Best UFC Fighters of Last Decade
Over the past ten years, mixed martial arts, or MMA, has gone from strength to strength, rising from scattered, little-known competitions without much recognition, to a sport that now challenges established fighting sports, from boxing to traditional martial arts like Judo, for fan numbers and viewing figures.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is a key part of MMA’s rise to fame, having become one of the largest MMA promotion companies in the world and promoting a roster of some of the most easily recognizable fighters in the world.
Having held its first event back in 1993, the UFC has gone on to hold over 500 events in total and has become a multi-billion-dollar enterprise. The latest being a closed-door fanless event held in Brazil.
The flip side of that is that the UFC would be nothing without the fighters it promotes. Part of what makes MMA so entertaining is the skills and abilities of some of the most outstanding fighters in the world, and, in this article, we’ll be looking at some of the best to fight for titles over the last decade.
Despite having never won a UFC world champion, Tony Ferguson remains one of the most talented fighters to have ever taken to the Octagon.
Ferguson has dominated the UFC’s lightweight division, defeating some of the best fighters in the world, such as Donald Cerrone, Anthony Pettis, and Rafael dos Anjos.
Ferguson’s combination of hard striking and a strong ground game make him one of the most dangerous fighters in the UFC and, with Dana White insisting that UFC 249 will go ahead as planned, he might finally have a shot at winning a much-deserved belt after all.
Nicknamed “Mighty Mouse,” Demetrious Johnson managed to hold on as the undisputed master of the UFC flyweight division for an amazing amount of time, fending off some amazing other fighters, including two-weight champion Henry Cejudo.
Equally at home striking blows, using his ground game, or looking to end a fight early through a submission, Johnson was always a dangerous opponent.
Having started wrestling at a very young age and, according to the Bleacher Report, used to wrestle with a bear. Nurmagomedov also underwent training in Judo and Sambo during his time in the military.
Today, Nurmagomedov remains one of the best fighters in the world, with 28 wins and no losses, he holds the longest active undefeated streak in MMA and is the current UFC Lightweight Champion.
Despite already defending that title against Tony Ferguson four times already, such is Nurmagomedov skill that he has odds of 7/1 of winning in the first round against a fighter widely regarded as one of the best lightweights in the history of the UFC.
Not nicknamed “The Notorious” for nothing, Conor McGregor has certainly proved that he is as difficult to handle outside of the ring as he is in it, but he remains one of the foundational parts of what makes the UFC what it is today.
Able to rip through some of the best featherweight fighters in the world, including famously putting down Jose Aldo in just 13 seconds. While McGregor hasn’t spent much time in the ring lately, the huge spectator numbers for his short fight against Donald Cerrone shows that the crowds still love the mad Irishman.
Unarguably one of the best light-heavyweight champions ever to take to the cage, Jonny “Bones” Jones is an unstoppable machine.
Jones’ combination of physical prowess, clear fighters instinct, and mastery of both striking and grappling have given him the tools he needed to proudly thrash some of the biggest names in the UFC light-heavyweight roster.
He won his first title at just 23, defeating Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in three rounds with kicks and elbows. Since that time, Jones has gone on to set records like most title defenses, most wins, longest win streak, and most submission victories, making him one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.