Mixed Martial Arts is a fast-growing sport with many fighters making it through the ranks. The fun sport is not for everyone, and due to its cage fighting setting, it is sometimes labeled as a brutal blood sport. Previously referred to as Vale Tudo, MMA incorporates many locks, strikes, grappling, and technical fighting.
The term Mixed Martial Arts was first mentioned in UFC1 in 1993. After that, MMA has morphed into a multi-million dollar business, with many global punters heading to the top 50 online casinos to place their bets before fight night. Today we talk about the greatest MMA of all times, the one who left a mark, a legacy, and of course, was the source of our MMA wagers.
When people mention Khabib Nurmagomedov’s name, there is only one word that comes to our mind: GOAT. The Russian mixed martial arts athlete was a pillar in the lightweight division of the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Club). He holds one of the best records at 29-0 and the longest reigning lightweight Champion reign from April 2018 to March 2021 until he retired from the sport.
Throughout his MMA career, Khabib remained undefeated, and many refer to him as the athlete with the most strategic moves, composure, and continuity in his fighting stance. Before joining and dominating the UFC, he was a 2-time Combat Sambo World Champion, having fought using Wrestling, Sambo, and Judo.
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Albeit a much-discussed showdown with Connor McGregor, after being taunted, shamed, and also assaulted by The Notorious himself, Khabib kept his cool before the fight. Following his win over McGregor via submission of the latter, Khabib jumped the octagon and threw blows to McGregor’s camp. Although hell broke loose, he is still remembered as one of the biggest names in the UFC’s men’s lightweight division and also ranked No. 1 in the men’s UFC pound-for-pound rankings.
You cannot mention MMA combat sports without mentioning Irishman Connor McGregor. Way back in 2013, UFC Prez Dana White visited Ireland on an official visit, and all the town could talk about was Connon McGregor, the Irish lad who was a kickboxing mastermind. Traveling back to Vegas, White quickly invited the athlete for a chat, with the latter signing on the dotted line and joining the UFC family in no time.
His debut against Marcus Brimage happened on April 6th, 2013, when he stunned the latter with a first-round TKO in just 67 seconds. McGregor had arrived, and he was ready to take over the UFC. In total, he fought 28 bouts, winning 22 and losing 6, with the most talked about fight being the Hellfest unleashed after the Khabib fight. This was not the first time the Notorious Irish made headlines for the wrong reasons: assaults, bar fights, and foul language, yet brilliance in the Octagon. Connor McGregor is all about this, and you either love him or hate him, just like Marmite.
Following a foot injury, McGregor is currently on hiatus, but fans, including all of us, eagerly await his return to the UFC. Nobody’s spirit shines brighter than McGregor.
George St. Pierre
We talked about McGregor and Khabib being two pillars of the UFC. These two fighters only left the ring last year; hence they are relatively recent fighters. Let’s refer to him as one of the best fighters in UFC history.
The Greatest of All Time, St. Pierre, has faced many big names in the UFC, including Nick Diaz, Carlos Condit, BJ Penn, and Matt Hughes. St. Pierre achieved a great record, skimming through championship bouts and making it to the UFC’s very top ranks of the welterweight division. Before leaving the sport and embracing retirement, St Pierre held a record of 28 UFC fights, winning 26 of which and losing only 2.
The Canadian fighter is also a 2 division champion and has achieved titles in 2 divisions, both welterweight and middleweight, making St Pierre one of the biggest MMA champions of all time.
When we talk about MMA fighters, not all of them reach the ranks of UFC for various reasons. Russian MMA fighter Fedor Emelianenko is one of their fighters, who dominated the MMA scene but never fought at Dana White’s UFC.
As a heavyweight fighter, Fedor excelled in the mixed martial arts disciplines of judo, samba, and boxing. After joining the ranks of Rizin Fighting Federation and also Bellator MMA, he remained undefeated for 28 consecutive fights.
The most notable include the MMA Pride Fighting Championship, FIAS World Combat Sambo Championship, and Russian Judo Federation Championships. An MMA legend and mastermind, Fedor Emelianenko was known as “The Last Emperor”.
We cannot write an MMA write-up and not mention the current reigning champion Israel Adesanya. The Nigerian and New Zealand native is one of the few fighters entering the ring, and you cannot take your eyes off him. First of all, before entering the octagon, Adesanya mimics the marking of his territory like animals do, a clear message to his opponents that UFC is his place and intends to keep it that way.
Adesanya is relatively new to the UFC scene, having signed with White’s UFC in December 2017 and made his debut in 2018. During his current UFC tenure, he holds an excellent track record, winning 23 fights and losing only 1. He was the Glory Middleweight Champion and is currently the undisputed UFC Middleweight Champion.
If you ask any combat sports and MMA enthusiasts why Israel Adesanya is one of the best MMA fighters of all time, you will be told that he is one of the best current strikes in the business and the sport.
When we talk about MMA, it is important to talk about the future of sports and the future possibility it holds. Fighters in many combat disciplines come and go with the best, staying on and defending their titles.
Every weekend, you can head to the best UFC betting sites and find your favorite fighter to bet on. Unfortunately, of the fighters we mentioned above, only Adesanya is currently active, and betting on him is a safe bet.
Ready, steady, fight!
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and kickboxer.
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