MMA fighters in the UFC need to be experienced in both striking and grappling. Muay Thai, Taekwondo, karate, boxing, and kickboxing are some of the best martial arts that can serve as a striking base.
In this article, I will focus on kickboxing and who are the best MMA fighters that have used kickboxing in the UFC.
I have to mention that the given list of best kickboxers in the UFC is not ordered. I took many factors into consideration, like their UFC and MMA resume, kickboxing resume, striking technique and diversity, striking accuracy and volume, etc.
Also, worth considering is that when I say “kickboxer” I refer to both Dutch and American kickboxing, with some Muay Thai background as well.
So, let’s take a closer look at fighters who made it to the list.
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic
Division: UFC Heavyweight, Pride Heavyweight (retired)
MMA record: 38-11 (2 draws and 1 NC)
I start my list with one of the deadliest kickers in the history of MMA, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic. Cro Cop’s signature move was left high kick, once famously described as “right leg, hospital; left leg, cemetery.”
During his career, Mirko fought the best heavyweights of all-time in the UFC, Rizin, Pride, Bellator, and K-1. He is widely considered as one of the best MMA heavyweights of all time.
Cro Cop is the 2006 Pride Open-Weight Grand Prix Champion, the 2012 K-1 World Grand Prix Champion, and the 2016 Rizin Openweight Grand Prix Champion becoming the second fighter in the world to win mixed martial arts and kickboxing championships and tournaments.
He started his career as an amateur boxer where he had a 48-8 record with 31 wins coming by knockout. Mirko then proceeded to have a kickboxing career where he accumulated a 26-8 record (13 KOs).
In his glorious MMA career, Mirko fought 52 times, and he won 38 times. Out of his 38 wins, 30 come by a knockout, which is impressive.
Through his career, Mirko put dozens of his opponents to sleep using his head kick skills. Just take a look at the breakdown of his head kick technique: