For an accomplished Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner like Machida, this was never going to be an issue. RELATED: 10 Best Gyms In MMA History, Ranked. Later on, he would start training BJJ where he also holds a black belt rank under Ricardo Pies. Weight Class: Welterweight Hey, dont take it from me. He is always on the move and it is very hard to cut him off and land a clean strike on his chin. He would receive a black belt after eight years of training before moving to train in Hapkido, and later in MMA. In MMA, Nelson is known as a person who prefers to take the fight to the ground as fast as possible and get a finish. In fact, some of these fighters have reached the pinnacle of the game and are among the best fighters in history. Thug Rose Namajunas has packed a lot of success into her 26 years. The top rank welterweight is a crafty and unorthodox karate specialist and holds a fifth-degree black belt in Tetsushin-ry karate. Often regarded as one of the greatest welterweights of all time, Georges St-Pierre began learning Kyokushin Karate when he was seven years old. [52][53] He won the bout via unanimous decision.

Height: 5'11'' Bas holds a 5th degree black belt in Kyokushin karate and a 2nd degree black belt in Shintai karate (plus a 2nd degree black belt in Taekwondo). Many fans across the world are well aware of all of his records. Despite being known for his grappling skills, Frank Mir is a decorated black belt in Kempo Karate. Daniels next faced Jason King at Bellator 238 on January 25, 2020. [51], As the last bout of his prevailing contract, Daniels faced Peter Stanonik in an immediate rematch on April 16, 2021 at Bellator 257. For some reason, he left the UFC in 2017 while being on a three fight winning streak and in a title contender position. Karate belt rank: 2nd-degree black belt rank in Shotokan karate. [37], He defeated Francesco Moricca at Bellator Kickboxing 1 on April 16, 2016 in Turin via TKO (liver kick) in the first round. The popular GSP is a man who does not need an introduction here. But by watching him in the standup, you can recognize the wide karate stance, and he tends to keep his hands really low. At the age of 12, Liddell started studying Koei-Kan karate and he actually never left it. The most unique thing about him is that he never moved away from his karate base. Or in other words, he is a nightmare matchup for anyone. But on the other side, some of these styles are more than present, like karate for instance. Arguably the one who started it all, UFC legend Lyoto Machida is the man who proved Karate in MMA works. His powerful bursts are game-changers whether hes fighting a methodical game on his feet, or demonstrating his immense skill on the ground. Their marriage took place on August 24, 2019 in Temecula, California. As a child, he trained in Goju-Ryu Karate for many years before switching to Hapkido. Were sure that background has plenty to do with all the success.

When asked where on earth these high-flying stunts come from though, Pereira says theyre actually a gift that God gave me. No doubt, the Demolisher is one to watch. Wins by submission were more common in her early career, but true to karate form, her dynamic striking style has evolved in recent years. In this article, you are going to discover the best karate fighters in UFC history, and learn more about their background and careers. Prodigiously talented, Thompson mixes the southpaw and side-out stances in the octagon to maximize his striking efficiency. Daniels was knocked out by a high kick in the third round. As a teenager, Thompson added kickboxing to his repertoire and began competing at just 15. Mirs parents used to own an American Kenpo school, which is a place where Mir started his martial arts journey. Horiguchi attributes this insane knockout rate to his strong foundation in karate. He holds knockout victories over Brock Lesnar, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Roy Nelson, and Mirko Cro Cop. Hendricks struggled to figure out Thompson's unorthodox style and was finished by the more polished striker in the first round. GSP got into Kyokushin karate at a very young age and, in his own words, he did this to learn how to defend against the bullies at school. Were behind you all the way, M. Love him or love to hate on him, Sage Northcutt rocked the world of martial arts at a very young age. With a 22-9 record, hes vying (loudly) to land on the UFC roster. Thompson grew up in a martial arts family, and it is fair to say that he made his first footsteps in the Karate gym. MMA fighters train in any number of styles, including Brazilian jiu jitsu, muay thai, wrestling, taekwondo, judo, and karate. Record: 15-4-1, Height: 6'0''

