20 Best Black UFC Fighters In MMA History

20 Best Black UFC Fighters In MMA History - Anderson Silva

The UFC, the most prestigious MMA promotion in the world, has been home to the most fearsome fighters in the history of MMA in its three decades of existence.

Our attention is cast on the best black UFC fighters in MMA history.

These fighters who have left their indelible prints in the sands of UFC history have come from diverse backgrounds.

From the Russians, the Polish, to the African Americans, many of these fighters, some retired and others still actively making history in the UFC, have proven to be fans’ favorites making their name the fans’ chants.

Some of these fighters boast of impressive MMA records, are past champions in their toughly contested divisions, or stand as the reigning king of a particular fighting technique.

They are also among the very best in the history of not just the sports promotion, but also in the sport.

Here are the 20 best black UFC fighters who the fans have been privileged to watch compete. The list is ranked based on MMA records, popularity, and championships won.

The Best Black UFC Fighters In MMA History

20. Kimbo Slice

  • Nationality: Bahamian-American
  • Height: 6 feet 2 inches
  • Nickname: “Bahamian”
  • Division: Heavyweight 

From his physique and mannerism to his look, Kimbo Slice wore the face of a seasoned fighter.

Unsurprisingly, his fighting skills made him one of the most prominent fighters in history.

The Bahamian American started out as a bodyguard before he ventured into the world of underground mutual combat street fights, which were unsanctioned.

The fighters were taped and distributed on the internet. In his guest fight, which was tried, Kimbo left his opponent with a massive cut, which earned him the moniker Slice.

He added Slice to his popular childhood nickname, thus becoming Kimbo Slice. By 2005 Slice started training to venture into mixed martial arts at the Freestyle Fighting Academy. 

However, in 2007, he went on to train in EliteMMA in California. In June 2007, he made his debut in the MMA against Ray Mercer, a former WBO Heavyweight Champion.

Slice’s debut was remarkable as he subdued his opponent via a guillotine choke. His prowess soon earned him a place in the EliteXC promotion.

However, he was embroiled in a controversy regarding Elite XC protecting him from defeat in a bid to cast him as the star of the promotion.

Following the dissolution of Elite XC, he fought in The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights, where he priced himself and successfully earned a place in the UFC.

But, in his debut in UFC 113, Slice lost to Matt Mitrione and was released from the promotion.

Following his short stint in the UFC, he went on to the Bellator MMA, where he remained until he died in July 2016.

Kimbo Slice, who also doubled as a boxer, fought in 8 MMA bouts in his career, which spanned about nine years. He won 5 of his MMA bouts, lost 2, and one ended in a no contest.

19. Benson Henderson

  • Nationality: American
  • Height: 5 feet 9 inches
  • Division: Lightweight, Welterweight 

Benson Henderson was one of the most prominent fighters in MMA history who conquered the UFC way before he exited the fighting promotion.

Henderson first started out as a wrestler in college before turning pro in 2006 after graduating from college.

Though Henderson suffered defeat in his MMA debut, he soon rebounded with four successive wins, which earned him a place in World Extreme Cagefighting.

He debuted in WEC 38 in January 2009. His performance further saw him defeat Donald Cerrone in a spectacular fight which was named 2009 Fight of the Year by Sherdog.com to become the WEC Interim WEC Lightweight Champion.

He soon defeated the then WEC Lightweight Champion at WEC 46 to become the Undisputed WEC Lightweight Champion.

The merger between the WEC and the UFC in October 2010 saw Benson Henderson and all WEC fighters added to the UFC roster. He progressed through the UFC ranks, and by November 2011, he became the most eligible contender for the UFC lightweight title.

At UFC 144 in February 2012, Henderson defeated Frankie Edgar to become the UFC Lightweight Champion.

He, however, lost his title in August 2013 to Anthony Pettis at UFC 164. Despite losing his lightweight title, Henderson remained a dominant force in the UFC, even going as far as switching weight to the welterweight division.

After his last fight at UFC Fight Night 79 in November 2015, Henderson moved to Bellator MMA, where he has remained since 2016. 

18. Aljamain Sterling

  • Nationality: Aljamain Sterling
  • Height: 5 feet 7 inches
  • Nickname: Funk Master
  • Division: Featherweight, Bantamweight 

Since 2010, the MMA scene has been inundated with the thrilling action of the Funk Master.

Aljamain Sterling started out with wrestling in college, where his unique wrestling style earned him his Funk Master moniker.

