The United States has produced a lot of great athletes in many sports, from Serena Williams in tennis to Michael Phelps in swimming. But there are some top tier American athletes that most people don’t know about and they come from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
The UFC takes wrestling, boxing, and mixed martial arts and makes an intense mash-up of it all. And the athletes that excel have to be at the top of their game. The US has some of the most notable fighters, including those who have rallied to achieve phenomenal wins. The top 15 are up next.
15. Brock Lesnar vs Randy Coutoure – UFC 91
First on our list is Brock Lesnar, who you probably know for his World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) fame. Upon retiring from WWE, he entered the UFC, in which he became a Heavyweight champion in 2008 after he defeated Randy Couture by TKO.
The match was one of the most anticipated because Lesnar only debuted two months prior with a then-record of 3-2. It was the only match to reach the second round. Lesnar won the scorecard in the first round, then knocked out Couture in the next.
This win was momentous because Couture is considered one of the most decorated fighters in the UFC. He has been active in the UFC since 2007.
14. Matt Serra vs Georges St. Pierre – UFC 69
Next is Matt Serra, who has a record of 11-7-0, 202 KO/TKO, and 5-0 submissions. He became the Welterweight champion in 2006 but lost the title to Georges St. Pierre during their second Title match.
During the match, Serra was considered the underdog, so fans are betting on St. Pierre to win. When Serra knocked out the favored fighter in the first round, a lot of UFC watchers came out disappointed.
Aside from his activity in the UFC, he also served as a coach in The Ultimate Fighter season 6 along with Matt Hughes. He currently hosts the official UFC podcast called UFC Unfiltered. Serra entered the UFC Hall of Fame in 2018 in the pioneer wing as one of the most notable UFC Champions.
13. Tyron Woodley vs Robbie Lawler – UFC 201
Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley is one of the most notable American fighters with his record of 19 wins, six losses, and one draw. He snagged the title from Robbie Lawler and defended four times.
This remarkable win earned Woodley the Performance of the Night award because of how fast he won the fight by knockout within the first half of the round.
His latest fight against Colby Covington resulted in a TKO against him because of a rib injury. However, he is still active in the UFC and is set to fight Vicente Luque this year.
12. Benson Henderson vs Frankie Edgar – UFC 144
With a 28-10-0 record, Benson Henderson enters this list in the twelfth spot. Also known as “Smooth,” Henderson won the Lightweight Champion title in 2012 by unanimous decision in a match against Frankie Edgar.
Henderson and Edgar’s fight was noted by the judges, giving both of them the Fight of the Night honors. The two are thought to be evenly matched, but Henderson emerged victorious as he landed more blows and did more damage.
Henderson was able to defend his title three times until he lost to Gilbert Melendez in 2013. Nevertheless, he is regarded as one of the fighters who were able to defend the title the most, tying with BJ Pen.
11. Holly Holm vs Ronda Rousey – UFC 193
In the Women’s division, we have Holly Holm who became the Bantamweight champion in 2015 in a fight against Rousey.
This is one of the most awaited fights in UFC history as Rousey was undefeated for all 12 bouts including six title defenses. Rousey was even able to predict Holm’s strategy on TV, giving Holm a disadvantage.
In a notable turn of events, Holm was able to land a round head kick on Rousey, leaving her flat on the mat.
10. Ronda Rousey vs Cat Zingano – UFC 184
Next on the list is Ronda Rousey, who has a W-L-D record of 12-2-0. She first got a hold of the Bantamweight title in 2012 in a bout against Miesha Tate. She went on to set an impressive record of the number of times defending a title.
Known for her armbars, Rousey demonstrated her finisher of choice once again after knocking out Alexis Davis in 16 seconds. For UFC 184, she knocked out Zingano with an armbar in 14 seconds.
Rousey, AKA Rowdy, defended the title seven times until she lost to Holly Holm. Regardless, her record makes her an American legend in the UFC and not just as a top female UFC fighter but rather as a fighter as a whole.
9. Matt Hughes vs B.J. Penn – UFC 63
Matt “Switch” Hughes is a two-time Welterweight champion. He first got the title in 2001 in a match against Carlos Newton.
Then, he once again got the belt in 2004 in a match against Georges St. Pierre. During this reign, he once again faced B.J. Penn whom he beat via TKO.
The first two rounds were in favor of Penn but as the third round was going and Penn started to get exhausted, Hughes started scoring. On the last few rounds, Hughes threw down unanswered punches to Penn and was pulled off by the ref. His victory was recognized as one of the most dominant in the history of UFC champion promotion.
8. Demetrious Johnson vs Joseph Benavidez – UFC 152
Next on the list is Demetrious Johnson, who got the belt in about against Joseph Benavidez. This is a remarkable event in UFC history as it is the first time it had a flyweight champion.
