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5 Best UFC fighters of the 21st century

Johny Payne
SENIOR ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
1.97K   //    27 Jul 2018, 00:14 IST

UFC 217: Bisping v St-Pierre
The best UFC fighters of the 21st century include some of the most skilled combatants in MMA history

The UFC is widely regarded as the world’s premier Mixed Martial Arts promotion today.

Featuring fighters who come from varied martial arts backgrounds, modern-day MMA witnesses well-rounded martial art combatants who possess a decent base in multiple striking as well as grappling arts.

That is in fact apart from the highly-specialized skill-set they possess in their foundation martial art—depending on whether they excel in boxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), Muay Thai, wrestling or an individual combat sport of the sort.

The 21st-century prototype of a good Mixed Martial Artist is that of a fighter who’s well-versed in both the striking and the grappling departments of the MMA game.

Today, we take a look at some of the best UFC fighters of the 21st century—


#5 Cris Cyborg

Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino has competed in the sport of MMA since 2005, and the rest, as they say, is history. Cyborg lost her MMA debut by way of submission, however, she has been a wrecking machine ever since.

Cyborg has also competed in the sport of Muay Thai and went the distance with one of the greatest MT fighters of all time—Jorina Baars. Cyborg is perhaps best known for her destructive performance against MMA icon Gina Carano.

However, a few years after the star-making matchup, Cyborg tested positive for a banned Performance Enhancing Drug (PED)—something that was revealed in early 2012. Regardless, the Brazilian superstar is till date hailed as one of the best fighters in the history of the sport.

Cyborg made her UFC debut back in 2016 and is the reigning UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion.

Her fighting style is rather intriguing—so to speak—especially considering how she went from being a wild KO machine in the early stages of her MMA run, to now having transformed into a patient, slick KO artist.

Furthermore, Cyborg possesses fantastic grappling as well, which complements her terrifying striking skills. She boasts great wrestling skills, whilst also utilizing her BJJ largely in a defensive manner and to set up ground and pound.

Despite the steroid abuse knock against her career, Cyborg is indeed touted by many as one of the best UFC fighters in the 21st century. 

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Johny Payne
SENIOR ANALYST
Martial artist and combat Lover from Goa, India. Can be reached at johnypayne121@gmail.com
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