Famous MMA Fighters: Profiles of Legends and Rising Stars
MMA is an exciting world with people fighting. Previously known as UFC, it gained popularity in 1993 with its first. Many people remember Jorge Masvidal, Conor McGregor, and Jon Jones; there are many other fighters who have made MMA what it is today.
Over the last 23 years, MMA has created a lot of sportsmen and fighters who have gained the title of legends. In fact, it continues to attract young and exceptional talent, known as rising stars. That’s the reason MMA has its own Hall of Fame, but not all deserve to have their names on the wall. So, if you would know some fighters who made their mark or are trying to do so, we are sharing the names with you!
The Legends Who Left A Mark
Ever since MMA’s inception in 1993, it has become the epitome of combat sports. While boxing has always been at the forefront of MMA, there are many other sports activities that have developed MMA. A great number of people fought in the octagon, which not only increased its promotional vale but fan influence as well. However, only a few of them gained the title of legends, and we have their names for you!
1. Georges St-Pierre
Georges St-Pierre, often referred to as “GSP,” is a legendary figure in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA). Born on May 19, 1981, in Saint-Isidore, Quebec, Canada, GSP is widely regarded as one of the greatest fighters in MMA history, boasting an impressive list of achievements and a storied career. GSP’s journey to greatness began when he made his professional MMA debut in 2002. He quickly rose through the ranks and made his UFC debut in January 2004. Over the years, he competed in the welterweight division and became known for his exceptional wrestling, striking, and a well-rounded skill set.
One of his most remarkable achievements came in 2006 when he won the UFC Welterweight Championship by defeating Matt Hughes. GSP’s reign as welterweight champion was characterized by dominance and a near-flawless record, as he successfully defended his title multiple times. However, what truly sets GSP apart is his ability to adapt and evolve. After a brief hiatus from the sport, he returned to capture the UFC Middleweight Championship in 2017, becoming one of the few fighters to hold titles in two weight classes.
Throughout his career, GSP faced and defeated some of the most formidable opponents in MMA, including Matt Hughes, B.J. Penn, Nick Diaz, and Michael Bisping, among others. His victories often showcased his technical brilliance, strategic prowess, and unwavering determination. Not only was GSP known for his in-cage achievements, but he also embodied sportsmanship and respect, earning the admiration of fans and fellow fighters alike. His impact on MMA extended beyond the octagon as he inspired a generation of athletes and helped popularize the sport in Canada. In December 2013, Georges St-Pierre vacated the UFC Welterweight Championship and announced an indefinite leave from MMA. As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, his future in the sport remained uncertain. Nevertheless, GSP’s legacy as an MMA icon, champion, and role model continues to endure, leaving an indelible mark on the history of mixed martial arts.
2. Fedor Emelianenko
Now serving his nation as a politician, Fedor Emelianenko is a former MMA fighter as well as a judoka and sambist player. From 2003 to 2007, Fedor was the PRIDE Heavyweight Champion. In addition, he won a bronze medal in Judo two times and is a four-time sambo champion. Fedor has also competed in Bellator, RINGS, Rizin, Strikeforce, and M-1 Global.
He was named the best heavyweight fighter till 2010. In fact, his career in fighting and combat helped MMA become a popular entity in Russia. His MMA career began in 2000, and he immediately obtained four victories. However, the same year in December, he lost one match. After losing this one match, he grabbed all the wins till June 2010.
After retiring from MMA in 2010, he joined politics and became Belgorod Regional Duma’s deputy. In addition, he became the MMA Union’s president in Russia. Also, he is a member of the Council of Physical Fitness and Sports – it seems like he left sports, but sports won’t leave him.
3. Chuck Liddell
He is a retired MMA and used to hold the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion title. Not many people know this, but he played an important role in making MMA a part of the mainstream media and sports industry. The fans call him The Iceman as he has a record of 16-7. This guy retired in 2010 but kicked back again in 2018, only to lose against Tito Ortiz.
However, accrediting to his previous achievements and 21-9 overall record, he was added to the Hall of Fame. He used to learn boxing techniques from his grandfather as a kid and started fighting karate when he was only 12 years old. According to his book, he said he used to get in fights with drunk students at college.
