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The Greatest MMA Legends of All Time 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated September 27, 2019 108k votes 10.3k voters 182.7k views 147 items

List Rules Please vote for these MMA legends based only on their time in the ring

The greatest MMA legends of all time are all here on this list. Some of the best MMA fighters have come up from nothing more than street scrappers to become the best fighters in the world. With intense training and tremendous mental and physical focus, these famous men have earned the title of greatest MMA legend.

Some of the men on the list of the top MMA legends are new to the sport and have come up through the UFC organization, while others can be considered MMA pioneers. Some, like Chuck Liddell, have become pop culture icons and UFC legends while a fighter like Royce Gracie is considered to be one the toughest MMA fighters to have entered the octagon. All these factors- the toughest MMA fighter, the best grappler in the MMA, the best conditioned MMA fighter- come together to determine what makes the best MMA fighter and who can truly be called the greatest MMA legend of all time.

Who are the greatest MMA fighters of all time? Who are the top MMA legends? What MMA fighter is the best of all time? These are the questions we seek to answer with this votable list of the greatest MMA legends ever, ranked by MMA & UFC fans like you. If your favorite MMA fighter isn't on the list, make sure to add him so he can do battle with other MMA athletes as they slug it out for the top spot and title of best MMA fighter ever.

For fighters who stuck to UFC, head over and check out the best retired UFC fighters and the oldest fighters in UFC right now.

list ordered by
1
Georges St-Pierre is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest MMA Legends of All Time

Birthplace: Saint-Isidore, Montérégie, Quebec, Canada

Nationality: Canada

Georges St-Pierre (French pronunciation: ​[ʒɔʁʒ sɛ̃ pjɛʁ]; born May 19, 1981) is a retired Canadian professional mixed martial artist. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest fighters in ...more

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#219 of 258 The Best Marvel Movie Actors Ever #991 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #19 of 133 The Best Joe Rogan Podcast Guests

2
Fedor Emelianenko is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest MMA Legends of All Time

Birthplace: Rubizhne, Ukraine

Nationality: Russia

Fedor Vladimirovich Emelianenko (Russian: Фёдор Влади́мирович Емелья́ненко, tr. Fyodor Vladimirovich Yemelyanenko, IPA: [ˈfʲɵdər vɫɐˈdʲimʲɪrəvʲɪtɕ jɪmʲɪˈlʲjænʲɪnkə]; born 28 September ...more

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#191 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #22 of 147 The Best Martial Artists in History #5 of 199 The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

3
Anderson Silva is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest MMA Legends of All Time

Birthplace: São Paulo, Brazil

Nationality: Brazil

Anderson da Silva (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈɐ̃deʁsõ ˈsiwvɐ]; born April 14, 1975) is a Brazilian-American professonal mixed martial artist currently signed with the Ultimate Fighting ...more

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#1,695 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #3 of 45 The Best Kickboxers In UFC History #55 of 240 The All-Time Greatest Martial Arts Actors

4
Demetrious Johnson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest MMA Legends of All Time
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Birthplace: Madisonville, Kentucky, USA

Demetrious Johnson (born July 21, 1961) is a former professional American football player. Johnson is a native St. Louisan who grew up in the Darst-Webbe Housing Project. He was the youngest of ...more

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#96 of 133 The Best Joe Rogan Podcast Guests #12 of 29 The Best Athletes On Joe Rogan #5 of 41 The Best Black Fighters In UFC History

5
Chuck Liddell is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest MMA Legends of All Time

Birthplace: Santa Barbara, California, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

Charles David "Chuck" Liddell (born December 17, 1969) is an American mixed martial artist and former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. He has an extensive striking background in Kempo, ...more

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#2,150 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #18 of 45 The Best Kickboxers In UFC Historylisted on Athletes You Didn't Know Were Conservative

6
Matt Hughes is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest MMA Legends of All Time

Birthplace: Hillsboro, Illinois, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

Matthew Allen Hughes (born October 13, 1973) is an American retired mixed martial artist with a background in wrestling. Widely considered among the greatest fighters in the history of MMA, he ...more

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#3 of 43 The Best UFC Fighters Who Walked Away From The Octagon #53 of 147 The Best Martial Artists in Historylisted on Twins in Sports

