From Conor McGregor to Jon Jones and Israel Adesanya – the biggest stars ranked after UFC 300 breaks records

0
From Conor McGregor to Jon Jones and Israel Adesanya – the biggest stars ranked after UFC 300 breaks records


Former UFC stars helped drive millions in pay-per-view buys, but times have changed and the latest show celebrating Dana White’s century proved it.

Ronda Rousey, Brock Lesnar and Georges St-Pierre are just a few of the bankable fighters who have fallen out of a star-shaped hole by leaving MMA.

11

White relies on UFC star power rather than big-name athletes in 2024Credit: Getty

Sure, Conor McGregor has helped fill the void, but a new generation of fighters is coming along and looking to knock the Irishman off his perch.

Following a record-breaking showing at UFC 300, talkSPORT.com has ranked the top 10 fighters who demand attention every time they speak and draw massive crowds every time they fight.

#10 Paddy Pimblett

Pimblett comes off the biggest win of his career against Tony Ferguson

11

Pimblett comes off the biggest win of his career against Tony FergusonCredit: Getty

Five fights and five wins in the UFC, but some people still aren’t convinced Pimblett is the real deal. Regardless, MMA fans are still tuning in to watch “The Baddy,” and his star power will continue to grow if he can crack the lightweight top 15 in 2024.

#9 Sean Strickland

Strickland is never far from controversy

11

Strickland is never far from controversyCredit: Getty

Strickland’s short-lived reign as middleweight champion was eventful, to say the least. The wacky American is one of the most controversial figures in MMA, but he certainly knows how to create buzz around his career, even when he’s not fighting.

#8 Khamzat Chimaev

Chimaev set to face Robert Whittaker in June

11

Chimaev set to face Robert Whittaker in JuneCredit: Getty

There’s nothing more appealing to fight fans than a scary Russian who runs through his opponents like Chimaev did early in his career. The 13-0 contender is on the cusp of a title shot, and if he is able to become a UFC champion, he could move to the top of this list.

#7Alex Pereira

Pereira is a scary fighter

11

Pereira is a scary fighterCredit: Getty

Dana White clearly thinks Pereira is a big star because he trusted the kickboxing phenomenon to headline UFC 300 and he delivered! Ridiculous KO power and a willingness to fight anyone has also made “Poatan” a fan favorite.

#6 Dustin Poirier

Poirier still chasing his first UFC title

11

Poirier still chasing his first UFC titleCredit: Getty

Poirier was the biggest man in the UFC for years, but then he beat Conor McGregor twice and became one of MMA’s biggest stars. Win, lose or draw, fans always tune in to watch “The Diamond” because he’s never in a boring fight.

#5 Sean O’Malley

O'Malley avenged his only loss at UFC 299

11

O’Malley avenged his only loss at UFC 299Credit: Getty

O’Malley is a knockout artist with rainbow hair, famous friends and a crazy personal life. Basically, he’s a promoter’s dream, and now that he holds bantamweight gold, the sky truly is the limit.

#4 Max Holloway

Holloway planted Justin Gaethje with one second left

11

Holloway planted Justin Gaethje with one second leftCredit: Getty

Surprisingly, Max Holloway has been in the UFC for over a decade and has never been in a boring fight. “Blessed” stole the show when he scored the “greatest knockout of all time” at UFC 300 to earn a $600,000 bonus and become a bigger star than ever.

#3 Israel Adesanya

Adesanya prepares to bounce back from arguably the biggest upset ever

11

Adesanya prepares to bounce back from arguably the biggest upset everCredit: Getty – Contributor

Anderson Silva’s middleweight dominance seemed unmatched until Adesanya came along and took the division by storm. “Stylebender” has suffered some setbacks recently, but his star power remains intact ahead of a highly anticipated comeback fight.

#2Jon Jones

'Bones' is the consensus MMA GOAT

11

‘Bones’ is the consensus MMA GOATCredit: AFP

Jones is the best fighter of all time, and his epic run in the UFC has seen him dominate legends, his peers and a new wave of fighters. A two-weight champion, fans are as obsessed with Jones’ personal life as they are with his combat sports career.

#1Conor McGregor

There may never be a bigger UFC star than McGregor

11

There may never be a bigger UFC star than McGregorCredit: Zuffa LLC via Getty

McGregor is the biggest star the UFC has ever produced.

“Notorious” might hold onto that distinction until the end of time, but for now, he intends to further enhance his legacy.

The former double-weight champion hasn’t fought in three years, but he’s still an active UFC fighter as his return fight against Michael Chandler is booked for UFC 303 on June 29.

Honorable mentions: Alexander Volkanovski, Charles Oliveira, Justin Gaethje, Islam Makhachev, Ilia Topuria, Tom Aspinall, Michael Chandler and Colby Covington

O
WRITTEN BY

OltNews

Related posts