5 of the best Russian MMA fighters right now

Russian MMA continues proving its prominence on the global scene with these stars.
Petr Yan
Petr Yan / Steve Marcus/GettyImages
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Throughout MMA history, Russian athletes have consistently reached the peak of the sport. Today is no different, as the country produces many of the best champions and prospects. The cultural prominence of combat sports such as sambo, boxing, and judo have inspired many Russians to represent their nation as warriors.

Russian fighters hail from all regions of the world's largest sovereign state, carrying their own unique skillsets and attributes. The popularity of Russian promotion, M1- Global provides a platform for many up and coming Russian athletes to gain recognition and get signed to larger organizations.

Russian MMA continues proving its dominance with these five athletes.

5. Petr Yan

Petr Yan is originally from the frigid northern region of Dudinka, Russia. He took to martial arts and fighting from a young age, originally starting in taekwondo and eventually moving to boxing. "No Mercy" became such a proficent boxer he was awarded the rank Master of Sport.

Yan turned pro in MMA in 2014 and amassed a 7-1 record before signing with the UFC. Six consecutive wins eventually led him to the UFC bantamweight title. Despite losing the belt in his first defense via disqualification due to landing an illegal knee on his opponent, Aljamain Sterling, Yan bounced back and captured interim gold against Cory Sandhagen a few months later.

"No Mercy" showcases an advanced striking arsenal, pairing his boxing with lethal Muay Thai combinations and stance switches honed in his time at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket, Thailand. Yan holds an impressive MMA record of 16-5.

Despite losing his last three fights, two via razor thin split decision, Yan is still a fixture at the top of the UFC bantamweight division. As Yan is only 30, its likely he will continue staking his claim for the bantamweight title he once held.