10 best Muay Thai fighters in UFC history

Here are some of the most popular and efficient fighters in the UFC who has employed the techniques of Muay Thai effectively.


10 best Muay Thai fighters in UFC history

Anderson Silva, Leon Edwards and Jon Jones (Via The Sun and UFC)

The UFC is an organization that ushers different fighters from different countries and combat styles. The company has managed to capture success through its diverse characters and distinct styles. Fighters who possess unique techniques from their original combats have found huge success. One of which is Muay Thai. Also known as Thai Boxing, Muay Thai involves stand-up striking, heavily relying on knees and elbows.

ADVERTISEMENT

The UFC has an abundance of fighters whose origin is Muay Thai. Striking and grappling remain a necessity inside the octagon to defeat opponents. Fighters like Jon Jones and Anderson Silva have utilized the martial art to good effect in the sport. Here are some of the most triumphant fighters of Muay Thai discipline.

10. Paul Felder

Retired lightweight UFC contender, Paul Felder has a background in Karate. But soon enough, ‘The Irish Dragon’ established himself in the Muay Thai. The fighter has amassed a record of 17 wins and six losses. Felder contributes his success in the UFC to his origin in Muay Thai.

Adobe Express 20230414 1231220 1
Paul Felder (Image Source – Tapology )

His brutal leg kicks often hurt the opponent, and his striking makes him a difficult adversary for many. Paul Felder has knocked out 10 of his opponents and has an impressive fighting record.

ADVERTISEMENT

09. Rafael Fiziev

Rafael Fiziev has an MMA record of 12 wins and 3 losses. Most of his wins came due to his Muay Thai capabilities. The Azerbaijani started learning Muay Thai at the age of eleven to counteract bullies. Before that, he had also tried his hand at boxing but stopped short of mastering the sport. Fortunately, he dedicated himself to Muay Thai, and the rest is history.

Rafael Fiziev
Rafael Fiziev (Via MMA Fighting)

Eventually, Fiziev found success in several national and international IFMA Muay Thai tournaments. When he transitioned to MMA, he had trouble with the grappling and wrestling aspects of the sport, but he overcame that obstacle to find success in the UFC.

08. Edson Barboza

Edson Barboza Jr. is a Brazilian-American Muay Thai fighter who competes in the featherweight division in the UFC. The former lightweight has exceptional striking skills. Barboza amassed a record of 24 wins and 11 losses. He has vicious kicks, and a highlight reel spinning technique to destroy his opponent.

Adobe Express 20230414 1231590 1
Edson Barboza (Image Sources – UFC)

Barboza remains an exciting fighter in the sport. He loves to engage in stand-up fights with anyone in the UFC. Even into his late 30s, Barboza has held his own against the top young talents in the UFC.

ADVERTISEMENT

07. Valentina Shevchenko

Valentina Shevchenko is a Kyrgyzstani and Peruvian former Muay Thai fighter who competes in the UFC. The flyweight division fighter is known for her technical striking skills. The ‘Bullet’ has won world titles in the IFMA and World Combat Games.

Valentina Shevchenko
Valentina Shevchenko (via Imago)

The fighter boasts a record of 23 wins and four losses. She ranks among the best female fighters in the UFC. Shevchenko has also won 8 gold medals in her previous Muay Thai career.

06. Khalil Rountree

Khalil Rountree started Muay Thai at the age of 19. He sought the sport to get away from the demons of alcohol, cigarettes, and other paraphernalia coupled with depression. The light heavyweight and his brother joined Wand Fight Team gym in Las Vegas, Nevada, because he wanted to fight like Wanderlei Silva.

Khalil Rountree
Khalil Rountree (Via Pinterest)

That 1st Muay Thai class was the turning point in his career, and the fighter hasn’t looked back ever since. Now, he boasts a record of 14 wins and five losses in MMA and is the #8 ranked light heavyweight in the UFC.

ADVERTISEMENT

05. Leon Edwards

Leon Edwards is the current welterweight champion of the UFC. Moreover, he has defended his title twice to establish his claim as one of the best to do it in the division. He started fighting to get away from the gang violence in Birmingham.

Leon Edwards
Leon Edwards (Via UFC)

One of the disciplines he mastered was Muay Thai, which is evident in his fights. Also, being a southpaw works to his advantage. The champion routinely shifts his stance to get better striking angles and executes them flawlessly, thanks to his Muay Thai prowess.

04. Petr Yan

Petr Yan has trained at Tiger Muay Thai in Thailand for a long time. He has honed his skills there, making him one of the best bantamweight in the UFC. Of late, the fighter was having a hard time after losing 3 of his last five fights. However, the Russian recently won his last fight against Son Yadong at UFC 299.

Petr Yan
Petr Yan (Via UFC)

Moreover, from 2018 – 2020, Yan dominated the bantamweight division with his exceptional striking technique. He has thought of switching gyms to get back on track towards title contention. Currently, Yan is ranked 4th in the bantamweight division.

ADVERTISEMENT

03. José Aldo

José Aldo is a Brazilian fighter UFC fighter who has retired. However, he is rumored to return at UFC 301 in Brazil. Aldo is a highly accomplished striker in the sport. The ‘Junior Mac’ was one of the most feared fighters in the featherweight division. He is known for his explosive power alongside his devastating kicks.

Adobe Express 20230414 1234000 1
José Aldo (Image Source – Bleacher Report)

Aldo is considered to be an effective Muay Thai competitor devoid of weight class. Boasting a record of 31 wins and eight losses, Jose has been regarded as a legend in the sport.

02. Anderson Silva

Former UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva is known to be one of the best fighters in UFC history. The striking skills possessed by the fighter are considered one of the best in the sport. ‘The Spider’ has a record of 34 wins and 11 losses.

Adobe Express 20230414 1234170 1
Anderson Silva (Image Source – Deccan Herald)

The fighter has collected wins over icons of the sport like Vitor Belfort and Chael Sonnen. Silva’s Muay Thai background has transitioned him successfully into the sport of UFC.

ADVERTISEMENT

01. Jon Jones

Jon Jones is arguably the best heavyweight fighter to rise out of the UFC. With an impressive record of 27 wins and one loss, ‘Bones’ is one of the most successful fighters in combat sports history.

Adobe Express 20230414 1234340 1
Jon Jones (Image Source – DAZN)

Jones’ Muay Thai skills have been displayed in several of his fights. His long reach, including his explosive power, has become a heavy hitter in the sport. Jon Jones’ previous victory was against the aforementioned Ciryl Gane.

In case you missed it: