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The 30 Most Impressive Unbeaten Streaks in MMA History

Andrew MahlmannCorrespondent IJanuary 13, 2017

The 30 Most Impressive Unbeaten Streaks in MMA History

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    It is much less common in MMA for fighters to accrue tremendous winning streaks than it is in boxing.

    That is what makes these unbeaten streaks all the more impressive.

    With there being so many different styles and ways to end fights, even top fighters usually do not go on winning streaks of more than four or five in a row.

    The mental toughness is takes to keep an edge over a perpetual conveyor belt of masters of different styles is mind boggling.

    Just when a fighter thinks he can beat anyone in the world is when his next opponent usually finds a way to win.

    Some fighters "pad" their records with mediocre fighters ("cans"), but keeping a streak alive is still a monumental task when competing against professionals.

    Out of all the streaks, these are the most impressive in history.

    Qualifications: Must be at least 10 victories in the streak, and since this is for "unbeaten" streaks, only an official loss ends a streak.

Honorable Mention: GSP

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    Currently riding a nine-fight win streak, Georges St. Pierre needs only one more victory to qualify for this list.

    His quality of opposition is so tough, however, that his potential streak would be catapulted to top 10 territory with just the minimum qualification.

    Other honorable mentions: Cain Velasquez, Dan Henderson, Vitor Ribeiro, Ronaldo Souza, Glover Teixeira, Brian Ebersole, Gray Maynard, Brett Rogers, Renato Sobral, Thiago Silva, Nick Lentz, Rogerio Nogueira (for quality of wins).  

Travis Fulton (22, 19, 12 and 12 Wins)

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    Travis Fulton is the ultimate can crusher.

    None of his streaks individually are overly impressive due to a lack of quality competition. But considering the streaks he has put together on a whole throughout his career, one cannot help but be impressed with Travis Fulton.

    I believe none of his victories in any of his unbeaten streaks have come by way of decision.

    Fulton is approaching 200 career victories

Antonio McKee (14 Wins)

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    Notable victims: Marcus Aurelio, Derrick Noble, Luciano Azevedo, Ronald Jhun

    It was one of the most impressive current streaks in MMA until Antonio McKee dropped a split-decision victory to Jacob Volkmann while making his UFC debut.

    The 41-year-old fighter was subsequently dropped by the UFC, but at least he will always have that incredible unbeaten streak.  

Jason Black (21 Wins)

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    Notable victims: Ivan Menjivar, John Alessio, Keith Wisniewski, Gideon Ray

    The list of notable opponents in Jason Black's streak may be a little thin, but stringing together 22 fights without a loss (but with one draw) is a feat to behold.

Demian Maia (11 Wins)

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    Notable victims: Chael Sonnen, Nate Quarry, Ed Herman, Jason MacDonald, Gustavo Machado

    Before running into an overhand right from Nate Marquardt at UFC 102, Demian Maia was an unstoppable freight train of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

    The grappling wizard continues to be one of the sport's most formidable fighters.

Shane Carwin (12 Wins)

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    Notable victims: Christian Wellisch, Gabriel Gonzaga, Frank Mir

    To open up his career, Shane Carwin plowed through the opposition.

    He racked up 12 straight victories, all stoppages within the first round.

    Although he dominated the first round, Carwin came up short in his last fight, which was a war against Brock Lesnar for the UFC heavyweight championship.

Jeff Monson (16 Wins)

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    Notable victims: Anthony Perosh, Devin Cole, Marcio Cruz, Branden Lee Hinkle, Tengiz Tedoradze

    Leading up to his UFC heavyweight championship fight with Tim Sylvia, Jeff Monson was riding this tremendous 16-fight win streak.

    Although there were only a handful of notable opponents, Monson devastated his opposition, having gone to a decision just twice in the 16 fights.

Rich Franklin (14 Wins)

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    Notable victims: Travis Fulton, Marvin Eastman, Antony Rea, Evan Tanner, Edwin Dewees

    Clearly cut from championship cloth, Franklin opened up his career with this impressive streak with 14 wins.

    After his first career loss to Lyoto Machida, Franklin went on another impressive streak where he won the UFC championship and defeated such names as Evan Tanner (again), Ken Shamrock, Jorge Rivera, David Louiseau and Nate Quarry.

Shinya Aoki (12 Wins)

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    Notable victims: Joachim Hansen, Caol Uno, Gesias Cavalcante, George Sotiropoulos, Jason Black, Akira Kikuchi (two times)

    The legendary Japanese lightweight has struggled with some inconsistency in his career, yet has still strung together a 12-fight win streak (with one "no contest").

