UFC fighters have been some of the most well-known athletes in any sport over the last 20 years. Fans of the sport make their predictions similar to boxing fans and their boxing predictions, choosing which fighter is best able to implement their unique style on their opponent. However, ultimately the most famous fighters combine style, skill, and a massive social following to become the most famous UFC fighters of all time.
UFC fighters have gained vast social media followings, landed major endorsement deals, and are generally high-profile personalities in the sports world.
Read on to learn the twelve most famous names in UFC history.
“The Notorious” Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor making this list is probably more obvious than this weekend’s boxing pick. He is the first UFC fighter to hold UFC championships in two weight classes.
McGregor’s fame landed him in a fight with boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2017, the second-highest paying-per-view in history at 4.3 million pay-per-view buys in the United States.
He has over forty-six million social media followers and is the most famous UFC fighter.
Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov
Khabib smashed the competition and retired undefeated as the UFC’s undisputed lightweight champion and the pound-for-pound best fighter in MMA. Khabib never lost a single one of his 29 MMA fights. Some claim that, except for Conor MacGregor, he may have never lost a single round.’
He has over thirty-three million social media followers and was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame on June 30, 2022. Most boxing predictions tonight wish picking the winner was as easy as picking the winner in a Khabib Nurmagomedov fight.
Georges “Rush” St-Pierre
Georges St-Pierre is a two-weight UFC champion, having won the welterweight and middleweight titles. He is one of the most seasoned UFC champions, having finished his career on a 13-fight winning streak. St. Pierre’s fame and success led to him being among the first MMA athletes to score a major sporting brand endorsement, being endorsed by Under Armour for most of his career.
He has over four million followers on social media and starred in several Hollywood movies and T.V. shows, including highly popular Marvel Comics adaptations such as The Falcon and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
“Rowdy” Ronda Rousey
Ronda Rousey revolutionized the sport for the next generation of female fighters throughout her peak years, emerging from an Olympic bronze medal in Judo, rocketing to superstardom, and becoming the top fighter on the roster.
The arm-bar expert stayed unbeaten for nearly three years and dominated PPV numbers while becoming the first female champion in UFC history.
She has over sixteen million followers on social media, is the only female to hold championships in both the WWE and UFC, and has starred in several Hollywood films, including Fast and Furious 7.
Anderson “The Spider” Silva
Anderson Silva was long considered the greatest of all time. Silva held the Middleweight UFC Championship for a 2,457-day reign from 2006 to 2013. This title defense winning streak still stands as the record for the longest title reign in UFC history.
He has over four million followers on social media and set a UFC record for 16 consecutive victories during his seven-year title reign.
Randy “The Natural” Couture
Randy Couture and his trilogy with Chuck Liddel played a significant role in the UFC’s move into the public eye in America and beyond. He is a three-time heavyweight and two-time light-heavyweight champion.
Couture was inducted as the fourth UFC Hall of Fame member in 2006.
B.J. “The Prodigy” Penn (The Prodigy)
The prodigy is the second of seven fighters in UFC history to hold titles in multiple weight classes. He is a former UFC Lightweight Champion and UFC Welterweight Champion.
Penn’s early career brilliance and rivalries with Georges St. Pierre, Matt Hughes, and Frankie Edgar are legendary multi-fight rivalries that propelled Penn into MMA superstardom.
Max “Blessed” Holloway
Holloway won the UFC Featherweight Championship by defeating José Aldo on June 3, 2017, and defended it three times.
He ranks at the top of the all-time chart for average strikes per fight. He has over three million followers on social media and is a fan favorite because of his unrelenting fighting style.
Daniel “D.C.” Cormier
Cormier is a former United States Olympian and a commentator for the UFC. He is one of the few double champions in UFC history, holding the Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight titles in the Ultimate Fighting Championship and winning the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix in 2012.
Cormier is the second fighter in UFC history to hold titles in two weight classes simultaneously, and he is the first to have title defenses in two divisions.
He has over three million followers on social media.
Stipe “the Silencer” Miocic
Stipe Miocic currently competes in the Heavyweight division of the UFC, where he is a two-time Heavyweight Champion. Critics and media regard him as the greatest heavyweight champion of all time.
He holds the record for the most wins in heavyweight title fights and the longest title-defending streak, with three consecutive defenses. He has over one million followers on social media.
Lesnar is the only individual have won the primary heavyweight championships in the WWE, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
Lesnar won the UFC heavyweight championship in his fourth MMA fight, defeating Randy Coture via first-round TKO. Lesnar is one of the top pay-per-view draws in UFC history.
Hughes was the best pound-for-pound mixed martial artist during the sports’ formative era before MMA went mainstream.
Hughes put together two six-fight winning streaks in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, defeated all available welterweight opposition during his two title reigns, and defended the belt seven times. Hughes’ title reigns were ended by young up-and-comers B.J. Penn in 2004 and Georges St. Pierre in 2006: two of Hughes’ biggest career rivals.