One of the most precise and well-timed strikers of his generation, Conor McGregors finest performances have showcased a blend of boxing, kickboxing, Karate and Taekwondo. He also had a rather interesting stint with the UFC where he manage to win 7 fights and suffer just one loss in a title fight against Demetrious Johnson. But, Mir also had very good striking skills and he score more than a few knockouts in his career. In his career, he won the UFC heavyweight title and was a three-time King of Pancrase champion. Though she took a break from MMA in 2010, Waterson came back in fine form, signing with the UFC in 2015. Just looking at his stance and the way he moves inside the octagon around tells you a lot about his background. He has been actively covering combat sports and his works have consistently appeared on Combat Press and MyMMANews. [23], In his first outing under full Oriental kickboxing rules, Daniels defeated two opponents in Dublin, Ireland on October 8, 2011 to win the four man 84kg/185lbs tournament at the Pain and Glory event. News on all your favorite celebs, reality TV, and movies.

His grandfather Frankie Daniels was a professional boxer as well as a Korean War veteran and Purple Heart recipient. [21], Daniels defended his gold, in the 84kg semi-contact division, in a rematch against Michael Page at the W.A.K.O. For 15 years he trained federal law enforcement and their special ops groups, and created the successful Miletich Fighting System. Though karate, with its point sparring system, may be the least flashy of the bunch, dont count it out. The Australian fighter rose to prominence on The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes, winning the welterweight tournament. The former UFC Heavyweight Champion retired in 1999 as a three-time King of Pancrase world champion with an unbeaten streak of 22 fights.

Record: 26-9-0 [33], He defeated Justin Baesman on May 8, 2015 in the co-main event at Glory 21: San Diego by KO (liver kick) after just 51 seconds inside the first round. He is an instructor at World Champion Karate in Orange, California with his business partner Steven Horst. Long live the Reaper. He was inducted as a UFC Hall of Famer in 2014. But one thing that made him really famous is the infamous liver shot. As far as his MMA career is concerned, GSP is often seen as the greatest 170-pound fighter, and there is a strong argument that he might be the best in MMA history. After rising to prominence on season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter, she captured the belt from reigning champ, Joanna Jdrzejczyk in 2017 and successfully defended the championship from the former title holder the following year. [4] He currently competes for Bellator MMA and Bellator Kickboxing, where he is the current Bellator Kickboxing Welterweight Champion. [45], He defeated Zakaria Laaouatni at Bellator Kickboxing 11 on December 1, 2018 in Genoa via majority decision (29-29, 2928, 29-28). Karate is a traditional martial art that was developed in the Ryukyu Kingdom. Over a decade since going pro, hes still fighting, albeit under the Bellator banner. A technique Rutten was a master in executing. One of the most prolific strikers in the history of the UFC, Stephen Wonderboy Thompson started learning Karate at age three. After earning a black belt, he moved to pro-kickboxing where he holds an undefeated record of 570. Karate Combat was founded to elevate and promote the sport of karate worldwide by creating the first professional, full-contact league. Some of the entries on this list were key architects in its renewed interest among UFC fighters in more recent years. Unique lists featuring pop culture, entertainment and crazy facts. Cejudo never lost again during his brief but seminal run in the UFC. In his career, he left nothing but carnage in just about every fight he stepped in to compete, which secured him a lot of love and respect from the fans. Wide-legged and in a partial side-on squat, McGregor would bounce back and forth lightly on the feet. [18], Daniels would then set his sights on the world of mixed martial arts and was touted by Strikeforce as "the next Cung Le". In the finals, he faced Nieky Holzken and was knocked down early in the first round by a punch to the body. You do us proud, Kyoji. The Goju-ryu black belt played football and ice hockey as a kid, but started training in karate as a young teen before switching to BJJ and grappling. Belts won: UFC Light Heavyweight Championship, Height: 6'0'' A second unintentional groin kick from Daniels rendered Stanonik unable to continue. [34], After Joseph Valtellini vacated his title due to health issues, Raymond Daniels was set to face Nieky Holzken for the welterweight world championship at Glory 23: Las Vegas on August 7, 2015. Rutten holds a fifth-degree black belt in Kyokushin karate and a second-degree black belt in Shintai karate. The Brazilian karate specialist is a third Dan black belt in Shotokan Karate and is known for having one of the most difficult styles to prepare for in MMA. Daniels knocked Oliveira down with a spinning heel kick to the head in the first round and scored another knock down with a spinning kick to the body early in the second round.

