10 best MMA fighters to never fight in the UFC

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For all intents and purposes, the UFC is the cream of the crop. The UFC is the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization and there is no close second yet. While there have been competitors over the years, such as PRIDE Fighting Championships and Strikeforce, that started UFC dominance, they haven’t had a close competitor in years.

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With all that is known, most fighters jump for the UFC at the first chance they have. However, there were some incredible talent who never made it to the UFC, or at the very least who haven’t made their way into the Octagon yet.


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Kayla harrison

Kayla Harrison Olympics 2016

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kayla Harrison is one of the most accomplished judokas of all time, winning gold at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. Harrison announced her move to MMA after the 2016 Olympics and signed with the newly renamed PFL , and Harrison didn’t look back.

Harrison is 11-0 and is already the PFL lightweight tournament champion, although with only a three-year career she is arguably the tallest woman to ever fight in the UFC, and already has fans clamoring for an Amanda Nunes cross-promotion fight.

9
Yaroslav Amosov

Bellator 265 cage

© Erin Bormett / Argus Leader via Imgn Content Services, LLC

Yaroslav Amosov at 28 is already one of the greatest fighters on the planet. Amosov is currently sitting at 26-0, and the Ukrainian fighter has already started destroying the Bellator welterweight division despite not signing up for promotion until 2018.

Amosov has already outscored Douglas Lima, Ed Ruth, Erick Silva and Gerald Harris en route to winning the Bellator welterweight championship, and he’s only getting better.

8
Gina Carano

via mmasentinel.com

via mmasentinel.com

Gina Carano isn’t just one of the pioneers in women’s fighting, she’s one of the best women to ever enter the UFC Octagon. Carano was notable for being a part of many firsts for women’s fights, having been part of the first women’s fight in Nevada, she was also part of the first nationally televised women’s MMA fight.

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His 7-1 record is good but also disappointing, having beaten notable fighters such as Tonya Evinger, Julie Kedzie and Kaitlin Young. His only loss also went to Cris Cyborg for the Strikeforce Featherweight Championship in what turned out to be his last appearance for the cage. Carano almost signed with the UFC to fight Ronda Rousey in 2014, but the fight never came to fruition.

7
AJ McKee

AJ-McKee-Bellator-221-1

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

AJ McKee is one of the first true athletes born and raised for MMA. Son of Antonio McKee, McKee had a great rise in Bellator MMA. McKee made his debut in 2015 as a fresh-faced 20-year-old and has dominated every fight he’s been in since then, with no one really coming close.

Now 25, McKee is 18-0 and the current featherweight champion for Bellator after winning the Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix overall. He won the belt after dominating and submitting one of the GOAT Bellators, Patricio Pitbull to Bellator 263.

6
Joe warren

Bellator 181 Joe Warren

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Warren for a very brief period of time claimed to be not only the greatest featherweight on the planet, but also one of the best bantamweight on the planet. Warren was a young wrestler preparing for the Bellator season two featherweight tournament, although he was only a 2-1 fighter, he won the entire tournament and took home the featherweight title after beating Joe Soto . Warren lost his belt a few fights later to Pat Curran, before deciding to switch to bantamweight and win the 135-pound bantamweight crown after beating Eduardo Dantas at Bellator 128.

While Warren’s 15-8 record doesn’t stand out, his resume with wins over Patricio Pitbull, Norifumi Yamamoto, Chase Beebe, Marcos Galvão and the aforementioned Soto and Dantas is one of the best you’ll see outside. of the UFC.

5
Sergei Kharitonov

Bellator 265 Kongo vs. Kharitnov

© Erin Bormett / Argus Leader via Imgn Content Services, LLC

Sergei Kharitonov, like his compatriot Fedor Emelianenko, is known to have never made the trip to the UFC. Kharitonov is also known to have fought everywhere except the UFC as well, as Kharitnov fought in PRIDE, DREAM, Strikeforce, and now Bellator.

Kharitonov didn’t win any championships in any of these promotions, but during his 21-year career he beat Alistair Overeem, Andrei Arlovski and Fabricio Werdum, to name a few.

4
Douglas lima

Douglas Lima Bellator 221

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Douglas Lima for over a decade now has a reputation for arguably the best welterweight outside of the UFC. Multiple welterweight champion Bellator has beaten some of the best fighters on the planet, like Rory MacDonald, Andrey Koreshkov, Michael Page, Paul Daley and Lorenz Larkin.

It should be noted that although Douglas has never entered the UFC Octagon, his brother Dhiego Lima has been on the roster since 2017.

3
Shinya aoki

via rough.asia

via rough.asia

Japan’s Shinya Aoki is known as one of the greatest wrestlers in the history of the sport, and it is incredible that in his career of 57 fighters he has never entered the UFC Octagon. Aoki has spent much of his career in Asian-based promotions such as RIZIN and ONE, and along the way he has defeated other greats in the sport.

Sporting a 47-9 (1) record, he has won victories against Eddie Alvarez, Kazushi Sakuraba, Caol Uno and Eduard Folayang.

2
Patricio pitbull

Bellator 221 Patricio Pitbull

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Patricio Pitbull is generally considered the greatest fighter in Bellator history and has been the greatest featherweight outside of the UFC for quite some time. The former two-weight champion of the promotion was undefeated for five years from 2016 to 2021 until he lost to AJ McKee in Bellator 263, and during that time he’s had one of the best stretches in the sport.

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Pitbull has beaten Daniel Straus, Daniel Weichel, Emmanuel Sanchez twice, Michael Chandler, Juan Archuleta and Pedro Caravalho during that five-year span to become a two-weight world champion, in a race that will not be repeated before. a good moment.

1
Fedor Emelianenko

Fedor Bellator 198

Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports

Fedor Emelianenko is one of the greatest fighters of all time, and although he came close to signing with the UFC on several occasions, it never came to fruition. Despite that, he arguably has the best CV ever, in all weight classes.

Emelianenko has won seven former UFC champions (Nogueria, Sylvia, Arlovski, Mir, Rampage, Coleman and Randleman), and on top of that he has beaten other incredible fighters such as Mirko Cro Cop, Mark Hunt, Gary Goodridge and Chael Sonnen. . Emelianenko is arguably the greatest fighter to ever fight in the UFC.


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