The UFC has seen a number of phenomenal fighters throughout its history – some are incredibly well-rounded, while most primarily excel in a specific combat style.
The mixed martial arts promotion has seen stars who rely on remarkable punching power, and others who show immense perseverance to achieve success via grappling. Wins in the Octagon are either the result of heavy striking or forcing submissions, but who are the most legendary stars throughout history that excel in a certain area of combat within the UFC?
Former heavyweight title holder Francis Ngannou is known to possess the strongest punch on human record. The power within his fists is, thus far, unmatched across the world.
His striking is so strong that he has now opted to switch to boxing, where his punching power can take precedence in his fights. His first fight will be against the WBC title holder Tyson Fury – in the odds on Tyson Fury v Francis Ngannou, the former UFC star is a massive underdog at +700.
Ngannou has previously achieved 17 victories from 20 appearances in the Octagon – an impressive seven of those triumphs were inflicted by his remarkable punching power.
— TYSON FURY (@Tyson_Fury) August 18, 2023
The French-Cameroonian faces an immensely daunting task in his boxing debut. However, if you were to pick any MMA fighter throughout history to be a boxing success, it would be Ngannou.
Khabib Nurmagomedev is certainly the greatest grappler in the history of the UFC. Fighters from the Republic of Dagestan in Russia are typically incredible ground fighters who are comfortable in regularly securing victories via submissions.
Khabib won all 13 of his fights while signed to the promotion and five of them came via submissions. When it comes to close combat both in the clinch or on the ground, the Russian will often take control and force a submission attempt on his opponent.
The Dagestani is widely regarded as one of the greatest fighters in the sport’s history, and when it comes to his main strength, nobody can top his abilities.
Determining the greatest-ever striker in regard to leg kicks is extremely tough, as fighters very rarely get the spacing to unleash a heavy kick on their opponents. However, Anderson Silva is certainly a former UFC star who is remembered for his ability to finishing fights with his acrobatic leg kicks.
The Brazilian at times used leg striking as a defence against opposition punches, and this often allowed him to switch the momentum of fights in an instant.
11 years ago today,
Anderson Silva earned the final win of his legendary 16 fight UFC winning streak. pic.twitter.com/X4oApbtvxk
— MMA History Today (@MMAHistoryToday) October 13, 2023
Throughout his career, he secured six of his 34 victories in the Octagon via significant leg strikes. Silva famously won via a flying knee against Carlos Newton in 2003 and again via a kick to the face against Vitor Belfort in 2011.
In truth, this trio of fighters were all versatile in their styles and were capable of winning in many different ways. But when it comes to their specific individual strengths, there are few throughout history who can compare to their trademark fighting approach.