Francis Ngannou, Kamaru Usman, Jon Jones, Anderson Silva, Israel Adesanya…
Who are you favorite black UFC fighter?
Many great black fighters are part of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. They come from different disciplines and geographical areas like the U.S., Africa and Cuba.
You’ll be amazed at the diversity of the championship title holders when you look at the list. Here is a list of the most popular.
20 Black UFC Fighters You Must Know Now
1. Jon Jones
It’s hard to deny that he is one of the most admired black champions in UFC history. His 2008 debut MMA fight saw him win six consecutive victories in three months. UFC could not resist this talent and signed him five months later than his MMA debut.
Jones is a pioneer in mixed martial arts. He was also the first to have a shoe line and was the first to sign a global sponsorship deal with Nike.
Jon Jones is also a headliner for wrong reasons, both in and outside of the sport. One notable suspension came after a hit-and-run accident. He was denied sponsorship by MuscleTech and Reebok.
2. Tyron Woodley
He holds the UFC Welterweight Champion title, which he defended four times. In 2016, he fought Robbie Lawler and won the title, but lost it against Kamaru Usman in his fifth defense. He lost the championship to Robbie Lawler in 2016.
Since his title defense loss in 2019, he has suffered three more losses at UFC Vegas. Colby Covington, for instance, gave him a technical knockout which left him taping out from a rib injury.
He is still one of the best.
3. Kamaru Usman
He is one of the most well-known UFC black fighters. After all, he’s “The Nigerian Nightmare “. Usman ended Tyron Woodley’s dominance of the welterweight division, and won the championship title in 2019.
It is amazing to see Usman’s one loss in 21 fights. Jose Caceres defeated Usman via a rear-naked choke submission in 2013. Kamaru was in his second MMA fight.
Nine of his wins were by knockout, thanks to his unforgiving punches. Ten fights were won via unanimous decision. He has fought UFC legends Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington twice. He is also a black belt at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
4. Walt Harris
After playing basketball at Jacksonville State University, Walt joined MMA in 2010. Walt made his UFC debut in 2013. He has 24 fights to his credit. Before joining UFC, he has had notable wins. He defeated Anthony Hamilton in 2012 via knockout.
However, his winning streak ended in 2019, when his stepdaughter Aniah blanchard disappeared. Walt Harris won the Performance of the Night bonus two times.
He gave Sergey Spivak an technical knockout in round one in April 2019. Three months later, he received the second bonus when a knockout ended his bout against Alexey Oleynik in round 12.
5. Francis Ngannou
Everyone wants to see Ngannou’s MMA news. The heavyweight champion did not have any training gear when he started MMA. Ngannou, who had been trying to get into Europe illegally, was living in Paris and spending two months in prison for illegal entry. To him, MMA was a chance.
Francis Ngannou’s mixed martial arts record is 20 matches, with 17 wins and three defeats via decision at the beginning of 2022. He has given knockout punches to Junior dos Santos and Anthony Hamilton as well as Stipe Miocic and Luis Herique.
He lost his first fight with Stipe Mikic for the UFC Heavyweight Championship. He lost his second bout since 2013. Ngannou was victorious in the rematch, which earned him the UFC title and the Performance Of The Night bonus.
6. Anderson Silva
Anderson is the real deal. Anderson was first the UFC Middleweight Champion between 2006 and 2013. Anderson holds the UFC record for longest reigning champion. Joe Rogan considers him the greatest MMA fighter.
In 2013, Chris Weidman won the title via knockout. Silva has been losing a lot since then, including his bouts against Daniel Cormier, Michael Bisping, and Israel Adesanya.
He is no longer in the UFC. Instead, he returned to boxing in 2020.
7. Daniel Cormier
Although he is not currently a black UFC fighter, his UFC record is worthy of note. Cormier has won many titles.
He is a former Olympian, like Ronda Rousey. He was also a World Cup runner up and a professional MMA fighter to name a few.
He beat Frank Mir in his first UFC fight. He chose to compete in the UFC’s heavyweight division instead of his teammate Cain Velasquez, who was in the other division.
After knocking out Stipe Milocic in round one, he won the UFC Heavyweight Championship title. They met again twice more, and Miocic won both fights. The first was a TKO in 2019, and the second was at UFC 252 2020.
