The 11 best British MMA fighters of all time (2023)

Some of the best British MMA fighters will be featured when theUFC returns to London this weekend. Britain is a proud fighting nation and over the years has produced countless talented fighters who have had an immense impact on the MMA world.

Let's take a look at the 11 best British MMA fighters of all time.

11. Molly McCann

With seven wins in theUFCand now, in the prime of her career, Liverpool's Molly McCann is on track to become Britain's all-time greatest fighter. "Meatball" first came to prominence in the UK-based Cage Warriors promotion, becoming their 2018 Women's Flyweight Champion.

With that win, McCann secured a spot in the UFC, where she has a solid 7-3 record. She is currently enjoying two straight wins, most recently with a stunning spinning back elbow KO of Luana Carolina at UFC London in March this year.


— ESPN MMA (@espnmma)March 19, 2022

10. Jimi Manuwa

Jimi Manuwa may have ended his career with consecutive losses, but he started it in phenomenal fashion. Such was the Londoner's KO power that he didn't fight for a full three rounds until his sixteenth fight, some seven years into his pro career.

"Poster Boy" captured the London-based promotion Ultimate Challenge MMA's light heavyweight title in just his fifth fight and has since defended his crown five times. He spent seven years in the UFC, scoring victories over the future championJan Blachowicz, Ovince Saint-Preux andCorey Anderson.

Five years ago today, Jimi Manuwa defeated Corey Anderson on his return to London

(Video) The Top Five British MMA Fighters Of All Time

– Alex Behunin (@AlexBehunin)March 18, 2022

9. Paul Craig

The dark horse of the UFC light heavyweight division, Scotsman Paul Craig has resurrected his career in recent years and established himself as one of MMA's most dangerous jiu-jitsu specialists.

The "Bear Jew" fought a string of promotions in the UK and in his first nine fights had eight submission wins, seven of which were in the first round, and won the FightStar light heavyweight title in the process.

The 11 best British MMA fighters of all time (1)

Craig joined the UFC in 2016, and despite a rough patch early on, he's now on a four-fight win streak that included first-round victories over Jamahal Hill and Nikita Krylov. Incredibly, Craig has only made a decision once in his career, with 13 of his 16 wins coming by submission.

8. Ross Pearson

Sunderland-born Englishman Ross Pearson doesn't have the most glamorous MMA record, but he will surely be remembered as one of Britain's finest scrappers.

Pearson first entered the mainstream in the ninth installment ofThe ultimate fighter, which was billed as Britain versus the US. Pearson played a central role in the British team, winning the lightweight final against Andre Winner.

In 2009, "The Real Deal" joined the UFC where he struggled for nearly a decade, notching notable victories over the likes of Gray Maynard and Paul Felder. Pearson would end his UFC stint with a 12-13-1 record.

The 11 best British MMA fighters of all time (2)

7. Paul Daley

With a career spanning 18 years and 64 fights and a whopping 35 knockouts, Paul Daley is one of the most prolific and talented MMA fighters Britain has ever produced.

The Londoner won the British Cage Rage welterweight title in 2006. Three years later he was in the UFC where he won his first two fights by KO and earned him a title eliminator against Josh Koscheck.

Daley would lose by unanimous decision but it was what he did after the bell that stole the headlines and changed the course of his career. At the end of the third and final round, "Semtex" Koscheck approached from behind and attempted to hit him with a left hook - an act it wassaw him blacklisted by the UFC.

As it's Paul Daley's fight week I have to post the time he hit Koscheck after the bell and was blacklisted by

– J.13. April 2021
(Video) Top 20 Greatest Fighters of All Time

Daley eventually found his way to Strikeforce where he lost his 2011 welterweight title fight via first round TKO to Nick Diaz. The now 39-year-old Daley is currently strugglingBellator, where he has a 10-5 record since 2012.

6. Michael Page

One of Britain's most exciting fighters, Michael Page has been a staple of Bellator's welterweight division for years. For Venom, martial arts have been a lifelong calling. The Londoner started training at the age of three and competed in his first kickboxing tournament when he was five.

After six straight wins, including one over Douglas Lima, Page fought for the interim Bellator title in May, losing by split decision to Logan Storley. The 35-year-old's record now stands at 20-2, which includes 15 finishes and nothing more spectacular than his flying knee against Evangelista Santos in 2016. That was the effect of this refereeJohn McCarthy described it as the loudest he had ever heard.

5. Brad Pickett

If there's one thing that many feel British MMA fighters lack, it's wrestling skills. However, England's Brad Pickett is the notable exception. During the Londoner's 39-fight career, which saw him compete in four weight classes, Pickett held his own against some of America's most experienced wrestlers.

"One-Punch" first made his mark with the UK-based Cage Rage promotion, becoming their featherweight champion in just his fifth MMA fight. He then found his way into the WEC where he claimed the most notable win of his career against future pound-for-pound grandmaster Demetrious Johnson.

Picket joined the UFC in 2011, fought 14 times in the promotion and amassed just five wins. However, his all-action style garnered him many fans alongside five performance bonuses.