He started his amateur career in 2009, winning the Raging Wolf amateur Bantamweight Championship and the Extreme FC amateur Featherweight Championship.

He also went on to the Cage Fury Fighting Championship, where he claimed the CFFC Bantamweight Championship. 

Aljamain Sterling’s top-rated ability and unique style of defending his title with the rear-naked choke technique (he won all his three titles defense with the rear-naked choke) earned him a place in the UFC.

Sterling made his UFC debut in 2014, defeating Cody Gibson, who also recently arrived in the promotion, via unanimous decision.

From 2014 to 2020, Sterling fought to rise through the UFC to get a shirt at winning a title, and that opportunity arrived in March 2021 when he faced then UFC Bantamweight Champion, Petr Yan for the UFC Bantamweight Championship in UFC 259. 

He defeated Petr Yan via disqualification to become the first UFC Champion to win his title via disqualification.

At UFC 273 in April 2022, he defended his title against Petr Yan to become UFC Bantamweight Champion, a title he currently holds (as of June 2022).

17. Kevin Randleman

  • Nationality: American 
  • Nickname: The Monster
  • Division: Light heavyweight, Heavyweight 

For years, Kevin Randleman held the forte as one of the best fighters in the MMA until nature and illness took its toll on the late seasoned fighter.

In 1996, Randleman burst into the MMA scene when he joined Universal Vale Tudo Fighting as part of Mark Coleman’s Team Hammer House MMA team.

In October 1996, Randleman made his MMA debut in the Universal Vale Tudo Fighting. Following his debut, he progressed through the ranks in the Universal Vale Tudo Fighting promotion.

He came into the radar of the UFC management, who eventually brought him into the UFC. 

In the UFC, Randleman competed in the light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions.

He went as far as fighting for the UFC Heavyweight title, which he lost on his first attempt, albeit controversially.

However, at UFC 23, held in November 1999, Randleman achieved his dream of becoming UFC Heavyweight Champion by defeating Pete Williams to claim the title.

Randleman lost the title in UFC 28 and went down to the light heavyweight division, where he had a brief stint before leaving the UFC. 

He went to fight for PRIDE FC and Strike Force promotions before he came down with debilitating ailments which nearly killed him.

Following his close brush with death, Randkemsn stayed out of MMA action, though he never officially retired until he passed on due to pneumonia in February 2016.

He fought in a total of 33 MMA bouts, winning 17 and losing 16. Randleman was inducted into the pioneer section of the UFC Hall of Fame to become the first fighter posthumously inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. 

16. Alistair Overeem

  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Height: 6 feet 4 inches 
  • Nickname: The Demolition Man 
  • Division: Light Heavyweight, Heavyweight 

In the course of his career, Alistair Overeem has made his mark in all the fighting promotions privileged to have him.

His career dates back to October 1999, when 19-year-old Alistair fought Ricardo Feyeet in the defunct Dutch MMA and kickboxing division, It’s Showtime.

Overeem fought in various MMA divisions such as 2 Hot 2 Handle, Fighting Network Rings, M-1 Global, and It’s Showtime in the early years of his career.

In July 2002, Overeem debuted in the Pride Fighting Championships, fearing his opponent via TKO in 44 seconds. 

Overeem fought in the Pride FC from 2002 to 2006 and had a brief stint in Strikeforce before returning to Pride FC.

Between 2007 to 2011, Overeem fought in Strikeforce, Dream, and Dynamite and claimed multiple titles such as the Strikeforce Heavyweight Championship and the DREAM Heavyweight Championship.

After a dispute with Strikeforce in 2011, Overeem went on to debut in the UFC against Brock Lesnar in a much-publicized bout that ended in victory for Overeem.

His win against Brock Lesnar set him up for a shot at the UFC Heavyweight Championship, but a failed drug test led to his removal from the bout. 

He returned to action in the UFC in February 2013 and continued fighting over the years until he was removed from his contract in 2013.  

15. Cheick Kongo

  • Nationality: French
  • Height: 6 feet 4 inches
  • Division: Heavyweight 

Born to a family with deep ties to the martial arts ways, Cheick Kongo began training in Karate and Kendo, rudiments of mixed martial arts, as young as the age of 5.

As he grew older, Cheick Kongo earned black sky’s in Karate and Kongo, and at the age of 19, he expanded his martial arts arsenal to kickboxing, wrestling, savage, and Muay Thai.

Cheick Kongo also learned  Sivan’s at 23 years old. In June 2001, Cheick Kongo debuted in the MMA; by July 2006, he was already in the UFC, debuting in the UFC 61.  

From 2006 to 2013, Cheick Kongo fought in the UFC. Though he never won a title, he came close to winning one at UFC 107, where he lost to Frank Mir.

In 2013 after spending most of his prime years fighting in the fighting promotion, Kongo departed the promotion with an 11-3-1 record.

He went on to Bellator MMA in August 2013 and has remained there ever since. 

Aside from his MMA action, Kongo boasts of an impressive kickboxing portfolio.

He emerged as the 2005 World Champion Federation King of the Rings, the 2004 Muay Thai World Champion, and the 2003 Intercontinental Muay Thai Champion. 

14. Yoel Romero

  • Nationality: Cuban
  • Height: 5 feet 10 inches
  • Nickname: Soldier of God
  • Division: Light heavyweight, middleweight 

Long before he burst onto the MMA scene, Yoel Romero was already a seasoned wrestler who captivated the world.

He claimed gold at the 1999 World Wrestling Championships in Ankara and claimed Silver at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.

After his impressive feats in wrestling, Yoel Romero came on to the MMA. 

After he defected to Germany and trained professionally, he fought in various promotions in Germany and Poland, with a record of 5-0.

In July 2011, he debuted in Strikeforce but lost the bout and was out of action for years due to a neck injury. 

Upon his return to action in 2013, he was called on to the UFC, where he debuted in the middleweight division and earned Knockout of the Night in his debut match.

He fought in the UFC while rising through the ranks, until 2016 after an 8-match winning streak where he got his chance to be Interim Middleweight Champion, but lost to Robert Whitaker in July 2017 at UFC 213. 

Despite his first failed attempt at claiming the UFC middleweight title, Yoel Romero continued in his push for a championship win.

He came close to winning the UFC middleweight Championship when he fought Israel Adesanya in UFC 248 in March 2020.

The bout, which was marred by low activity, left fans disappointed as Yoel Romero lost to see his championship dream come crashing.

In December 2020, Romero departed the UFC and went on to Bellator MMA, where he currently thrills fans with his antics. 

Though Yoel Romero has yet to claim an MMA title, his outstanding wrestling records make him compare to notable MMA stars and rank him among the best MMA fighters in history. 

13. Tyron Woodley

  • Nationality: American 
  • Height: 5 feet 9 inches 
  • Nickname: The Chosen One
  • Division: Welterweight, Cruiserweight

In a similar fashion to a few notable MMA stars, Tyron Woodley’s foray into MMA was preceded by an interest in wrestling which evolved into MMA.

After competing in wrestling in college and graduating, Tyron Woodley debuted in MMA in February 2009.

In June 2009, he debuted in Strikeforce. His performance in his debut bout was so impressive that he was offered a six-fight deal.

In July 2012, Woodley had a shot at claiming the Strikeforce Welterweight Championship but lost to Nate Marquardt via a knockout in the fourth round. 

In February 2013, he joined the UFC and rose through the ranks to earn a shot at becoming UFC welterweight champion at UFC 201.

He defeated then UFC welterweight champion, Robbie Lawler in July 2026, to become the UFC welterweight champion.

After holding the welterweight title for three years, he lost his title to Kamaru Usman at UFC 235 in his fifth title defense.

Since he lost his welterweight title, Tyron Woodley has continued to fight in the UFC and remains a dominant fighter in the promotion. 

12. Rashad Evans 

  • Nationality: American 
  • Height: 5 feet 11 inches 
  • Nickname: Suga 
  • Division: Middleweight, Light Heavyweight, Heavyweight 

One of the earliest black fighters in the UFC to make their mark in the MMA, Rashad Evans, learned the rudiments of MMA from one of the best.

He first ventured into wrestling before he came under the tutelage of MMA royalty, Dan Seven, a UFC Hall of Famer.

He then went on to compete in five professional MMA bouts, emerging victorious in all, which earned him an invitation to the Ultimate Fighter 2 MMA reality television show.

He won The Ultimate Fighter 2, which earned him a three-year, six-figure deal in the UFC and a brand new car. 

Prior to his debut in the UFC, he dropped down his weight division to the light heavyweight division.

He debuted in the UFC in April 2006 and soon made his mark by going on an undefeated streak, which saw him face Forest Griffin in December 2008 at UFC 92 for the UFC light heavyweight championship.

