4 Top UFC Fighters That Are Good Boxers

UFC Fighters WHo Utilized The "Sweet Science"

Collage of Holly Holm and Anderson Silva
Holly Holm | Anderson Silva

A Small List Of UFC Fighters Who Have A Background In Boxing

Two MMA fighters in a fight.
MMA Fighter aims to finish off opponent.

It’s common knowledge here in 2022 that in order to be genuinely great in UFC, you need to be a well rounded fighter. The early days of the promotion saw specialists fight against specialists but, these days, fighters are spending just as much time refining their stand-up game as they are their submission skills.  

Boxing can play a major role in giving an already accomplished fighter the edge to win and defend championships, as the following four fighters have demonstrated.  

Anderson Silva 

Anderson Silva may have officially retired from the UFC and called time on his MMA career, but he remains one of the greatest boxers the MMA promotion has even had the privilege of signing. Beginning his stellar career in combat sports in 1997 as a welterweight, he joined Dana White’s stable in 2006 and fought in the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions.  

After being crowned the new Middleweight Champion of the World on 14th October 2006, Silva held the title for a phenomenal 2457 days – the longest title reign in the history of the UFC. Boxing played a major role in his consecutive title defences; Silva’s hands were slick, and his choice of combinations in the octagon baffled his opponents.  

While he was an accomplished martial artist in several disciplines, Silva knew just how important boxing was to MMA. He pushed the other fighters in the middleweight division to take boxing seriously and was adept at using his handiwork to KO his opponents. 

Following his retirement from MMA, Silva stunned the world by defeating Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. via split decision on the Tribute to the Kings undercard in June 2021.  

Dustin Poirier 

The Diamond is easily one of the top knockout artists in the UFC right now. The former UFC interim Lightweight Champion has blazed through the 155lb division, outclassing everyone from Justin Gaethje to Conor McGregor with his elite-level hands and footwork.  

With his exceptional cardiovascular ability, power, and pure boxing technique, Poirier can both end fights and play a more defensive and evasive game when required.  

Like several other athletes mentioned in this post, Poirier first started out by training to become a boxer. From 2007 to 2009, he made considerable progress as an amateur boxer until he turned pro as an MMA fighter in 2009. A year later, Poirier was signed to WEC and amassed a 7-0 record before he caught Dana White’s eye and made his UFC lightweight debut.   

Holly Holm 

The Preacher’s Daughter is, without a doubt, the best female boxer of all time competing in MMA. The former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion of the World has demolished many a worthy opponent throughout the division with her exceptional hand – and footwork, such as that unforgettable KO of “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey in 2015. 

Before transitioning to MMA full-time, Holm enjoyed a decorated career as a professional boxer. Not only did she become a multiple world champion, but she also won boxing world titles, from the IBA to the WBF. When she did hang up her boxing gloves and stepped into the cage, her record stood at an incredible 33-2-3

Not only is Holm a formidable fighter in the ring or the cage, but she’s also one of the greatest exponents of women’s MMA. Respected by fighters in the men’s and women’s divisions alike, Holm has trailblazed her way through decades-long careers in combat sports and is still pushing for more to this day.  

Stipe Miocic 

Miocic is a prime example of one of the most dominant heavyweights in the UFC, with many a commentator declaring him as the best heavyweight of all time. As of August 2022, he is ranked at number 13 in the UFC’s pound-for-pound rankings for male fighters and #2 in the UFC heavyweight rankings.  

During just his first eight fights in the promotion, “the baddest man on the planet” delivered three KOs, followed by a run of five during his six-win streak. Furthermore, he still holds the record for the greatest number of successful heavyweight title defences (three).  

Given his boxing prowess in the octagon, it shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that the former two-time champion even contemplated a professional career in boxing. As a Golden Gloves champion (and NCAA Division I wrestler to boot), he was faced with the choice of pursuing a career in the ring or the cage. He chose the latter due to it being a more diverse combat sport.  

However, there may come a time when Miocic returns to the “sweet science”, especially if a bout with Anthony Joshua or Tyson Fury could be arranged.

A fighter hit with aright cross
MMA fighter lands a straight right.

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