The UFC is home to a plethora of fighters who are received by fans in various ways. Some mixed martial artists are reviled and hated by both fans and fellow fighters alike. These include the likes of Colby Covington and Josh Koscheck. Other fighters are polarizing and exist somewhere in the middle.
Conor McGregor epitomizes this kind of fighter more than any other mixed martial artist competing under Dana White's promotion. The Irishman has a legion of ultra-loyal fans from his Irish homeland. However, he also has droves of fans who detest his very existence for one reason or another.
The rarest gems of all, however, are fighters who are universally loved by MMA fans. Glover Teixeira, the former 205 lbs kingpin who recently retired after his failure to reclaim his divisional throne at UFC 283, was one such fighter.
This list compiles five active fighters who are universally beloved by fans.
#5. Charles Oliveira – UFC lightweight
Charles Oliveira is the ultimate underdog in the eyes of many. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist is a former champion of the lightweight division. He has endeared himself to countless fans due to his action-packed fighting style that prioritizes finishing his foes.
Furthermore, his ability to bounce back from the well-known downswing of his career after numerous weigh-in failures and losses has made him an admirable presence. After he mounted an all-time great comeback to capture championship gold for the first time, fans backed him even further.
The Brazilian's oft-repeated quote about the lightweight champion having a name was echoed by fans across the world. Even after he lost the title to Islam Makhachev, fans never abandoned 'do Bronx'. He has no haters or detractors, only supporters.
#4. Stephen Thompson – UFC welterweight
After Jorge Masvidal defeated Nate Diaz for the ceremonial BMF title, Stephen Thompson jokingly referred to himself as the 'NMF'. This acronym stands for 'Nicest Motherf*cker' as opposed to the 'Baddest Motherf*cker' acronym adopted by 'Gamebred'. This is with good reason.
Stephen Thompson is one of the nicest fighters in MMA. It's almost impossible to find footage of him speaking ill of any other fighter. Additionally, no other fighter speaks ill of him either. Only Colby Covington, who is irrelevant in this regard since he trash-talked everyone, has insulted him.
Similarly, fans all adore 'Wonderboy' as he represents the true spirit of martial arts due to his respectful nature. The two-time title challenger is universally loved by everyone and is one of the few fighters to high-five opponents after dropping them.
#3. Robert Whittaker – UFC middleweight
Australia's first-ever UFC champion was Robert Whittaker. The former middleweight champion has never been involved in any issues that would have alienated him from the MMA fanbase or even his fellow colleagues. The highly skilled mixed martial artist has never been involved in any controversies.
Furthermore, 'The Reaper' endeared himself to the MMA faithful due to his respectful nature and friendly disposition. He does not engage in trash talk and is always transparent about his assessment of other fighters. Like every fighter on this list, the Australian great does not have any haters.
Even Israel Adesanya, with whom 'The Reaper' does not get along, is only kept at arm's length due to their mutual desire to be the divisional titleholder.
#2. Max Holloway – UFC featherweight
Max Holloway is one of the most thrilling fighters in MMA. The former featherweight kingpin is an exceptional striker whose endless cardio enables him to drown his opponents under an avalanche of punches never seen before. He is well-liked by fans who regard his action-packed style highly.
No one can forget the dominant win he earned against Calvin Kattar. The jaw-dropping moment when he dodged Kattar's punches while shouting that he was the best boxer in the promotion will live on forever. No fan dislikes him, and he has no enmity with any other fighter.
Even his most heated rival, Alexander Volkanovski, has massive amounts of respect for 'Blessed'. Hawaii's first-ever UFC champion is among the most beloved fighters in the promotion.
#1. Brandon Moreno – UFC flyweight champion
Brandon Moreno is the first-ever Mexican-born UFC champion. His high-octane offense, fearless counterpunching and warrior spirit have made him a fan favorite everywhere. The reception he is often given during his walkouts is telling enough. Crowds are always happy to see 'The Assassin Baby' and who could blame them?
He is a well-mannered man who refused to engage in trash talk with Deiveson Figueiredo in his previous post-fight interview. His reason? He wanted to be a good example to his children. He always has a smile on his face and always speaks highly of his opponents and candidly about his dreams.
The only time he was ever hated by fans was by the Brazilian fans at UFC 283, which is an outlier due to Brazil's treatment of all non-Brazilian fighters. The fact that Brazilian fans walked out during Glover Teixeira's retirement speech is telling enough that their behavior does not reflect how well-liked Brandon Moreno is.