He defeated Griffin to emerge UFC light heavyweight champion but lost to Lyoto Machida in his first title defense.

In January 2010, Rashad Evans returned to action in the UFC with the hope of retaining his title.

After years of rumors of Evans facing Jon Jones for the UFC Light heavyweight title, the bout came to reality in December 2012 at UFC 145. However, Evans lost the bout. 

Following his failed attempt at retaining his title, he went on to continue fighting in the UFC but soon encountered injuries. Following his recovery from injury, he decided to compete in the middleweight division.

In June 2018, Evans announced his retirement from MMA and was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in July 2019.

However, retirement for Evans does not translate to complete idleness.

He went on to compete in his first grappling match and made a return to MMA in UFC legend, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s promotion, the Eagle Fighting Championship, in January 2022. 

11. Quinton Jackson 

  • Nationality: American 
  • Height: 6 feet 1 inch
  • Nickname: Rampage
  • Division: Heavyweight, Light Heavyweight, middleweight 

Originally a wrestler, Quinton Jackson burst into MMA action thanks to the success of other wrestlers in the MMA.

He first started at small-scale promotions such as Dangerzone, King of the cage, and Gladiator. He thus racked up a record of 10 wins and a single loss.

In 2001, he debuted in the Pride Fighting Championship against Kazushi Sakuraba, a fellow wrestler and MMA star, in Pride 15.

Though he lost the bout, his tactics impressed the Japanese fans and went on to create a solid reputation for being a top-rated fighter in the fighting promotion.

In February 2006, he fought in his last bout for Pride FC and went on to the World Fighting Alliance.

His stint at the World Fighting Alliance was short as the World Fighting Alliance was acquired by the UFC, and he debuted in the UFC in February 2007 at the UFC 67. 

In May 2007, Jackson defeated Chuck Liddell at UFC 71 to claim the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.

He also fought Dan Henderson, then Pride Middleweight Champion, in September 2007 at UFC 71 to unify the tootles from both promotions. 

In July 2008, Quinton Jackson lost his light heavyweight title to Forest Griffin at UFC 86. He soon returned to action to earn a shot at regaining his title, but injuries held him back from competing in the bouts that would have decided his title retention.

After a brief retirement in September 2009, Jackson returned to the UFC to fight Rashad Evans for a shot at UFC Light Heavyweight Championship, but, he lost. 

After his loss to Evans, he continued to compete and earned another opportunity to regain his title in a bout against Jon Jones in September 2011 at UFC 135, but he lost the bout.

He continued to fight in the UFC until his last bout in January 2013. He moved on to the  Bellator MMA before returning briefly to the UFC in December 2014 but soon exited the promotion.

In February 2016, Quinton Jackson returned to the Bellator MMA, where he has remained ever since.

10. Derrick Lewis

  • Height: 6 feet 3 inches
  • Nickname: The Black Beast
  • Nationality: American 
  • Division: Heavyweight 

The tale of Derrick Lewis’ ending in MMA is an inspirational one.

Fresh out of prison and working as a tow-truck driver, while under the boxing tutelage of George Foreman, one of the boxing greats, Lewis was introduced to the sport by a friend, and the rest they say is history.

After a few amateur hours, Lewis went on to compete professionally and had a 4-1 record, which earned him a spot in the Bellator MMA. 

At Bellator, he racked up a 6-0 record with a single no contest. He soon left Bellator MMA and went onto Legacy Fighting Championship, where he claimed the Legacy FC Heavyweight Championship.

Lewis’ impressive form soon saw him invited to the UFC. In April 2014, Lewis debuted in the UFC.

Since 2013, Dennis Lewis has emerged to become a prominent face in the UFC and has a stellar record to show for it.

No one in the fighting promotion history boasts of as many knockouts as Lewis, who holds the record for the most knockout wins in UFC history. 

In the course of his time in the UFC, his impressive fighting style has seen him fight for the UFC Heavyweight title.

In November 2018, after numerous fights and working his way up the UFC ladder, he fought Daniel Cormier in UFC 230 for the UFC Heavyweight Champion.

Despite Lewis’ exemplary performance, he succumbed to the superior prowess of Cormier, who made use of the rear-naked choke to force Lewis to submit for the first time in his career.

In August 2021, at UFC 265, he fought Cyril Gane for the Interim UFC Heavyweight Championship, but he lost the bout.

