The Best Records in UFC History

Nathan McCarter@McCarterNFeatured ColumnistJune 15, 2017

The Best Records in UFC History

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    The Ultimate Fighting Championship is the leader in mixed martial arts, and those who have stepped inside the famed Octagon have put forth some of the most incredible performances you will ever see.

    Thrilling knockouts, stunning submissions and incredible back-and-forth wars have captivated us since 1993.

    In that time, records have been set and surpassed.

    While there have been many wonderful showings outside of the UFC, there is a distinct lack of quality recordkeeping. Receiving reliable times, fight records and a general lack of statistics makes it difficult to verify potential records through unbiased parties.

    Thus we focus simply on the elite. The UFC.

    Which records are most notable or perhaps just the most fun? Well, here's your look at 11 of the greatest records in UFC history.

Honorable Mention: Most Fights in MMA

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    Total Fights: 316

    While this is a UFC-centric list of records, I think we'd be a bit remiss not to mention Travis Fulton.

    Fulton is nicknamed "The Ironman" for good reason. He holds an official record of 253-52-10 (1 NC) in MMA. He last fought in March of 2017. If you've been a fan of MMA for a lengthy period of time, then you've no doubt heard his name.

    The 40-year-old has competed in the UFC. He lost his promotional debut against Pete Williams but won his return visit against David Dodd. After that showing at UFC 21, he would never return to the leader of MMA.

    While Fulton's record lacks the dazzle of a lengthy UFC, PRIDE or Strikeforce run, there is no denying 316 fights against anyone is absolutely incredible. The Iowan has consistently been a presence in the world of MMA since his 1996 debut.

    Oh, what's the record for fights in the UFC?

Most Fights: 27

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    Sticking around the UFC is a difficult task, and to be around for more than a decade is a testament to skill, preparation and, yes, even a bit of luck. Three fighters stand atop the UFC record books for most fights in the promotion: Michael Bisping, Frank Mir and Tito Ortiz.

    All three men have taken the trip down the aisle 27 times.

    Bisping, Mir and Ortiz hold the honor as of this writing, but Bisping still has work to do and has a couple of active fighters nipping at his heels for the all-time mark. Just behind at 26 showings are Gleison Tibau, Jim Miller and Diego Sanchez. Matt Hughes, Josh Koscheck and Jeremy Stephens check in at 25 Octagon appearances as well.

    As eye-opening as those numbers are, there is one man who sets himself apart: Bisping.

    Bisping not only has the most appearances, but also the most wins at 20. None more important than win No. 19.

    His 19th trip to the Octagon was his first title bid, and he made it count with a knockout of Luke Rockhold. The 38-year-old followed it up by avenging his loss to Dan Henderson in his first title defense.

    Bisping is Mr. UFC.

Fastest Knockout: 7 Seconds

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    You expected to see Duane Ludwig here, didn't you?

    The UFC recognizes his six-second knockout as the fastest KO performance, as noted by Ben Fowlkes of, but unfortunately it's not the official record in the eyes of athletic commissions. The official time cannot be altered by the Nevada Athletic Commission, which was clocked at 11 seconds.

    Thus, a three-way tie at seven seconds is the official record for fastest knockout in UFC history, even though it's universally accepted that Ludwig holds the honor.

    Who are those three official record holders? Todd Duffee (UFC 102 vs. Tim Hauge), Chan Sung Jung (UFC 140 vs. Mark Hominick) and the late Ryan Jimmo (UFC 149 vs. Anthony Perosh).

    Until a fighter comes through with a five-second KO, this will continue to be a tricky trivia question.

Fastest Submission: 9 Seconds

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    You have to go all the way back to UFC 6 to find the fastest submission in UFC history.

    Oleg Taktarov fought earlier in the one-night tournament and won by way of guillotine choke in just 57 seconds. His second fight would last 48 seconds less. Anthony Macias was the victim of the nine-second submission loss by way of Taktarov's second guillotine of the event.

