second fight. After that he is in 18 fight winning streak.
Usman debut in UFC in 2015 in Ultimate Fighter Season 21. He won that event. In March, 2019 he destroyed Tyron Woodley and become champion. Till, May,2021 he has 4 title defenses. In his regime, he fought big names in his career as Leon Edwards, Tyron Woodley, RDA, Damien Maia,Jorge Masvidal . But his best fight came with his greatest foe Colby Covington in UFC 245.
"The Mighty Mouse" perhaps one of the most underrated champion of UFC . He holds many records but none talk about him in G.O.A.T debate. He is the best flyweight ever lived in the world.
Johnson defended his title 11 times.He has big names in his winning bucket as John Dodson, Ian Mccall,Henry Cejudo, Roy Borg, Tim Elliot, etc. He lost his belt to Henry Cejudo and went to ONE FC. But his historic win came with Kyoji Horiguchi with a flying last-minute armbar. It is a pleasure of eyes to watch such high level skill.
7. Israel Adesanya-
"The Last Style-Bender" is famous for his kick-boxing and dance inside the octagon. He is former kickboxer with a record of 75 win and 1 loss. He is middle-weight champion with weigh in 185 lbs and height 6'4". He has a insane reach of 80 inch which is one of his biggest weapon in his fights.He is famous for his Question-Mark kick.
Adesanya makes his UFC debut in 2018 against Rob Willkinson. After that he faught Marvin Vettori and won by split decision. WIthin 2 years in UFC he got chance to fight for title and in UFC 243 he defeated Robert Whittaker and got the undisputed Middleweight championship belt. He fought big names as Kelvin Gastelum, Yoel, Romero, Anderson Silva, Paolo Coasta, Robert Whittaker. But in UFC 259, March 2021 he tried to move in light-heavyweight division but lost to jan Blachowiz in title bout. It was his first loss in his pro-MMA career.
6. Valentina Shevchenko-
She is one and only champion of women flyweight division. She is the queen of the division and showed everyone that noone can beat him in her division. Her nickname is "Bullet" because of her speed. She has very fast movements. Her kicks and judo skills are always pleasure to watch.. She started her pro-MMA debut in very young age. She is not only powerful fighter but she has an elite level fight IQ.
Valentina made her UFC debut in 2015 against Sarah Kaufman and won by split decision But in her second fight she lost against the lioness Amanda Nunes.But in her regime she has big names in her pocket, as Holly Holm, Julianna Pena,Joana, Jessica Eye, Katlyn Chookegian etc. Her rematch with Amanda Nunes was very close and many people still thinks that The Bullet won that fight. Her HeadKick against Jessica Eye was a pleasure to watch.
5. Max Holloway-
The feather weight King Max "Blessed" Holloway, is definitely one of the best striker and boxer in MMA. Fighting against Calvin Kattar, he said and proved it. Max is Hawaiian professional Mixed Martial Artist. He is 5'11" tall and weigh in around 145 lbs, he is one of the most successful MMA fighter. He holds a record of 13 fight winning streak in featherweight division. He is a funny guy, gaming youtuber and The daddest man on the plant.
Max started his pro debut in 2010 and in 2012 he signed contract with UFC. He stepped in as a late replacement against Dustin Poirier, but he lost that fight. Next 3 fight win and 2 losses , one loss from Conor Mcgregor, Made him unstoppable in featherweight division. He won 13 straight fight after that in featherweight division and 3 title defenses makes him the featherweight king. He defeated Jose Aldo twice, Brian Ortega, Frankie Edgar, Calvin Kattar, Anthony Pettis etc. His fighting is very fun to watch. Finally he lost his belt against Alex Volkanovski in UFC 245. In a rematch with Alex, he lost again but 90% of MMA fans still thinks that Max won the second fight. He has some amazing moment inside and outside the ring. He had a banger with Brian Ortega where Max landed 292 significant striker on Brian and in his fight against Kattar, he broke this record and landed 445 significant strikes on Kattar. His mid-octagon brawl with Ricardo Lamas is one of the best brawl.
4. Amanda Nunes-
The Lioness Amanda Nunes undoubtedly the best female MMA fighter in whole universe. She defeated almost all female UFCchampion in her regime. The Brazilian MMA fighter is so good in her feet as well as her ground game is also high class.
Her debut in UFC is in UFC 163, against Sheila Gaff. Her only loss in UFC against Cat Zingano. She defeated fighters like Germain De Randame, Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm,Valentina Shevchenko(*2), Chris Cyborg, Miesha Tate etc. She is currently 2 division champion (135lbs and 145 lbs) and she simultaneously defends her title in each division like a boss. It is almost proved that noone in her divison can beat her.
3. Stipe Miocic-
The greatest heavyweight of all time. The Ohio born firefighter is perhaps one of the most underrate champ. He is famous for being underdog in his every fight despite of being the champ. According to him, being underdog gives him motivation to perform better. He is the first heavyweight in UFC who defended his belt 3 consecutive times and made a record.
Miocic debut in UFC against Joey Beltran in 2011. He got fight of the night bonus for his performance and knockout against Phil De Fries. He got his first loss against Stefan Struve. His first fight with former UFC heavyweight Champ Junior Dos Santos gave him limelight about his potential as a young fighter. In UFC 198, with a brutal one punch knock out he snatches the heavyweight belt from Werdum and defended it 3 consecutive times against Ovreem, JDS, and Ngannou. In UFC 226 he lost his belt against Cormier, but in 241 he claimed it back. Then he defended again the belt against cormier. Stipe lost the belt in UFC 260 against Ngannou .
2. Khabib The Eagle Nurmagomedov-
The Russian born Dagestani worrier known for his dominant style wrestling. He is well-known for his fight against conor Mcgregor in UFC 229. In his young age he learnt wrestling from his father. At just age of 10, his father sent him to fight bear. He is very strong and powerful compared to his division. His specialty is noone can solve the puzzle of his wrestling. Everyone knows his game plan but nobody could stop him.
Khabib Joined UFC in 2012. His debut was against Kamal Shalorus. The he fight and beat names like Rafael Dos Anjos, Tavares, Abel Trujillo, Barboza etc to get his title shot in UFC 223. He won the title after beating Al Iquanta and his first defense was against Conor Mcgregor. It was the biggest event of MMA. 2.4 PPV were saled. He defeated Conor and then Dustin and Justin Gaethje. In UFC 254, he announced his retirement from the sports. But now he works as trainer.
1. Jon Bones Jones-
Noone can take this spot from Jon Jones. He is the real GOAT. His only loss in MMA came from disqualification. There are a lot of controversy with him related to steroid, drugs but he always proved that why he is the best. He has the highest reach advantage in UFC 84 inch. He is still the youngest champion of UFC history.
Jon Jones joined UFC back in 2008, and claimed his title in UFC 135 defeating Quinton Jackson at just age of 21. He gave some amazing performances. His submission against Lyoto Machida was insane. In UFC 165, Alexander Gustaffson and Jon Jones gave a banger and finally Jones won.He defeated his biggest rival Cormier twice but one of them were canceled due to he was tested positive in drug test. Though he has lots of controversies related to drugs, noone can doubt his fighting ability. He was never taken down in UFC. Now he moved to heavyweight and waiting for his first match..Hopefully, we can see him in a banger with Stipe or Ngannou soon.
There are some honorable mentions as well. Tony Ferguson, Daniel Cormier, Robert Whittaker, Dustin Poirier, Petr Yaan. I wish if I could give them a place in my list.
© 2021 Sayan Mukherjee