5 Best UFC Fighters in 2018

Khabib - Could cap off a stupendous year with
over Conor McGregor

2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the UFC which debuted back in November 1993. Now fully fledged as part of the mainstream as one of the most popular sports in the world, the UFC has put out an incredible number of events, making this one of the most successful years in company history.

With the upcoming returns of BJ Penn, Jon Jones and Conor McGregor to the Octagon, things are only going to get more exciting.

2018 has seen several UFC stars individually have standout years also. This slideshow counts down the fighters who have enjoyed a hugely successful 2018.

#5 Derrick Lewis

UFC 226:  Ngannou v Lewis
Derrick Lewis - Has his eyes on the UFC Heavyweight Championship

Heavyweight contender, Derrick Lewis has had a standout 2018 thus far. One that could be capped off, if he wins at UFC 229 against the giant Russian, Alexander Volkov.

Lewis's 2018 began with a bang as he won "performance of the night" honors for his knockout win over Marcin Tybura at UFC Fight Night 126.

Lewis followed that victory up versus Francis Ngannou, who in his previous fight had challenged Stipe Miocic for the UFC Heavyweight Championship.

Lewis dominated the match and won via unanimous decision putting him in line for a UFC Heavyweight Championship shot.

Should he win his clash with Volkov at UFC 229, Lewis should earn his long-awaited crack at the title which would cap off a stellar year for the veteran fighter.

#4 Zabit Magomedsharipov

UFC 228 Woodley v Till
Zabit Magomedsharipov is victorious at UFC 228

The Russian Featherweight, Zabit Magomedsharipov has not lost an MMA bout in five years and judging by his phenomenal 2018, he is not likely to lose another one any time soon either.

Magomedsharipov competed in the "fight of the night" versus Kyle Bochniak at UFC 223 on April 7, 2018 winning the entertaining encounter by decision.

The Russian continued to impress last month at UFC 228 on September 8, 2018 when he used a knee-bar submission to defeat Brandon Davis midway through the second round.

Few would bet against the Featherweight maneuvering himself into a title shot in 2019 if he can emulate his 2018 success.

#3 Thiago Santos

Thiago Santos - Will fight five times in 2018

Middleweight contender, "The Sledgehammer" Thiago Santos has already fought four times in 2018 incredibly and will contest a fifth bout on December 31 at UFC 231.

Back on February 3, Santos began his 2018 in style overcoming Anthony Smith in the "fight of the night" with a devastating knockout of a body kick followed by a flurry of punches.

Surprisingly, Santos was unable to capitalize on this victory as he fell to defeat to World Series of Fighting legend, David Branch by knockout.

Santos quickly bounced back from this setback at UFC 227 to win a unanimous decision versus Kevin Holland on August 4, 2018 before he stepped in as a late replacement for Glover Teixeira to headline the Fight Night 137 card versus Jimi Manuwa who ironically would also withdraw from the event to be replaced by Eryk Anders, who Santos beat via referee stoppage.

With three wins from four, 2018 has been a stand out year for the experienced Brazilian.

#2 Khabib Nurmagomedov

UFC 205: Nurmagomedov v Johnson
Khabib - Having a stellar 2018

In truth Khabib Nurmagomedov has never had a bad year in MMA, given that he is undefeated in all 26 of his professional fights, however, 2018 stands out as the pick of all of them, given that this is the year where Khabib finally won a UFC title.

At UFC 223, Khabib won the vacant Lightweight Championship with a unanimous decision victory over Al Iaquinta.

With Khabib set to clash with former Lightweight Champion, Conor McGregor at UFC 229, he could yet make 2018 one of the most successful years in any fighter's history.

#1 Daniel Cormier

UFC 226:  Miocic v Cormier
Daniel Cormier celebrates at UFC 226

Only one choice for the top spot. The de-facto star of the UFC in 2018 has been Daniel Cormier.

Cormier competed at UFC 220 on January 20, 2018 successfully defending his UFC Light-Heavyweight Championship versus Volkan Oezdemir in the "performance of the night" via a second round knockout as he rained down punches on his Swiss challenger inflicting upon him the first defeat of Oezdemir's UFC career.

Cormier then shocked the world as he stepped up in weight to challenge the longest reigning UFC Heavyweight Champion of all time, in Stipe Miocic.

No-selling the effects of the additional weight he had put on to challenge for the belt, Cormier stunningly knocked out the Champion in the second round to become a double Champion winning "performance of the night" once more.

Cormier's 2018 is one to remember and savour for a long time.

Quick Links

Edited by Shiven Sachdeva
Be the first one to comment