    Taktarov would go on later that evening to compete in one of the UFC's most memorable early contests. A grueling 17-minute plus fight with Tank Abbot. Taktarov won the fight, and the tournament, with a rear-naked choke.

    No doubt his UFC record performance helped keep him fresh for the battle with Abbot and aided him in winning the tournament at UFC 6.

Most UFC Title Defenses: 10

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    If you want to count only title victories, interim belts included, Georges St-Pierre would top this list with 12. However, the old adage goes that it is easier to win a belt than defend the title. GSP walked away from the sport with nine consecutive title defenses. One shy of the record.

    For the longest time the man with the distinction of holding that record was Anderson Silva with 10 straight defenses.

    Silva's run atop the middleweight division was nothing short of spectacular. Winning the title in just his second UFC bout created a mystique around him that was not wiped away until a new era of middleweights arrived.

    But in 2017, Demetrious Johnson joined Silva with this honor. A victory over Wilson Reis marked Johnson's 10th title defense. Johnson will look to break the record with his next outing.

    The mark by Johnson and Silva is absolutely incredible when going through the history books. So few champions have been able to defend their titles multiple times. At heavyweight, the record is two defenses. Lightweight? Just three.

    Perhaps even more impressive is that both Johnson and Silva did so with one continual title reign. It's not two reigns added together as it would be with GSP. Ten consecutive title defenses give them the mark, and Johnson could have it all to himself later in 2017.

Most Significant Strikes in a Fight: 238

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    Earlier this year, fans were treated to another outstanding performance by Joanna Jedrzejczyk. The strawweight champion ran up a total of 225 significant strikes against Jessica Andrade. However, she would fall three strikes short of the record.

    A total of 225 significant strikes in 25 minutes is amazing. However, at UFC 141, Nate Diaz pelted Donald Cerrone with 238 in just 15 minutes.

    Chew on that for just a second.

    Diaz tuned up Cerrone en route to a unanimous decision victory. Cerrone was riding a six-fight win streak into the event and was looking like the next contender. Diaz smashed those hopes at UFC 141 and stole his thunder with a record-breaking striking performance.

Most Significant Strikes in a Career: 1,533

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    This is where longevity comes into play.

    Michael Bisping is tied with two others for most career UFC tilts, but he stands alone as the man with the most significant strikes landed in UFC history.

    Bisping has always been known as a volume striker. The numbers reflect that: 1,533 total significant strikes. None more astonishing than the punch that floored Luke Rockhold and made Bisping the unlikely middleweight kingpin.

    Frankie Edgar is in second place behind Bisping with 1,378, and 155 strikes separate the two on the stat sheet.

    The Brit's title run was unexpected, but perhaps it shouldn't have been. Perhaps it was destiny. His Octagon performances have proved he has been one of the best fighters in the world for a long stretch of time. The universe just seemed to reward him for all his hard work.

Most Takedowns in a Fight: 21

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    At UFC 160, Abel Trujillo saw more air time than fans at the NBA All-Star Game slam dunk contest. Khabib Nurmagomedov sent him crashing to the canvas 21 times.

    Twenty-one times in a 15 minute fight.

    That is an incredible number, but a lot of credit does have to be given to Trujillo for fighting back to his feet each time. Other fighters could have tried to grapple off their back, or simply be stuck there under the pressure of Nurmagomedov. But not Trujillo. He battled up to his feet each time.

    But the real credit goes to the grappling phenom that is Nurmagomedov. The Russian's record-breaking performance kept his record perfect, and it's still clean in 2017 at 24-0.

Most Octagon Time: 6:27.49

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    The UFC's Octagon is Frankie Edgar's second home having spent more than six hours inside the structure. Michael Bisping is second on the list at 5:48.40 total fight time.

    Edgar will go down a legend. Not just because he has spent the most time inside the Octagon, but because of the sensational battles he has had inside of it.

