10 best Brazilian fighters in UFC history

While there have been a number of effective MMAs that have been used throughout UFC history, it’s hard to say that Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) has not been one of the greatest. However, the BJJ isn’t the only amazing thing to come out of Brazil. Throughout UFC history, some of the greatest fighters of all time have been Brazilians, and die-hard MMA fans are more than likely to be fans of more than one Brazilian fighter.

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While BJJ stars are usually the types who excel in ground play more than any other fighting style, that doesn’t mean there haven’t been a ton of Brazilian knockout performers as well. It is no exaggeration to say that an argument could be made for the Brazilians to be among the most dominant fighters in UFC history.

Fabrice Werdum

Fabricio Werdum with a flag of Brazil

Former UFC heavyweight champion with twenty-four wins in thirty-five fights, Fabricio Werdum is a monster who has only been stopped by other top MMA talent. While Werdum had success with submissions and strikes, he began by learning Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.

With wins over Mark Hunt, Cain Velasquez and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Werdum cemented his place in history as one of the greatest heavyweights to enter the Octagon. Although he has a few losses, losing in fights against people like Stipe Miocic and Alistair Overeem isn’t that big of a deal.

Renan barao

Renan Barao (red gloves) defeats Phillipe Nover (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at the Nilson Nelson Gymnasium.
Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

It is not always common for fighters to have more than forty different fights in their careers, but Renan Barao is not a common fighter. With thirty-four wins and a run for the UFC bantamweight championship, it’s safe to say that Barao was a formidable fighter in his prime.

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Barao has competed against some of the best competitions the UFC has to offer and won numerous fight honors, including three separate bouts of the night. While his record is not as impressive today as it was at his peak, he still managed to secure victories over top contenders like Urijah Faber.


Vitor Belfort

Vitor Belfort before a fight with Lyoto Machida (not seen) in UFC 224
Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Just about any die-hard UFC fan can list the many accomplishments legend Vitor Belfort has to his name. The man held the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship and he won the UFC 12 Heavyweight Tournament Championship.

Belfort has taken part in over forty different fights, taking victories and registering a few losses against several legendary competitors. He holds knockout victories (techniques included) against Dan Henderson, Luke Rockhold, Michael Bisping and many more. His column on the losses is reserved for Jon Jones, Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva.

Junior Dos Santos

junior dos-santos-dan-lambert-aew

Although he makes appearances for AEW these days, Junior Dos Santos is another former UFC heavyweight champion. He holds twenty-one wins in his thirty-fight career, and while his last four fights were all TKO losses, Santos was a terror in his heyday.

There are many classic Junior Dos Santos wars against other all-time greats like Alistair Overeem, Cain Velasquez and Stipe Miocic. At one point, he had a ten-game winning streak against some of the all-time best the UFC had to offer.

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

Antonio Rodrigo Minotauro Nogueira in the press room during UFC Fight Night
Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Antonio Nogueira is undoubtedly an MMA legend as he was previously inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. With nearly fifty fights throughout his MMA career, it’s surprising that Nogueira has never managed to land interim gold in the UFC.

While he’s built much of his legacy outside of the UFC, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t had his fair share of excellent fights with the company. Despite most of his losses from his time in the UFC, he has had entertaining fights against Tito Ortiz, Rashad Evans and Sam Alvey.

Lyoto Machida

Lyoto Machida (red gloves) celebrates after beating Chael Sonnen (blue gloves) in Bellator 222
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Four honors of the night knockouts, three honors of the night fights and two honors of the night performances are all achievements of Lyoto Machida. It’s also worth mentioning that Machida is a former UFC light heavyweight champion.

With twenty-six victories in thirty-seven career fights, Machida is an MMA legend. While he has lost his last three fights, Machida holds emphatic victories over Chael Sonnen, Vitor Belfort, Dan Henderson, Randy Couture and many other legends. He also started his career with a sixteen-game winning streak.

Jose aldo

José Aldo Smile

Some have said that Jose Aldo is arguably the greatest featherweight in MMA history. With four Honors of the Night fights, two Honors of the Night performances, two UFC Featherweight Championship wins and an interim UFC Featherweight Championship victory, it’s hard to say Aldo isn’t a living legend.

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The thrilling forward has ended seventeen of his thirty wins via TKO / KO against some of the toughest competitions the UFC can throw at him. Prior to his notorious loss to Conor McGregor, Aldo was on an eighteen-game winning streak.

Wanderlei Silva

Walk around Silva before a fight.

Wanderlei Silva is a scary man with a staggering 51 fights throughout his iconic career. Of those fifty-one fights, Silva won thirty-five with twenty-seven of those victories via KO / TKO.

While much of Silva’s legacy was formed during his time with Pride FC, he still faced the best of the best when he made it to the UFC. He stacked five honors of the night fights, two honors of the night knockouts, and had all-out wars against top-of-the-line fighters like Michael Bisping, Cung Le and Rich Franklin.

Anderson silva

Anderson silva
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

It would be surprising to find a UFC fan who doesn’t at least know who Anderson Silva is. Another fighter who has been on the wrong side of the win-lose column lately, there’s no denying how dominant Silva was at the height of his career.

He was one of the most dominant UFC middleweight champions of all time and still holds numerous UFC records to this day. No mention of Silva is complete without mentioning his incredible fight with Forrest Griffin where he seemed and was completely untouchable.

Royce Gracie

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

While Royce Gracie only had twenty fights in his MMA career, there were few fans of the early days of the UFC who wouldn’t credit him with the initial success of many companies. Gracie was competing during the somewhat lawless phase of UFC life, which led to her retaining several impressive records.

Royce Gracie is a UFC Hall of Fame legend who has the most wins in a single night of competition in the UFC with four wins. He has the most tournament wins and the most UFC tournament wins as well. Of course, Gracie also holds the record for the longest UFC game of all time.

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