First off this is my list and not editor Jack Bratcher’s. I’m sure he would have this list looking a little different than mine. We have both been involved in or around MMA since the glory days and we’ve seen fighters rise and fall. Again, this list is mine and subjective and because of that it will surely be controversial.
The criteria for this list is activity, banned substances history, quality of opponents, win streaks, and the ways in which they won. Split decisions are obviously not going to get anyone points in the finishes category.
Let’s go. From top to bottom.
1. Khabib Nurmagomedov
Do I need to explain this to you? The UFC lightweight champion is a smashing machine who looks like he truly does wrestle bears to prepare for fights. He is 12-0 in the UFC with wins over Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, and Rafael Dos Anjos. He has finished over half of his fights in the organization and looked incredible doing it.
2. Jon Jones
Most of you would have him at #1 I am sure. One of my problems with Jones is his back to back drug test failures at UFC 197 and 214 among other things. It doesn’t matter the reasons behind them I’m just putting it out there. His last title defense was a split decision win over Thiago Santos and coupled with my opinion that the next generation of fighters has or is catching up to the light heavyweight champion it puts him at #2.
3. Amanda Nunes
I’m going to get hate here I know it. Amanda Nunes is without question the current GOAT female fighter of all time. I know Cyborg’s name will be thrown at me but she was beaten soundly by The Lioness in just 51 seconds. Nunes is also on an impressive nine fight win streak with a victory over my number two female fighter pick Valentina Shevchenko. She is a two division champion meaning she has defeated the best the bantamweight and featherweight divisions have to offer.
4. Henry Cejudo
Yet another champ/champ who happens to be the man to dethrone Demetrious Johnson the GOAT of the flyweight division. Cejudo moved up to bantamweight and took the belt at that weight class to the surprise of many including myself. Sure, he’s on a much smaller win streak (5) than my next entry but he’s the double champ and like McGregor he does whatever the %^$& he wants.
Including Nikki Bella.
5. Tony Ferguson
This man is on a 12 fight win streak in a lightweight division full of killers. Let that sink in. He has finished 9 of those fights making his run even more sensational. Injuries and other unforeseen factors have kept him from facing the reigning champion Nurmagomedov. If Tony can stay healthy and defeat Khabib there is no doubt Ferguson is the true P4P #1. No question.
6. Stipe Miocic
One of the most underappreciated champions in history. The only one of his three losses that he hasn’t avenged is the Stefan Struve TKO in 2012. His loss to former heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos was forgotten when he TKO’d the Brazilian in the rematch. After former light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier moved up from light heavyweight and took his belt Miocic came right back and knocked him out for it. He just may be the greatest UFC heavyweight of all time.
7. Kamaru Usman
10 in a row and current welterweight champion. The man who dethroned Tyron Woodley. The man Colby Covington won’t fight. Usman isn’t known for finishing fights but you don’t go on a run like his and not get recognized for it. There are a few more hurdles ahead like the winner of Jorge Masvidal vs Nate Diaz and guys like Colby Covington, Leon Edwards, and a rematch with Woodley before he moves up on this list.
What did you think of these? Light up the comments section folks. Smoke em if you got em.