MMASucka’s Top Ten MMA Fighters of the 2010s

MMA
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 03: Demetrious Johnson poses on the scale during the UFC 227 weigh-in inside the Orpheum Theater on August 3, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The 2010s are now behind us and what a decade it was. MMA has reached new heights and there were too many jawdropping moments in the decade to count. We here at MMASucka wanted to do our part and contribute to the best of 2010s discussions. Eight of our writers have come together and voted on their personal top ten MMA fighters of the last decade, and this is the list we came up with.

MMASucka’s Top Ten MMA Fighters of the 2010s

Criteria

For this list, there wasn’t really a determined set of criteria. Some writers considered importance to the sport, others considered accomplishments. Talent of the fighters was obviously taken into consideration, as was their level of competition. Each writer’s personal list will be placed at the bottom of the article. The individual lists will give you a better idea of what each writer valued most when ranking their top ten MMA fighters of last decade.

To come up with the consensus rankings, the process was simple. Each writer’s top ranked fighter got ten points, second ranked got nine points, all the way down to their tenth ranked fighter getting one point. Finally, in order for a fighter to be included in the list, they had to have been on at least three individual writers’ lists. This only mattered for our number ten fighter, as two other fighters had more points but were only ranked by two writers. Let’s get into the list.

10. Georges St-Pierre

Here’s someone you probably weren’t expecting to see. Georges St-Pierre would be towards the top of a best MMA fighters of the 2000s list. That is when the bulk of his legendary career happened, but GSP had a good decade in the 2010s, too. He was 7-0 in the decade, with wins over the likes of Johny Hendricks (yes, asterisk), Nick Diaz, and Jake Shields. Those three made up half of GSP’s six title defenses in the decade. And who could forget when St-Pierre made his return in 2017 to defeat Michael Bisping and become a two-division world champion. His name sometimes pops up for super fights with the likes of Khabib Nurmagomedov or Conor McGregor. But, it seems that GSP retired and meant it after the fight with Bisping. If we don’t see him in the 2020s, the 2010s were a good decade for GSP to end his GOAT-caliber career.

9. Stipe Miocic

All 22 of Stipe Miocic‘s career professional MMA fights took place in the 2010s. He currently sits with a 19-3 record, 13-3 in the UFC. In the decade, Miocic became the greatest heavyweight in UFC history, and arguably the best heavyweight in MMA history. He has finished the likes of Junior dos SantosMark HuntFabricio WerdumAlistair Overeem, and Daniel Cormier. His decision victory over Francis Ngannou was a dominant win over a very dangerous and formidable opponent. In his UFC career, Miocic has earned nine post-fight bonuses, the most of any heavyweight in promotion history. He defended his title three times, another record for UFC heavyweights. Stipe Miocic is a great fighter, a likable guy, and definitely one of the ten most accomplished MMA fighters of the 2010s.

8. Daniel Cormier

All but one of Daniel Cormier‘s 25 career MMA fights took place in the 2010s. He went 21-2-1 in the decade, with the only two losses coming to other fighters on this list (Miocic and someone we’ll get to). Cormier is definitely not lacking in accomplishments from last decade. He was a Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix winner before making the move to the UFC. After going 3-0 in the heavyweight division, Cormier made the transition to light heavyweight. There he went 7-1 including four successful defenses of his championship. In July of 2018, Cormier made the return to heavyweight and knocked out Miocic, becoming a simultaneous two-division champ. He defended the belt against Derrick Lewis before dropping it to Miocic in their rematch. Cormier has quality wins over Dan HendersonJosh BarnettAnthony Johnson (2), Alexander Gustafsson, and Miocic. He was definitely deserving of a spot on this list, and a win over one guy would’ve had him closer to the top.

7. Ronda Rousey

Say what you want about her talent or level of competition, but Ronda Rousey is on this list for more than that. Rousey is a pioneer in every sense of the word. She was the first woman to be a UFC champion. Six title defenses later, Rousey was a mega star and by far the most successful woman in UFC history from a business standpoint. Without Ronda Rousey, it’s hard to say where women’s MMA would be today. She is one of just four fighters (and the only woman) in UFC history to headline multiple pay-per-views that did over 1,000,000 buys. In 2018, Rousey was the first woman to be inducted into the UFC hall of fame. Sure, there are women today who are better fighters than Ronda Rousey was. But what she did for the sport is unmatched by other women and will probably never be matched. For that reason, she finds a spot on this list.