Weight Class: Middleweight Seeking a better life for him and his son, Daniels realized his boyhood dream of becoming a police officer with the Long Beach Police Department at the age of 21.

A legendary fighter and contemporary of Machida, Georges St-Pierre announced his retirement just last month. Irish Open 2008, winning gold in the 84kg semi-contact division. Cheers to you, GSP. This Brazilian powerhouse broke out in the UFC in 2007, ultimately taking a Light Heavyweight belt and ranking as a title challenger for a Middleweight Championship. He became the Kumite champion in his native Iceland three years in a row (2003, 2004, and 2005) and was considered to be the most promising karate talent in the country. People all over the world learn karate for self-defense or personal reasons, but MMA has shown how it can lead to success in the sport. Lists about fighters who compete in mixed martial arts and the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Karate belt rank: 5th degree black belt in Tetsushin-ryu Kempo. He does a really good job of using his awkward standup game to set up the grappling attacks. [55], American mixed martial arts fighter and kareteka, Points fighting (Kickboxing/Sport Karate). Among his titles are eight NBL World Championships,[9] at least two NASKA world championships, a second-place finish at the $50,000 World Pro Taekwondo Championship in Croatia in 2010,[10] and nine overall championships at the W.A.K.O Irish Open. [19] On June 27, 2008, he made his MMA debut against twelve fight veteran Jeremiah Metcalf[20] at Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Thomson. In his career, he became the world karate champ two times in 1993 and 1994.

After earning a black belt rank, he would start training in Kajukenbo where he also holds an 8th dan black belt. Thompson might be the greatest UFC fighter to never win the title. The free agent has gained widespread recognition for his viral moonsaults off the cage walls and spinning kicks. Lyoto Machida is a fighter who deserves a lot of credit for putting karate on the map in MMA. Wonderboy has frequently shown cat-like agility in his counterstrikes and turns, leading to devastating kicks for those who come in too close. Robert Whittaker's jab+straight+head kick combination is undoubtedly one of the most powerful and smooth combinations ever seen in the octagon. All of this would end up with him developing all-around skills, and naturally, start fighting in pro MMA matches. Top UFC stars like George St-Pierre, Lyoto Machida, and Chuck Liddell all had backgrounds in karate and made it part of their fighting careers. World Championships 2015 (Dublin) in the 89kg semi-contact division. The Irishman utilizes a wide karate-based stance to constantly fire off crafty kicks and powerful left hands. Belts won: UFC Middleweight Championship, Interim UFC Middleweight Championship. Fighters from the beginning of the UFC all the way up through 2020 have used karate as an integral part of their fighting style. Cejudo took up Shotokan Karate to diversify his fighting style. The legendary fighter and UFC Hall of Famer built his career on a foundation of karate and kickboxing, among other disciplines. When Henry Cejudo first arrived in the UFC, it was his wrestling that set him apart from the rest. Daniels recently co-founded "ICE Martial Arts", a personal training and nutrition institute. UFC Hall of Famer and Karate Combat league ambassador, Bas Rutten has accomplished so much in the world of fighting, we could dedicate a whole series to his career (and were not ruling it out). Weight Class: Middleweight That experience has made the 5th degree Kenpo black belt fast, powerful, and skilled at staying on his feet. When his karate teacher died, GSP was 16 years old and he started training in other arts like wrestling, BJJ, and boxing. His kicking game is, perhaps, the best in the business, and he does a really good job of using his feet to create angles.