He also played linebacker and centre in high school while showing off his skills at wrestling. In addition, he used to wrestle at Cal Poly, which is why he was added to Cal Poly’s Hall of Fame back in the year 2009.
4. Randy Couture
This man has a lot of feathers in his hat. Ranging from being an American army sergeant to action and a Greco-Roman wrestler, he has done it all while being an MMA fighter. During his time at the UFC, he won the title of heavyweight championship three times and the light heavyweight championship two times. He is one of the eight MMA professionals to hold UFC championships in two divisions.
He has been a part of sixteen title fights and has won six Bouts. In addition, he has become the 4th top name in the UFC Hall of Fame. He lost his title one time and managed to win it again three times. Along with his sports career, he has been an assistant wrestling coach at the Oregon State University.
He is known as a ground-and-pound and clinch fighter. His winning approach is taking down his opponents to get a top position. In addition, he strikes the bottom of the opponents. Some of his other skills include catch wrestling and boxing. Lastly, he won a match at the age of 43 against Tim Sylvia.
5. Royce Gracie
He is a Brazilian MMA artist who has managed to secure a spot in the UFC Hall of Fame. Gracie also practices Jiu-Jitsu, which makes him a versatile part of the sports industry. He is actually a member of the Gracie family, which is why he is an influential part of MMA. He has been a part of the PRIDE Fighting Championship as well as K-1 events by MMA.
Gracie gained popularity when he won UFC 1 to 4 between 1993 and 1994. He used his submission grappling technique to bring down heavyweight opponents that were larger than him. Many know him as a rival of Ken Shamrock, who he defeated in UFC 1 and then in UFC 5. In fact, he made Jiu-Jitsu popular by mixing ground fighting and grappling.
He started fighting when he was only eight years old and started teaching his skills to other kids when he was fourteen years old. Coming back to the point, he retired in 2013 when he confirmed the news to Ariel Helwani, a well-known MMA journalist.
6. Jon Jones
His full name is Jonathan Dwight Jones, and he is an American MMA member. He is currently fighting with the UFC and is already named a legend. He is the UFC heavyweight champion and has won UFC light heavyweight championship two times. In fact, he held on to this title from 2011 to 2015. He won the title again in 2018 and held it till 2020.
Recently, in March 2023, he was named the number one guy in the pound-to-pound rankings. He won the match against Mauricio Rua when he was only twenty-three years old. He has multiple records in the light heavyweight division, such as the longest win streak, the most number of title defences, and the most number of wins.
Truth be told, the guy is all clean except for the one time when he lost against Matt Hamill. His disciplinary issues made him lose the title three times. However, he rose from the ashes when he won the heavyweight champion by winning against Ciryl Gane.
7. Conor McGregor
He is an Irish MMA member and has lightweight and featherweight championships. This is why he has won two championships at the same time. He has also played in lightweight and featherweight championships for Cage Warriors. When he got into the ring for the first time, he lost the debut match to Floyd Mayweather.
He has been a part of five UFC PPV events and has the biggest draw on his collar. For instance, his fight with Mayweather received 4.3 million buys only in North America. In addition, he is considered the highest-paid athlete, as he earned $180 million in 2021. His boxing career started when he was 12 years old because he wanted to stand up against his bullies.
As far as UFC is concerned, he met Tom Egan when he moved to Lucan and started training martial arts with him. Also, his MMA career started when he was 18 years old and got into the ring against Kieran Campbell.
8. Demetrious Johnson
He is an MMA fighter and is known to play in ONE Championship. He is a flyweight champion, weighing 135lbs. In fact, he is the inaugural champion of the UFC Flyweight Championship. He has coined his name for elusive movements and fast striking. This technique has helped him land the maximum number of takedowns in UFC’s history.
He has managed to take down ten people in three fights. With a score of seven, he has the record for the highest finishes. These scores have made him the best MMA fighter of all time, hence his name in our list of legends. Sherdog has named him the top ninth pound-for-pound fighter as well as the second top flyweight champion.
While in high school, he used to play track, wrestling, and cross country. Many don’t know, but he did cross country and track to improve his cardio and stamina for wrestling. In fact, his game was so good that he got a scholarship for wrestling but didn’t take it up because of his family.