7
Randy Couture is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest MMA Legends of All Time

Birthplace: Everett, Washington, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

Randall Duane Couture (; born June 22, 1963) is an American actor, former U.S. Army sergeant, retired mixed martial artist and former collegiate and Greco-Roman wrestler. During his tenures in ...more

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#1,872 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #48 of 240 The All-Time Greatest Martial Arts Actors #5 of 43 The Best UFC Fighters Who Walked Away From The Octagon

8
Jon Jones is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest MMA Legends of All Time

Birthplace: Rochester, New York, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

Jonathan Dwight Jones (born July 19, 1987) is an American professional mixed martial artist who is signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Widely regarded as one of the greatest ...more

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Joe Rogan On Jon Jones And Why No One Can Beat Him #2,001 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #62 of 133 The Best Joe Rogan Podcast Guests

9
Khabib Nurmagomedov is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest MMA Legends of All Time

Birthplace: Makhachkala, Russia

Khabib Abdulmanapovich Nurmagomedov is an Avar-Russian mixed martial artist. He is a multiple Combat Sambo World Champion and a Judo black belt who is currently fighting in the lightweight ...more

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#687 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #1 of 52 The Best UFC Fighters In The Octagon Today #86 of 108 Celebrities Who Deserve Their Own Postage Stamp

10
Daniel Cormier is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest MMA Legends of All Time
FrankMades added

Birthplace: Lafayette, Louisiana, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

Daniel Ryan Cormier (born March 20, 1979) is an American mixed martial artist and former Olympic wrestler currently signed to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), where he is a former ...more

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#68 of 147 The Best Martial Artists in History #3 of 41 The Best Black Fighters In UFC History #2 of 30 The Best MMA Fighters from United States

11
José Aldo is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest MMA Legends of All Time

Birthplace: Manaus, Brazil

Nationality: Brazilian

José Aldo da Silva Oliveira Júnior (Portuguese pronunciation: [ʒoˈzɛ ˈawdu]; born September 9, 1986) is a Brazilian mixed martial artist who competes in the Ultimate Fighting ...more

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#9 of 45 The Best Kickboxers In UFC History #2 of 25 The Best MMA Fighters from Brazil #21 of 52 The Best UFC Fighters In The Octagon Today

12
Royce Gracie is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest MMA Legends of All Time

Birthplace: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Nationality: Brazil

Royce Gracie (Portuguese: [ˈʁɔjsi ˈɡɾejsi]; born December 12, 1966) is a Brazilian semi-retired professional mixed martial artist, a UFC Hall of Famer, and a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. A ...more

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#12 of 43 The Best UFC Fighters Who Walked Away From The Octagon #11 of 147 The Best Martial Artists in History #37 of 199 The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

13
Stipe Miocic is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest MMA Legends of All Time
Eric Scott Killough added

Birthplace: Willowick, Ohio

Stipe Miocic (; born August 19, 1982) is a Croatian American professional mixed martial artist and Firefighter-Paramedic. He is currently signed to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), where he ...more
14
Bas Rutten is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest MMA Legends of All Time

Birthplace: Tilburg, Kingdom of the Netherlands

Nationality: Netherlands, United States of America

Sebastian "Bas" Rutten (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈbɑs ˈrɵtə(n)]; born 24 February 1965) is a Dutch actor and retired mixed martial artist, kickboxer, and professional wrestler. He was a ...more

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#34 of 133 The Best Joe Rogan Podcast Guests #2 of 45 The Best Kickboxers In UFC History #7 of 43 The Best UFC Fighters Who Walked Away From The Octagon

15
Dan Henderson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest MMA Legends of All Time

Birthplace: Downey, California, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

Daniel Jeffery Henderson (born August 24, 1970) is an American former mixed martial artist and Olympic wrestler, who last competed as a middleweight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He was ...more

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#6 of 43 The Best UFC Fighters Who Walked Away From The Octagon #95 of 147 The Best Martial Artists in History #15 of 199 The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

16
B.J. Penn is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest MMA Legends of All Time

Birthplace: Kailua, Hawaii, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

Jay Dee "B.J." Penn III (born December 13, 1978) is an American professional mixed martial artist and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. Penn debuted and competed in the Ultimate ...more

