12 Best Boxers in UFC History (MMA Boxing)

In the world of mixed martial arts (MMA), the sweet science of boxing has produced some truly exceptional athletes. These fighters have seamlessly blended their boxing backgrounds with various martial arts disciplines to create a unique and powerful fighting style.

From undefeated records to technical prowess, from unorthodox techniques to evasive skills, these boxers have left an indelible mark on the sport. With incredible speed, power, accuracy, and mastery of striking, they have become true masters of the boxing craft in the world of MMA.

Key Takeaways

  • Adrian Yanez and Arnold Allen are undefeated fighters in the UFC known for their technical boxing skills and intelligent forward pressure. Yanez utilizes speedy combinations and lethal counter hooks, while Allen showcases blitzing combinations and amazing power.
  • Alexander Gustafsson and Anderson Silva have successfully transitioned from boxing to MMA. Gustafsson exhibits unorthodox uppercuts and great head movement, while Silva is known for his exceptional evasiveness, timing, and accuracy with counterpunches.
  • Cody Garbrandt has a strong boxing background and showcases silky footwork and evasive skills. He possesses unbelievable speed and power in his strikes and displays elite composure and sharp vision in the cage.
  • Jorge Masvidal, Junior Dos Santos, Max Holloway, and Petr Yan are notable boxers in specific weight classes in the UFC. Masvidal is known for his powerful hooks and body shots, Dos Santos maintains crisp technique and exceptional speed, Holloway relies on speedy combinations and high fight intelligence, and Yan demonstrates world-class technique and power despite being in the bantamweight division.

Undefeated Records and Technical Boxing Skills

Among the best boxers in UFC history, there are several fighters who possess undefeated records and showcase exceptional technical boxing skills. These fighters not only display their mastery of boxing techniques and strategies in MMA, but also have a significant impact on their overall performance in the sport.

Their technical boxing skills allow them to effectively utilize various strategies such as speedy combinations, lethal counter hooks, blitzing combinations, and amazing power. They demonstrate elite composure, intelligent forward pressure, and defensive skills, including high elbow guards and angle changes.

Additionally, these fighters exhibit head movement, footwork, and fluidity in the pocket, while also incorporating unorthodox uppercuts, punches from unusual angles, and evasive tactics.

The combination of their boxing backgrounds and their ability to implement technical boxing skills elevates their performance in the Octagon, making them true forces to be reckoned with.

Transition From Boxing to MMA and Unorthodox Techniques

The transition from boxing to MMA often requires fighters to adapt their techniques and incorporate unorthodox strategies.

When boxers make the switch to MMA, they must adjust to a different set of rules and a wider range of attacks. One of the challenges they face is incorporating their unique boxing techniques into a sport that allows for grappling and ground fighting.

Boxers must learn to defend takedowns and submissions, as well as develop a well-rounded skill set that includes striking, wrestling, and grappling.

Additionally, they must be able to adapt their boxing techniques to the different range and angles of attacks in MMA. This requires fighters to be versatile and open-minded in their approach, constantly evolving and experimenting with new techniques to succeed in the cage.

Boxing Background and Evasive Skills

Cody Garbrandt's boxing background has honed his evasive skills, allowing him to exhibit remarkable footwork and elusiveness in the octagon. His silky footwork enables him to move swiftly and avoid his opponents' strikes, while his evasive skills grant him the ability to slip punches and counter with precision accuracy. Garbrandt's boxing techniques translate seamlessly into MMA, as his ability to bob and weave, along with his sharp head movement, make it difficult for opponents to land clean shots. His footwork plays a crucial role in his success, as it allows him to create angles, maintain distance, and generate power in his strikes. Garbrandt's boxing background and evasive skills have undoubtedly contributed to his impressive performances in the UFC.

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Boxing Techniques that Translate Well to MMA The Importance of Footwork in Boxing and MMA
Slipping punches and countering accurately Creating angles and maintaining distance
Bobbing and weaving Generating power in strikes
Sharp head movement Moving swiftly and avoiding strikes

Notable Boxers in Specific Weight Classes

Notable boxers in specific weight classes exhibit exceptional skill and versatility. Boxing dominance in different weight classes has been achieved by fighters who possess extraordinary talent and adaptability.

For instance, Jorge Masvidal is known for his powerful hooks and has knocked out 16 opponents in his 35 wins.

Junior Dos Santos, a former UFC heavyweight champion, maintains crisp technique and exceptional speed, showcasing ridiculous power, particularly with his overhand right.

Max Holloway holds UFC records for the most significant strikes landed, relying on his speedy combinations, slick footwork, and head movement.

Petr Yan, considered one of the top three boxers in the UFC, possesses world-class technique and great power despite being in the bantamweight division.

These notable boxers demonstrate their mastery of the sport in their respective weight classes, leaving a lasting impact on the history of MMA boxing.

