The Ultimate Fighting Championship, or the UFC, is the most popular and most established mixed martial arts promotion company in the world today. It was established in 1993 in Denver with the aim of identifying the most effective martial art in the world. It matched up fighters from different disciplines, like tae kwon do, Greco-Roman wrestling, Muay Thai, freestyle wrestling, karate, boxing, jiu jit su and others. Eventually, the fighters developed their own styles as they combined the different techniques. It thus helped create a new separate style of fighting that has come to be known as mixed martial arts, or MMA.
It now has eight weight divisions and follows the unified rules of MMA. Dana White heads the company.
Fighters like Royce Gracie, Dan Severn and Ken Shamrock ruled the early years of the UFC. But the ones who have sustained impressive stretches are the ones who have garnered victories over the years. Here is a list of the top 10 UFC fighters with the most wins.
10 Matt Hughes – 18 wins
He was a two-time welterweight champion in the UFC. During his reign, he was widely considered as the best pound-for-pound MMA fighter in the world. Widely regarded as the best welterweight of all time, he defended the title seven times. He competed as part of the Miletich Fighting Systems. He was an active fighter, participating in 25 fights that is the most number after the 27 of Tito Ortiz. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010.
9 Georges St. Pierre – 17 wins
He is the number one welterweight fighter in the world. Rogers Sportsnet gave Athlete of the Year honors to the Canadian MMA fighter from 2008 to 2010. His first martial art was Kyokushin karate, which he took up when he was just seven so that he could stand up against a school bully. He later learned wrestling and Brazilian jiu jit su. He also dabbled in boxing. The combination of all these arts has provided St. Pierre an effective and deadly style, winning 17 of his 19 fights so far.
8 Anderson Silva – 16 wins
He is a Brazilian MMA artist who is the current UFC middleweight champion of the world. He has the longest winning streak with 16 wins and he has never been defeated. He also has the most number of title defenses with 10. Experts from ESPN, Yahoo Sports and Sherdog consider him as the best fighter on a pound-for-pound basis. The UFC President Dana White hails Silva as the greatest MMA fighter to have ever lived.
7 Chuck Lidell – 16 wins
He is a retired light heavyweight champion of the UFC. He is credited, along with Randy Couture, for bringing MMA in general and the UFC in particular into the mainstream of sports and entertainment. He won 16 of his 23 fights, relying on his knockout power, iron chin, exceptional ability to counter and his sprawl and brawl style to hack out victories. He was trained in the arts of kickboxing, kempo, Koei-Kan karate, wrestling and Braziiian jiu jit su. Lidell is a member of the Hall of Fame.
6 Randy Couture – 16 wins
Like Lidell, he won 16 fights though he fought one more than his rival. He was a heavyweight champion three times and light heavyweight champion twice. He is the first fighter to hold titles in two different weight divisions. He is the only person to have ever won a UFC championship fight after reaching the age of 40; he has won four times. He had exceptional wrestling ability due to his background in the Greco-Roman style while he was in college.
5 Josh Koscheck – 15 wins
He made his debut in the first season of the reality show “The Ultimate Fighter” where he lost in the semifinals to Diego Sanchez through split decision. He followed it up by training at the American Kickboxing Association that drastically improved his kickboxing skills. He has a 15-6 win-loss record while competing at the welterweight division where he is currently ranked number eight by Sherdog.
4 Tito Ortiz – 15 wins
He used to be the sport’s main star, along with Chuck Lidell and Randy Couture. He was a light heavyweight champion for three years. He had memorable rivalries with Ken Shamrock and Chuck Lidell. He once tried his hand in professional wrestling before returning to the UFC in 2009. He has a 15-11 win-loss record. He retired in July 2012 after losing a fight against Forrest Griffin. He was also inducted into the Hall of Fame that night.
3 Jon Fitch – 14 wins
He is currently competing in the welterweight division and sports a 14-2 win-loss record. He also has one draw. Sherdog ranks him number five in his division. He actually started out as a light heavyweight before he dropped down to welterweight. He amassed a record eight consecutive victories that tied him with Royce Gracie, though it has since been broken by Anderson Silva. His streak ended with a unanimous decision defeat to Georges St. Pierre. Of his 14 wins, 10 have come from decisions, a UFC record that Fitch shares with St. Pierre.
2 Rich Franklin – 14 wins
Franklin gained prominence in 2005 when he knocked out Ken Shamrock, the first time that the martial arts icon suffered that fate. Later that year, he won the middleweight title of the UFC with a win over Evan Tanner. He was able to defend the title twice before losing to Anderson Silva in a first round technical knockout. He moved up to light heavyweight where he fought Chuck Lidell and Forrest Griffin, among others. He returned to the middleweight division in November 2012 where he lost to Cung Le. Franklin owns a 14-6 record.
1 Frank Mir – 14 wins
He is a two-time heavyweight champion. He holds the record for most victories and submissions in the division. He has fought 20 times, the most by anyone in the heavyweight ranks. He holds memorable victories against the likes of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Brock Lesnar and Cheick Kongo.