    At 28 years old, Aoki has enough time to make another run to the top of the division, but stringing together another streak like this one seems unlikely.

Jose Aldo (12 Wins)

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    Notable victims: Urijah Faber, Mike Brown, Mark Hominick, Manvel Gamburyan, Alexandre Nogueira, Cub Swanson, Jonathan Brookins

    Just by looking at the list of Aldo's notable victims, you can see why the 24-year-old phenom is already ranked by some as one of the top three pound-for-pound fighters in the sport.

    As the reigning featherweight champion, we may yet see Aldo continue this streak to new heights. 

Chuck Liddell (10 Wins)

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    Notable victims: Vitor Belfort, Renato Sobral, Kevin Randleman, Guy Mezger, Jeff Monson, Murilo Bustamante, Amar Suloev

    This streak of Chuck's barely qualifies with 10 victories, but stands up strong due to considerable opposition. 

Hayato Sakurai (18 Wins)

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    Notable victims: Caol Uno, Jutaro Nakao, Tetsuji Kato, Luis Azeredo, Frank Trigg

    Sakurai was at one point considered the best welterweight in the world and one of the top fighters pound-for-pound.

    The veteran would go on to continue beating world class competition, but ended his streak and suffered the first loss of his career when he met Anderson Silva.

Rashad Evans (13 Wins)

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    Notable victims: Brad Imes, Stephan Bonnar, Jason Lambert, Michael Bisping, Chuck Liddell, Forrest Griffin

    Rashad opened up his career with an incredible 15-fight unbeaten streak that saw him KO the legendary Chuck Liddell and TKO Forrest Griffin to win the coveted UFC light heavyweight championship.

    He may have lost the championship, but Evans remains firmly entrenched as a top five fighter within his division.

Lyoto Machida (16 Wins)

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    Notable victims: Mauricio Rua, Thiago Silva, Rashad Evans, Tito Ortiz, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, BJ Penn, Kazuhiro Nakamura, Rich Franklin, Stephan Bonnar

    Machida started his professional MMA career in 2003 and did not lose until the second defense of his UFC light heavyweight championship against Mauricio Rua in 2010.

    That incredible 16-fight streak to open his career will go down as one of the most impressive in history.

Jeremy Horn (21 Wins)

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    Notable victims: Chuck Liddell, Steve Berger, Kristian Rothaermel, Daiju Takase

    One of only two men to appear twice on this list. 

    This streak of Horn's did not have many notable opponents, but with 21 victories, including one over Chuck Liddell, you got to give it up to "Gumby".

Jeremy Horn (15 Wins)

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    Notable victims: Forrest Griffin, Gilbert Yvel, Kristoff Midoux, Travis Fulton, Vernon White, Akira Shoji

    This streak was not as long as Horn's best of 21 victories, but this streak had better opposition overall.

Matt Hughes (18 Wins)

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    Notable victims: Akihiro Gono, Joe Doerksen, Alexandre Barros, Chris Haseman

    They were not all big fights, but Hughes defeated a handful of world-class fighters en route to this impressive 18-fight win streak.

Gilbert Melendez (13 Wins)

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    Notable victims: Tatsuya Kawajiri, Clay Guida, Rumina Sato, Tatsuji Kato, Hiroyuki Takjaya,

    Now considered one of the top three (if not No. 1) lightweights in the world, Melendez opened up his career with an impressive win streak before losing to Mitsuhiro Ishida.

    His only other loss was to Josh Thomson, and Melendez has avenged both of those defeats. 

Matt Hughes (13 Wins)

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    Notable victims: Hiromitsu Kanehara, Carlos Newton (two times), Hayato Sakurai, Frank Trigg, Sean Sherk, Gil Castillo

    One of the greatest fighters in the history of the sport, Hughes rampaged through all kinds of opposition in this streak, which included his first UFC title reign.

Jon Fitch (16 Wins)

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    Notable victims: Diego Sanchez, Thiago Alves, Josh Burkman, Chris Wilson, Brock Larson, Shonie Carter, Luigi Fioravanti

    Known for grinding out victories no matter what the style match-up, Fitch was riding an incredible 16-fight win streak before losing to Georges St. Pierre for the UFC welterweight championship.

Paulo Filho (16 Wins)

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    Notable victims: Chael Sonnen, Kazuo Misaki, Ryo Chonan, Joe Doerksen, Akira Shoji (times two), Amar Suloev, Yuki Kondo, Murilo Rua

    Before Anderson Silva started breaking records for his streak in the UFC, Paulo Filho looked like he was going to make a case as the greatest middleweight of all time with this epic streak.

