10 UFC fighters from countries you've probably never heard of

10 fighters in the UFC have introduced MMA fans to new cultures and countries.

Shavkat Rakhmonov, Kazakhstan
Shavkat Rakhmonov, Kazakhstan / UFC
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Manel Kape, Angola

Manel Kape was born in Luanda, Angola, but is also a citizen of Portugal. For the purpose of this, we'll refer to his ties to Angola. Kape doesn't talk about his home county much in interviews so there's not a lot known about the connection he has with the country.

Angola is located in Central Africa and borders Namibia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The country has deep Portuguese ties with its Portuguese-influenced cuisine and landmarks, including Fortaleza de São Miguel, a fortress built by the Portuguese in 1576 to defend the capital, Luanda.

As of 2021, the population is 34.5 million, one of the more populated countries on this list.

Nurullo Aliev, Tajikistan

Nurullo Aliev is the UFC's first fighter from Tajikistan. Currently, Aliev is taking a break from MMA as he's recovering from a leg injury.

“Over the last few months due to some life circumstances, I have taken a break in my career,” Aliev wrote on Instagram in Russian. “I haven’t stopped training hard though. I never looked for a comfortable opponent. When UFC offered me a worthy opponent, I gladly agreed. … I prepared particularly hard for this battle. Everything went according to plan, the best gyms, coaches, and nutritionists. … Unfortunately, a couple of days ago, I injured my leg. After the examination, the doctor from UFC was banned and did not consent for the fight.”

When Aliev made his appearance on Dana White's Contender Series, the broadcast cut to a huge gathering of Tajikistan fans in a remote stadium watching his fight at close to 3 am.