    Edgar's UFC debut at UFC 67 was a Fight of the Year candidate with Tyson Griffin. Three years later he would have one of the most entertaining stretches at the helm of the lightweight division—upending BJ Penn to take the title, assuring that wasn't a fluke in a one-sided rematch and then completing two remarkable fights against Gray Maynard.

    Of his 14 UFC fights that went the distance, half of those were in title fights—two each against BJ Penn, Benson Henderson and Jose Aldo.

    Perhaps most impressive is that Edgar looks as good as he ever has in recent fights. At UFC 211, Edgar destroyed Yair Rodriguez and looked to have garnered a ninth title shot in the UFC. It's somewhat easy to forget all that Edgar has done, but once you see it on paper, it's hard to deny he's one of the very best to ever have done it.

    And he's still going strong.

Most Fight Night Bonuses: 15

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    The UFC has been known for its post-fight bonuses, and two men have collected more checks than anyone else.

    Nate Diaz and Joe Lauzon have each collected 15 post-fight checks for their work inside the cage. 

    Diaz has taken one Knockout of the Night, five Submission of the Night, one Performance of the Night and eight Fight of the Night checks during his lengthy UFC career. As for Lauzon, he chimes in with one Knockout of the Night, six Submission of the Night, one Performance of the Night and seven Fight of the Night bonuses.

    Only five other individuals are in the double digits. Donald Cerrone and Anderson Silva have 13 each, and Frankie Edgar, Chris Lytle and Charles Oliveira have each claimed 10 bonuses.

    The post-fight bonus numbers shine a light on how exciting it has been to watch Diaz and Lauzon, two men who always put on a show but are also well-rounded. If the tallies of post-fight bonuses mean anything, it's that Diaz and Lauzon probably deserved much more than they got.

Shortest Average Fight Time: 3:06

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    OK, before you inundate my mailbox, there is a disclaimer to lay down here. The actual by-the-book shortest average fight time is held by Marcos Rogerio de Lima at 2:53. However, De Lima is 3-3 inside the Octagon, and I feel we should only apply this to fighters with a winning record. Sound good?

    Moving on.

    Ronda Rousey hasn't left the record books entirely just yet. The enigma that was her run on top gave fans plenty of content for their Instagram accounts with swift UFC fights.

    The two that will forever shine in that context will be Rousey's back-to-back title defenses of 16 and 14 seconds, respectively. A 16-second KO of Alexis Davis followed by a 14-second stunner of a submission versus Cat Zingano helped propel the legend of Rousey to new heights. And she followed that up by dropping Bethe Correia in 34 seconds.

    It created an aura surrounding Rousey that made her a divisive character, but also a superstar fans had to watch compete.

    Her story took a dark turn after those three quick fights, but no one can erase what she did to elevate women's MMA. Her dominant, fast performances were a chief reason in fan's excitement to see her fights. Not simply would she win, but how quickly would it happen?

    A captivating career you can watch in less time than a sitcom.

Fastest Championship Performance: 13 Seconds

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    You didn't think we'd get out of here without a bit of Conor McGregor, did you?

    Just shy of 10 months to the day since Ronda Rousey had a 14-second submission, the face of the UFC put together the fastest title performance ever, and in the modern day of the UFC, it seemed near impossible to top.

    December 12, 2015. UFC 194. The date and the event. The build was sensational, and it was the featherweight showdown everyone had been waiting for. McGregor was finally going to face the greatest featherweight of all-time in what was sure to be an epic fight.

    It was epic, but in an entirely different way.

    "He slept him!" shouted Joe Rogan just 13 seconds into the action.

    McGregor put his famed left hand flush on the chin, and that was all she wrote. A clean KO of Aldo stunned audiences worldwide, and the Irish fans went berserk in Las Vegas. McGregor firmly took the reigns of his stardom on that night.

    2015 will go down as one of the most spectacular years, and ending it with McGregor's 13-second performance put the stamp on a changing of the guard into a whole new era of the company.


    All statistics are courtesy of FightMetric.