His impressive record consists of 30 wins, 3 losses, and one draw. Plus, he defended the belt a whopping 11 times.
He lost to Henry Cejudo in 2018 by a split decision. Regardless, he continued to fight, winning his latest match against Danny Kingad.
7. Tim Sylvia vs Andrei Arlovski – UFC 59
Tim “The Maine-iac” Sylvia holds a record of 21-10-0 with 20-3 KO/TKO. Sylvia and Arlovski have a bit of history. In a bid to regain the title, Sylvia challenged Arlovski in UFC 51.
In a second attempt, the two fought once again in UFC 59 and were able to avenge himself this time. Both fought hard for the title until Sylvia’s punches brought Arlovski down for a TKO.
The two had a match once again in UFC 61 with Sylvia as the winner.
6. Chris Weidman vs Anderson Silva – UFC 168
Next on the list is Chris Weidman, known for defeating the UFC legend Anderson Silva in 2013, who was able to defend his title 10 times.
In a rematch to get his belt, Silva flew a kick to Weidman, which Weidman checked, causing Silva’s knee to snap. Silva came back to the UFC but was never the same.
In fact, the two fought once more after Weidman’s first win. For the second match, Weidman once again defeated Silva, further cementing his reputation as a formidable fighter. Weidman, also called “The All-American,” is with Serra-Longo Fight Team. He is known for his Orthodox Stance and Wrestling fighting style.
5. Daniel Cormier vs Anthony Johnson – UFC 210
The former Heavyweight champion before Stipe Miocic, whom he has fought three times, winning in the first and losing in the last two. He has an impressive record of 22 wins and three losses, as well as 10 KO/TKOs and five submissions, all in favor of Cormier.
One of his shining moments is his win against Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, whom he rear-naked-coked to submission just like at their previous fight at UFC 187. After this, Johnson announced his retirement.
Cormier, also called DC, has faced various strong fighters in Title fights including Miocic, Jon Jones, and Anderson Silva. So far, he has only lost to Miocic and Silva both in Title fights and overall.
4. Jon Jones vs Andre Gusmao – UFC 87
Jon Jones is the former Light Heavyweight champion before Jan Blachowicz’ reign which started in September 2020. He emerged victorious in almost all of his fights.
His debut fight is his most remarkable because it was the introduction of one of the biggest names in the entire UFC. Jones was able to land a lot of strikes to Gusmao because of his exceptional reach, leading to a win by unanimous decision.
Nicknamed “Bones,” Jones has a stunning record of 26-1-0 with a KO/TKO stat of 10-0 and 6-0 submissions. Almost half of his bouts are Title fights, with 14 wins and only one draw, with a No Contest decision. Jones fights in the Wrestling, Muay Thai, and Striker style with an Orthodox stance. He is currently with the team Jackson-Wink MMA.
3. Cain Velasquez vs Brock Lesnar – UFC 121
Cain Velasquez has held the title two times, one in 2010 and one in 2012. He snagged the title from Brock Lesnar in 2010.
At that time, Lesnar was the biggest name in the heavyweight division, at least he was until he faced Velasquez. At the start, the bout seemed to be in Lesnar’s favor as he charged Velasquez at the opening.
However, Velasquez was able to recover and finish the fight on his feet after methodically striking Lesnar, who finished the fight on his back.
2. Randy Couture vs Gabriel Gonzaga – UFC 74
Next on the list is Randy Couture, who took the Heavyweight belt three times, with the first being in 1997, the second in 2000, and the third in 2007. He defended his recent title two times against Tim Sylvia and Gabriel Gonzaga, both in 2007, until he finally lost to Lesnar in 2008.
Gonzaga is known for his head kick that brought down Mirko Cro Cop. When the two faced off, Couture threw punch after punch at Gonzaga, leading to Couture’s tremendous win.
Couture has a W-L-D stats of 19-11-0, with 7-7 KO/TKO and 4-2 submissions. He has competed in 16 Title fights, with 10 wins.
1. Stipe Miocic vs Daniel Cormier – UFC 241
Finally, getting the number one spot is Stipe Miocic, the current Heavyweight champion in the Men’s Division.
Miocic’s last three matches were with Daniel Cormier, losing two of three bouts. However, the most remarkable was at UFC 241, in which Miocic suffered a torn retina. Regardless, he finished Cormier via knockout. Then, he did it again in UFC 252.
His past seven fights are all Title fights, six of which he won. His only loss is against Cormier, who entered this list in the fifth spot, in 2018 which ended in a KO/TKO decision. Currently, Miocic is with the Strong Style Fight Team. Aside from his W-L-D stats, he has a record of 14-2 KO/TKO, and one submission.
American UFC winners have superstar status because of their fighting spirit and tremendous skill and resilience. These 15 winning moments by these American fighters stand as a testament to this.