Skip to main content

Study finds many top UFC fighters originate from cities in Brazil and Russia, not the US

Jason Burgos

A new study has found that the very best UFC fighters in the world aren’t necessarily coming from places in the United States. Instead, many elite talents are entering the promotion from MMA hotbeds in Russia and Brazil.

The US is the home of mixed martial arts and the sports world leader the UFC. Considering that, it would be fair to assume that many of the top talents in the promotion would originate from the same place the sport was created. However, a new study by BetUS has revealed that isn’t necessarily the case.

Without a doubt, America produces a large majority of the best fighters throughout MMA. And competitors from the US do make up a large majority of the UFC roster. But when it comes down to the very best, including records held, title fight wins, knockouts, submissions, and shortest fights, the study found that Rio de Janeiro, Brazi, and Dagestan, Russia lead the way with 18 top fighters each.

UFC fighters from Dagestan and Rio de Janiero are dominating the Octagon

ufc fighters
Credit: BetUs.com

Following Rio de Janeiro and Dagestan is Los Angeles (17), Sao Paulo, Brazil (13), and then Houston rounds out the top five.

Brazil having two cities near the top is not a surprising development. From the UFC’s earliest days, Brazilian fighters like MMA pioneer Royce Gracie have been at the forefront of the organization. Since Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo are the two most populated cities in a nation with the seventh-highest population in the world, those places developing elite scrappers in a country in love with MMA does makes sense.

Current UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira is a native of Sao Paolo, and former division champion Rafael dos Anjos originates from Rio de Janeiro.

Russia has had many star MMA fighters throughout the sport’s history. However, over the last decade, Dagestan, and the outstanding Sambo grapplers developed in the region, has fast become an MMA epicenter. And it is only growing after the dominant career of native son and UFC lightweight GOAT Khabib Nurmagomedov. Current and rising UFC stars Islam Makhachev, Askar Askarov, Tagir Ulanbekov, and Said Nurmagomedov also come from the Dagestani region of Russia.

Ukraine a UFC powerhouse with its limited talent

In other study data, when it comes to winning percentage neither the US, Russia, nor Brazil takes the top spot. BetUS found that Ukraine does the best with the least talent. Having an impressive 85.9% winning percentage in the Octagon. Oddly enough, they are followed by the nation they are currently at war with, in Russia snd its 84.0%. After that is Georgia (81.5%), Germany (81.4%), and the home of Conor Mcgregor, Ireland (77.6%).

UFC 272 victor Maryna Moroz and light heavyweight Nikita Krylov are natives of the war-torn country that was once the second most populated country in Europe.