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#43 of 147 The Best Martial Artists in History #41 of 199 The Toughest Professional Fighters in History #14 of 30 The Best MMA Fighters from United States

17
Mirko Filipović is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest MMA Legends of All Time

Birthplace: Vinkovci, Croatia

Nationality: Yugoslavia, Croatia

Mirko Filipović (Croatian pronunciation: [mîrko fǐːlipɔːʋitɕ]; born 10 September 1974), known by the nickname Cro Cop, is a retired Croatian professional mixed martial artist, kickboxer ...more

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#1,964 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #1 of 45 The Best Kickboxers In UFC History #10 of 25 The Best Southpaw Fighters In The UFC

18
Conor McGregor is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest MMA Legends of All Time
geyyy added

Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland

Nationality: Irish

Team: SBG Ireland

Conor Anthony McGregor (born July 14, 1988) is an Irish former professional mixed martial artist and boxer. He is the former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight and lightweight ...more
19
Lyoto Machida is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest MMA Legends of All Time
DanielRichman added

Birthplace: Salvador, Brazil

Nationality: Brazil, Japan

Lyoto Carvalho Machida (町田龍太, Machida Ryōto, Portuguese pronunciation: [liˈotu maˈʃidɐ]) (born 30 May 1978) is a Brazilian professional mixed martial artist, currently signed with Bellator MMA, ...more
20
Cain Velasquez is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest MMA Legends of All Time

Birthplace: Salinas, California, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

Cain Velasquez (born July 28, 1982) is an American professional mixed martial artist currently signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), and professional wrestler currently signed ...more

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#60 of 147 The Best Martial Artists in History #22 of 199 The Toughest Professional Fighters in History #10 of 30 The Best MMA Fighters from United States

21
Wanderlei Silva is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest MMA Legends of All Time

Birthplace: Curitiba, Brazil

Nationality: Brazil

Wanderlei César da Silva ( VAN-dər-lay; Portuguese: [vɐ̃dɛɾˈlej ˈsɛzɐr dɐ ˈsiɫvɐ]; Japanese: [ban.da.ɾeː ɕi.ɯ.ba]; born 3 July 1976), nicknamed "The Axe Murderer" and ...more

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#672 of 2,181 The Best Athletes Of All Time #92 of 147 The Best Martial Artists in History #21 of 199 The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

22
Robbie Lawler is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest MMA Legends of All Time

Birthplace: San Diego, California, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

Robert Glenn "Robbie" Lawler (born March 20, 1982) is an American professional mixed martial artist who has been competing since 2001. He is the former UFC Welterweight Champion. ...more

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#8 of 25 The Best Southpaw Fighters In The UFC #82 of 199 The Toughest Professional Fighters in History #9 of 30 The Best MMA Fighters from United States

23
Nick Diaz is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest MMA Legends of All Time

Birthplace: Stockton, California

Nationality: USA

Nickolas Robert "Nick" Diaz (born August 2, 1983) is a Mexican-American mixed martial artist and promoter, currently signed to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), currently on ...more

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#3 of 25 The Best Southpaw Fighters In The UFC #7 of 25 The Best Karate Fighters In UFC History #11 of 47 The Best Jiujitsu Fighters In UFC History

24
Quinton Jackson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest MMA Legends of All Time

Birthplace: Tennessee, USA, Memphis

Nationality: United States of America

Quinton Ramone Jackson (born June 20, 1978) is an American mixed martial artist, actor and former professional wrestler who is currently signed with Bellator MMA. He is a former UFC Light ...more

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#11 of 43 The Best UFC Fighters Who Walked Away From The Octagon #82 of 117 The Funniest Professional Athletes #109 of 147 The Best Martial Artists in History

25
Vitor Belfort is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest MMA Legends of All Time
DanielRichman added

Birthplace: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Nationality: Brazil

Vítor Vieira Belfort (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈvitoʁ viˈejɾɐ bɛwˈfɔʁ]; born 1 April 1977) is an American-Brazilian mixed martial artist, currently signed to ONE Championship. Belfort ...more