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Five Best Undefeated Fighters In The UFC

There’s arguably no more challenging feat in sport than to stay undefeated in mixed martial arts, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld as he lists the five best unbeaten fighters in the UFC.


There’s arguably no more challenging feat in sport than to stay undefeated in mixed martial arts, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld as he lists the five best unbeaten fighters in the UFC.

With so many variables and different styles of opponents, and the ever-present possibility of losing a fight with a single blow, staying undefeated in MMA is next to impossible.

Of the precious few with flawless records on the UFC roster, the following five are the best of the bunch and could go on to capture championship gold:

Ilia Topuria (14-0, 6-0 UFC)

Based on the brutality he’s dished out, Topuria can be described as the Georgian grim reaper. Always going for the kill, the highly skilled savage has only gone to a decision twice, in his UFC debut against Youssef Zalal in October 2020 and his last fight against Josh Emmett.

Sandwiched in between those victories were stoppage wins over Damon Jackson (knockout), Ryan Hall (knockout), Jai Herbert (knockout) and Bryce Mitchell (submission), all of which saw him emerge as a serious player at 145 pounds and earn a shot at the belt against Alexander Volkanovski in the main event of UFC 298 at the Honda Center in Anaheim on Sunday, 18 February (SA time).

Shavkat Rakhmonov (18-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC)

Speaking of pure predators, Rakhmonov is at the top of the food chain as he boasts a 100% finish rate. That sort of savagery is almost unheard of, making the Kazakh marauder a must-watch MMA monster come to life.

With eight knockouts and 10 submissions, “Nomad” is an all-around assassin and, dare I say, the welterweight champion in waiting. Even with a concealed injury coming into his last fight, he became the first man to submit former two-time title challenger Steven Thompson, completely shutting down “Wonderboy” to make it six in a row in the UFC and break into the 170-pound elite.

Good luck to anyone unfortunate enough to find himself opposite Rakhmonov in the Octagon.

Khamzat Chimaev (13-0, 7-0 UFC)

Chimaev burst onto the UFC scene in 2020 and soon became one of MMA’s greatest anomalies as he mauled opponents with unprecedented dominance. Fuelled by an unquenchable hunger for violence, “Borz” blitzed John Philips and stopped Rhys McKee in just 10 days, the shortest turnaround in UFC history during which he sustained no damage whatsoever.

A 17-second one-punch knockout of Gerald Meerschaert and choke out of Jingliang Li, after having talked to an Octagon-side UFC president Dana White whilst manhandling “The Leech”, added to his instant legend, as did his epic win in a classic three-round war against Gilbert Burns.  

Coming off a decision victory over one of the all-time greats in former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman in what was supposedly a title eliminator, the Swedish star could be new 185-pound king Dricus du Plessis’ first challenger if the UFC is unable to lure Israel Adesanya out of his self-imposed break.

Umar Nurmagomedov (16-0, 4-0 UFC)

The boogeyman of the bantamweight division is following in the footsteps of his Hall of Fame cousin Khabib Nurmagomedov, who retired as lightweight champion with a perfect record of 29-0.

The Dagestani ace is a powerful mauler who submitted Sergey Morozov and Brian Kelleher in his first two UFC fights and outpointed Nate Maness before he made the biggest statement of all, showing improvement in his striking by producing one of the best knockouts of 2023 against Raoni Barcelos.

Few want to face the feared 27-year-old but he’s a patient predator. Best believe he’s going nowhere but up.

Tatiana Suarez (10-0, 6-0 UFC)

If not for incredibly bad luck with injuries and having to overcome cancer, Suarez might have already been a UFC champion. An alpha female with seemingly unstoppable wrestling, she returned from a three-and-a-half-year absence in style last February, submitting Montana de la Rosa at flyweight, and followed it up by tapping out former strawweight queen Jessica Andrade to prove her championship potential.

Boasting a submission win over current flyweight champion Alexa Grasso, the former Olympic wrestling hopeful has all the tools to not only win gold but perhaps become a two-division ruler like the great Amanda Nunes if she’s able to kick the injury curse.

Quintin Van Jaarsveld is a former MDDA-Sanlam SA Local Sports Journalist of the Year and a former three-time Vodacom KwaZulu-Natal Sports Journalist of the Year. Formerly the sports editor and Outstanding Journalist of the Year award winner at The Fever Media Group, deputy editor at eHowzit, editor at and senior staff writer at, he boasts over 15 years’ experience and is currently a freelance sports writer.

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