McGrath ranks UFC’s top 25 fighters of all-time: part 1 (21-25)

By David McGrath, MMATorch Contributor

In honor of the UFC’s 25th anniversary here are the top 25 UFC fighters of all time. We will start at numbers 21-25 and culminate on Monday, the 25th anniversary of UFC’s first event. With that said, here we go:

25. TJ Dillashaw

MMA record: 16-3

Key wins: Cody Garbrandt, Renan Barão, Joe Soto, Raphael Assuncao

Titles held: UFC Bantamweight Championship

I struggled with my #25 pick. In the end Dillashaw is so impressive I couldn’t leave him off. His Muay Thai style is so dangerous and his competitiveness is so high level. Dillashaw is my #3 pound for pound fighter in the world right now and my 25th greatest UFC fighter of all time. Let’s see if Dillashaw can avenge his razor thin decision loss to Dominick Cruz or win a super fight against flyweight champion Henry Cejudo in 2019. If he does either of those I would probably push him into the top 20.

24. Dominick Cruz

MMA record 22-2

Key wins: TJ Dillashaw, Urijah Faber, Demetrious Johnson

Titles held: UFC bantamweight champion

If the point of fighting is to not get hit, then Dominick Cruz has written the book on it. His fight style, heavy on feints and movement is beautiful to see. With big wins over TJ Dillashaw and Mighty Mouse Johnson, Dominick is the greatest bantamweight of all time. Injuries have skunked Cruz. Word is after three knee surgeries Cruz is returning to the Octagon in 2019.

23. Cris Cyborg

MMA record: 20-1, 1 NC

Key wins: Holly Holm , Tanya Evinger, Charmaine Tweet

Titles held: UFC Featherweight Champion

Cyborg is simply the most dominant women’s fighter in the Octagon of all time. Her pace, her pressure and her power have overwhelmed every opponent that has been put in front of her. The UFC is having a hard time finding opponents to face Cyborg, hence why Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes will move up to face Cyborg in December. If Cyborg can beat Nunes, expect her to rise up this list and move into the top 20.

22. Khabib Nurmagomedov

MMA record: 27-0

Key wins: Conor McGregor, Michael Johnson, Al Iaquinta, Rafael dos Anjos

At 27-0, I simply could not leave Khabib off of this list. The current UFC lightweight champion is as dominant a champion as I’ve seen in the UFC. With his recent dominant win over Conor McGregor, Khabib has launched his career into another stratosphere. He’s now a national superstar. His sambo and wrestling skills are out of this world. Let’s see if Khabib takes and wins a few super fights, if he remains on this path, I see him as maybe a top 5 all-time fighter.

21. Stipe Miocic

MMA record: 18-3

Key wins: Francis Ngannou, Allistair Overeem, Junior dos Santos, Mark Hunt

Titles held: UFC heavyweight Championship (most defenses in history)

When you break the heavyweight record for most title defenses you belong on a top 25 greatest fighters list. Miocic, a Golden Gloves boxer and college wrestler is the prototype heavyweight. In a crazy heavyweight division, Stipe defended his title a record three times and faced all of the stiffest competition – all while moonlighting as a firefighter in his native Ohio. At age 36, Miocic is still active and looking to regain his heavyweight championship.

2 Comments on McGrath ranks UFC’s top 25 fighters of all-time: part 1 (21-25)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.