When it comes to the best strikers in the world, you can be sure that they’ve practiced on a top of the line boxing bag much more than once. If you’re interested in one such model, you can check it out here. But for now, let’s get to our list of the best strikers of the MMA scene in the entire world and what makes them so special.
Silva has become almost synonymous with the UFC brand, and for good reason. His style of throwing hard-hitting, jaw-crushing, heart-breaking punches has reached legendary status. The mythical Anderson Silva is considered by many to be the best fighter that the MMA scene has seen in its entire existence. And we agree. The guy is phenomenal.
His reflexes and head movement during matches is something so beautiful to behold that even people who don’t like violent sports can’t help it but cheer whenever he dodges a punch and lands a powerful counterattack. Any kid who’s ever been bullied at school probably wishes that Anderson Silva was their dad or uncle so that they won’t have any more trouble.
Aldo is the type of guy who would be able to hit you between the legs if it were legal. But since that would disqualify him, he will hit you on the next most cherished thing that a kickboxer has. Their lead leg. He throws his shin bone in his opponent’s thigh as if there was no tomorrow, often rendering them with a facial expression that makes even hardened fighters cringe.
Whenever his opponent tries to land a kick on him, his reflexes turn up to the max and counteracts it with a combo of hard-hitting punches, and ends it with a low kick right when his opponent is too vulnerable to be able to counterattack. These kicks can be so brutal that many times you’ll see his opponent limping, trying to stand on their good leg, but to no avail.
No MMA striker list would be complete without the now legendary Conor McGregor. The Irishman has a left hand so pathetically fast that few people even anticipate when he’s about to throw a punch with it. And while most people will talk non-stop about his impressive and lightning-fast punches, one cannot ignore McGregor’s kicking abilities.
His fierce kicks propelled his career even farther when he battled the likes of Max Holloway and Chad Mendes. Connor even battled the legendary Floyd “Money” Mayweather, and although he lost the match, it brought him even more notoriety than he already had. Even if his career would end tomorrow, he would still go down in history as one of UFC’s and MMA’s greatest strikers.
Barboza has some absolutely phenomenal boxing skills, but his kicks are where he shines like the brightest flame. Unlike most strikers and kickboxers who have one dominating leg, Edson throws spectacular kicks straight from the depths of hell with both of his legs. Low leg kicks, roundhouses, back kicks, you name it and Edson Barboza can do it flawlessly.
He made history in 2012 in his match against the fearsome opponent Terry Etim, who he knocked down with a lightning-fast wheel kick. You had to have been there to witness the moment in its true, brutal beauty. Etim stiffened up like a soulless plank right before hitting the ground like a fly swatted by a baseball bat. It might be an exaggerated metaphor, but it sure felt like it.
A controversial figure, to say the least, Jon Jones is an absolute beast inside the ring. His brothers might have become successful in the NFL, but Jon decided to take his genetic athletic prowess inside UFC’s now-famed octagon. A noteworthy thing about Jon Jones is that he first started training by watching videos on Youtube and reading martial arts books.
How many self-taught strikers do you know? We thought so. When you think about it, it’s absolutely impressive. He managed to hold his ground against other legendary strikers inside the ring, despite the fact that he didn’t take training quite seriously. He would often go relax in New York or go on vacations and only show up to the ring when he had a fight scheduled.
A name that calls for respect and strikes fear in the hearts of those foolish enough to step in the ring with this legend – Demetrius Johnson consistently moves his head from left to right to avoid incoming strikes and launches counterattacks with a technical prowess that few other fighters manage to master even after years and years of training.
Demetrius likes to compete in the Muay Thai fighting style, and it shows. He breaks opponents’ postures whenever he gets the chance, and once he does this, you can kiss your ass goodbye, as he will launch powerful knees toward your body and continue the punishment through knees and elbows to the head.
When you think of wrestlers – and we mean real wrestlers, not entertainers – you think of stiff movements, planned out attacks, and generally of a slow-paced yet highly entertaining grappling match. But TJ somehow throws some jaw-dropping hooks whenever the case calls for it. And he does so with wonderful ability.
Many fans might prefer seeing a great knockout strike, but TJ still manages to keep crowds cheering by switching between hard-hitting attacks and calculated technical wrestling grapples. We consider him to be the best striker that ever came from a purely grappling background. Wrestlers aren’t usually good knockout artists in MMA. Case in point, CM Punk.
His name might be hard to pronounce, but his matches are as memorable as the first day that a fan discovers the brutal and magnificent world of mixed martial arts. His Chinese martial arts background stands out whenever he gets into the ring. The Russian Wushu team that he was a part of before signing on to UFC either don’t realize what they’ve lost or they mourn each day.
Have you heard of the “Showtime Kick”? Because if you haven’t, you really need to see this Matrix-like move. So, check this out: in a match against Ben Henderson, Pettis ran toward the cage, bounced off it, and delivered a brutally high-impact kick that knocked Henderson out cold for a few seconds. And although Ben recovered, Anthony’s kick is now a staple.
Coming from a Taekwondo background, Anthony Pettis loves using roundhouse kicks and other moves that involve his legs in general. One more memorable moment from his career comes from his match against Donald Cerrone when he ran against the cage, caught momentum while pushing off it, and landed a knee straight to Cerrone’s face. Flashy and classy this Pettis fellow.
The Chute Boxe Academy has blessed us with a gift simply named Mauricio Rua, who is probably even more well-known by his nickname, Shogun. Fast strikes, as well as technical prowess and brutality, are what make Mauricio Rua such a fearful opponent. He went up against the likes of Wanderlei Silva and lived to tell the tale and even copy some of his opponent’s moves.
By far Rua’s best matches are the ones where stomps and soccer kicks to the head are completely legal. He would finish off his opponents with a powerful kick to the head and didn’t hesitate one moment to jump and stomp their heads either. Nobody in their right mind would want to be in the ring with this guy in a no holds barred match.
Alistair manages to keep a steady balance between his grappling and striking fighting styles. He has made a name for himself in organizations such as Strikeforce and K-1 Kickboxing, and furthermore, his younger self was extremely agile and explosive, managing to strike fear and pain in equal measure to almost any opponent.
While he currently employs a more cautious style of fighting due to his hurt chin, he still manages to overpower his opponents in many circumstances. He’s knocked out multiple MMA and kickboxing legends throughout the years with his powerful knees and he even managed to plant the likes of Mark Hunt face-first into the ground.
Who is your favorite striker? Did they make this list? If not, leave us a comment below with your all-time favorite striker and why they managed to win you over.