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Best Active MMA Fighters For Each Style

Some of Our Picks May Surprise You

In 2022, many fighters train in mixed martial arts – they mix different techniques from boxing to wrestling to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. But several of the best fighters on the planet have specialized in one particular style. These fighters tend to be favored on the MMA betting odds as their proficiency in this one thing can lead them to victory regardless of their opponent’s style.

Let’s check the latest, stats, injury reports, and UFC Fight Night for MMA Fighters. We’ve plenty of UFC predictions for you to consider.

Conor McGregor of Ireland walks in the octagon before his lightweight bought
Stacy Revere / Getty Images North America / Getty Images via AFP

Best Strikers

  • Boxing: Conor McGregor

Surprise, surprise! This was a tough category to pick from as many world-class boxers like Claressa Shields and Holly Holm are doing MMA. The latter won the UFC championship. But it’s hard to argue against McGregor, who has tooled the best strikers inside the Octagon. McGregor took rounds from the GOAT himself, Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a boxing match.

Runner-ups: Claressa Shields, Holly Holm

  • Muay Thai: Alex Pereira

Another difficult style to pick from given that Muay Thai may be the most common striking style MMA fighters practice. In the end, we have to give the nod to Alex Pereira. The Brazilian is not only famous for beating UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya twice. But he also became the first Glory fighter to hold two world titles simultaneously.

He’s worth betting online as an underdog in his trilogy fight against Adesanya later this year.

Runner-ups: Israel Adesanya, Cedric Doumbe

  • Karate: Stephen Thompson

When MMA fans think of “karate,” Thompson is typically the first fighter that comes to mind. He came awfully close to winning the welterweight title twice and is one of the hardest fighters to face. Thompson may be past his prime. But a quick look at his UFC record shows that, for the most part, elite grapplers are the only type of fighter to beat him.

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Runner-ups: Robert Whittaker, Michelle Waterson

  • Sanda/San Shou: Muslim Salikhov

You don’t get called the “King of Kung Fu” for no reason. Salikhov may have mixed results in the UFC, but his San Shou skills are peerless. The Russian became one of only two non-Chinese San Shou masters to win the Wushu Sanda King’s Cup. He is a multiple-time Wushu Sanda world champion and owns over a hundred KO victories across sanda, kickboxing, and MMA.

Runner-ups: Song Yadong, Zhan Weili

Best Grapplers

  • Wrestling: Kamaru Usman

The former UFC welterweight champion remains the most dominant wrestler in the UFC. In 16 UFC bouts, Usman has conceded one takedown. Considering he’s gone up against NCAA Division I wrestlers and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champions, that is just unfathomable. On top of his achievements in the octagon, Usman was an NCAA Division II national champion.

Runner-ups: Ryan Bader, Curtis Blaydes

  • Sambo: Vitaly Minakov

Expecting someone else? Minakov is a four-time Sambo world champion and Bellator champion. Had he stayed more active, Minakov may have achieved the same notoriety as Fedor Emelianenko. Still, Minakov is still a title contender and worth a look at the online sportsbook whenever he competes.

Runner-ups: Umar Nurmagomedov, Yaroslav Amosov

  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: Charles Oliveira

Like Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is one of the most widely practiced styles in MMA. After all, it was a BJJ player that won the inaugural UFC event: Royce Gracie. So finding the outright best BJJ specialist is a tall task. But we’ll highlight the former lightweight champion, Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira as the holder of multiple UFC records in submissions.

Runner-ups: Mackenzie Dern, Gilbert Burns

  • Judo: Kayla Harrison

There aren’t too many judoka in MMA. But few have dominated women’s MMA quite like Ronda Rousey or Kayla Harrison. Both are decorated judoka with the latter being one of the few unbeaten fighters in the sport. Harrison needs to fight better competition. But as it stands, no one can stop her judo.

Runner-ups: Shinya Aoki, Yoshihiro Akiyama

Make sure to check out our UFC Fight card as we cover the most important events!

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