Boxing Dominance and Impressive Records

Many boxers in the UFC have achieved impressive records and showcased dominant boxing skills. Two notable fighters who exemplify these qualities are Stipe Miocic and Cody Garbrandt. Stipe Miocic, considered one of the best UFC heavyweights of all time, won the Cleveland Golden Gloves amateur boxing competition with only 8 months of boxing experience. He relies heavily on his boxing skills and uses wrestling primarily for takedown defense. Miocic possesses elite confidence in his boxing, demonstrating excellent footwork, head movement, and crisp technique for a heavyweight. Cody Garbrandt, on the other hand, has a boxing background, starting at the age of 4 and having a successful amateur boxing career. He is known for his silky footwork and evasive skills, exhibiting unbelievable speed, power, and precision in his strikes. Garbrandt counters with brilliant timing and displays elite composure and sharp vision in the cage. Both Miocic and Garbrandt have left a lasting impact on the UFC with their impressive records and boxing prowess.

Fighter Boxing Style and Skills Impressive Records
Stipe Miocic Relies on boxing, uses wrestling for defense Cleveland Golden Gloves winner
Cody Garbrandt Boxing background, silky footwork Successful amateur boxing career

Conor McGregor: The Notorious Boxing Phenom

Conor McGregor, known for his explosive striking and charismatic personality, is considered the Notorious boxing phenom in the UFC. McGregor's boxing career has had a significant impact on the sport of boxing, showcasing his skill and drawing attention from fans and critics alike.

Here are three reasons why McGregor is regarded as a boxing phenom:

  1. Technical Precision: McGregor's boxing technique is impressive, with his ability to deliver powerful punches and accurate strikes. He utilizes a wide range of punches, including his signature left-hand knockout power, and displays excellent footwork and head movement.
  2. Knockout Power: McGregor's knockout power is legendary, as he's finished many of his opponents with his devastating strikes. His ability to generate immense power from his punches has made him a feared striker in the UFC.
  3. Cross-Over Appeal: McGregor's impact on the sport of boxing extends beyond the UFC. His highly anticipated boxing match against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2017 generated massive interest and was one of the biggest boxing events in recent memory. McGregor's charisma and showmanship have brought new fans to the sport, elevating his status as a boxing phenom.

Amanda Nunes: The Queen of MMA Boxing

With an impressive combination of power and finesse, Amanda Nunes has established herself as the reigning queen of MMA boxing. Known for her exceptional striking skills, Nunes has dominated the women's bantamweight and featherweight divisions with her devastating punches and precise technique. Her boxing prowess has been on full display in her fights against top contenders, where she has consistently showcased her ability to dismantle opponents with her striking. Nunes's boxing style is characterized by her explosive power, accuracy, and relentless aggression. She possesses a diverse arsenal of punches, including sharp jabs, powerful hooks, and devastating uppercuts. Her ability to seamlessly transition between different striking techniques makes her a formidable force in the octagon. Nunes's dominance in the MMA boxing realm is further solidified by her victories over top fighters like Holly Holm, Ronda Rousey, and Cris Cyborg. Her reign as the queen of MMA boxing continues to be unchallenged, cementing her legacy as one of the greatest female fighters in UFC history.

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Fighter Division Notable Boxing Skills
Amanda Nunes Bantamweight/Featherweight Explosive power, accuracy, relentless aggression
Joanna Jedrzejczyk Strawweight Exceptional footwork, high-volume striking, precision punches
Cris Cyborg Featherweight Heavy-handed striker, knockout power, aggressive style
Valentina Shevchenko Flyweight Technical precision, counterstriking, effective clinch work

In comparison to other notable fighters, Nunes stands out with her ability to generate immense power while maintaining a high level of accuracy. Her aggressive approach and relentless pressure make her a nightmare for opponents in the striking department. While fighters like Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Cris Cyborg possess impressive boxing skills in their respective divisions, Nunes's combination of power, finesse, and versatility sets her apart as the queen of MMA boxing. Her dominance in the sport is a testament to her dedication, skill, and natural talent, making her a force to be reckoned with in the octagon.

Jon Jones: The Unstoppable Boxing Force

Jon Jones continues to dominate the UFC with his unstoppable boxing skills, as he seamlessly combines precision strikes with relentless aggression. His boxing prowess has been on full display in his fights, leaving opponents battered and defeated.

Here are three reasons why Jon Jones is considered an unstoppable force in the boxing world:

  1. Exceptional Technique: Jones possesses exceptional technical skills, with a wide range of strikes in his arsenal. His punches display perfect form and accuracy, allowing him to land devastating blows on his opponents.
  2. Strategic Defense: Jones's defensive skills are equally impressive. He's the ability to evade punches with swift head movement and footwork, making it difficult for his opponents to land clean shots. His defensive prowess allows him to avoid damage while setting up devastating counterattacks.
  3. Versatility and Adaptability: Jones has shown versatility in his boxing style, adapting to different opponents and situations. Whether it's utilizing his long reach to keep opponents at bay or getting inside and unleashing powerful combinations, he can adjust his approach to exploit his opponents' weaknesses.