6. Max Holloway

Former featherweight champion and lightweight title challenger Max Holloway was spectacular in the 2010s. He went 21-5 in the decade and we saw him develop into one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world. Until 2019, his only professional MMA losses came when he was 21 years old or younger. His 14 fight win streak in the featherweight division is the longest in UFC history. He also holds the most wins (16) and knockouts (eight) in UFC featherweight history. Holloway was awarded post fight bonuses eight times in his career. The list of names Holloway has defeated include Jose Aldo (2), Brian OrtegaRicardo LamasAnthony PettisCub Swanson, and more. Everytime Holloway steps into the octagon, he is a joy to watch. His punishing pace coupled with his elite precision boxing and granite chin made him an absolute nightmare in the featherweight division for a long time. Though he lost his title in the last UFC event of the decade, Max Holloway was unquestionably one of the best and most accomplished fighters of the 2010s.

5. Khabib Nurmagomedov

Since Khabib Nurmagomedov has never lost in 28 pro MMA fights, he obviously didn’t suffer a loss last decade. It is a joy to watch the Russian fighter utilize his grappling to just dominate opponents. Even “just bleed” type fans who only want to watch kickboxing matches enjoy watching “The Eagle” fight. Nurmagomedov captured gold in 2018 and rose to true superstar status due to his feud with and victory over Conor McGregor. The list of names he has defeated (dominated might be a more fitting term) include Rafael dos AnjosMichael JohnsonEdson Barboza, McGregor, and Dustin Poirier. The way he talks, Nurmagomedov’s MMA career might be coming to an end in the near future. Some think he may look to improve his record to 30-0 before retiring. If he is able to defeat Tony Ferguson in their upcoming fight, Nurmagomedov will be the undisputed greatest lightweight of time. We’ve never seen someone with his grappling before, and might not ever see it again.

4. Jon Jones

Considered by many to be the greatest MMA fighter of all time, Jon Jones comes in at number four on this list. Some might dock him for his failed drug tests, others might dock him for his quality of competition. He surely has beaten opponents with a lot of name value, but many of those wins came against fighters who were undersized, on the decline, or both. Still, there is no docking Jones’s skills for the light heavyweight division, specifically his wrestling and work in the clinch. He is one of the best clinch fighters in MMA history regardless of weight class. His list of accomplishments last decade go on and on. He became the youngest UFC champion in history. Jones has the most wins (19) and title defenses (ten) in UFC light heavyweight history. Some of the former champions he defeated include Shogun RuaLyoto MachidaQuinton JacksonRashad EvansVitor Belfort, and Daniel Cormier. He’s controversial for good reasons, but Jones had no trouble working his way in at the top of our list.

3. Conor McGregor

Speaking of controversy, Conor McGregor comes in at number three for us. Personal attributes aside, McGregor is without a doubt one of the best martial artists of the past decade, and easily the most important to the sport. The 2015 versions of Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes are two of the best fighters of all time, and McGregor finished both of them. His dominant win over Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight championship was the best performance of his career. He also has wins over Holloway, Poirier, and Nate Diaz. McGregor was a simultaneous two-division champion in two promotions last decade. His rise to stardom helped turn MMA into the mainstream sport it is today. He headlined the three highest-selling PPVs in UFC history, and five of the top six. Of course, his lack of title defenses makes hurts his resume a bit. But, the quality of his wins and his all-time great striking make Conor McGregor a top three fighter of the 2010s.

2. Jose Aldo

Looking at win-loss record in recent fightswon’t do justice for how good of a fighter Jose Aldo was in his prime. If he’s not the most well-rounded fighter of all time, our number one fighter is. Aldo at his peak was on a whole different level. His list of names is impressive to say the least. Mendes (2), Frankie Edgar (2), Urijah FaberChan Sung Jung, and Renato Moicano are just some of the guys that fell victim to Aldo this decade. His only losses at featherweight came to all-time great fighters in their own right: Holloway (2), McGregor, and Alexander Volkanovski. Between the WEC and UFC, Aldo had nine successful title defenses in the 2010s while fighting in the deepest division in the sport. Despite what some might say, Jose Aldo is still the greatest featherweight of all time. He’s arguably the greatest fighter of all time, and peak Aldo is surely in the conversation for best fighter of all time. If it wasn’t for the next guy, Aldo would easily be the greatest MMA fighter of the 2010s.

1. Demetrious Johnson

Just because his opposition doesn’t have much name value doesn’t mean Demetrious Johnson is fighting poor competition. Two of his three losses in the decade were decision losses to bantamweights (one of which was Dominick Cruz for the UFC championship). The only other loss was seven years later, the very controversial split decision loss to now-champion Henry Cejudo. Johnson has defeated a very impressive list of names: Joseph Benavidez (2), John Dodson (2), Cejudo, Kyoji HoriguchiTim Elliott, and Danny Kingad. Might Mouse was a UFC champion and a ONE champion in the decade. He holds the record for must consecutive title defenses in UFC history with 11. He was also awarded a post fight bonus nine times in his UFC career. Unfortunately, Johnson wasn’t a huge draw and didn’t get near the recognition he deserved while fighting in the UFC. His abilities and accomplishments made it a no-brainer for us to have Demetrious Johnson as the best MMA fighter of the previous decade.

Below, you can find each individual writer’s personal top ten list.

Connor Deitrich:

  1. Demtrious Johnson
  2. Max Holloway
  3. Jose Aldo
  4. Conor McGregor
  5. Jon Jones
  6. Khabib Nurmagomedov
  7. TJ Dillashaw
  8. Daniel Cormier
  9. Stipe Miocic
  10. Joseph Benavidez

Wesley Riddle:

  1. Demtrious Johnson
  2. Jose Aldo
  3. Khabib Nurmagomedov
  4. Frankie Edgar
  5. Conor MCGregor
  6. Eddie Alvarez
  7. Max Holloway
  8. Jon Jones
  9. Douglas Lima
  10. Bibiano Fernandes

Ed Gallo:

  1. Jose Aldo
  2. Demetrious Johnson
  3. Max Holloway
  4. Conor McGregor
  5. TJ Dillashaw
  6. Frankie Edgar
  7. Robbie Lawler
  8. Joseph Benavidez
  9. Khabib Nurmagomedov
  10. Eddie Alvarez

Dan Rose:

  1. Demtrious Johnson
  2. Jon Jones
  3. Tony Ferguson
  4. Daniel Cormier
  5. Khabib Nurmagomedov
  6. Jose Aldo
  7. Stipe Miocic
  8. Georges St-Pierre
  9. Conor McGregor
  10. Amanda Nunes

Frazer Krohn:

  1. Max Holloway
  2. Demetrious Johnson
  3. Khabib Nurmagomedov
  4. Jon Jones
  5. Conor McGregor
  6. Ronda Rousey
  7. Jose Aldo
  8. Douglas Lima
  9. Gegard Mousasi
  10. Michael Bisping

Jeremy Brand:

  1. Demtrious Johnson
  2. Jose Aldo
  3. Khabib Nurmagomedov
  4. Jon Jones
  5. Ronda Rousey
  6. Conor McGregor
  7. Stipe Miocic
  8. Georges St-Pierre
  9. Eddie Alvarez
  10. Bibiano Fernandes

Ash Camyab:

  1. Amanda Nunes
  2. Conor McGregor
  3. Jon Jones
  4. Demetrious Johnson
  5. Daniel Cormier
  6. Ronda Rousey
  7. Stipe Miocic
  8. Max Holloway
  9. Jose Aldo
  10. Gegard Mousasi

Matt Bricker:

  1. Mamed Khalidov
  2. Conor McGregor
  3. Demtrious Johnson
  4. Jon Jones
  5. Jose Aldo
  6. Ronda Rousey
  7. Georges St-Pierre
  8. Daniel Cormier
  9. Khabib Nurmagomedov
  10. Dustin Poirier

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