Lewis is a popular face in the UFC and currently ranks as the fifth-best fighter in the UFC Heavyweight ranking as of June 2022. 

9. Uriah Hall

  • Nationality: Jamaican-American 
  • Height: 6 feet 0 inch
  • Nickname: Prime Time 
  • Division: Light Heavyweight, Middleweight 

For Uriah Hall, martial arts prices to be his savior and only companion in which he found solace after getting bullied upon his arrival in the US.

He embraced the sport at the age of 16 and went on to compete as a kickboxer at the World Combat League. 

In the early years of his career, Uriah Hall competed in the Bellator MMA, starting with a 3-0 record and claiming the Ring of Combat Middleweight title, which was vacant.

In January 2013, his fighting antics soon earned him an invitation to the UFC reality show, the Ultimate Fighter.

Hall’s impressive abilities saw him go through to the middleweight division finale, with the bout against Kelvin Gastelum ending in a split decision in favor of Hall.

Uriah Hall’s success at the Ultimate Fighter earned him a spot in the UFC, where he still competed.

Though yet to get a shot at winning a championship, he has been in incredible firing in the UFC.

As of June 2022, he is ranked as the 9th best fighter in the UFC middleweight ranking

8. Anthony Johnson

  • Nationality: American 
  • Height: 6 feet 2 inches 
  • Nickname: Rumble
  • Division: Heavyweight, Light Heavyweight, Middleweight, Welterweight 

One of the most feared fighters in the UFC, Anthony Johnson, has a ferocious reputation for his deadly punch and knockout power.

Few opponents have managed to get the better of Johnson and his MMA antics in the course of his bouts in MMA.

Initially a wrestler, Anthony Johnson worked as a bouncer after graduating from college. Still, he soon embraced martial arts after a friend suggested he venture into the sport as a result of his wrestling talents. 

In June 2007, at UFC Fight Night 10, Anthony Johnson had his debut fight, defeating his opponent 13 seconds into the first round.

He continued fine in fighting until he suffered the first professional loss of his career to Rich Clementi.

However, he returned to winnings way and was featured in a fight in The Ultimate Fighter 8 finale against Kevin Burns, which saw him claim the $25,000 bonus for his Knockout of the Night award. 

Anthony Johnson continued fighting in the promotion until he was released in 2012 due to disciplinary reasons.

He then went on to Titan Fighting Championships, where he had a brief stint before going on to other promotions such as the World Series of Fighting.

In February 2914, he signed a four-fight deal with the UFC and returned to the octagon in the lightweight division at UFC 142.

His return was stalked by a brief suspension after news of allegations of domestic violence to the mother of his child broke out.

However, his suspension was soon lifted, and he returned to the octagon before he retired in 2017. 

He returned to the testing pool in 2019 but did not fight in the UFC. He then went on to Bellator MMA, where he currently features on their roster. 

7. Israel Adesanya

  • Nationality: Nigerian-New Zealander
  • Height: 6 feet 4 inches 
  • Nickname: The last stylebender 
  • Division: Middleweight, Light Heavyweight 

The name Israel Adesanya is yelled with much joy and greeted with euphoria in the UFC.

The star, Israel Adesanya, is highly reveled in the UFC due to his astounding talents and top-rated abilities.

After training in martial arts for years, Adesanya made his MMA debut in 2012, winning his first professional bout.

He then went on to claim the AFC Middleweight Championship and the Hex Fight Series Middleweight championship.

Though he fought professionally for five years with no interest from the UFC, that changed in December 2017, when Adesanya signed a deal with the promotion.

In February 2018, at UFC 221, he made his UFC debut and won the Performance of the Night award. 

From his debut bout, he continued in terrific form, never losing a single bout, which placed him in line for the UFC Middleweight Championship.

In April 2019, at UFC 239, he defeated Kelvin Gastelum to win the interim UFC Middleweight Championship.

His performance in the bout earned him the Fight of the Night award and also was regarded by numerous MMA news outlets as one of the best fights of the year. 

In October 2019, he defeated Robert Whitaker to win the UFC Middleweight Championship at UFC 243.

He continued defending his title successfully but suffered the first defeat of his career when he moved up to the UFC Light Heavyweight division to face Jan Błachowicz for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.

Following his defeat, he returned to winning ways. Adesanya had a rematch with Robert Whittaker for the UFC Middleweight title and emerged the winner.

Israel Adesanya currently holds the UFC Middleweight title as of June 2022.  

