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The 5 best European fighters in the UFC

UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jan Blachowicz
UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jan Blachowicz
ANALYST
Modified 31 Mar 2021
Feature

It wasn’t that long ago that you would struggle to name 5 world-class European UFC fighters. There was England’s Michael Bisping, Croatia’s Mirko Crocop, and of course ‘The Notorious' Conor McGregor from Ireland.

Recently European fighters have not only risen up the UFC rankings but many have claimed UFC gold.

The 5 best European fighters in the UFC

#5 Joanna Jedrzejczyk

UFC 217: Jedrzejczyk v Namajunas
UFC 217: Jedrzejczyk v Namajunas

The former UFC strawweight champion boasts an impressive MMA record of 16-4. Jedrzejczyk has defended her title a UFC record 5 times. She holds UFC wins over Michelle Waterson, Tecia Torres, Jessica Andrade, Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Carla Esparza and Claudia Gadelha twice.

The Polish fighter holds the most wins in the UFC strawweight history (10) and took part in the greatest female MMA fight in history against current UFC Champion Welli Zhang at UFC 248 in 2020.

The first female European UFC champion deserves her spot on this list.

#4 Petr Yan

Petr
Petr 'No Mercy' Yan: Weigh-In
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Russia’s Petr ´No Mercy´ Yan is one of the brightest young stars in the UFC. The former UFC bantamweight king has looked unbeatable in the octagon.

Unfortunately in his first title defense against Aljamain Sterling, he threw an illegal knee and was disqualified. Not only did he lose his undefeated record in the UFC, but he also lost his title.

Yan holds UFC wins over John Dodson, Uriah Faber, Jimmy Rivera and Brazilian legend Jose Aldo, who he knocked out to win the Bantamweight championship.

It looks like Yan will have his chance to reclaim his title when he faces Sterling in a rematch later this year.

#3 Jan Blachowicz

UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jan Blachowicz
UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jan Blachowicz

The UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jan Blachowicz has had a late-career surge like no other in MMA. He is riding a 4 fight win streak and is currently ranked #7 in the UFC pound-for-pound rankings.

The now-famous ´Polish Power´ has beaten Luke Rockhold, Dominick Reyes, Jacare Souza, Corey Anderson, and previously undefeated UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya.

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After starting his UFC career 2-4, Poland´s Blachowicz is now one of the premier fighters in the promotion.

#2 Valentina Shevchenko

UFC 231 Shevchenko v Jedrzejczyk
UFC 231 Shevchenko v Jedrzejczyk

Born in Russia and proudly representing Kyrgyzstan (and Peru), Valentina Shevchenko is the UFC Flyweight Champion. Undefeated at flyweight in the UFC, ‘The Bullet’ has dominated her title challengers.

She has a professional MMA record of 20-3 with two of those losses coming against women´s MMA GOAT Amanda Nunes, with the second fight being a close split decision at UFC 215.

Shevchenko´s UFC record includes victories over Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Jessica Eye, Liz Carmouche, Julianna Pena, and former UFC Bantamweight Champion Holly Holm.

#1 Conor McGregor

McGregor v Cerrone
McGregor v Cerrone

´The Notorious´ Conor McGregor has taken the UFC to new heights and is the greatest pay-per-view draw in the history of MMA. Ireland´s McGregor made history as the UFC's first-ever "Champ-Champ" when he held both the UFC Featherweight and Lightweight titles at the same time.

He holds UFC wins in three weight classes: featherweight, lightweight and welterweight. The Irishman has the record for the fastest KO in UFC championship history when he stopped Jose Aldo in 13 seconds.

McGregor has UFC wins over Eddie Alvarez, Nate Diaz, Donald Cerrone, Chad Mendes and Dustin Poirier. He may not currently hold any UFC gold but he has earned his place as the best European fighter in the UFC.

Published 31 Mar 2021, 01:19 IST
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