10 Best Russian UFC Fighters Ever (Includes Future Stars)

Russia has undoubtedly produced some of the most formidable fighters in the history of the UFC. From dominant champions to rising stars, these Russian athletes have left an indelible mark on the world of mixed martial arts. With impressive records, notable wins, and a diverse range of skills, they have captured the attention and admiration of fans worldwide.

In this article, we will delve into the top 10 Russian UFC fighters of all time, including both current champions and future stars. Get ready to witness the mastery of these incredible fighters.

Key Takeaways

  • Khabib Nurmagomedov, Fedor Emelianenko, Alexander Volkanovski, and Valentina Shevchenko are considered some of the best Russian UFC fighters ever, with impressive records and notable wins.
  • Russia has produced dominant UFC champions like Khabib Nurmagomedov, Petr Yan, and Valentina Shevchenko in different weight classes.
  • Rising stars like Khamzat Chimaev, Umar Nurmagomedov, Zabit Magomedsharipov, Islam Makhachev, and Magomed Ankalaev show promising potential for becoming future champions.
  • Russian UFC fighters are known for their strong wrestling and submission skills, with notable fighters like Khabib Nurmagomedov, Islam Makhachev, and Marat Gafurov excelling in these areas.

Khabib Nurmagomedov: Undefeated Lightweight Champion

Khabib Nurmagomedov, the undefeated lightweight champion, has solidified his place as one of the best Russian UFC fighters of all time. His retirement has had a profound impact on the lightweight division, leaving a void that will be difficult to fill.

With a record of 29-0-0, Khabib's dominance in the octagon was unparalleled. His grappling skills and relentless pressure made him virtually unbeatable. Khabib's legacy in the UFC is marked by his numerous victories over top-ranked opponents, including Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, and Justin Gaethje.

His retirement not only leaves a vacant title, but it also leaves a lasting impact on the sport. Khabib's discipline, work ethic, and sportsmanship have set a standard for future fighters to aspire to. His legacy will continue to inspire and shape the UFC for years to come.

Fedor Emelianenko: Legendary Heavyweight Fighter

Continuing the discussion from the previous subtopic, Fedor Emelianenko emerged as a legendary heavyweight fighter in the history of Russian UFC fighters. Known for his impact on the heavyweight division, Fedor's legacy in MMA is undeniable.

With a record of 39 wins and 6 losses, he dominated opponents with his impressive striking abilities and knockout power. Fedor was a force to be reckoned with, defeating notable fighters such as Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mirko Cro Cop, and Andrei Arlovski. His aggressive fighting style and ability to finish fights quickly made him one of the most feared heavyweights in the sport.

Fedor's legacy in MMA is further solidified by his reign as the PRIDE Heavyweight Champion and his multiple accolades, including being inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. His contributions to the sport will forever be remembered as he continues to inspire future generations of fighters.

Alexander Volkanovski: Featherweight Dominance

Dominating the featherweight division, Alexander Volkanovski showcases his relentless skills in the Octagon. With an impressive record of 22-1-0, Volkanovski has established himself as one of the best Russian fighters in the UFC.

Known for his explosive power and aggressive fighting style, he's become a force to be reckoned with in the featherweight division. Volkanovski's dominance is evident in his victories over top contenders such as Max Holloway and Jose Aldo. His ability to seamlessly blend striking and grappling techniques makes him a well-rounded fighter, capable of adapting to any situation.

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As a future star, Volkanovski's reign as the featherweight champion is far from over, and fans can expect to witness more of his exciting and dominant performances in the Octagon.

Alongside Zabit Magomedsharipov and his exciting fighting style, the future of the featherweight division looks incredibly promising.

Petr Yan: Rising Bantamweight Star

Establishing himself as a rising star in the bantamweight division, Petr Yan showcases his impressive skills and potential in the UFC Octagon. With notable wins and impressive striking abilities, Yan is on his way to becoming a future champion.