6. Kamaru Usman

  • Nationality: Nigerian-American 
  • Height: 6 feet 0 inch
  • Nickname: The Nigerian Nightmare 
  • Division: Welterweight 

Following his family’s immigration to the United States, Kamaru Usman embraced wrestling.

He progressed through the ranks of wrestling but eventually abandoned the sport after injuries, making him miss out on the London 2012 Olympics.

Hence, he turned his attention to MMA. After an impressive 5-1 amateur record, Usman was invited to compete in The Ultimate Fighter in 2015.

He performed brilliantly in The Ultimate Fighter and made it to The Ultimate Fighter 21 Finale, eventually winning his final bout while earning the Performance of the Night award.

Usman was thus, rewarded with a six-figure contract to the UFC. 

In December 2017, Kamaru Usman made his UFC debut. He went undefeated in the UFC, which thus placed him in line to compete for the UFC Welterweight Championship.

On March 20-9 at UFC 235, he faced UFC Welterweight Champion, Tyron Woodley. Usman defeated Woodley to emerge as the UFC Welterweight Champion.

Since he claimed his Welterweight title, Ysmsn has successfully defended his title while creating a solid reputation and stellar record for his superb top-rated ability.

Kamaru is the current UFC Welterweight Champion. 

5. Francis Ngannou

  • Nationality: Cameroonian 
  • Height: 6 feet 4 inches 
  • Nickname: The Predator 
  • Division: Heavyweight 

Few MMA Champions boast of an inspirational tale to the top like that of Francis Ngannou.

Right from an early age, Ngannou had begun training as a boxer in Cameron against his family’s will.

Those training proved to be helpful for Nhannou after he illegally crossed over to Spain and was jailed for two months.

While living on the streets of Paris, he was introduced by a friend to MMA Factory’s Fernand Lopez, who helped Francis Ngannou kickstart his stellar MMA career. 

He started out his MMA career in the French promotion 100% Fight and created a 5-1 record. His performance brought him on the radar of the UFC, who thus signed him.

In December 2015, Ngannou made his debut in the promotion. He continued undefeated through the ranks of the UFC, even defeating UFC veteran Alistair Overeem in UFC 218 in December 2017.

His much-publicized win over Overeem set him up for a fight with Stipe Miocic for the UFC Heavyweight Championship.

Ngannou lost the bout, marking his first loss in the UFC. After suffering a second successive loss to Derrick Lewis at UFC 226 in July 2018, Ngannou returned to winning ways. 

In March 2021, at UFC 260, Ngannou had a rematch with Stipe Miocic for the UFC Heavyweight Championship.

He defeated Miocic in the second round to win the UFC Heavyweight title and the Performance of the Night award.

Since then, Ngannou has continued to hold his title and is the current holder of the UFC Heavyweight Championship as of June 2022. 

4. Daniel Cormier

  • Nationality: American 
  • Height: 5 feet 11 inches 
  • Nickname: DC
  • Division: Heavyweight, Light heavyweight 

Daniel Cormier, a talented wrestler, earned multiple successes in wrestling but decided to try his hands in MMA after the 2008 summer Olympics.

He trained at American Kickboxing Academy and then made his professional debut before going on to Xtreme MMA.

At Cyrene MMA, Cormier won the XMMA Heavyweight Championship before adding the KOTC Heavyweight Championship to his collection.

His performance soon earned him a spot in Strikeforce, where he remained until January 2013. 

In April 2013, Daniel Cormier made his debut in the UFC and fought his way up the ranks till he got a shot at the vacant UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.

In May 2015, at UFC 187, he faced Anthony Johnson for the title but defeated Johnson, thus winning the title as well as the Performance of the Night award.

However, he lost the title to Jon Jones at UFC 214 in July 2017. But after a positive drug test by Jones, Cormier was granted the title, and thus he became champion once more. 

In July 2018, Daniel Cormier defeated Stipe Miocic to claim the UFC Heavyweight title and made history by becoming the second fighter to hold two championship titles at the same time.

In July 2019, at UFC 241, he lost his Heavyweight title to Stipe Miocic. He faced Miocic once again at UFC 252 in August 2021 but lost. After his loss, he announced his retirement from the MMA. 

3. Demetrious Johnson

  • Nationality: American 
  • Height: 5 feet 3 inches 
  • Nickname: Mighty Mouse
  • Division: Bantamweight, Flyweight 

An MMA star with a wrestling background, Demetrious Johnson made his professional debut in 2007 and soon landed in the Alaska Fighting Championships.

