Five Best Current UFC Fighters

Figure 1 UFC fighters put hours of work in to reach the top

With UFC athletes swapping disciplines and putting up a good fight against established boxers – as was the case with Francis Ngannou against Tyson Fury recently – the Ultimate Fighting Championship is enjoying a whole new level of attention and attracting more fans all the time.

From what was previously considered a more down-market form of the fight game, mixed martial arts is now incredibly popular and UFC is the biggest name in the sport. The best UFC betting sites give fans the chance to back their favorites and there are a whole host of fighters that are looking impressive right now.

With a range of different weight divisions, it might sometimes be difficult for UFC fans to easily state who the best fighters are. But that is where the organization’s own pound-for-pound rankings come in. They consider all the intricacies of the different classes and keep fans up-to-date with the fighters at the top of their game.

Ilia Topuria

Born in Germany, but claiming both Georgian and Spanish nationality, Topuria began practicing martial arts after moving to Alicante as a teenager and followed his older brother in becoming a UFC fighter. He is the current featherweight champion and ranked number five, pound-for-pound.

After turning professional in 2015, Topuria remains unbeaten and has been fighting under the UFC banner since 2020. He beat the legendary Alexander Volkanovski to claim the featherweight title earlier this year and ended the Australian’s four-year reign. He is now preparing for the first defense of his title.

Alex Pereira

When Pereira won the light heavyweight title in 2023, the Brazilian became the first fighter ever to have held both that belt and the middleweight version. He had only made his debut at the new weight a few months previously but has long been considered one of the best fighters in the sport.

Pereira was already a successful kickboxer before transitioning to MMA and steadily impressed before making his UFC debut in 2021. He beat Israel Adesanya to claim the middleweight title just a year later – although he then lost the rematch. It was then that Pereira decided to move up a division and he is scheduled to make a second defense of his latest belt at the end of June.

Leon Edwards

After previously losing to Kamuru Usman way back in 2015, Leon Edwards shocked the MMA world by beating the Nigerian fighter to take the welterweight title in 2022. The victory is considered by many to be one of the best comebacks of all time, as well as the most devastating knockout in UFC history.

To prove to everyone that his victory was no fluke, Edwards won a closely fought rematch six months later and has since defended his belt for a second time. Edwards credits mixed martial arts for helping him leave a life of crime when he was a teenager and he now has a professional record of 22-3-1 – and is the number three ranked pound-for-pound fighter in UFC.

Figure 2 Many of the best UFC fighters have a kickboxing background

Jon Jones

Regarded as one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time, Jon Jones previously held the light heavyweight title but is now the UFC heavyweight champion. His victory in March of last year, and a record of only ever losing one bout, now sees him as the second-best fighter in the business.

Jones was a standout wrestler in high school and started his MMA professional career in 2008. He has overcome a series of controversies and suspensions to stay at the top of his sport. Jones is credited with having incredible adaptability and combines diverse kicking techniques and defensive wrestling tactics to great success.

Islam Makhachev

Born in the former Soviet Union, Islam Makhachev is now ranked as the number one, pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC. He began training in martial arts as a young boy and wrestled before embarking on a professional MMA career. Ultimately, Makhachev signed his first UFC contract in 2014.

Although he lost one of his early fights under the UFC banner (still the only defeat in his professional career), Makhachev went on to steadily grow his reputation as a fighter and claimed the light heavyweight title in 2022. He has since defended his belt on three occasions, twice against Volkanovski, and is now considered as the fighter to beat in UFC.

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