The 11 best British MMA fighters of all time (3)

4. Darren Till

Darren Till is currently experiencing perhaps the biggest slump of his career but the Liverpool native's accomplishments certainly warrant his inclusion in any list of Britain's top MMA fighters.

Making his UFC debut in 2015 at just 22, it would take Till just over three years to secure a welterweight title against the towering Tyron Woodley. Undefeated in six fights, Till went into the matchup as a favorite. However, towards the end of the second round, "The Gorilla" was rocked by a huge right hand from Woodley before succumbing to a D'arce choke shortly thereafter.

The 11 best British MMA fighters of all time (4)

Since that loss, Till has struggled to capture the sparkling form that propelled him to a title shot at such a young age. A brutal KO loss to Jorge Masvidal propelled him to middleweight where he defeated Kelvin Gastelum in his debut. But since then it's been even more heartache for the 29-year-old after suffering back-to-back losses to Robert Whittaker and Derek Brunson.

3. Dan Hardy

Today, Dan Hardy is best known as one of MMA's most outspoken commentators and analysts. But as a fighter he is certainly one of the pioneers of British MMA, having been the first from that region to receive a UFC title shot.

(Video) 12 Moments You Wouldn’t Believe If Not Filmed

The Englishman, who fought in Nottingham, first rose to prominence with Cage Warriors where he became the world welterweight champion in 2005 - a year in which Hardy fought an astounding nine times in three different promotions.

The 11 best British MMA fighters of all time (5)

After an impressive run in which he won eight of nine fights, "The Outlaw" joined the UFC in 2008 and defeated Pride veteran Akihiro Gono in debut. A first-round KO by Rory Markham and a decision against Marcus Davis resulted in Hardy being propelled into a title eliminator with Mike Swick from which he emerged victorious.

This led to a clash with champion Georges St. Pierre, then a six-fight win streak. Hardy lost to St. Pierre by unanimous decision, but earned widespread acclaim for the courageous manner in which he fought, surviving several moments when he was almost stabbed. Hardy would only fight five more times and retired in 2012 at the age of 30 due to a heart condition.

2. Leon Edwards

Now on the threshold maybebecoming only the second British UFC champion in history,Leon Edwardsis a fighter who has quietly earned his place among Britain's best.

The Englishman, who fought in Birmingham, joined the UFC in 2014 as a 23-year-old, losing to Claudio Silva on the debut. But in his next fight, "Rocky" hit back spectacularly with an incredible 8-second KO in his next fight.

For years, Edwards has quietly and conscientiously clinched victory after victory without attracting much attention. And it wasn't with his performances in the Octagon that Leon first caught mainstream attention, but rather because he was on the receiving endJorge Masvidal's infamous "Three-Piece and a Soda"Backstage at UFC London in 2019.

This incident did little to derail Edward's rise to the top of the welterweight division. The 30 year old is now unbeaten in 10 fights and has wins overVincent Luke, Rafael dos Anjos and most recently Nate Diaz. His most recent defeat happened to be the man he will next fight for the title, Kamaru Usman.

1. Michael Bisping

Perhaps no fighter has had a career with as many dramatic twists and turns as Michael Bisping - universally the best British MMA fighter of all time.

Originally from Lancashire, "The Count" first came to prominence with the Cage Warriors, where he won the 2005 light heavyweight title. Bisping defended his crown three times before earning a spot on season three ofThe ultimate fighter, where he became one of the show's most memorable stars, not only for his brash, trash-talking personality, but also for his fighting skills.

The 11 best British MMA fighters of all time (6)

Visit Josh HaynesThe ultimate fighterFinale Bisping joined the UFC in 2006 and experienced the full spectrum of debilitating lows and dizzying highs during his 11-year career in promotion. He suffered one of the heaviest knockouts in UFC history at UFC 100 against Dan Henderson. He kept failing at the final hurdle, losing two title eliminators. And effectively fought with one eye for the latter part of his career.

Almost 13 years later, Michael Bisping is reflected in his KO loss to Dan Henderson at UFC 100.


– MMA-Junkie (@MMAJunkie)25. May 2022
(Video) Top 20 Small vs Big Fighters knockouts in MMA

But Bisping overcame those trials to achieve one of the most memorable fairytale endings in UFC history. In 2016, middleweight champion Luke Rockhold was set to face off again against Chris Weidman, who had to pull out at the last minute due to injury.

Bisping, who had lost to Rockhold by submission in 2014, competed with 17 days' notice. Fighting against the odds and half blind, "The Count" defeated Rockhold spectacularly in the first round to become the first British MMA fighter to win UFC gold.

Four years ago today, the legend of Left Hook Larry was born@bispingKO'd Luke Rockhold at UFC 199.

That night he finally clinched the UFC title after a 10 year run with the promotion 🇬🇧

— ESPN MMA (@espnmma)4. June 2020

What do you think of our list of the best British MMA fighters of all time? Did we miss someone?


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