5 Most Successful Nigerian MMA Fighters
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Profiles - Sports - April 12, 2023

5 Most Successful Nigerian MMA Fighters

Mixed Martial Arts, MMA, has grown in popularity over the years, with Nigeria producing some of the most successful fighters in the sport. With their unique fighting styles, notable wins and impressive records, these athletes have made a significant impact on the sport, showcasing their skills, talent, and athleticism globally.

As more and more Nigerians continue to make their mark on the sport,  we’ll take a look at some of the most successful Nigerian MMA fighters and their notable fights.

Israel Adesanya

The Nigerian born New Zealand Professional MMA is currently the UFC Middleweight Champion and also the first two-time middleweight champion in UFC history. Israel Adesanya after a technical knockout win against James Griffiths, a professional MMA fighter, establishing himself as one of the best strikers and one of the most successful in the sport.

Adesanya has an impressive professional record of 24 wins and 2 losses with 16 of those wins coming by way of knockout. Aside from MMA, he has also set records as a professional boxer and kickboxer.

Adesanya’s notable victories include his winning a Middleweight Championship against Paulo Costa, title-retaining performance against Robert Whittaker, and his victory over Marvin Vettori, making him one of the most successful Nigerian MMA fighters.

Kamaru Usman

Another successful Nigerian MMA fighter is Kamaru Usman. The American-Nigerian MMA is a former UFC Welterweight Champion with a record of 20 wins and 3 losses with 9 of those wins coming by way of knockout, and he is also the number one contender in the UFC Welterweight Championship.

Usman started his career as a freestyle wrestler and folkstyle wrestler. He also served as the wrestling coach for Team Miller in The Ultimate Fighter season fourteen in 2011 before he made his professional MMA debut in 2012 which he quickly made a name for himself in the sport. 

Usman has won 15 in a row in the UFC and 19 in a row overall. His notable victories include his title-winning performance against Tyron Woodley, his win over Jorge Masvidal, and his successful title defense against Gilbert Burns.

Sodiq Yusuff

Sodiq Olamide Yusuff is a Nigerian-born fighter and one of the successful MMA fighters currently making waves in the sport. The Nigerian–American mixed martial artist who currently competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in the Featherweight division.

Yusuff made his professional MMA debut in 2016 and has since established himself globally with 13 wins and 2 losses, with 6 of the wins by knockout.  As of December 2022, he was ranked 12th in the UFC featherweight rankings.

His notable wins include victories over Andre Fili, Gabriel Benitez, and Sheymon Moraes.

Kennedy Nzechukwu

Kennedy Nzechukwu is a Nigerian mixed martial artist who competes in the Light Heavyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Having a total of 11 wins and 3 losses with 8 of the wins by way of Knockout has quickly risen to prominence in the sport.

Nzechukwu made his UFC debut against Paul Craig in 2019 which is one of the notable fights in the UFC. His other notable fights include Dennis Bryant, Darko Stoic, Carlos Ulberg, amongst others.

Anthony Njokouani

Anthony Njokuani is the first Nigerian to step into the UFC as a professional Mixed Martial Arts. The Nigerian-American professional mixed martial artist and kickboxer is one of the successful Nigerian fighters in the sport. He started his career is martial arts training in Tae Kwon Do before transitioning into MMA.

Njokuani’s notable victories include wins over John Makdessi, Roger Bowling, and Chris Horodecki. Though he has faced some setbacks in his career, Njokuani’s technical ability and striking prowess have made him a fan favorite and a respected fighter in the MMA community.

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