After almost ten consecutive wins, it was a disappointing defeat. After 22 wins in 26 matches, Daniel Cormier quit MMA.
8. Rashad Evans
Evans is a UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and the winner of The Ultimate Fighter 2. He’s also an Inductee into the UFC Hall of Fame. In 2008, Evans faced Forrest Griffin to win the title. He lost it to Lyoto Mchida in his first defense of the title.
After fighting with Anthony Smith, Sam Alvey and Daniel Kelly, his losses at UFC were accumulated between 2015 and 2018.
Rashid Evans was an accomplished fighter, who was capable of taking on any opponent when he retired from UFC in 2018.
He did not quit MMA completely, but he switched organizations and jumped into Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Eagle Fighting Championship. After beating Conor McGregor, he became the UFC Lightweight Champion. Evans made his debut at EFC against Checco at the beginning of 2022.
9. Curtis Blaydes
The 31-year old made his UFC debut in 2016 at UFC Fight Night, where Francis Ngannou won via TKO. He won several events, despite the grim start to his UFC career.
He faced opponents such as Alexey Oleynik and Mark Hunt during that time. His dominance over these seasoned fighters was ended at UFC Fight Night 141 when Francis Ngannou scored him a TKO in round one.
We must give him credit for his 15 wins in 19 matches during his professional career. Only Derrick Lewis, aside from Ngannou has delivered him a knockout punch.
10. Demetrious Johnson
Joe Rogan doesn’t often describe a fighter as being the best in MMA. Johnson is Johnson’s greatest fighter. You can trust him to say so. ESPN and MMA Weekly agree. Demetrious John is an incredible flyweight champion who holds a brown belt from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
He is a consummate professional who gives a great fight to any opponent. Sometimes, he even registers the most takedowns during a fight.
In 2012, he fought Joseph Benavidez to win the UFC Flyweight Championship. He won via a split decision. Henry Cejudo won via split decision after a series of 11 title defense matches.
He left UFC to join the One Championship after the loss. However, he still holds the record for most title defenses, more than Georges St Pierre who defended his welterweight title.
11. Anthony Johnson
One punch can be enough to take out an opponent. His debut bout ended in a knockout after just 13 minutes.
After his defeat to Daniel Cormier, he retired in 2017. However, he returned to UFC four year later and showed that he was still as good as ever with a knockout against Jose Augusto.
Anthony was not always a heavyweight champion. Anthony started his career in the welterweight category, then moved to the middleweight in 2012 and finally settled in heavyweight fighting.
12. Maurice Smith
He is a UFC Hall of Famer and although his kickboxing record was exceptional, he was an honorable fighter at UFC, with 14 wins of 28 mixed martial arts fights.
Smith was confronted by legends as he defended his Extreme Fighting Heavyweight Championship title and UFC Heavyweight Championship title. Randy Couture, one of his opponents, stripped Smith of the UFC title during a UFC Japan defense match.
13. Leon Edwards
The British-Jamaican won in 2014 the BAMMA Welterweight Champion title. He joined UFC the following year and delivered a devastating punch to Shaun Taylor.
He lost his first fight in the UFC. He proved that he was worthy of the contract with his next fights, where he threw knockout punches whenever he could. Kamaru Usman was the only one who could slow him down in his fight.
His opponents include Gunnar Nelson and Donald Cerrone. He was scheduled to meet Nate Diaz the same night Michael Chandler faced Charles Oliveira to compete for the lightweight title, but Diaz suffered an injury and he pulled out. Edwards won the event, even though it was held later.
14. Uriah Hall
It is always fascinating to hear stories about how fighters got into martial arts. Hall says martial arts were his escape from bullies as a teenager when he came to the U.S. to study.
His journey to the UFC began in The Ultimate Fighter Season 17. He fought Chris Weidman again in 2021. This was one of his most memorable bouts. Hall was unable to strike Weidman, so Weidman used a low leg kick. Hall checked Weidman and caught his calf bone.
Hall did not strike once, but the fight was over via a TKO.
15. Israel Adesanya
The former kickboxing champion took on the UFC’s middleweight division and established his reign. He has defended his title four times.
When he began kickboxing, he was in New Zealand completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Design. He fell in love with the sport and decided to pursue a career as a professional kickboxer in China.
“The Last Stylebender” later joined UFC, and made his debut in 2018 against Rob Wilkinson. Wilkinson was not ready for the TKO Adesanya gave him and he walked away with the Performance Of The Night bonus.
