Striking is hands down the most popular fighting style in mixed martial arts, which is why most of the fan favorites know how to throw hands. The reason why striking is more exciting is because there’s a variety of strikes, highlight-reel knockouts, and lots of action. In this article, we will take a look at the five best strikers in the UFC.
The ‘best strikers in the UFC’ list isn’t complete without Conor McGregor. The Irishman is one of the finest strikers to have ever competed in the sport of mixed martial arts. He’s extremely agile, powerful, and moves extremely well inside the Octagon.
McGregor is also the most decorated striker in the UFC, with featherweight and lightweight titles and 19 knockout wins to his name. Whether it was the 13 second knockout of Jose Aldo or his striking clinic against Eddie Alvarez, McGregor has been performing at the highest level since forever.
If it wasn’t for his low gas tank, McGregor would have been way more dangerous than he already is. He’s got punches, kicks, spinning attacks, and he’s very unpredictable on his feet. ‘The Notorious’ might not be the most complete striker in the game, but he’s still the most exciting and definitely the most popular.
WHAT A PERFORMANCE 🏆🏆
— UFC (@ufc) September 13, 2018
Valentina Shevchenko is the greatest female striker in the history of MMA, in terms of skill and technicality. She might not have Amanda Nunes’ power, but she has still got a lot more tools which the Brazilian doesn’t.
The Muay Thai-styled fighter is one of the best strikers in the UFC. She’s got a variety of tricks, lighting fast hands, and is extremely unpredictable. Her fight IQ is also off the charts, which is why she’s always a heavy favorite every time she steps inside the Octagon.
Shevchenko has also got one of the best footwork in the game. She’s always one step ahead of her opponent, and is so dominant that she can remain the champion in her division for as long as he wants. As Daniel Cormier says, “there’s levels to this thing”, and Shevchenko’s levels above the rest.
And the Shevchenko's start 1️⃣-0️⃣!
— UFC (@ufc) November 22, 2020
Although he’s coming off a loss at the hands of Jan Blachowicz in his most recent fight, Israel Adesanya’s striking prowess is second to none. He’s one of the best strikers in the UFC right now. Adesanya is loose and smart, and uses techniques at the right time, expending as little energy as he can.
He is an expert when it comes to using feints to force his opponents into making costly mistakes. Much of his success comes from his patience. He attacks the legs and the body in the opening minutes of his fights to draws reactions from his opponents. And if he gets a positive reaction, he explodes.
He also uses his length and range very well, which helps him keep a safe distance from his opponents but hurting them at the same time. It’s tough to beat a striker like Adesanya, unless you take him down or knock him out because he grows better as the fight progresses.
— Barstool Sports (@BarstoolsTweets) September 27, 2020
Max Holloway put such a bad beating on Calvin Kattar in January that the latter is still recovering from his injuries, and isn’t sure whether or not he’ll be able to fight again this year. Holloway isn’t a kick-heavy striker, he just happens to be the best boxer in the game, as he says, and it’s hard to argue against him.
Holloway landed an astounding 445 significant strikes on Kattar in a span of 25 minutes, the most in the history of the UFC. He isn’t the most powerful striker in the UFC, or a knockout artist by any means, but he’s extremely accurate and efficient, and his output is simply outrageous.
Rank these Holloway moments:
‣ Stand and bang v Lamas – UFC 199
‣ Teaching Ortega defence – UFC 231
‣ In the zone against Kattar – #UFCFightIsland7@BlessedMMA has given us some of the baddest moments inside the Octagon 🔥 pic.twitter.com/KkVFhFg1Td
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) January 17, 2021
Stephen Thompson is pound-for-pound the nicest human being in MMA, but he’s also one of the best strikers in the UFC. Thompson is undefeated in kickboxing but has been on the receiving end of some questionable losses in the UFC.
Thompson is a 5th-degree black belt in Karate, which means he’s an absolute master of his game. He’s got a variety of kicks, moves extremely well inside the Octagon, and is one of the most dynamic strikers in MMA. There’s a reason why he looks so good even though he’s way past his prime.
He’s certainly the gold standard for strikers in the UFC welterweight division.
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) December 20, 2020
Who do you think is number one among the five best strikers in the UFC?
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