There are plenty of UFC fighters who have made an impact in the sport and deserve recognition for their efforts. Some of the greatest names to emerge from the sport include BJ Penn, Randy Couture, Junior dos Santos, Frankie Edgar, and Georges St-Pierre. However, which is the best?
There’s no doubt that Jose Aldo is the best featherweight fighter in mixed martial arts history. He’s been an undefeated champion, a world champion, and is a top contender for the Hall of Fame. Yet, Aldo’s career isn’t perfect.
The first time he lost, in November 2005, was a blow to his psyche. Fortunately, he’s bounced back strongly. Since then, Aldo has been on an impressive streak. He’s won over a who’s who of the featherweight division, including Urijah Faber, Alexandre Nogueira, and Frankie Edgar.
His fight with Anthony Pettis, though, was canceled due to a knee injury. In his next bout, Aldo had the benefit of a rematch with former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. This fight was a strange moment for both men.
When he finally defeated Edgar, Aldo’s reign as 145lb champion was shorter than his previous run. It was also the last time that he’d hold a title in the UFC.
But despite this setback, Aldo went on to win 19 straight fights. After his second run, he dubbed himself “the greatest featherweight in mixed martial arts history”.
When the featherweight division began to grow, Aldo had to face more competition. However, his defense stood out. Throughout his prime, he defended his title a whopping seven times.
One of Aldo’s biggest draws was his defensive swagger. He could read his opponents, make reads, and throw combinations. These traits are a must for young mixed martial artists.
As a former UFC middleweight and welterweight champion, Georges St-Pierre is one of the best fighters in the history of the sport. He has earned a spot in the UFC Hall of Fame. However, how does Georges compare to the other greats of the game? Let’s look at his accomplishments, including some of his greatest wins.
Considering the number of top-notch competitors in the sport, it can be difficult to know which one is truly the best. While the jury is out on the GOAT, Georges St-Pierre is on the list of top-ten fighters.
A strong athlete and a self-made celebrity, Georges has been recognized with a number of awards during his career. Some of his accomplishments include winning the UFC lightweight title, defeating Matt Serra in three of their four fights, and capturing the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship.
During his UFC tenure, St-Pierre defended his title nine times. Despite his success, St-Pierre also endured several setbacks. In the middle of his reign, St-Pierre was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. It was the first time he had ever taken a medical leave from the UFC.
Though Georges St-Pierre retired from the sport after the middleweight title, he returned to MMA four years later. He won 15 fights in a row, and he was a hot contender heading into UFC 129.
When it came to standing up for other fighters, St-Pierre showed his smarts. This came from a bitter lesson he learned in one of his biggest upsets.
BJ Penn is one of the most recognizable names in the UFC. He has competed in several weight classes in the organization, including welterweight, middleweight, and featherweight. His record is impressive, with 16 wins and 14 losses.
The former UFC lightweight champion has been a force to be reckoned with in his time. Penn has won over a variety of opponents, including Matt Hughes, Kenn Florian, and Sean Sherk. However, he’s lost several fights in a row, which led to a seven-fight losing streak.
Despite his recent tumultuous history, Penn’s achievements are many. He’s one of only four fighters in the UFC’s history to have won titles in more than one weight class. He also won the “Knockout of the Night” award for his performance against Matt Hughes at UFC 123.
Before becoming a professional fighter, Penn trained with Ralph Gracie. While there, he studied Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It was at this time that he realized he had the potential to be a great fighter in the octagon.
A little later, BJ switched to training in Brazil, where he worked with world-class competitors such as Andre Pederneiras. As a result, he was able to earn the title of World Jiu-Jitsu Champion.
He then moved on to the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Penn made his debut at UFC 31 on May 24, 2001. During his first two rounds, he was impressive. He controlled Georges Penn in the first and second rounds. But he started to get tired in the third, which led to a rib injury.
Randy Couture has an impressive resume. His name is associated with a number of heavyweight titles and he is considered by many to be the best UFC fighter of all time.
He made his UFC debut at age 34, and he has been a force in the sport for almost two decades. He has a storied career that includes a stint as an Army sergeant. In fact, Randy Couture has been recognized with a number of awards, including the UFC Hall of Fame and an International Sports Hall of Fame award.
Randy is a savvy cage strategist. He has a knack for handling opponents on the ground. As an avid student of the sport, he enjoys learning new tricks of the trade.
One of his most impressive feats is his ability to call the correct numbers of winners on the air before a major fight. His knowledge of the UFC and its rules has served him well, as he is often called upon to call the game on the air.
Randy’s first professional MMA fight was against James Toney. Although Toney was a boxer, his experience in the ring did not come into play. The fight was an exciting one, and he ended up winning the fight via TKO.
A few years later, Randy Couture returned to the UFC, and was forced to defend his title twice before he lost it to Brock Lesnar. Despite losing the title, Randy Couture had a good run.
Junior dos Santos
Junior Dos Santos is one of the best UFC fighters of all time. He is also considered to be the most successful boxer in MMA.
Junior Dos Santos is a Brazilian whose career began when he turned professional at the age of 22. At first, he fought in small promotions in his home country. However, when he got his shot with the UFC, he quickly became a star and earned a reputation for being feared in the division.
Before becoming a UFC veteran, Junior Dos Santos trained in multiple martial arts, including Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He is a former member of Black House MMA camp, which is regarded as the finest in Brazil.
In his UFC career, Junior Dos Santos has won nine fights, four of which are victories over former champions. The other four are losses. Aside from his win over Cain Velasquez, the other four wins came against Fabricio Werdum, Ben Rothwell, Shane Carwin, and Roy Nelson.
During his time in the UFC, Junior Dos Santos was able to earn a hefty check from the organization. However, he decided to take a pay cut and focus on his family. After a four-fight losing streak, he was released from the UFC in March 2021.
He has now moved on with his career and is currently training with All Elite Wrestling. His next bout is scheduled for Eagle FC 47, which will be held in Miami, FL.
There is no denying the fact that Frankie Edgar is one of the greatest UFC fighters of all time. He’s been in the octagon for more than a decade. The one-time bantamweight champion has a career record of 24 wins and 11 losses. And he’s only one of two fighters in the promotion’s history to have a 10-year run.
One of the most notable achievements of Edgar’s storied career is his run as the UFC lightweight champion. This earned him the honor of being one of the most decorated fighters in the organization’s history.
Edgar also has an impressive list of accolades, ranging from a spot in the UFC’s Hall of Fame to multiple championships in multiple weight classes. He’s won eight ‘Fight of the Night’ bonuses and has never been arrested for performance-enhancing drugs.
For a while, it seemed as if Edgar was destined to be a superstar. He took down a former lightweight champion in his first fight, won the lightweight title in three years, and then won the featherweight title.
As the years passed, Edgar added new tricks to his arsenal. His latest move was to drop down to the bantamweight division. In his last six fights, he’s won four of them. A victory in Madison Square Garden would likely end his illustrious career on a high note.
However, his greatest accomplishment might actually be his victory in the octagon. It’s no secret that Edgar’s biggest strength is his striking, and his smackdowns of Hermes Franca, Pedro Munhoz, and Mark Bocek showed that.