Top 5 Ranked Mens MMA Players Of All Time
Who are the best men’s MMA players of all time?
- Georges St. Pierre
- Anderson Silva
- Jon Jones
- Khabib Nurmagodevoe
- Conor McGregor
1. Georges St. Pierre
- Height: 5’10’
- Weight: 170 lbs
- Wins: 26
- KO/TKO: 8
- Divisions: Welterweight, Middleweight
Born and raised in St-Isidore, Quebec, St. Pierre is recognized as the best athlete and pound for pound fighter to ever participate in MMA. St. Pierre won his first match in Las Vegas against the heavily favored Karo Parisyan, leading him to the opportunity to face off against Matt Hughes for the Welterweight Championship. He did not win this fight, but won his next five fights setting a rematch against Hughes. In the rematch, St. Pierre knocked out Hughes in the second round to win the UFC Welterweight Championship.
St. Pierre lost his first title defense to Matt Serra in April 2007, and it was considered to be one of the biggest upsets in UFC history. This was St. Pierre’s final loss, as he went on to defeat Hughes again and then knockout Serra to regain the title in front of his hometown crowd in Montreal.
St. Pierre retired in 2019 with a 13 fight winning streak and a career record of 26-2. He set UFC records for most wins in title fights, most wins by decision, most takedowns, and most successful consecutive title defenses in the UFC welterweight division. His victory in November 2017 against Michael Bisping after a four year hiatus gave him the UFC middleweight title. While he was notably slower than he was in his prime, fans were amazed with his ability after a four year absence. This victory made him the fourth UFC fighter in history to hold titles in multiple divisions.
2. Jon Jones
- Height: 6’4”
- Weight: 205 lbs
- Wins: 25
- KO/TKO: 10
- Division: Light Heavyweight
Despite the controversies and asterisks that may come with Jon “Bones” Jones’s career, there is no denying that he is one of the most talented and dominant fighters to ever step in the Octagon. The only loss in the fighter’s career was via disqualification for illegal use of the elbows in a fight he was clearly winning. This was also a call that many fans and experts did not agree with.
Jones holds various records in the light-heavyweight UFC division, including most title defenses, most wins, longest win streak, and most submission victories. Jones faced numerous setbacks in his career, being suspended three times. So far he has come back to prove himself every time. After facing disciplinary actions between 2015 and 2017 where he lost his title three times, he made returns in 2016 and 2017 where he was victorious in title bouts against Ovince Saint Preux and Daniel Cormier.
What makes Jones such a great fighter is his high adaptability and superb techniques. He has been described as “one of the most dynamic, innovative, and constantly evolving fighters in the history of MMA”. His unique physical attributes combined with his 84” wingspan and mental toughness is what makes him such a fierce competitor.
Not only did Jones win all of his matches, he dominated them. The only fight that left any questions for critics was a fight between him and Alexander Gustafsson in 2013 where he just narrowly emerged victorious. Those critics were answered in their rematch when Jones won in a unanimous decision.
3. Anderson Silva
- Height: 6’2”
- Weight: 185 lbs
- Wins: 34
- KO/TKO: 23
- Divisions: Middleweight, Light Heavyweight
Anderson “The Spider” Silva has long been recognized as one of the elite Muay Thai and standup fighters in UFC. Silva would constantly get matched up against fighters who the public believed would stand a chance, and for a long period of time, no fighter ever did.
Anderson Silva held a remarkable seven year, 16 fight win streak starting in 2006 which was his UFC debut against Chris Leben. In response, a poll tallied by UFC chose Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin as his next opponent. Silva defeated Franklin by TKO in the first round and became the Middleweight Champion.
After acquiring the belt, what followed was a record-setting championship reign that made Silva one of the most dominant in the game. He held onto the belt until July of 2013, defeating anyone who tried to take the belt from him. He cleaned out the entire middleweight division, leading him to become arguably one of the top MMA fighters of his generation. Despite Silva losing some matches and losing his belt in recent years, he will always be remembered for his dominant run.
Silva was a high level black belt in Jiu Jitsu, but it was his striking skills that made him flourish in the octagon. His standup skills were so superior that you would often see him toying with his opponent, showing the utmost confidence and still being able to emerge victorious. His lack of fear and mocking of opponents was rightfully earned thanks to his ability to dodge strikes and return fire immediately.
4. Khabib Nurmagomedov
- Height: 5’10”
- Weight: 155
- Wins: 28
- KO/TKO: 8
- Divisions: Lightweight, Welterweight
Nurmagomedov was born and raised in Russia, and is the son of a combat sambo master. Like many people from his hometown in Russia, he began wrestling at a very young age. His training even included him wrestling a bear when he was just nine years old in 1997.
In recent years after defeating Conor McGregor and Dustin Prior, experts have thrown Khabib into the discussion of greatest of all time. Those victories put the argument of him not facing legitimate competition to rest. He has been able to amass a record of 28-0 which is unheard of in MMA due to the sports unpredictability.
Khabib is superior in cardio and grappling, which has led him to find immense amounts of success. He has won every fight in dominant fashion, as not one decision has even been close on the scorecards. All fights that have reached decisions have been a unanimous win. Opponents know what is coming when they face off against Khabib, however they are still unable to have an answer for his attacks. Khabib is the current lightweight belt holder, and will face off Tony Ferguson in April to defend his title and continue to build his legacy.
Khabib is still early in his career, and has a bright future ahead of him. The only reason he is not higher on this list is due to the fact that he has not had the chance to defend his belt as many times as the other legends who are above him. When it is all said and done, Khabib Nurmagomedov will acquire “legendary status” by the end of his career.
5. Connor McGregor
- Height: 5’9”
- Weight: 170 lbs
- Wins: 22
- KO/TKO: 19
- Divisions: Featherweight, Lightweight, Welterweight
Mcgregor is one of the most flamboyant, cocky, and confident athletes not just in the MMA, but in the history of sports. His strong personality and cocky demeanor has made him one of the most popular figures in sports. Fans either love him or hate him, making it must watch TV every time he is scheduled in a fight.
In 2015, it only took him 13 seconds to defeat the great Jose Aldo by knocking him out in the first round. With that knockout he became the UFC Featherweight Champion. Just a year after defeating Aldo, Mcgregor went for a title in a different weight class, and defeated Eddie Alvarez by TKO, making him the first ever double champ in UFC history.
McGregpor lost his lightweight belt after losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov in Las Vegas, and went into a brief retirement before making a return in 2020. In January, McGregor faced off against Donald Cerrone making his first attempt fighting in a welterweight bout. It only took McGregor 40 seconds to win via technical knockout. With that victory, Mcgregor became the first fighter to win via knockout in the featherweight, lightweight, and welterweight divisions.