Here are three reasons why Petr Yan is a force to be reckoned with:

  1. Rise to the top: Since joining the UFC in 2018, Yan has quickly climbed the ranks, displaying his dominance in the division. With a record of 15-2, he's defeated top contenders and proven his worth as a title contender.
  2. Notable wins: Yan has defeated some of the division's toughest opponents, including Urijah Faber and Jimmie Rivera. His victories have showcased his well-rounded skills and ability to finish fights.
  3. Impressive striking skills: Yan's striking game is a sight to behold. With precise and powerful strikes, he's showcased his ability to mix it up and overwhelm his opponents on the feet.

Petr Yan's rise in the bantamweight division is a testament to his skill and potential. With his notable wins and impressive striking abilities, it's only a matter of time before he claims the title and solidifies his status as a future champion.

Valentina Shevchenko: Flyweight Queen

Valentina Shevchenko holds an impressive record and has established herself as the dominant queen of the flyweight division in the UFC. With a record of 23-4-0, including a current five-fight win streak, Shevchenko has showcased her exceptional skills and versatility inside the Octagon. Her striking prowess, technical precision, and well-rounded skill set make her a formidable force in the flyweight division.

Shevchenko has defended her title multiple times against top contenders, solidifying her reign as the division's champion. As the flyweight queen, she continues to dominate her opponents with her exceptional striking, grappling, and fight IQ.

While Shevchenko's dominance in the flyweight division is unquestionable, it's worth noting the rise of Khamzat Chimaev in the welterweight division. Chimaev's impressive performances and quick rise in the UFC have garnered attention, making him a future star to watch in his respective weight class.

Andrei Arlovski: Heavyweight Veteran

Andrei Arlovski, a seasoned heavyweight veteran, brings a wealth of experience and skill to the Russian contingent in the UFC. As the rise of Russian heavyweights continues to captivate the MMA world, Arlovski stands as a testament to longevity in a physically demanding division.

With a career that spans over two decades, Arlovski has faced some of the toughest opponents in the heavyweight division and has consistently displayed his resilience and determination. Despite his ups and downs, Arlovski's ability to adapt and evolve has allowed him to remain relevant in the sport.

His impressive knockout power, technical striking, and strong grappling skills have earned him notable victories over top fighters throughout his career. Arlovski's longevity in the sport is a testament to his dedication, hard work, and passion for the fight game.

Zabit Magomedsharipov: Exciting Featherweight Contender

Zabit Magomedsharipov's status as an exciting featherweight contender showcases his potential to become one of the best Russian fighters in the UFC. With his exciting striking style and grappling prowess, Magomedsharipov has consistently impressed fans and analysts alike. Standing at 6'1" with a 73-inch reach, he possesses a unique combination of length and agility that allows him to dominate opponents both on the feet and on the ground. Magomedsharipov's diverse skill set is reflected in his record of 18 wins and only one loss in the UFC. His notable wins include victories over Jeremy Stephens, Kyle Bochniak, and Calvin Kattar. With his impressive performances, Magomedsharipov has positioned himself as a potential future featherweight champion and a force to be reckoned with in the division.

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Zabit Magomedsharipov
Height 6'1"
Reach 73 inches
Record 18-1-0

Islam Makhachev: Lightweight Phenom

Continuing the discussion of impressive Russian UFC fighters, another standout in the lightweight division is Islam Makhachev, who's earned a reputation as a phenom in the sport. With his exceptional grappling skills and dominant performances inside the Octagon, Makhachev has established himself as a future lightweight champion. Here are three reasons why Makhachev is a force to be reckoned with:

  1. Unmatched Grappling Dominance: Makhachev's grappling prowess is unparalleled, as he seamlessly transitions from takedowns to submissions, controlling his opponents on the ground. His relentless pressure and technical expertise make him a nightmare for anyone facing him in the cage.
  2. Tactical Brilliance: Makhachev's fight IQ is off the charts. He possesses an innate ability to read his opponents, strategically breaking them down and exploiting their weaknesses. This tactical brilliance allows him to dictate the pace of the fight and emerge victorious.
  3. Unyielding Determination: Makhachev's unwavering drive and work ethic are evident in his performances. He consistently pushes himself to the limits, constantly evolving and improving his skills. This relentless determination sets him apart and fuels his ambition to become a future lightweight champion.