His performance in the promotion saw him fight for the World Extreme Cagefighting. Following the UFC acquisition of the WEC, Demetrious Johnson began fighting in the UFC.

He made his UFC debut in February 2011 and fought Domingo Cruz for the UFC Bantamweight title in October 2011, but he lost. 

At UFC 152 in September 2012, Demetrious Johnson defeated Joseph Benavidez in the UFC Flyweight Tournament final to become the UFC Flyweight Champion.

Demetrious Johnson went on to defend his UFC Flyweight title for a record 11 times.

He won multiple awards along the line, such as his numerous Performance of the Night awards and, in 2017, an ESPY Award for Fighter of The Year award.

In August 2018, at UFC 227, Demetrious lost to Henry Cejudo via split to end his UFC Flyweight Championship reign.

After his title loss, he left the UFC and went on to the ONE Championship promotion. 

2. Anderson Silva

Anderson Silva The Spider
Credit: spiderandersonsilva/Instagram
  • Nationality: Brazilian 
  • Heights: 6 feet 2 inches 
  • Nickname: The Spider
  • Division: Middleweight, Light Heavyweight 

Arguably the greatest MMA fighter of all time, Anderson Silva made a lasting impression in the UFC and held one of the most outstanding records in the history of the promotion.

As a child, Silva had already started training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and progressed to muay thai, taekwondo, and capoeira in his teenage years.

In 1997, Silva made his professional debut in MMA and went undefeated until he suffered his first loss in 2000.

After his first loss, he returned with a nine-bout winning streak and claimed the Shooto Middleweight Championship. 

His performance caught the interest of Pride Fighting Championship, who soon added him to their roster.

Between 2002 and 2006, Anderson Silva fought in the Pride FC and Cage Rage promotions.

In 2006, Silva joined the UFC. A relatively unknown Silva made an impressive UFC debut, and in a poll on the UFC website, fabs selected UFC Middleweight Champion, Rich Franklin as his next opponent.

Silva defeated Franklin by KO to become UFC Middleweight Champion in 2006.

He defended his title for 2,457 days, spanning 16 successive title defenses, creating the record of the longest title reign in the history of the promotion.

In July 2013, at UFC 162, he lost his title to Chris Weidman in a surprising upset. 

He continued fighting in the UFC after his title loss until November 2020, when he was released from his UFC contract.

1. Jon Jones

  • Nationality: American 
  • Height: 6 feet 4 inches 
  • Nickname: Bones
  • Division: Light Heavyweight 

A formidable figure in MMA history, Jon Jones still actively competes in the UFC, where he has created a lasting impression on fans for his astounding performances.

Before entering the UFC scene, Jon Jones engaged in wrestling and briefly played football.

He dropped out of college so he could start his MMA career abs made his professional debut in 2008. At the start of his career, he boasted of a 6-0 record. 

His exceptional form caught the eyes of UFC management, who soon invited Jon Jones to the promotion. In August 2008, at UFC 87, Jones made his UFC debut.

Following his fine debut in the UFC, Jones was on an unbeaten run for years, which ultimately placed him in line for a UFC title bout.

At UFC 128, in June 2011, he defeated Maurício “Shogun” Rua to become the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion.

His title win made him the promotion’s youngest ever champion. In April 2015, he was stripped of his title after he crashed into a pregnant woman in a hit-and-run and fled the scene.

After his return to the UFC, Jones would endure two suspensions in the next two years over doping concerns. 

In December 2018, at UFC 232, he retained his UFC Light Heavyweight title after defeating Alexander Gustafsson.

He continued to defend his title until a disagreement with UFC president, Dana White, led him to vacate his title in May 2020.

He announced his title relinquishment in August 2020 on social media and also stated his wish to move to the heavyweight division. 

Final Words

There you have it—the all-time list of the best black fighters in UFC.

These fighters, some late, retired, and some actively fighting in the promotion, have made a lasting impression in UFC and also MMA.

Due to the vast array of talented black fighters who have fought in the UFC through the course of its existence, it is impossible to include all the best in the UFC.

And as a result, you may feel we may have snubbed some big names who have a place among the top 20 black fighters in the UFC or ranked them lower than expected.

Do engage us on this, as we will love to know the big snubs and the lowly ranked among such fighters.

Featured Image Credit: spiderandersonsilva/Instagram

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