MMA has grown incredibly over the last few years. The UFC has taken it to new levels, filling arenas across the planet transforming fighters into household names with the likes of former UFC fighter Tito Ortiz being as highly regarded as his boxing namesake Victor Ortiz.

And with the growth of the sport, and with thousands more developing the MMA bug on a regular basis, the arguments as to who’re the best continue to go on. The new breed are fixed on the likes of Jon Jones and Jose Aldo, whilst the veterans of the sport point firmly in the direction of the likes of Fedor Emelianenko.

But who else make up the sport’s elite? We take a look at four of the best ever to grace the octagon…

Anderson Silva

It took Anderson Silva just 49 seconds in the UFC to become the number one contender for the Middleweight title. Walking into the Octagon as an underdog taking on Chris Leben, he kick-started, or should we say knee started, a

Anderson Silva (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Anderson Silva (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

career which would carry him to perhaps the best fighter ever to grace MMA.

The 39-year-old from Sao Paulo holds the longest title defence streak in history with 10 and has dispatched of some of the best in the game including Dan Henderson, Rich Franklin, and Chael Sonnen.

Of course his recent bouts have been the hardest of his career, having his leg broken by Chris Weidman and testing positive for anabolic steroids after facing Nick Diaz, although UFC’s Dana White has committed to standing by the MMA legend.

 

Jon Jones

Jon Jones (top) (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Jon Jones (top) (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Pound for pound the best fighter on the planet, Jon Jones has become a UFC legend in just seven years with the organization, and despite only being 27-years-old is continually regarded as one of the greats by fighters, fans, and pundits.

Still a top-drawer fighter, the current light heavyweight champion goes up against Anthony Johnson, a fight which he’s a clear favorite for with Coral bet having him odds on. Of course, that’s no surprise. The only man who can defeat Jones, is indeed, himself.

 

 

Georges St. Pierre
Georges St-Pierre (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

Georges St-Pierre (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

It’s still unsure whether we’ll ever see Georges St. Pierre back in the Octagon. At just 33 there should be plenty

offight left in him, but after taking a break from fighting in 2013 and no sign of him returning, his split decision win at

the MGM Grand during UFC 167 could be the last we see of him.

Winning only eight of his 25 wins by knockout he was hardly the most exciting fighter of all time, but boy, did he know how to win. Only ever losing two fights despite fighting a host of top, top athletes, he’s become a firm favourite in UFC, we’d just like to see him return.

 

Fedor Emelianenko
Fedor Emelianenko (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Fedor Emelianenko (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Not many of the best have ever fought outside of the UFC, but Fedor Emelianenko does just that. The Russian heavyweight went undefeated between 2001 and 2009 and beat some of the best in the sport, including Antonia Rodrigo Nogueira and Mirko Filipovic. He was a master in judo and sambo, and had electric speed despite weighing 235lb.

His career probably didn’t end the way it deserved to, with three straight losses towards the end before calling time and taking up a career in politics.