Records are always an interesting thing to study, whichever field you might be examining. Whether it’s the most points or goals scored in the history of a sports league, or just the biggest number of pies eaten in 10 minutes, records are always a fun piece of trivia, which is why, today, we are going to talk about records. More precisely, UFC records.
The topic of records isn’t new to this site. We’ve already had similar texts about MMA in general and the UFC, related to the numbers regarding most consecutive wins and wins in general.
Also, we’ll just recapitulate that MMA and UFC are not the same thing; firstly, the UFC is just an organisation for the promotion of MMA fights and it isn’t even the only one.
Secondly, MMA is a much broader term that encompasses much more than just UFC. That is why we are going to focus on one specific record within the UFC – most career bouts by a single fighter.
Since MMA is a rather broad term and the fights are organised by several organisations, it’s not always easy to keep a record of all the numbers. You have ranked fights, non-ranked fights, sanctioned and non-sanctioned ones, championship bouts, regular bouts, etc., but the general idea is that the numbers are big, dispersed and not easy to keep up with.
That is why it wasn’t easy to get a hold on them and we had to put in a significant effort to corroborate the data coming from different sources.
Having said that, we can now move on to the UFC, where things are a little, well, different. Namely, UFC is a narrower term and it only includes fights organised by the UFC. These numbers are substantially smaller than the actual MMA numbers, since non-UFC MMA fights are numerous.
A direct consequence of this is the fact that UFC’s numbers are easier to follow and are complete, unlike the general numbers for MMA, as we’ve discussed in our earlier article. Thus, the numbers we are going to present to you are both correct and precise, as they are official numbers provided by the UFC, the organisation in charge.
The Record Holder
The record holder for most bouts in the UFC, is – Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, a 37-year old American MMA fighter who actively participates in several combat sports from 2002. He has one professional boxing fight and a solid career in kickboxing, but has, since 2006, been working on his MMA career and is currently the fighter with most bouts in the organisation.
Cerrone has a total of 35 bouts in the UFC, but his record is not that safe, as we are soon going to see. Still, Cerrone is a pretty legendary fighter within the organisation. Along with having the most fights in the UFC, Cerrone also holds the record for most wins and shares the record for most bouts in a calendar year (5).
Still, despite having a record 23 wins in the UFC, which is a pretty solid number, Cerrone’s career numbers aren’t that brilliant. He has an overall record of 36-14-1 from a total of 51 fights. His UFC career started in 2011, after three years with the WEC, and his general record is solid, but not that brilliant. For example, his current streak extends to three losses in a row since 2019.
As we’ve already said – Cerrone’s record is not that safe, which is somewhat unlikely for UFC records, which are usually a lot safer. Namely, his direct follower has only one less bout and is still active, like most of the other fighters who’ve managed to collect 30 or more fights in the UFC, as you’ll see at the end of the article.
As you can see, UFC events, although not that rare, don’t allow for big streaks like MMA in general, which is why Cerrone’s 35 bouts are really a terrific achievement and show that the guy is really enduring. The same applies for all of the fighters who’ve managed to collect 30 or more bouts in their careers.
Second on our list is American Jim Miller, who has managed to collect 34 fights in two divisions; he also has 20 career wins and is third in that list. His UFC career started back in 2008 and he’s so far participated in several events, but hasn’t won any titles.
Jeremy Stephens occupies the third spot with 33 career bouts; this 33-year old American is one of the less successful fighters on this list, having a negative overall career score in the UFC.
Brazilian veteran Demian Maia, who’s 42 years old, shares the fourth spot with Belarussian veteran Andrei Arlovski; they both have 32 bouts. And while Maia’s had a relatively successful UFC career (with 22 wins, he’s second on the list of fighters with most wins), Arlovski’s another example of the fighters that fought much, but also lost much.
The 38-year old Mexican-American Diego Sanchez has 31 bouts, which secured him the sixth spot on our list. Since he’s still active, there is a possibility he might increase this number and rise in the ranks, since the difference between the first six fighters is really small.
Rafael Dos Anjos and Michael Bisping occupy place seven with 29 bouts each. Brazilian Dos Anjos could still rise in the ranks due to the fact that he is still active, while Bisping’s career ended with him retiring in 2018.
The last places on this list are occupied by two fighters with 28 bouts – the still-active American Clay Guida and the retired Brazilian Gleison Tibau.
Now that we have analysed the fighters and the numbers in textual form, we are going to give you a small overview of what we have talked about in table form so that you can have a better view of it all.
|1||Donald Cerrone||USA||Lightweight / Welterweight||35|
|2||Jim Miller||USA||Lightweight / Catchweight||34|
|3||Jeremy Stephens||USA||Featherweight / Lightweight||33|
|4||Demian Maia||Brazil||Welterweight / Middleweight||32|
|6||Diego Sanchez||USA||Lightweight / Welterweight / Middleweight||31|
|7||Rafael dos Anjos||Brazil||Lightweight / Welterweight||29|
|Michael Bisping||England||Middleweight / Light Heavyweight|
|9||Clay Guida||USA||Featherweight / Lightweight||28|
|Gleison Tibau||Brazil||Lightweight / Welterweight / Catchweight|
Before we conclude our article, we’ll show you some additional numbers related to the fighters with most bouts – but in different categories.
If we count just the title bouts, the first place is shared by three fighters with 15 title bouts and – interestingly enough – none of them are on the list above. They are retired fighters Georges St-Pierre and Randy Couture and the still-active Jon Jones. Hot on their trail is Demetrious Johnson, with 14 bouts; the other fighters with more than 10 title bouts are Anderson Silva (13), Matt Hughes (12), and – with 11 both – Jose Aldo and B.J. Penn.
As for the division leaders, we’ll present them to you in another two tables:
|Light Heavyweight||Tito Ortiz||USA||27|
And that’s it for today’s analysis. Stay tuned for more of the same and see you next time.
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