30 greatest UFC fighters of all time [UPDATED]

Celebrating 30 years of the UFC, ranking the 30 greatest UFC fighters of all time.
UFC belt
UFC belt / Alex Bierens de Haan/GettyImages
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5. Khabib Nurmagomedov

Khabib Nurmagomedov is the only fighter on this list to retire undefeated at 29-0, 13-0 in the UFC going 4-0 in title fights with three performance bonuses, and is currently the longest-reigning lightweight champion of all time.

Nurmagomedov joined the UFC in 2013 but didn’t fight for the title until 2018, taking out Gleison Tibau, Thiago Tavares, Abel Trujillo, Pat Healy, Rafael dos Anjos, Michael Johnson, and Edson Barboza along the way. Nurmagomedov was scheduled to face Tony Ferguson for the vacant title, but like the other three times before it, the fight was canceled. Nurmagomedov/Ferguson is one of those matchups that kept toying with us over the years and never come to be.

Nurmagomedov was then scheduled to face featherweight champion Max Holloway who was moving up, but he was pulled on fight day due to medical reasons. Nurmagomedov fought Al Iaquinta at the last minute and became champion, defending his belt later that year against Conor McGregor and yearly against Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje, dispatching them all in dominating fashion.

Nurmagomedov retired a year after the Gaethje win and would go on to start his own promotion company, Eagle FC. A few weeks ago, Nurmagomedov announced he was stepping away from MMA and wouldn’t be involved in or cornering his fighters, just occasionally helping out at the gym. Despite being undefeated and being inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame last year, it would have been nice to see Khabib face more competition.