9. Jose Aldo
He is a former MMA fighter from Brazil. He started competing in the featherweight championship, but his last fight was in the bantamweight division. In addition, he won the fourth featherweight champion of WEC. After the merger of WEC and UFC, he became the first featherweight champion. He has defended his title seven times, which makes him the best featherweight champion out there.
He lost his first MMA fight in 2005, and after that, he had all the wins for ten years. During these ten years, he won eighteen fights. After ten years, he lost the fight to Conor McGregor in 2015. He used to play football during his teenage and even tried to join NBA. However, he was bullied in the streets, which pushed him to learn capoeira.
This training helped me gain the attention of a jiu-jitsu trainer, who invited him for professional training. When he was 17 years old, he shifted to Rio de Janeiro, where he trained in martial arts.
10. Khabib Nurmagomedov
Khabib might have left the MMA world, but he has left his permanent mark. He has played in the lightweight championship division and reigned the longest. That’s because he held the title from 2018 to 2021 and won twenty-nine matches during this period. The most incredible thing is that he retired without a single loss on his record.
His spectacular performance has gotten him into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2022. He has world the world championship of sambo two times. In addition, he has experience of judo, wrestling, and sambo. He has also acquired the number one ranking in pound-for-pound.
Since he belongs to the Republic of Dagestan, he was named the first Muslim to win a title in MMA/UFC. In addition, his Instagram profile has 34 million followers and he is the only Russian to have this many followers.
11. Ronda Rousey
She is a woman of strength and power, especially after how she has created a path for herself in an industry that’s dominated by men. In addition to this, she is the master of many talents, ranging from wrestling to judoka and mixed martial arts to acting. Currently, she is signed with WWE, where she plays for Raw.
In addition, she is the tag team champion of WWE. She has also won the Triple Crown Championship. Before becoming part of WWE, she was fighting under the UFC flag. In fact, while she was there, she became the first woman to win a bronze medal in judo in the Summer Olympics of the year 2008. As far as the UFC career is concerned, it began in 2011.
She was fighting with Strikeforce and became the last bantamweight championship before it was acquired by UFC. She has a record of six title defenses, but she was defeated by Valentina Shevchenko back in 2022. Her MMA career came to an end in 2016, and she was the first woman to become a part of the UFC Hall of Fame in 2018.
12. Matt Hughes
Matthew Allen Hughes is a retired MMA fighter with a wrestling background. He is considered one of the best fighters in MMA. He is a part of the UFC Hall of Fame and has won two welterweight championships. In addition, he is in the NJCAA Hall of Fame. During the UFC period, he had two winning streaks, and each streak had six wins.
He has also defended his belt seven times, which made him a candidate for the Hall of Fame. While he was fighting, he was the number one pound-for-pound champion. He has a twin brother who he used to play wrestling and football with. His UFC career started with UFC 22 in 1999, where he defeated Bulgarian Valeri.
He also came back to UFC 26, where he won against Marcelo Aguiar through TKO. During this match, he was throwing elbows, so Aguiar was cut down. As a result, the doctor ended the match. As far as the welterweight championship is concerned, he made a debut in UFC 34.
13. Tito Ortiz
He is a retired MMA fighter and has also tried his hands at politics. Ortiz gained popularity for his stints with UFC, where he was the light heavyweight champion. He held this title from 2000 to 2003. It wouldn’t be wrong to call him an early star. His popularity was the reason he was named the biggest PPC draw in 2006. This happened when he was fighting against Ken Shamrock, Liddell, and Forrest Griffin.
After retiring from MMA, he launched his own clothing and MMA equipment line, which is based in Huntington Beach. He became a part of the UFC Hall of Fame in 2012. He became a part of politics in 2020 when he became the mayor pro tempore. However, in September 2021, he made his boxing debut but lost in the first round.
Last but not least, he has been on the screen quite a few times. He was in Zombie Strippers as he played a cameo role. In addition, the Razor Freestyle Scooter game included him as a playable character, which only shows how popular he is.
14. Dan Henderson
He is a retired MMA fighter as well as an Olympic wrestler. He has been a part of middleweight championships in UFC. In addition, he was the last person to become the light heavyweight champion in Strikeforce. In addition, he was fighting in PRIDE Fighting Championships when he won the last middleweight and welterweight championships.
