Inclusion in the ranking is based on a combination of talent, sporting results, importance in the dissemination of sport, titles won, the dangerousness of opponents, and the importance of matches played. It is rather like a sort of guide to the fighters' identities who have made significant contributions to the sport. It will be numbered, but it will be debatable and subject to the writer's expertise and subjectivity.
10. Ronda Rousey
This is the only female on this list. Ronda Rousey (12-2; the fighter record will only be relevant for the last ten years of activity) possesses at least two exceptional qualities. The first is her shown talent and achievements; the second is the positive image that sport has gained thanks to her activity.
Ronda began her professional career in 2011 after three amateur bouts in 2010. Before her collapse, Ronda reigned for five years, defeating Miesha Tate, Cat Zingano, and Liz Carmouche, breaking record after record in sports and the media and appearing invincible at times thanks to her talents that allowed her to outsmart his opponents.
What happened to her next? Is it possible to have a vertical psychological breakdown? Her two most recent opponents exposing her flaws? It's difficult to conclude, but it could be a combination of the three. Ronda Rousey has unquestionably been one of the sport's greatest stars over the last decade. It would be illegal not to include her.
9. Georges St. Pierre
Georges St. Pierre may not have been the most active fighter in the last decade. However, with a 7-0 record and a triumphant comeback to the ring, he must undoubtedly be considered among the top fighters of the last decade, if not the absolute best in the sport.
If there is one thing that must be recognized in St. Pierre, it is when his psychophysical condition would have allowed him to express himself at his best and, following the first retreat, to choose his so far lone return match.
When you consider the sporting legacy of the Canadian hero, all of this is a side dish. St. Pierre's message is one of the noblest and leaves a sort of vademecum to the current generation, having gone undefeated in the last decade and promoting a clean sport with stringent restrictions.
He retired in 2013 after victories against Hendricks, Nick Diaz, Carlos Condit, Jake Shields, Josh Koscheck, and Dan Hardy. He came back in 2017, defeating then-middleweight champion Michael Bisping, reclaiming the title.
8. Stipe Miocic
Despite being a professional boxer, Stipe Miocic, the horror of the heavyweight division over the last decade, never quit his former work as a firefighter. In his life, he saves the lives of many individuals while ruining the lives of others. Of course, humorously and sportingly. Stipe's devotion for his work, as the son of a famous philanthropist, ensured that he continued to do it, transforming him into the figure of the rescuer while being the most feared guy in an octagon.
With an explosive style, swift and aggressive boxing, strong takedown defense, and fighting inclination, he has been able to compete on any terrain, even against the greatest. His list of notable victims: Daniel Cormier, Francis Ngannou, Junior dos Santos, Alistair Overeem, Fabricio Werdum, Andrei Arlovski, and Mark Hunt, to name a few, makes clear who has ruled the category in recent years.
His whole professional career, which spanned ten years and had 19 victories and three losses, was completed in that time. Miocic owns the UFC record for most defenses (3) and is presently regarded as the greatest in the world.
7. Henry Cejudo
Henry Cejudo, the "Triple C," completed one of the decade's exploits, namely forcing Demetrious Johnson to leave the throne, though in a balanced match (15-2). Following his first career defeat against Demetrious Johnson at UFC 197, Henry Cejudo seemed unbeatable after winning a gold medal in freestyle wrestling in the division up to 55 kg at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
As an eclectic and incredibly adaptive athlete, he radically changed his style following that defeat. He went from an orthodox setting to a lateral stance that allowed him to make the most of his skills, as well as his strong point, the fight.
"The Messenger" defeated Wilson Reis, Sergio Pettis, Demetrious Johnson (thus ending the longest streak of titled defenses in UFC history), former bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw in his first defense, and then Marlon Moraes.
6. Tony Ferguson
The last ten years saw Tony's seventeen victories and only one defeat. Black Man is the code name for an assassination attempt. Tony Ferguson's personal life has some shady episodes that unfortunately made the headlines. Yet, the Californian warrior gritted his teeth and came back on top, demonstrating a strong character. Ferguson has never failed to demonstrate this nuance in the octagon.
Tony is a fighter who knows how to fight back from the brink of defeat, defeating his opponent in the most difficult of circumstances. The rivalry with Khabib is never-ending, and the two both have the longest winning streak in lightweight history (12).
Ferguson is already regarded as one of the greatest lightweights in history. Tony defeated Donald Cerrone, Anthony Pettis, Kevin Lee, Rafael dos Anjos, Edson Barboza, Josh Thomson, and many others. His first UFC setback came at the hands of Michael Johnson in a fight that finished in his opponent's favor by unanimous decision.
5. Conor McGregor
Since his debut, Conor McGregor has polarized the martial arts community. We owe the exponential expansion of the MMA fan base intended as a sport to the one endowed with a strong persona and an unpredictable style.