With his impressive skill set and relentless pursuit of greatness, Islam Makhachev is undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with in the lightweight division.

Magomed Ankalaev: Light Heavyweight Rising Star

Magomed Ankalaev, a rising star in the light heavyweight division, showcases impressive skills and potential that build on the discussion of dominant Russian UFC fighters.

With a current record of 15-1-0, Ankalaev has amassed an impressive winning streak, demonstrating his ability to dominate opponents inside the Octagon. His striking prowess, coupled with his strong grappling and wrestling skills, make him a formidable force in the division.

Ankalaev's potential for a future title shot is undeniable, as he continues to climb the ranks and prove himself against top-tier competition. His technical precision and ability to finish fights with knockout power have garnered attention from fans and experts alike.

As Ankalaev continues to improve and showcase his skills, it's only a matter of time before he becomes a true contender in the light heavyweight division.

Marat Gafurov: Notable Featherweight Champion

Marat Gafurov, a notable featherweight champion, further adds to the discussion of dominant Russian UFC fighters. With an impressive career in ONE Championship, Gafurov has showcased his exceptional skills inside the cage. When comparing his submission skills to other Russian UFC fighters, Gafurov stands out as a true master of the craft.

Here are three reasons why Gafurov's submission skills are among the best:

  1. Impressive Submission Record: Gafurov has amassed a remarkable 18 submission victories throughout his career, highlighting his ability to finish fights on the ground.
  2. Diverse Submission Arsenal: From rear-naked chokes to arm triangles, Gafurov has showcased a wide range of submission techniques, demonstrating his versatility and ability to adapt to different opponents.
  3. Chokehold Specialist: Gafurov's expertise lies in his ability to secure and finish fights with various chokeholds, making him a formidable opponent in the featherweight division.
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Marat Gafurov's career in ONE Championship and his exceptional submission skills solidify his position as one of the best Russian UFC fighters in the featherweight division.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Are Some Rising Stars Among Russian UFC Fighters?

Rising stars among Russian UFC fighters: Who are the ones to watch? Upcoming talent among Russian UFC fighters: Who will make a mark? Keep an eye on Khamzat Chimaev, Umar Nurmagomedov, Zabit Magomedsharipov, Islam Makhachev, and Magomed Ankalaev. They show great potential and skill.

Which Russian UFC Fighters Have Strong Grappling and Wrestling Skills?

Russian UFC fighters display impressive grappling and wrestling skills in their fights. Their utilization of effective grappling techniques showcases their mastery of the craft, making them formidable opponents in the octagon.

Which Russian UFC Fighters Are Known for Their Striking Abilities?

Fedor Emelianenko, Alexander Volkanovski, Petr Yan, Valentina Shevchenko, Andrei Arlovski, and Zabit Magomedsharipov are Russian UFC fighters known for their striking abilities. They have also notched notable wins over top fighters in the Octagon.

Are There Any Russian UFC Fighters With Notable Wins Over Top Fighters?

Some notable Russian UFC fighters have achieved impressive victories over top opponents. There are also rising stars among the Russian fighters, showcasing their potential for future success in the Octagon.

Are There Any Russian UFC Fighters Who Have Achieved Success Outside of the UFC?

Russian UFC fighters have found success outside of the UFC. Marat Gafurov, a former ONE Championship featherweight champion, showcases the ability of Russian fighters to excel in other combat sports. The UFC's presence in Russia has undoubtedly contributed to the development of local MMA talent.


In conclusion, the Russian UFC fighters have left an indelible mark on the world of mixed martial arts. With their impressive records, diverse skill sets, and unwavering determination, these athletes have captivated fans worldwide.

From the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov's dominant grappling to the legendary Fedor Emelianenko's unrivaled legacy, each fighter brings their own unique flair to the octagon.

With rising stars like Petr Yan and Zabit Magomedsharipov, the future of Russian MMA looks bright. The rhythmic flow of their fighting styles continues to mesmerize and inspire fans, solidifying their place among the best in the sport.

Mike Williams
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