He became the first person to have two different titles in different weight classes in the MMA promotion. His last championship was UFC 204, where he was the oldest member. As far as the wrestling career is concerned, he started with freestyle wrestling, but all his accolades are in Greco-Roman wrestling.
However, he stopped focusing on his wrestling career when he couldn’t get into the Olympics 2000. That’s because he lost to Matt Lindland, which forced him to shift to an MMA career. His martial arts training started in 1997 when he joined hands with RAW. Lastly, he has opened a Team Quest Fitness Gym, which is his side career.
15. Wanderlei Silva
He is a former MMA fighter who has been a part of the PRIDE Fighting Championship as well as UFC. He has made the record for most knockouts, wins, and title defenses. In addition, he has the longest winning streak. Over the course of his PRIDE career, he won the middleweight championship as well as the middleweight grand prix.
Recently, he played for Bellator MMA in heavyweight as well as light heavyweight divisions. He has an extremely aggressive fighting style, which comes from street-brawling-filled experiences. In addition, he has experience in kickboxing and Muay Thai, which he started learning when he was only thirteen years old.
Back when he was a teenager, he got into the Brazilian army, where he became famous for his fighting skills. This fighting prowess helped him get a spot in the jiu-jitsu and vale tudo school. He played his first professional match in 1996. As far as UFC is concerned, he went into it in 1998. His fighting style is pretty feral, as he uses knee strikes and short hooks.
16. Bas Rutten
Known for his Dutch and American nationalities, he is a former MMA fighter, and he was always a great wrestler and kickboxer. He has been a King of Pancrase three times as well as a heavyweight champion in UFC. If you look at his fighting record, he has had a winning streak all along his career, which includes one draw and twenty-one wins.
Starting from 2007 till 2016, he co-hosted Inside MMA, which really showed his skills and attention to detail. As far as his fighting career is concerned, he depended a lot on liver shot, which includes kick as well as punch. In fact, he was the man to popularize this fighting technique in MMA. Ever since he retired in 1999, he has been capitalizing on his status.
For this reason, he has worked as a color commentator in different MMA institutions, such as PRIDE. In addition, he has been a part of multiple video games, shows, and movies. After retiring, he has also coached in MMA, and he has different instructional books under his name.
17. Frank Shamrock
He is an American MMA professional, and he was the first man to get his hands on the middleweight championship. He retired while defeating the undefeated people. While he was fighting in the middleweight championship, he became the number one pound-for-pound fighter. He has won multiple titles, such as King of Pancrase, Strikeforce’s Middleweight Championship, and WEC’s Light Heavyweight Championship.
Over the course of his career, he evolved his game too much. That’s because when he started, he had a ground-focused fighting style, but now, he has a more versatile and well-rounded style. Back in the 1990s, the Wrestling Observer called him the Fighter of the Decade. Also, many don’t know, but he has a 7th-degree black belt, particularly in submission fighting.
He has also been a commentator for Glory Kickboxing, Bellator MMA, Showtime Networks, and Combate Americas. Not to forget, he has been a spokesman for VAS, K-1 MMA, Strikeforce, and UFC.
18. Ken Shamrock
If you are wondering if Frank and Ken are brother, it’s true. He is a semi-retired mixed martial artist and a wrestler. He has been an integral part of UFC as well as other combat sports. Shamrock is a member of the UFC Hall of Fame because the world knows him as a sports pioneer. He has been a part of fifteen main events as a headliner.
According to ABC News, he is “The World’s Most Dangerous Man.” He gained popularity because of his rivalry with Royce Gracie. He became the first superfight champion at UFC, but his title was replaced with a heavyweight championship. When he won the King of Pancrase Openweight title, he became the first MMA champion to play and win in Japan.
His fighting style is explosive grappling because he has immense physical strength, power, speed, and agility. Many people say that he is so strong, it’s out of the world. That’s one of the reasons he started training in shoot wrestling. However, he went through neck and knee injuries, which made him change his fighting style to striking.
19. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson
He is an MMA fighter, professional wrestler, and an actor. Most recently, he has shown off his skills in Bellator MMA. He has won the light heavyweight championship at UFC as well as the middleweight championship belt at PRIDE. He has an aggressive fighting technique and an energetic personality, which made him an absolute star of his tenure.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that he played an important role in making MMA a recognized league around the globe. It’s not a much-known fact, but he started selling drugs when he was quite young, which is why he got into many street fights. In fact, that’s what pushed him to star wrestling in high school.
During high school, he became Jacob Noe’s friend, who taught him how to strike and learned wrestling techniques from him. He was going to become a professional wrestler, but he was expelled because of a growl with a team member. As a result, he started exploring his options and got into MMA.
20. Bibiano Fernandes
He is currently showing off his skills as a professional MMA fighter, but his game has already made him a legend. In addition to being an MMA fighter, he has a black belt in jiu-jitsu. He is currently fighting for ONE Championship and has won two bantamweight championships. He has around eleven wins on his collar and has held the title seven times.
Recently in March 2023, he was named the top third bantamweight champion. He has also won five jiu-jitsu championships, and he has been a part of three Pan American Championships. In fact, he has competed for King of the Cage and K-1 DREAM. While in K-1 DREAM, he won bantamweight as well as featherweight championships.
He started practicing BJJ when he was thirteen years old but couldn’t go for training because of the financial situation. However, his instructor hired him as a cleaner and trained him in return. As a result, he managed to get professional training.
The Rising Stars Leaving an Impression
It’s common for young people to join MMA in their teens or early twenties, but the real question is when do they hit their prime? Many people think that it happens in their late twenties, but many people consider it to be mid-thirties. Irrespective of when it happens, it’s evident that it’s hard to find the talent like MMA has. So, if you want to know which rising stars are on the right path to becoming legends for the next generation, we would like to share a few names!
1. Usman Nurmagomedov
He is a Russian MMA fighter who is currently fighting for Bellator MMA as a lightweight champion. Before becoming a part of MMA, he played in Eagle Fighting Championship and UAE Warriors. In fact, it seems like good combat skills run in the blood because he is the cousin of Khabib Nurmagomedov and brother of Umar Nurmagomedov.
In May 2023, he was named the top sixth pound-for-pound fighter. He started learning freestyle wrestling when he was eight years old. In addition, he later shifted to Thai boxing after his brother. He was trained by his uncle at the Eagles MMA camp, where he learned his sambo skills. His MMA career started in 2017, and in this short span, he has become a notable part.
He won his debut against Imran Abdiev and defeated him in the first round. After his debut, he won all ten fights, but he also leveraged submission or knockout in this time. Following this, he signed a contract with Bellator, which was a multi-flight contract.
2. Erin Blanchfield
She is an American MMA professional who has been competing in UFC’s flyweight division. She has also won the Eddie Bravo Invitational championship. In addition, she is the fourth flyweight champion in UFC. Also, she is the top eighth pound-for-pound fighter in UFC. When she was only seven years old, she started training in jiu-jitsu.
After two years of jiu-jitsu training, she started training in grappling tournaments and kickboxing. By the time she was twelve years old, she had made the decision to become a professional fighter. Before she was signed by the Invicta Fighting Championship, she had a record of 1-0 scores. This debut was in 2018, and she bagged the fight through a split decision.
As far as UFC is concerned, she fought her first fight in 2021 and won the match. Along with sports, she has studied Television & Digital Media with sports media as a major. That’s because after ending the fighting career, she wants to become a commentator.
3. Muhammad Mokaev
Known for his freestyle wrestling technique, he is also a MMA professional. He is currently fighting in the flyweight division of UFC, but before this, she was a part of the BCF. His exceptional skills have made him the top 11th flyweight champion. When he was living in Dagestan, he started freestyle wrestling and started competing when he got into the Manchester Wrestling Club back in 2013.
He has won the British championship two times as well as the English National champion. He has won the tournaments starting from 2014 to 2017. In addition, he was part of the European Championship in the year 2017. His amateur debut in MMA was in 2015, and he got four wins by the end of 201. However, in 2017, he became a flyweight champion while fighting for Tanko FC.
Ever since then, he didn’t lose a single fight for four years. He signed with UFC in 2021 and made his official debut in 2022. In fact, in his debut, he won in the first round by using the guillotine choke technique. This move earned him the Performance of the Night award.
