5 African fighters who have the potential to become UFC champions

UFC Fight Night: Kattar v Ige Weigh-in
UFC Fight Night: Kattar v Ige Weigh-in
Modified 29 Mar 2021
Top 5 / Top 10

African-born fighters have taken the UFC by storm. Three current champions hail from the world's second-largest continent.

The dawn of the African era has arrived in the world's most prestigious MMA league, with titleholders Israel Adesanya, Kamaru Usman and Francis Ngannou at the center of attention in the UFC.

"3 Kings taking gold back to the land, Africa. This is history," UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya tweeted, in celebration of Francis Ngannou's victory.

Indeed, the likes of 'The Last Style Bender', 'The Nigerian Nightmare' and 'The Predator' have represented Africa very well. But the talent produced by the region isn't limited to those three.

Below is a list of up-and-coming African fighters who have the potential to capture a UFC championship in the future.

#5 Abdul Razak Alhassan (Ghana)

UFC Fight Night: Alhassan v Williams
UFC Fight Night: Alhassan v Williams

A Judo black belt with a penchant for knocking his opponents out, Abdul Razak Alhassan proved that he's talented enough to make some noise in the UFC.

Early in his career, Abdul Razak Alhassan made a name for himself by stringing together a series of first round knockout finishes. In his Octagon debut, he extended his KO streak to seven when he easily dispatched Charlie Ward in 2016.


At UFC 220, Abdul Razak Alhassan earned a performance of the night bonus when he gave Sabah Homasi a taste of his patented knockout power. He seemed destined for stardom when he finished Niko Price in the first round of their UFC 228 bout.

Unfortunately for Abdul Razak Alhassan, he has lost both of his most recent fights in the Octagon. To live up to his potential, he desperately needs a victory in his next fight.

#4 Dalcha Lungiambula (Republic of Congo)

Born in Congo and fighting out of South Africa, Dalcha Lungiambula kick-started his career by dominating Johannesburg-based promotion EFC Africa. Lungiambula tore through his competition and captured both titles in the light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions.

Lungiambula was successful in his UFC debut when he stopped Dequan Townsend in the third round. The Congolese was then derailed when he suffered a KO loss to Magomed Ankalaev at UFC Fight Night 163.


Unfortunately, three of his fights in the UFC had to be canceled due to the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Dalcha Lungiambula finally got his redemption earlier this year after earning a unanimous decision win against Markus Perez at UFC on ESPN 20.

#3 Don Madge (South Africa)

Possessing incredible power, great foot work, and a high cage fighting IQ, Don Madge is among the most promising fighters in the league today.

Another EFC Africa alumnus, Don Madge has taken the UFC by storm with back-to-back wins against Te Edwards and Fares Ziam. The South African is currently on a six-fight winning streak, having successfully avoided a loss since 2015.

Don Madge was scheduled to fight Nasrat Haqparast in a lightweight bout at UFC Fight Night 187. Unfortunately, he was forced to pull out of the fight because of visa issues.


Nevertheless, Don Madge will have the opportunity to prove himself in the talent-rich 155-pound weight class when he eventually makes his Octagon return.

#2 Sodiq Yusuf (Nigeria)

Nigerian-American Sodiq Yusuf booked his ticket to the UFC by competing in the second season of web show 'Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series'.

A promising young fighter, Sodiq Yusuf has been steadily climbing the UFC featherweight ladder. Yusuf amassed six consecutive victories, with four wins inside the Octagon.

He made a splash during his promotional debut in the UFC when he finished Australia's Suman Mokhtarian in the first round via technical knockout. His successful run continued when he racked up wins against Sheymon Moraes, Gabriel Benitez and Andre Fili.

#1 Kennedy Nzechukwu (Nigeria)

UFC 259: Elliott v Espinosa
UFC 259: Elliott v Espinosa

Kennedy Nzechukwu is another American fighter of Nigerian descent who participated in 'Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series'.

Nzechukwu came out victorious in his two most recent outings in the UFC. He snagged a unanimous decision win against Darko Stosic on the main card of UFC on ESPN 5. He recently fought in the early prelims card of UFC 259, earning a spectacular KO win against Carlos Ulberg.

African UFC domination

The early part of the 2010s was dominated by Brazilians, thanks to the stellar runs of former champions Anderson Silva, Lyoto Machida, Junior Dos Santos and Jose Aldo to name a few. If the fighters mentioned above can continue with their upward trajectory, the 20s could very well be ruled by African fighters.

Published 29 Mar 2021, 17:43 IST
Fetching more content...
App download animated image Get the free App now