Greatest UFC fighters ever from McGregor to Jones and ‘GOAT’ with perfect record

Debate about who is the best UFC fighter ever has been raging for years and MMA fans are still struggling to come to a consensus.

Jon Jones, Georges St-Pierre, and Anderson Silva all feature high on most people’s Greatest Of All Time [GOAT] lists, but the order they are ranked often varies.

McGregor is certainly the biggest MMA star - but is he the best?


McGregor is certainly the biggest MMA star – but is he the best?Credit: Getty

UFC superstar Conor McGregor considers himself the best MMA fighter ever, however, despite taking the sport to new heights he is often cast aside when it’s time to discuss the truly exceptional fighters.

The Dubliner certainly worked to bring more money to fighters, while his feat of being the first fighter in UFC history to hold two belts in different weight classes at the same time, sees him in the conversation.

Considering results, the manner of their victories/defeats, titles won, titles defended, the level of opposition faced, and longevity, has ranked the top 10 UFC fighters of all time.

This may change in time considering the notable absentees in keeping it solely to ten.

10. Jose Aldo (31-8)

Many MMA fans believe Aldo is the best featherweight fighter of all time. The Brazilian’s incredible nine-year undefeated run as champion in the WEC and the UFC was unprecedented.

Aldo’s decorated record includes several high-profile wins, multiple show-stopping knockouts and more 145lb title defences (7) than anyone else in company history.

Unfortunately, many MMA fans will always remember him for his famous 13-second loss against McGregor in 2015.

Aldo retired from MMA in 2022


Aldo retired from MMA in 2022Credit: getty

9. Daniel Cormier (22-3 1NC)

Cormier is just one of four UFC fighters who have held two belts simultaneously with the 5ft 9in American beating some of the best heavyweight and light heavyweight fighters of all time.

He had a legendary feud with Jon Jones and Cormier’s incredible achievements in MMA are enhanced by the fact he only transitioned to the sport from wrestling when he was 30 years old.  

Today, he is one of the UFC’s go-to guys when it comes to commentary.

Cormier overcame size and experience disadvantages to achieve legend status


Cormier overcame size and experience disadvantages to achieve legend statusCredit: Getty Images – Getty

8. Conor McGregor (22-6)

McGregor is certainly the biggest name on this list, but his inclusion could rub up a certain section of the MMA community the wrong way – mainly because he’s never defended a UFC belt.

However, ‘Notorious’ was the first-ever dual-weight UFC champion and he spectacularly beat two legitimate champions to achieve the once unimaginable feat.

The Irishman will look to continue his epic run with the company at some point in 2024, but even if he retires right now his legendary status is secure.

There may never be a fighter like 'Notorious' ever again


There may never be a fighter like ‘Notorious’ ever againCredit: Zuffa LLC via Getty

7. Stipe Miocic (20-4)

Miocic is the most successful UFC heavyweight champion of all time with three defences against some of the best big men MMA has ever seen.

It’s amazing to see what he’s achieved while also working as a firefighter.

The 41-year-old could well shoot to the top of this list if he ends his career by beating Jones when they fight for the heavyweight title later this year.

Miocic isn't done yet


Miocic isn’t done yetCredit: Getty – Contributor

6. Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0)

Many MMA fans will tell you Nurmagomedov is the best fighter of all time, and it’s hard to argue with them as he’s the only UFC champion to retire with a perfect record.

However, ‘The Eagle’ won his lightweight belt by beating a late-replacement opponent, who was ranked #11, before walking away from the sport at 32 after just three title defences.

What would have happened if he carried on? We’ll never know as almost four years later he continues to rule out a comeback bout and has distanced himself from the sport by quitting coaching.

MMA fans just wish Nurmagomedov would've stuck around for longer


MMA fans just wish Nurmagomedov would’ve stuck around for longerCredit: getty

5. Amanda Nunes (23-5)

Ronda Rousey paved the way for women in the UFC, but Nunes took things to a whole different level during her peak years.

‘The Lioness’ is the only dual-weight champion who managed to defend her belts, and the best compliment we can give her is that she made it look easy.

Nunes avenged her famous loss to Julianna Pena and beat up top contender Irene Aldana before retiring in 2023, however, she could return to fighting in the coming months.

Nunes is the greatest female fighter of all time


Nunes is the greatest female fighter of all timeCredit: Getty

4. Demetrious Johnson 25-4-1

Johnson is the most underappreciated UFC champion of all time despite defending his flyweight title an incredible 11 times between 2013 and 2018.  

‘Mighty Mouse’ was a cut above his opponents, and he proved it by finishing them with specular submissions and stunning knockouts before suffering a controversial decision defeat to Henry Cejudo.

Johnson was inexplicably traded to ONE Championship before getting his chance at revenge, but six years later he continues to prove why he is so highly regarded among MMA fans.

Johnson was several steps ahead of his rivals for years


Johnson was several steps ahead of his rivals for yearsCredit: Getty – Contributor

3. Anderson Silva (34-11 1NC)

Silva had one less title defence, but his middleweight run is arguably the most dominant of all time – opponents entered the Octagon knowing they would get stopped by ‘The Spider’.

Crane kicks, jabs, body shots, and submissions, Silva finished his rivals in many different ways before running into a Chris Weidman punch in 2013.

The Brazilian fight icon never got back on track, but those around to witness his lengthy purple patch have no doubt about his standing as the best 185lb fighter of all time.

Silva was untouchable at his peak


Silva was untouchable at his peak

2. Georges St-Pierre (26-2)

St-Pierre was a champion in two different weight classes, and he beat every opponent he ever stepped inside the Octagon with during a career worthy of GOAT status.

At his peak, the Canadian made nine successful defences of his welterweight belt, and although his style wasn’t the most aesthetically pleasing, he made it look easy.

A controversial win over Johny Hendricks prompted a four-year retirement before GSP returned to the sport and cemented his all-time great legacy by choking out Micheal Bisping to take his middleweight strap.

St-Pierre is one of MMA's great thinkers


St-Pierre is one of MMA’s great thinkersCredit: Getty
Jones is yet to meet his match in the Octagon


Jones is yet to meet his match in the OctagonCredit: Getty

1. Jon Jones (27-1 1NC)

Love him or hate him, Jones has talent and an undeniable record – we at talkSPORT simply had to name him as the greatest fighter in MMA history.

The long-time light heavyweight champion sliced through the old guard and beat every man in his era before taking out a few contenders from the next generation.

After years of intrigue about how he would do at heavyweight, Jones returned from a three-year layoff to win the belt in two minutes and improve his near-perfect record, which is only marred by a controversial DQ defeat.

Notable mentions: Israel Adesanya, Henry Cejudo, Kamaru Usman and Alexander Volkanovski

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