4. Michael Morales
He is an Ecuadorian MMA fighter who has been competing in the welterweight division ever since he became part of UFC. Morales is known for his boxing even though he has Greco-Roman wrestling smattering. He was born back in 1999 and had been practicing judoka since he was only five years old. Not many people, but his mother was the coach.
When he was ten years old, he started training in wrestling, where he won various junior tournaments. Also, when he turned fourteen, he started practicing mixed martial arts in Machala. While he was training for MMA, he was also working at the naval boat factory, where he started participating in fights. He signed the contract with UWC in 2021 and defeated Miguel Arizmendi right after a month.
As far as the UFC is concerned, he joined in 2022 when he was 22 years old. He debuted at UFC 270 event, where he defeated Trevin Giles. In addition, he has been a part of UFC 77, where he won against Adan Fugitt.
5. Maycee Barber
Another woman who is trying to change the course of UFC and how women look at combat sports. She is an American MMA professional and is fighting with UFC in the flyweight division. Back in April 2023, UFC made her top eleventh flyweight champion in the women’s league. She belongs to Colorado and started training in martial arts when she was quite young.
According to her parents, they took her everywhere because she wanted to be a professional fighter. The lesser-known fact is that Maycee is in the sports industry with her brother, who is fighting with Bellator. She made her debut in 2017 and won in the first round against Itzel Esquivel. In addition, she has won against Mallory Martin, Kaila Thomson, and Audrey Perkins. All these women are the champions of their fields, but Maycee won.
She played against Jamie Colleen in 2018, which earned her the UFC contract. After this, she made her debut in 2018 and won the fight in the second round when fighting against Hannah Cifers. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that her entire career has only two lost matches out of 14, which is a great percentage!
6. Christian Lee
Competing in welterweight, featherweight, and lightweight divisions in ONE Championship, Christian Lee is a man of many talents. He is the current welterweight champion as well as the two-time lightweight champion. If you are wondering if he is holding both titles simultaneously, it’s true. He has a record of seventeen wins, sixteen finishes, and twelve knockouts.
Lee has also participated in ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix. He was the first man to defeat Shinya Aoki. In fact, his sister, Angela, plays in ONE Championship and has the atomweight championship, which earned them the title of the first brother & sister pair to hold titles at once. In fact, his younger sister was also an MMA professional, but she passed away when she was only 18.
It’s safe to say that martial arts run in their blood because both his parents were decorated martial artists. In fact, this was the reason he started training from a young age. He is still training under ONE in Hawaii and other cities.
7. Tatsuro Taira
As the name shows, he is a Japanese professional in the UFC, and he plays in the lightweight division. In fact, he is the top-ranked MMA player in Japan. This is because he has an MMA record of 13-0-0, which means he has thirteen wins under his belt. In addition, there are no draws and losses. The current winning streak is 22, which means he hasn’t lost a single fight in the 22 events.
His most recent fight was in February 2023, and he aced it again. Of all his wins, eight are first-round wins, while seven are submission wins, and three are through knockout. Currently, he is fighting from Japan and has a reach of 70, which no other artist has achieved at this young age. So, his career is just starting, but his winning streak shows the potential that he has.
8. Khasan Magomedsharipov
He is a Russian MMA professional and has been fighting in the featherweight division of the Bellator. In addition to UFC, he has been a part of ABC in the same division. Born in Dagestan, he has been fighting in the UFC for years now. His current record is 8-0-0, which means he has no losses and draws on his record.
His current streak is nine wins. As far as the fighting matches are concerned, his last fight was in February 2023, so it seems like he might be training for the next fight right now. He is the younger brother of Zabit Magomedsharipov. As far as his fighting style is concerned, it’s sanda, and he trains under Mark Henry.
We have already mentioned eight wins that he has, and three of them are by decision, three are from submission, and three are from the knockout. He became a part of the MMA industry in 2019 and has been active ever since. Also, he is in Bellator right now, but everyone wants to see him in UFC.
9. Cory McKenna
She is an English MMA professional who is signed with UFC in the strawweight division. Before becoming part of UFC, she was also fighting for Cage Warriors. She spent her childhood in Colchester because her father was in the army. In fact, his mother was an MMA and had a record of 1-2.
