The term fight night is one that gets martial arts and boxing fans all over the world riled up and ready to see some carnage. MMA pits one fighter against another; you can talk a good game while you’re out and about and in the press, but talk is cheap once you’re inside the cage. All that matters when that whistle blows is whether you are skilled and tough enough to beat the person on the other side. Skill naturally leads to fame, but the two aren’t mutually exclusive. Of course, only the best fighters really have a reason to run their mouths off, but the personalities in MMA are larger than life. Certain MMA fighters just have that intrigue that gets people coming back for more, and we’ve got the low down on which ones are the most famous. Take a look at our MMA roundup of the most famous fighters ever.
5. Ronda Rousey
Ronda is the only woman on our list, but that doesn’t mean she’s got any less draw than the boys. More than just a fighter, Ronda helped to breathe some life back into the UFC when it was having a really hard time. She was the most promoted fighter in the UFC for years and racked up incredibly high PPV numbers, which definitely leaves space for her on our list. Her skill in the cage has been rivaled by few, making her not only one of the most famous but also one of the best UFC fighters around. Like most fighters, Ronda has had her difficult times too. Even after she experienced two completely devastating knockouts, which ended up sending her into MMA retirement, she has remained one of the most loved fighters ever to compete. Her 13 million Instagram followers can attest to that! Ronda has gone on to work with the WWE and even tried her hand at acting in a few Hollywood films.
4. Jon Jones
There is a lot of controversy surrounding our number four. Whether you personally like him or not, you simply can’t get around the fact that fans say he is one of their most loved MMA icons of all time. Not only that, but his skill certainly isn’t anything to sneeze at. Even if you’re only the most casual kind of MMA fan, you know who “Bones” is. He’s a beast in the fight, and also sometimes in real life; he has had a few doping violations, allegations of cocaine abuse, and even a hit and run which led to his arrest. His bad behavior aside, the man is an MMA legend. He has never had one straight-out loss in his entire career (disqualification not included). Now that he is back in action, his six million Instagram followers finally have something to watch again. Despite the drama and the swirling rumors, he will go down in history as one of the big bosses of MMA.
3. Khabib Nurmagomedov
Those who started watching MMA and UFC around mid-2010 will know this man’s name. Khabib, otherwise known as The Eagle, has never lost a single fight. Not one loss in twenty-nine professional fights, not one lost round, nothing. For someone this good, The Eagle is a surprisingly respectful fighter. He’s not a trash-talker like a lot of the fighters in the game today. He values family, his country, and culture and respects the men that he fights against. His fans are obsessed with him, and it’s pretty easy to see why. Humble outside the cage and in, he has a whopping 28.5 million Instagram followers who will never support another fighter the same way they’ve supported him.
2. Anderson Silva
Silva, or Spider, has done a lot for the UFC and for MMA as a sport. In a scene where it’s easy to get caught up in the wealth and the glamour of it all, Silva is an icon of sportsmanship with incredible skills to boot. His fighting style is pretty flashy, but that doesn’t mean it’s ineffective; demolished is the word that best fits what happened to fighters who faced off against him in the cage. He rose quickly to middleweight world champion and held onto that title for more than five years. While many believe he waited too long to retire, he will forever be a fan favorite.
1. Connor McGregor
Come on; you had to know this was coming! Despite the fact that McGregor has been relatively inactive over the past few years, apart from losses to Khabib Nurmagomedoc and Dustin Poirier and the knockout win he gained against Donald Cerrone, his fans still adore him. He was the highest-paid athlete of 2020 and broke every PPV record that existed. Many believe that McGregor’s trash talks are about gaining attention, but his fans will fight you on that point. Whatever you may think about him, McGregor was heavily responsible for MMA’s level of popularity reaching that of boxing. He’s the most famous MMA fighter in the world.
Well, folks, there you have it! We’ll have to keep a close eye on MMA to see if any of our fan favorites are knocked off the list, but that doesn’t seem like it will be happening any time soon!