McGrath ranks UFC’s top 25 fighters of all-time: part 5 (1-5)

By David McGrath, MMATORCH contributor

Welcome back to our list of the top 25 UFC fighters of all-time. Be sure to check out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4. If you have thoughts on our rankings, leave a comment below or tweet us @MMATorch.

5. Demetrious Johnson

MMA record: 27-3-1

Key wins: Henry Cejudo, Ray Borg, John Dodson, Joseph Benavidez, John Moraga.

Titles held: UFC flyweight champion (11 defenses)

Mighty mouse essentially cleaned out the UFC’s flyweight division. Hell, Demetrious Johnson was the entire division. Johnson holds the UFC record with 11 title defenses along with being one of the most exciting fighters in all of Mixed Martial arts. Johnson takes criticism for facing inferior competition, however, you can only beat who they put in front of you. Johnson certainly passed the eye test as well, watching him is different, his expression of martial arts is entirely unique to him and him only. Ending fights with flying armbars and beautiful submissions. Except Johnson to continue to build his legacy now that he’s been traded to ONE championship, Asia’s biggest MMA promotion.

4. Anderson Silva

MMA record: 34-8-1NC

Key wins: Michael Bisping, Chael Sonnen, Vitor Belfort, Nate Marquardt, Dan Henderson, Rich Franklin

Titles Held: UFC Middleweight champion(longest reign 2,457 days)

Silva is undoubtedly the most dominant middleweight champion in UFC history. Silva recorded a record 16 straight title defenses starting in 2006 and not ending until 2013. Silva was the most dangerous striker of his time and probably the best striker in UFC history. Silva was renowned for toying with opponents and letting his guard down at times. Silva finished a record 9 UFC title fights.

3. Daniel Cormier

MMA record: 22-1, 1 NC

Key wins: Alexander Gustafsson, Anderson Silva, Josh Barnett, Volkan Oezdemir, Dan Henderson, Frank Mir

Titles held: UFC light heavyweight and heavyweight champion, Strikeforce heavyweight champion

If not for two losses to Jon Jones I would probably slide Cormier to #2. A great ambassador to the sport and an all-around good guy. He’s been absolutely dominant in the octagon with his wrestling and always improving even at age 39 striking game. Cormier is undefeated at heavyweight including a dominant performance over Stipe Miocic who was formerly the most dominant heavyweight in UFC history. Cormier is eyeing one more big fight before retirement, possibly against Brock Lesnar. If that happens look for DC to be a big favorite in his swan song fight. Outside of Jon Jones, Cormier has beaten everyone the promotion has put in front of him and has never failed a drug test or been stripped of a title.

2. Jon Jones

MMA record: 22-1, 1NC

Key wins: Daniel Cormier, Shogun Rua, Chael Sonnen, Vitor Belfort, Alex Gustafsson, Lyoto Machida, Ovince St. Preux

Titles held: UFC light heavyweight champion (2) both times stripped.

I’m as high on Jones as anybody. Jones is without question the most physically dominant and freakish athlete the UFC has ever seen. He became the youngest UFC champion in history by defeating Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at age 23 and defended it 9 straight times. Here’s where it gets murky. I couldn’t put Jones in the number 1 slot due to his consistent failed drug tests and legal problems keeping him out of the octagon for long stretches at a time. Yes, I’m deducting points for out of the octagon behavior. It’s a factor to be when talking about the greatest fighters of all time. Now Jones is back, and age 31 has every chance to cement his #1 status by staying clean and winning again. It all starts on Dec. 29 against Alexander Gustafsson for the light heavyweight title. Stay tuned.

 1. Georges St-Pierre

MMA record: 26-2

Key wins: Michael Bisping, Nick Diaz, Matt Hughes, BJ Penn, Johny Hendricks, Carlos Condit, Jake Shields, Josh Koscheck

Titles held: 2 time UFC welterweight champion, UFC Middleweight champion. Most successful title defenses in welterweight history (9) 4th two weight division champion in UFC history.

St-Pierre is undoubtedly the greatest welterweight of all time. Cementing his legacy by beating Matt Hughes twice and avenging the two on his professional record. Points also to GSP for being one of the UFC’s biggest pay-per-view draws pre-McGregor and Rousey. Also, no points deducted for failed drug tests. St-Pierre has been dominant and been the picture of clean athlete and good role model. St-Pierre further cemented his GOAT status by taking four years off and coming back and winning the UFC’s middleweight championship at UFC 217 submitting the dangerous Michael Bisping.

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