Her karate training started when she was ten years old, and she also learned the advanced skills of BJJ, boxing, and Muay Thai. As far as mixed martial arts are concerned, her training started when she was thirteen years old. After two years, she became an athlete and would coach other people to fund her participation in different fights.
As an amateur fighter, she had a record of 7-0 and won titles in featherweight and strawweight. Her professional debut was with Cage Warriors in 2018, and became a part of the UFC in 2020. Her first UFC match was with Kay Hansen, and she won through a unanimous decision.
10. Yazmin Jauregui
It’s so empowering to see women becoming a part of combat sports, and Yazmin is the epitome of how women should establish a career. To date, her MMA record in 10-0-0, which includes ten wins and zero draws or losses. Six of these wins are from knockout, while the others are from first rounds.
However, many people think that she has to increase her striking accuracy because it’s only 41%. To illustrate, she has attempted 372 strikes and landed only 153 of them. This is essential if she wants to leave a mark. Over the course of her short career, she has won matches against Claire Lopez, Stephanie Frausto, and Isamin Lucindo.
She started fighting mixed martial arts in 2018 and hasn’t lost once. Also, she was nineteen years old when she made her debut, so it’s clear that her teenage years were all about training for the MMA championships.
He is a Chinese MMA professional who is fighting in the lightweight division. He is currently living in Xinjiang, China. If you are concerned about his record, it’s 9-3-0, which means he has lost three matches and won nine. During this time, he won two matches in the first round while the others were through knockout.
His last fight was on May 2023, so it’s likely that he will appear in a fight by the end of 2023. He is affiliated with Enbo Flight Club, but his striking accuracy needs to improve because it’s only 27% for now. In simpler words, he has potential, but there is a long way to go.
12. Raul Rosas Jr.
He is only seventeen years old right, and he is already making waves in the MMA world. Originating from Santa Rosa, he made his debut back in 2021, and fans have been in awe ever since. He signed the contract with UFC in 2022, which makes him the youngest UFC and MMA professional. He got this contract when he beat Mando Gutierrez during Series 55.
In addition to practicing mixed martial arts, he has been studying on the side, but his degree hasn’t been disclosed. As far as the record is concerned, it’s 7-1-0, which means he has only lost one fight during his career up till now.
13. Chase Hooper
He is an American MMA professional and is fighting in the lightweight division of the UFC. He started fighting as an amateur MMA fighter while he was still in high school. During this time, he had a record of 5-0, which means he had four stoppage wins. As far as his professional debut is concerned, it was in 2017 when he fought a match against Edson Penado.
He won the debut match by using the rear-naked choke submission in the first round. That’s because he has also trained in BJJ and won the blue belt. His promotional debut in the UFC was against Daniel Teymur, and he won with a technical knockout.
14. Nick Maximov
He is an American-Russian MMA professional who has been fighting in the middleweight division and is fighting under the banner of UFC. He started training at the age of 11, and he started with taekwondo and karate. However, later, he started training in jiu-jitsu. He used to wrestle when he was in high school and had quite a successful career.
His wrestling career in high school has 137 wins, but the losses were 37, so it’s great for a guy his age. He kept wrestling until college and changed his path. He made his professional MMA debut by defeating Nick Piecuch at the KOTC Terminal Velocity. However, he signed with the UFC in 2021 but made his debut in 2022 because the first fight in 2021 was cancelled due to medical issues with the opponent.
15. Rong Zhu
He is a Chinese MMA professional who has been pfightingin the lightweight division of the UFC. He started trying his hands on Sanda when he was only twelve years old. After training for three years, he still couldn’t achieve exceptional results. That’s when he decided to change paths and opted for MMA when he saw someone fighting on television.
He was introduced to MMA by his uncle and started training at the Enbo Fight Club. Zhu was not only training there but worked as an assistant as well. He started fighting professionally at the age of sixteen and made the 17-3 record, which helped him get a promotion at WLF. At WLF, he won the lightweight championship and actually defended it three times.
As far as UFC is concerned, he made his debut in 2021 but lost the fight due to a unanimous decision. After fighting and bagging a few wins, he was still released by the UFC back in 2022. After this, he appeared in UAE Warriors 34.
