2021 could be a big year for UK-based fighters UFC. Darren till faces Marvin Vectors in the next UFC main event and could receive a UFC middleweight title shot with a win. Meanwhile, Liverpool-based hopeful Paddy Plimblett has also been signed for promotion.
Over the years we’ve seen plenty of UK-based fighters step into the UFC Octagon, but who is the greatest British UFC fighter of all time?
There are a number of notable contenders, but the following five stand out as the best British fighters in UFC history.
# 5 Ross Pearson (UFC record: 12-13-1)
While the background of his UFC career damaged his record somewhat, Ross pearson remains one of the most notable UFC fighters produced by the UK.
The Real Deal first appeared in the UFC via TUF’s ninth season. Coached by Michael Bisping, Pearson won the USA vs UK Lightweight tournament, edging compatriot Andre Winner in the final.
Few fans expected him to achieve major success in the UFC, but he has actually become one of the most trusted fighters in the Lightweight division.
Pearson scored major wins over Dennis Siver, Spencer Fisher and Gray Maynard during his ten-year tenure in the UFC.
And in 2012, he became the second British fighter to train on a series of TUFF, facing the Australian team of George Sotiropoulos. The Real Deal would knock out Sotiropoulos in the series finale.
Pearson was never able to win a shot at the UFC Lightweight title and far surpassed his prime when he finally left the UFC in 2019. But this likeable fighter is still on Britain’s top fighters list. UFC history.
# 4 Darren Till (UFC record: 6-3-1)
Darren Till’s UFC record isn’t all that flashy, but there’s no denying that this Liverpool product has established himself as one of Britain’s greatest fighters in the UFC.
The Gorilla made his UFC debut on short notice in 2015, but instantly caused a fierce TKOing sensation in Wendell Oliveira.
From there, his rise was underestimated. He drew with Nicolas Dalby after injuring his shoulder, but after wins over Jessin Ayari and Bojan Velickovic, Till had a great chance by the UFC.
In the main event of UFC’s first show in Gdansk, he came face to face with a veteran Donald cerrone. He then stopped Cowboy in the first round.
The victory propelled Till to stardom, especially in the UK. And a few months later, he headlined the first UFC show in his hometown of Liverpool against veteran Stephen Thompson.
After receiving one of the biggest reactions in UFC history from his audience, The Gorilla edged out Wonderboy to win a chance against the UFC welterweight champion. Tyron woodley.
Until lost this fight, and after another defeat at Jorge masvidal, he rose to 185 pounds, where he immediately entered contention for the title with a victory over Kelvin Gastelum.
Gorilla is now probably one shot away victory over UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya – which could mean he could become the next UK fighter to win UFC gold .
# 3 Dan Hardy (UFC record: 6-4)
The first UK fighter to receive a shot at a UFC title, it’s easy to overlook Dan Hardy’s accomplishments.
This is probably because The Outlaw is considered more of a commentator these days as he was forced into semi-retirement due to a congenital heart problem discovered in 2012.
Hardy – who was recently released from the UFC after a mysterious row with an unnamed UFC official – joined the promotion in 2008 after an impressive run that saw him win eight of nine fights, the only loss being due to disqualification.
He beat PRIDE veteran Akihiro Gono in his UFC debut and followed with impressive wins over Rory Markham and Marcus Davis.
Those wins propelled The Outlaw into a surprising UFC Welterweight title eliminator with Mike Swick. And Hardy duly won the fight to win a shot at champion Georges St. Pierre.
The Nottingham native lost that title shot but fought well and went the distance with GSP. And although he lost his next three fights – against Carlos Condit, Anthony Johnson and Chris Lytle – he was never really outscored.
Hardy returned to the winning track in 2012 with victories over Duane Ludwig and Amir Sadollah. But as previously reported, his rare heart disease then forced him into early retirement.
Despite that, however, Hardy’s accomplishments remain among the best of a UFC British fighter and definitely secure him a place on this list.
# 2 Leon Edwards (UFC record: 10-2-1)
When Leon edwards made his UFC debut in 2014 in a forgettable loss to Claudio Silva, no one would have predicted he would be considered one of the best welterweights in the world a few years later.
But that’s exactly what Rocky is now, and with maybe one or two more wins, he could find himself in line for a UFC welterweight title shot.
The change in Edwards’ fortunes really started when he took almost six months off after losing to Kamaru Usman in December 2015. Rocky returned in 2016 as a much improved fighter, arguably the best fighter in the UFC. never seen from a British fighter.
And in the years that followed, Edwards put together an undefeated streak of nine fights, including wins over Donald Cerrone, Vicente Luque and Rafael Dos Anjos.
Rocky might be in line for the next title shot had he beaten Belal Muhammad earlier this month. But the fight ended with a No Contest – leaving his next fight a major question mark.
However, no other British UFC fighter has put together a winning streak like his, making him a comfortable number two on this list.
# 1 Michael Bisping (UFC record: 20-9)
Michael bisping may not have been the first UFC fighter to come from the UK – it was Ian The Machine Freeman in 2000 – but he remains by far the most successful.
Bisping received a big push from the UFC brass right off the bat. He won the Light-Heavyweight tournament in TUF’s third season and quickly found himself positioned as the face of the UFC in the UK.
It was the power of Bisping that helped the promotion sell Manchester’s MEN Arena for UFC 70 in 2007. And The Count lived up to its hype, stopping Elvis Sinosic in the co-main event. .
But Bisping’s biggest hits came once he dropped to 185 pounds in 2008.
With a constantly developing skill set based on his sharp hitting, underrated wrestling, and incredible cardio, he has beaten fighters like Chris Leben, Denis Kang and Yoshihiro Akiyama to establish himself as one of the top middleweights. of the world.
And his outspoken and brash personality has also helped build his reputation as one of the main villains in the UFC.
However, for a long time it felt like The Count was destined to become one of the best fighters to ever claim gold in the UFC, as he continually lacked before he clinched a title shot.
But that all changed in 2016.
Bisping was thrown into a fight with the UFC middleweight champion Luke rockhold on notice, replacing injured Chris Weidman.
And in one of the biggest upheavals in UFC history, he knocked out Rockhold in the first round to become the first British fighter to win a UFC title.
Bisping lost the title in his first defense, then retired after another loss, but by then his legacy was intact. With an impressive 20-9 record as well as a reign as the UFC middleweight champion, he is the greatest British fighter in UFC history.