This fight took place in April 2018. Adesanya received his fourth bonus for his back to back knockouts by October 2019.
He has secured some of the most coveted sponsorship deals for MMA, even attracting brands to himself. He broke the curse of not having PUMA contracts in mixed martial arts.
Adesanya was born Nigerian and plays for New Zealand. His name is one of the longest, with Israel Adesanya the first and last.
Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker were some of his most electrifying opponents. In his attempt to switch divisions and face Jan Blachowicz at the UFC light-heavyweight division, he lost one of 22 matches.
16. Alistar Overeem
Brock Lesnar is not the only legend that makes a debut for a fighter. Anything is possible when Alistar Overeem is the debutant. Because of his kickboxing prowess, he walked into UFC and fought Lesnar at UFC 141.
He was awarded a title shot for that single fight. Overeem was a drug-test subject even before his title fight. Dana White replaced Overeem after he failed a drug test before his championship fight.
Although he is not a match for legendary fighters Francis Ngannois or Stipe Miocic, he has served technical knockouts in bouts alongside celebrated fighters Walt Harris, Travis Browne and Mark Hunt plus Junior dos Santos.
“The Demolition Man”, who quit UFC in 2021, returned to kickboxing.
17. Jared Cannonier
Jared started out as a heavyweight fighter. Three years later, he switched to the light-heavyweight division. This African American martial artist moved to the middleweight division after his unsuccessful attempt at the heavyweight division.
“The Killa gorilla” is a top UFC black fighter whose career began late, as he joined the UFC at just 31 years old. He is the combat sport athlete that can defeat Anderson Silva via a TKO.
18. Phil Davis
“Mr. “Mr. Alexander Gustafsson was defeated by Davis in 2010 with an anaconda choke.
The kimura submission against Tim Boetsch earned him the Submission Of the Night award in 2010. He won his fourth fight at UFC and was awarded $80,000 for his extraordinary skills.
Now, Phil Davis is a Bellator fighter. He’s already won numerous victories when he takes on famous icons like LyotoMachida.
19. Quinton Jackson
Jackson moved between the different weight divisions like Jared, before finally settling on the heavyweight. Jackson is a former wrestler and also won the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship against Chuck Liddell.
Although he refused to let go of Dan Henderson’s fight for the title that year, he did not serve enough knockout punches for Forrest Griffin’s shot the next year. Jon Jones gave him an ugly rear-naked choke to prevent him from regaining the title.
Quinton Jackson, who left UFC to join Bellator MMA, in 2014, returned UFC the next year and rejoined Bellator after the settlement of his contract dispute.
20. Yoel Romero
His performances show that it is not always about winning the championship.
Romero has a long career that spans many divisions. He started his career in the light-heavyweight division. After only five MMA bouts, Romero was able to join UFC.
From his 2013 debut fight, he won every time until Robert Whittaker ended his hopes of winning the middleweight title in 2017.
Romero now works with Bellator MMA. His first match was a loss but the Cuban legend has always given his all so that matches can be decided. He is one of the few black MMA fighters to have won an Olympic medal.
Aljamain Sterling is the UFC Bantamweight Champion, a bonus black champion. He has only lost three times since his MMA career began in 2011.
Most Frequently Asked Questions
Who is The Best Black UFC Fighters?
When there are so many talents and accomplishments, it’s difficult to name one icon the best. Jon Jones, Anderson Silva and Israel Adesanya are the most prominent. Kamaru Usman and Demetrious Johnson also rank high.
Who was The First Black UFC Fighters?
Trent Jenkins, Art Jimmerson and Zane Frazier were the first black fighters. They fought at UFC’s first event in 1993. Maurice Smith was the first African American fighter to win a UFC title.
Who is The Black UFC Commentator?
Daniel Cormier is one of the most respected fighters in MMA. His passion and extensive experience have made him a great commentator. You could also be referring to Rashad Evans who is one of the commentators for MMA Live.
Contrary to popular belief, combat sports embrace diversity. Black UFC champions have various titles, even those who are from the African American community. Randy Couture was there when Maurice Smith was there, as were Adesanya Rashad, Jon Jones and Ngannou who dominated UFC fights in recent years.
You will be inspired to see all of their victories via TKO and read their stories.