Notorious's lightning-quick ascension to the featherweight title, he had a ten-year record of 18 victories and three losses, was one of the most outstanding in the sport. The gold medal he won in lightweight with an utter dominance against Eddie Alvarez solidified his place in the sport. He is the first double champion (in two weight classes simultaneously).
McGregor cannot, at this time, be called the lightweight in the sport due to failed defenses, excesses, and sporting errors, no matter how much he is adored or despised. Khabib Nurmagomedov controlled and minimized it, emphasizing the stark contrast in wrestling terms between the two.
We can only take off our hats if we look at the list of heads collected by the Irishman: Eddie Alvarez, Nate Diaz (equalizing the previous defeat), Jose Aldo, Chad Mendes, Dustin Poirier, Max Holloway. The list goes on and on. McGregor might be one of the most exciting and dangerous fighters.
4. Daniel Cormier
The reason you hold Daniel Cormier in such high regard is self-evident. We'd probably be talking about the finest fighter ever if DC hadn't lived in the same period as Jon Jones. Cormier had to wait until he was 42 to lose to someone other than Jones. With a career split between heavyweight and light-heavyweight, Cormier (21-2, 1 NC) has only tasted defeat three times: twice against Jon Jones (the last of which into an NC due to Jones' positivity to substances not allowed by Jones), and once against Stipe Miocic, who he had already beaten and was dominating in the second match before showing his side (in every sense).
Cormier was dubbed "The Black Fedor" at the start of his career, a reference to the Last Emperor Fedor Emelianenko. The American, like McGregor, is a two-time UFC champion with victories over the likes of Stipe Miocic, Derrick Lewis, Volkan Oezdemir, Anthony Johnson (2 times), Anderson Silva, Alexander Gustafsson, Dan Henderson, Frank Mir, Josh Barnett, and "Bigfoot" Silva. The list goes on and on. The captain of the American Kickboxing Academy's exploits will live on forever.
3. Demetrious Johnson
Demetrious Johnson is the epitome of perfection. Close. Johnson had set the UFC record for consecutive defenses before being surpassed by Henry Cejudo. Given the range (11), this is a record that will be hard to beat in the near future. The one thing that can be said with certainty about Johnson is that "Mighty Mouse" has completely dominated the flyweight division. He was the biggest of them all. There was never any suggestion of doping, and there was never a misplaced word.
With a complete and nearly faultless style, he only struggled with weight in the early stages of his career, when he weighed 135 pounds. Since joining One, Johnson has been consistently in the bantamweight division (although the title name usually includes the word "flyweight") and is on a three-game winning run.
Demetrious Johnson, with a ten-year record of 22-3-1, has to be considered the greatest flyweight to ever compete in the cage and a truly winning machine over the last decade. Henry Cejudo, Ray Borg, Wilson Reis, Tim Elliott, John Dodson (2 times), Kyoji Horiguchi, Chris Cariaso, Ali Bagautinov, and Joseph Benavidez (2 times) are among his renowned victims.
2. Khabib Nurmagomedov
His record speaks for itself: 21 wins and 0 losses over the decade, absolute annihilation of opponents, and a stylistic imposition that has never found an opponent capable of responding.
Khabib has faced the best strikers (Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier), wrestlers (Abel Trujillo, Gleison Tibau; the latter was also the only one who could stand up to him), and submission fighters (Rafael dos Anjos), and has always come out on top.
Dustin Poirier, Conor McGregor, Al Iaquinta, Edson Barboza, Michael Johnson, Rafael dos Anjos, and Gleison Tibau are among Khabib's opponents. We haven't even reached the halfway point. In the octagon, Khabib Nurmagomedov is the personification of war. He's tough to restrain, and - so far - impossible to defeat. And, contrary to popular belief, watching him fight is a real pleasure.
1. Jon Jones
Jones is undefeated in the octagon (his only loss came at the hands of Matt Hamill because of Jones's 12-6 elbows), evolving and becoming more deadly. Jon Jones has demonstrated - despite accidents in his professional and personal life - that when the octagon doors close, there is only one sheriff in town with a record of 16 victories, no losses, and one No Contest in the last decade.
Complete, explosive, and endowed with a killer instinct that allows him to recognize and exploit vulnerabilities in the opponent's plan and game, almost biologically. Jones is not a fighter who is adamant about one aspect of his game; rather, he is a fighter who chooses where to fight based on how comfortable he feels.
Jones was the UFC's youngest champion and, in terms of talent, is perhaps the best in the entire MMA world. The vicissitudes of sport and life cannot disqualify him from contention for the title of the best MMA fighter.
Victories over fighters like Thiago Santos, Alexander Gustafsson (twice), Anthony Smith, Daniel Cormier, Ovince St. Preux, Glover Teixeira, Chael Sonnen, Vitor Belfort, Rashad Evans, Lyoto Machida, and Quinton Jackson can help manifest everything. Jones was and continues to be one of the best fighters in the history of mixed martial arts.