In comparison to Jones, Cody Garbrandt is known for his silky boxing skills. While Garbrandt is a formidable boxer in his own right, Jones's combination of technical prowess, defensive skills, and adaptability make him a truly unstoppable force in the octagon.

Israel Adesanya: the Stylebender With Boxing Prowess

How does Israel Adesanya showcase his boxing prowess as the Stylebender in the UFC?

Israel Adesanya, also known as the Stylebender, exhibits exceptional boxing technique and footwork that sets him apart in the UFC.

Analyzing his boxing technique, Adesanya displays a diverse range of striking strategies and combinations that keep his opponents guessing. His footwork allows him to move effortlessly around the octagon, enabling him to create angles and evade strikes effectively.

Adesanya's striking strategies involve a mix of precision jabs, powerful hooks, and devastating uppercuts. He has a deep understanding of distance and timing, allowing him to land strikes with accuracy and force.

Adesanya's ability to seamlessly transition between different striking styles and his creativity in setting up combinations make him a formidable force in the UFC.

Jose Aldo: The Brazilian Boxing Sensation

Surprisingly, yet, Jose Aldo showcases his exceptional Brazilian boxing skills in the UFC. Here is an analysis of Aldo's striking technique and boxing prowess in the Octagon:

  1. Fluid Striking Technique: Aldo's boxing skills are a thing of beauty. He possesses excellent footwork, allowing him to move in and out of range with ease. His punches are crisp and accurate, delivering devastating power. Aldo's ability to throw combinations seamlessly showcases his technical expertise and precision.
  2. Lethal Counterstriking: Aldo is a master at counterpunching. He's a keen sense of timing and can effortlessly slip his opponents' strikes, launching counterattacks with lightning speed. His ability to land precise counters has earned him numerous knockout victories and a reputation as a dangerous striker.
  3. Jose Aldo's Impact on Brazilian Boxing: Aldo's success in the UFC has had a significant impact on the growth and popularity of boxing in Brazil. His achievements have inspired a new generation of Brazilian fighters to pursue a career in boxing. Aldo's technical mastery and his ability to compete at the highest level of MMA have elevated the status of Brazilian boxing on the global stage.
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Jose Aldo is undeniably a Brazilian boxing sensation. His striking technique and boxing prowess in the UFC are a sight to behold. Moreover, his impact on the growth and popularity of boxing in Brazil can't be overstated. Aldo's success has solidified his place as one of the best boxers in UFC history.

Dominick Cruz: The Masterful Boxer in MMA

One of the most elusive and technically skilled boxers in MMA is Dominick Cruz, as he combines unpredictable movement with precise striking. Cruz's mastery of boxing techniques has made him a dominant force in the octagon. His ability to seamlessly transition between offense and defense, while staying one step ahead of his opponents, is truly impressive.

Dominick Cruz: The Masterful Boxer in MMA
Technically Skilled Unpredictable Movement Precise Striking

Cruz's unique style and approach to boxing in MMA has played a significant role in the evolution of the sport. He has shown that boxing can be effectively utilized in mixed martial arts, showcasing the importance of footwork, head movement, and timing. Cruz's ability to create angles and land accurate punches has set him apart from his competitors. His quick reflexes and defensive skills make it extremely difficult for opponents to land clean shots.

Demetrious Johnson: the Mighty Mouse With Boxing Skills

During his time in the UFC, Demetrious Johnson showcased his exceptional boxing skills, making him a formidable force in the flyweight division. Analyzing his boxing techniques, Johnson's footwork and movement in the octagon are a key aspect of his success. He displays quick and precise footwork, allowing him to maintain distance and angle his opponents.

Johnson's ability to use angles and feints in his boxing approach gives him an advantage in setting up his attacks and creating openings for counterpunches. Evaluating his counterpunching skills, Johnson demonstrates excellent timing and accuracy, often catching his opponents off guard and delivering devastating strikes.

His boxing strategy revolves around a combination of speed, precision, and intelligent decision-making, allowing him to outmaneuver his opponents and dominate in the striking department. Demetrious Johnson's boxing skills have undoubtedly played a crucial role in his impressive career in the UFC.


In conclusion, these 12 boxers have proven themselves to be true masters of the sweet science in the world of MMA. With their undefeated records, technical skills, and unorthodox techniques, they've left an indelible mark on the sport.

Their boxing backgrounds and evasive skills, combined with their impeccable footwork and precise timing, have allowed them to dominate their weight classes. They're the epitome of 'float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,' showcasing their speed, power, and accuracy in the octagon.

Mike Williams
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