best athletes The Best Martial Artists in History  

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List Rules Only Martial Arts stars, MMA is fine. No boxers nor fictional characters.

The best martial artists in history are some of the most successful, most famous and toughest fighters to ever compete. These tough guys are UFC champions, movie stars and icons in the fighting world. Whether you're a fan of the Chinese greats like Bruce Lee, the MMA front-runners like Chuck Liddell or anywhere in between, it's hard to argue that all of these men are highly skilled in their various disciplines.

Martial arts is one of the widest classifications for combat sports out there. Typically, martial arts describes fighting styles originating in Asia but can describe everything from activities containing strike attacks like tae kwon do, karate, kung fu ad capoeira to grappling activities like judo, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and even sumo wrestling. It is perhaps the wide range of disciplines that makes mastering martial arts so difficult.

Action movie fans may enjoy seeing stars like Jackie Chan and Jet Li compete on the silver screen but some may not know that before these talented men were Hollywood favorites, they were leaders in the Chinese martial arts world. Bruce Lee is arguably one of the best martial artists ever and helped the sport gain popularity. In part, Lee opened the door for tough guys, such as Jean-Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris, to become some on-screen martial arts legends.

But there's much more to martial arts than what you see in movies. In modern times, the UFC, or Ultimate Fighting Championship, is the largest mixed martial arts (MMA) company in the world and is home to some of the best MMA fighters to ever compete. UFC Hall of Fame members such as Randy Couture, Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrocks have inspired younger fighters like Anderson Silva, Georges St. Pierre and Fedor Emelianenko to become some of the toughest professional fighters ever.

Is it fair to compare some of the greatest fighters like Bruce Lee to Anderson Silva without having the two men compete head to head? Maybe not but that's where you come in, folks. Tell us which fighters you think are the best in history by voting for your favorite, adding those not listed and re-ranking this list your way below!
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Vitor Belfort is listed (or ranked) 51 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Vitor Belfort age 40

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Andi Hug is listed (or ranked) 52 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History

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Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira is listed (or ranked) 53 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History

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Dan Inosanto is listed (or ranked) 54 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Dan Inosanto age 79

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Frank Dux is listed (or ranked) 55 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Frank Dux age 59

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Ed Parker is listed (or ranked) 56 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Ed Parker Died at 59 (1931-1990)

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Frank Mir is listed (or ranked) 57 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Frank Mir age 38

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Dan Henderson is listed (or ranked) 58 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Dan Henderson age 45

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Tito Ortiz is listed (or ranked) 59 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Tito Ortiz age 40

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Miyamoto Musashi is listed (or ranked) 60 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History

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Frankie Edgar is listed (or ranked) 61 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Frankie Edgar age 36

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Mark Coleman is listed (or ranked) 62 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Mark Coleman age 51

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Sugar Ray Leonard is listed (or ranked) 63 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History

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Dan Severn is listed (or ranked) 64 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Dan Severn age 59

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Quinton Jackson is listed (or ranked) 65 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History

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Joe Louis is listed (or ranked) 66 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Joe Louis Died at 67 (1914-1981)

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Benson Henderson is listed (or ranked) 67 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History

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Shinya Aoki is listed (or ranked) 68 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Shinya Aoki age 32

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Yue Fei is listed (or ranked) 69 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Yue Fei Died at 39 (1103-1142)

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Gordon Liu is listed (or ranked) 70 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Gordon Liu

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Pat Miletich is listed (or ranked) 71 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Pat Miletich age 49

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Chen Shixing is listed (or ranked) 72 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Chen Shixing

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Wong Fei Hung is listed (or ranked) 73 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Wong Fei Hung

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Zhang Sanfeng is listed (or ranked) 74 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Zhang Sanfeng

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Wang Lang is listed (or ranked) 75 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History

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Ti Lung is listed (or ranked) 76 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Ti Lung

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Benny Urquidez

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Joe Rogan is listed (or ranked) 78 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Joe Rogan August 11, 1967 (49)

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Wesley Snipes is listed (or ranked) 79 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Wesley Snipes

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Oscar de la Hoya is listed (or ranked) 80 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History

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Sun Lutang(Xing Yi quan & ... is listed (or ranked) 81 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Sun Lutang(Xing Yi quan & Ba gua zhang & Sun Tai Chi)(孙禄堂)

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Alistair Overeem is listed (or ranked) 82 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History

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Wang Ziping(Tan Tui, Cha quan,... is listed (or ranked) 83 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Wang Ziping(Tan Tui, Cha quan,Tai Chi)(王子平)

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Wu Jing(吴京) is listed (or ranked) 84 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Wu Jing(吴京)

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Yue Fei(岳飞) is listed (or ranked) 85 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Yue Fei(岳飞)

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Pan Xiaojie(xing Yi Quan)(潘小杰) is listed (or ranked) 86 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Pan Xiaojie(xing Yi Quan)(潘小杰)

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Conor Mcgregor is listed (or ranked) 87 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Conor Mcgregor

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Liang Yiquan(shaolin)(梁以全) is listed (or ranked) 88 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Liang Yiquan(shaolin)(梁以全)

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Dong Haichuan(Ba Gua zhang)(董海... is listed (or ranked) 89 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Dong Haichuan(Ba Gua zhang)(董海川)

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herb perez is listed (or ranked) 90 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History

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Zhao Wenzhuo(赵文卓) is listed (or ranked) 91 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Zhao Wenzhuo(赵文卓)

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Huo Diange(Ba Ji Quan)(霍殿阁) is listed (or ranked) 92 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Huo Diange(Ba Ji Quan)(霍殿阁)

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Shi Yanlu(Shao Lin)(释延鲁) is listed (or ranked) 93 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Shi Yanlu(Shao Lin)(释延鲁)

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Zhang Sanfeng(wu dang)(张三丰) is listed (or ranked) 94 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Zhang Sanfeng(wu dang)(张三丰)

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Guo Yunshen(Xing Yi Quan)(郭云深) is listed (or ranked) 95 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Guo Yunshen(Xing Yi Quan)(郭云深)

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Chen Wangting(Chen Tai Chi)(陈王... is listed (or ranked) 96 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Chen Wangting(Chen Tai Chi)(陈王廷)

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Huo Yuanjia is listed (or ranked) 97 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Huo Yuanjia

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Wu Zhong(Ba Ji Quan)(吴钟) is listed (or ranked) 98 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Wu Zhong(Ba Ji Quan)(吴钟)

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Shi Yaozu(xin Yi Liu He Quan)(... is listed (or ranked) 99 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Shi Yaozu(xin Yi Liu He Quan)(石耀祖)

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Zhang Yunlong(xin Yi Liu He Qu... is listed (or ranked) 100 on the list The Best Martial Artists in History
Zhang Yunlong(xin Yi Liu He Quan)(张云龙)