16. Lucas Brennan
He is an American MMA professional as well as a jiu-jitsu practitioner. Brennan has won the BJJ championships five times as well as the world championship two times. He is currently fighting under the flag of Bellator MMA. Back in May 2023, he was named the top-tenth featherweight champion by the Bellator.
He started training in BJJ back in 2011. Since he is the son of Chris Brennan, his training started pretty easily. Lucas was studying at the College of Visual Arts & Design, but he gave up his career to focus on his MMA career. That’s when he signed the contract with Bellator at the age of nineteen, and in July 2019. He actually won the debut match against Thomas Lopez by leveraging the choke submission technique.
17. Kay Hansen
She is another American making her mark in the MMA world. She is currently fighting in the strawweight division and is signed with Invicta Fighting Championship. Before this, she was fighting through UFC. In childhood, she used to play softball, but she shifted to MMA when she saw Ronda Rousey bag a win against Bethe Correla.
Kay Hansen got her training from Erik Paulson and started competing in the Pankration Youth Fights, where she made a record of 4-0. Two of these wins were armbars, one was a unanimous decision, and one was Americana. Her amateur debut was in 2017, and she won the match against Cecilia Padilla.
18. Christian Rodriguez
Informally known as CeeRod, he is a 24-year-old bantamweight champion who has been turning heads with his performance. He has a reach of 180cm, making him a great asset to whichever team he plays for. He is currently signed with UFC and has a record of 9-1-0. This means that he has nine wins and one loss, which is a pretty satisfactory performance.
However, his current winning streak is two wins, but his performance is exceptional, so it will improve in the future. In addition, he is fighting out of Wisconsin right now, and his last match was in April 2023. As far as the affiliation is concerned, he is training at Roufusport MMA Academy.
19. Brady Hiestand
He is a professional MMA fighter, and his fans are used to calling him Bam-Bam. Hiestand is based in Washington and has been fighting from there all his career. He has an MMA record of 7-2-0, which means he has two losses and seven wins on his collar. His current winning streak is two, and the experts have good hopes for him.
He played the last match for UFC in April 2023, so it’s any day now that we will be able to see his magic in the ring. If you are concerned about the affiliation, it’s with Sikjitsu. He is fighting in the bantamweight division, and his rank is 52nd .
20. Aviv Gozali
Known as The King, Aviv Gozali is a professional MMA fighter. He belongs to Bat Yam, Israel, and currently, he is the 299th lightweight MMA fighter. He played seven matches up till now and has six wins, and all of them were due to submissions, which shows how much strength this guy has. In addition, he has one loss, but that’s pretty fine.
21. Simeon Powell
His fans call him Smooth, and he has been showing the true colors of athleticism. He has been a part of the light heavyweight division, and he is truly the master of his field, with an MMA record of 8-0-0. He has eight wins, and the winning streak is 14, making him a professional. In fact, the winning streak shows how consistent his performance is.
He has won four fights through KO, three from submission and one from the decision of the jury. Jones had his last fight in March 2023 in PFL. He has been affiliated with the Great Britain Top Team, so it’s clear that his training has been good. He is actually based in Dublin and has been fighting from there.
22. Iasmin Lucindo
We would like to close the list with another shining woman of the MMA world. Based in Brazil, she has been fighting under UFC’s label, and her last match was in April 2023. She has been affiliated with Academia Fight House, and her intense training has helped her achieve the record of 14-5-0. This is a great average, as she has played 14 matches with five losses.
Her wins include four decisions, two submissions, and eight KOs. As far as the division is concerned, she plays in the flyweight division.
The Bottom Line
In the dynamic world of Mixed Martial Arts, legends and rising stars coexist, creating a captivating narrative that continues to shape the sport’s history. The MMA landscape is a testament to the enduring legacies of iconic fighters who’ve paved the way for the next generation, while the rising stars, armed with talent, dedication, and boundless ambition, embark on their own journeys to greatness. As we celebrate the heroes of the past and embrace the promise of the future, we bear witness to the ever-evolving nature of MMA, a sport that thrives on the fusion of tradition and innovation. These legends and rising stars remind us that in the Octagon, as in life, the journey is as compelling as the destination, and the story of MMA is far from its final chapter.