Jake Shields (15 Wins)

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    Notable victims: Martin Kampmann, Carlos Condit, Yushin Okami, Toby Imada, Mike Pyle, Robbie Lawler, Jason Miller, Paul Daley, Dan Henderson

    During this epic win streak, which was just recently ended by the one and only Georges St. Pierre, Shields won the Rumble on the Rock welterweight tournament championship, the Elite XC welterweight championship and the Strikeforce Middleweight championship.

Dan Severn (21, 11 and 11 Wins)

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    Dan "The Beast" Severn is a pioneer and legend in MMA.

    His streak with 21 wins does not have many notable names, but one of his streaks with 11 wins includes victories over Justin Eilers, Dan Christison, Wes Sims, Travis Fulton and Forrest Griffin. 

    He is 52 years old with 99 wins and is scheduled to fight this weekend.  I hope you pick up your 100th, big guy.

Gegard Mousasi (15 Wins)

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    Notable victims: Hector Lombard, Evangelista Santos, Dennis Kang, Melvin Manhoef, Ronaldo Souza, Mark Hunt, Renato Sobral, Remeau Thierry Sokoudjou

    Youngster Gegard Mousasi looked unstoppable before losing a decision to Muhammed Lawal and thus losing the Strikeforce light heavyweight championship in the process.

    His winning streak is still one of the best in MMA history. 

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (13 Wins)

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    Notable victims: Kiyoshi Tamura, Valentijn Overeem, Mark Coleman, Heath Herring, Bob Sapp, Enson Inoue, Dan Henderson, Semmy Schilt

    The first ever Pride heavyweight champion was riding an unstoppable looking 13-fight win streak before running into Fedor Emelianenko.

Hector Lombard (22 Wins)

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    Notable victims: Falaniko Vitale, Jared Hess, Kalib Starnes, Brian Ebersole, Joe Doerksen, Aleksander Shlemenko, Jay Silva, James Te-Huna

    Bellator middleweight champion has crossed over the 20 fight unbeaten streak barrier and is still going strong.

    He is not facing the level of competition he would in the UFC, but he is still crushing quality opponents. 

Wanderlei Silva (16 Wins)

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    Notable victims: Kazushi Sakuraba (three times), Quinton Jackson (two times), Dan Henderson, Guy Mezger, Hidehiko Yoshida, Yuki Kondo, Kiyoshi Tamura

    Earning all but one of these victories in Japan, Wanderlei Silva battled warriors and top fighters to become the face of international MMA and an icon in the sport.

    Wanderlei Silva's devastatingly epic run in the Pride organization will go down as one of the greatest streaks in history.

    Note: This streak also includes a draw with Mirko Filipovic in a special rules bout that stipulated no winner would be selected in the event of a decision. 

Bas Rutten (21 Wins)

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    Notable victims: Maurice Smith (two times), Frank Shamrock (two times), Guy Mezger, Kevin Randleman, Masakatsu Funaki, Tsuyoshi Koshaka

    Bas Rutten knew how to go out like a champion....literally.

    He retired in 1999 after winning the UFC heavyweight championship and on the tail end of a 21-fight unbeaten streak.

    Just to prove he was still the man, Rutten returned to action seven years later and picked up another victory.

Anderson Silva (14 Wins)

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    Notable victims: Essentially all 14 opponents

    The most succesful fighter and champion in UFC history is still riding his winning streak.

    Not only has Anderson been beating UFC level competition for his past 13 wins, and earned the record for doing so, but it is also against championship level competition.

    Is he the greatest champion ever?

Igor Vovchanchyn (35 Wins)

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    Notable victims: Paul Varelans, Gary Goodridge (two times), Akira Shoji, Edson Carvalho, Kazushi Sakuraba, Alexander Otsuka

    There may not be a ton of great fighters during his streak, but Igor Vovchanchyn's legendary streak of 37 fights undefeated is nearly unrivaled.

Fedor Emelianenko (27 Wins)

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    Notable victims: Mark Coleman (two times), Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (two times), Mirko Filipovic, Mark Hunt, Matt Lindland, Renato Sobral, Heath Herring, Semmy Schilt, Brett Rogers, Tim Sylvia, Andrei Arlovski, and more....

    The greatest streak that MMA will ever see.

    Fedor is a champion among champions and revered for his ability to win.

    What is interesting, is that his streak is shorter than it should be due to a technicality. His fight against Tsuyoshi Koshaka in 2000 was recorded as an official loss, although it should have been ruled a "No Contest" or even a disqualification victory for Emelianenko. Were it not for that technicality, Emelianenko's streak would extend beyond 30 victories and include the likes of Ricardo Arona.

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