5 Best Canadian UFC Fighters of All Time (Surprise Inclusions)

Are you wondering who the best Canadian UFC fighters of all time are?

In this article, we’ll determine the 5 best Canadian UFC fighters by going through their background, credentials, martial arts records, fighter stats, and competition faced.

Best Canadian UFC Fighters

Ranked starting with the best, here are the best Canadian UFC fighters of all time.

1. Georges St-Pierre – ‘Rush’ (26-2)

Height: 5’11” | Reach: 76” | Stance: Orthodox | Weight Class: Welterweight

Georges St-Pierre is by far the best Canadian UFC fighter of all time, having secured 9 consecutive title defenses and the second-longest combined UFC title streak of 2,204 days as the UFC welterweight champion between 2008 and 2014.

After a 4 year hiatus from MMA between 2013 to 2017, GSP came back and beat Michael Bisping to become the middleweight champion and only the fourth fighter to become a champion in two UFC weight class divisions.

Throughout his career, GSP worked alongside Firas Zahabi at Tristar Gym in Montreal, Canada, one of the best MMA coaches in the sport.

During his highly decorated UFC career, GSP showed the following skills:

  • Rigorous work ethic and consistency with a strict training schedule
  • Fight intelligence combined with exceptional fight strategy allowed him to game his opponents by exploiting their weaknesses
  • One of the most well-rounded MMA fighters ever – he had zero weaknesses
  • Outstanding takedown defense allowed him to dictate where the fight took place – 84% over 22 UFC fights
  • Explosiveness and timing with takedowns were second to none – 4.16 takedown average over 15 minutes
  • Mixed up his striking techniques and targets constantly
  • Great jab and hook Superman punch variations
  • Long, stiff jab
  • Freak athleticism and muscular size allowed him to overpower opponents while maintaining great speed, footwork, and agility

In his career, GSP’s best wins were against Nick Diaz, Michael Bisping, Carlos Condit, Thiago Alves, Sean Sherk, and both B.J. Penn and Matt Hughes twice each.

As amazing a fighter as he was, he didn’t face the level of competition faced by other greats such as Jon Jones and Anderson Silva, so it’s hard to rate him above them.

Regardless, Georges St-Pierre is the best Canadian UFC fighter of all time who gave MMA fans many memorable moments.

Georges St-Pierre’s best fights were:

  • Georges St-Pierre vs. Jon Fitch (UFC 87)
  • Georges St-Pierre vs. Carlos Condit (UFC 154) 

2. Rory MacDonald – ‘Red King’ (23-10-1)

Height: 6’0” | Reach: 76” | Stance: Orthodox | Weight Class: Welterweight

Rory MacDonald is a former King of the Cage lightweight champion, Bellator welterweight champion, and UFC welterweight title challenger.

Rory MacDonald started MMA at 14 years old and dropped everything else to pursue it. At 16 he made his professional MMA debut, and just 4 years later he was the youngest UFC fighter when he made and won his debut in the UFC.

Rory has also competed for PFL, is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and trained at Tristar Gym under Firas Zahabi, where he was a long-time training partner of Georges St-Pierre.

During his time in the UFC, Rory showed:

  • Beautifully effortless striking technique
  • 88% takedown defense in 13 UFC fights – outrageously high and it allowed him to keep fights standing
  • Huge frame and good strength for a welterweight – he was as big as 200 lbs ripped before cutting to 170
  • Conditioning opponents with hard calf kicks and then faking low and going high with a question mark kick
  • Brilliant fakes and feints to get his opponents biting and guessing
  • Extremely measured and disciplined with shot selection – he doesn’t rush to finish opponents
  • 1-2 punch combinations finished with snappy front kicks
  • Great circling movement and unique diversity of attack

In the UFC, Rory’s best wins were against Nate Diaz, B.J. Penn, Tyron Woodley, and Demian Maia, while he lost to Stephen Thompson, Carlos Condit, and Robbie Lawler twice.

His overall UFC record was 9-4 and he secured 7 knockouts and 9 submissions in 23 MMA wins.

Despite never becoming a UFC champion, Rory MacDonald is a Canadian UFC legend who gave his fans a lot of joy during his career.

Rory MacDonald’s best fights were:

  • Rory MacDonald vs. Robbie Lawler II (UFC 189)
  • Rory MacDonald vs. B.J. Penn (UFC on Fox 5)

3. T.J. Grant (21-5)

Height: 5’10” | Reach: 72” | Stance: Orthodox | Weight Class: Lightweight

T.J. Grant is a retired MMA fighter who competed in the UFC welterweight and lightweight divisions. He made the switch to lightweight after losing weight training his Muay Thai skills in Thailand.

His martial arts journey began with Brazilian jiu-jitsu aged 15, followed by wrestling a year later. He became a three-time wrestling champion in Nova Scotia and represented Canada at the 2001 Canada Games in Ontario.

Becoming a well-rounded fighter, Grant switched to MMA in 2007 at the age of 23 and went 13-2 before signing a UFC contract.

During his time in the UFC, T.J. Grant showed the following skills:

  • Grabs the Muay Thai clinch very fast when the distance is closed to land powerful and accurate knees and elbows
  • Great strength and size in the lightweight division as he was formerly a welterweight
  • Accurate straight rights to the solar plexus/body
  • Jiu-jitsu brown belt and insane variability in his 13 submission finishes
  • Mastery of grappling and ground control
  • Sharp and technical boxing combinations which he likes to finish with inside leg kicks
  • High forward-pressure style
  • Great durability and toughness – Grant was never knocked out and was only finished once via submission

Grant’s best wins in the UFC came against Evan Dunham, Matt Wiman, and Gray Maynard, while he lost to Ricardo Almeida and Johny Hendricks at welterweight.

Sadly, T.J. Grant is one of the biggest what-ifs in UFC history. He was concussed in training camp before his title shot against Benson Henderson and never competed again due to a headache lasting months.

T.J. Grant’s best UFC fights were:

  • T.J. Grant vs. Evan Dunham (UFC 152)
  • T.J. Grant vs. Gray Maynard (UFC 160)

4. Charles Jourdain – ‘Air’ (15-6-1)

Height: 5’9” | Reach: 69” | Stance: Southpaw | Weight Class: Featherweight

Admittedly, Charles Jourdain hasn’t had the best time in the UFC, but his skills and potential are undoubted.

Still only 27 years old, Jourdain has been improving since his UFC debut in 2019 at the age of 24. Prior to this, Jourdain was the champion in both the TKO featherweight and lightweight divisions.

Charles Jourdain was born and raised in Dagestan, Russia, and he’s also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Fábio Holanda.

He trains at Academie Pro Star MMA in Quebec, and so far in the UFC has shown the following skills:

  • Switches stances often and works effectively from both
  • Great jiu-jitsu both offensively and defensively
  • lightning-quick high roundhouse kicks
  • Great dirty boxing where he uses a collar tie and fires uppercuts and shovel hooks to the body
  • Very comfortable boxing at range and in the pocket which is brilliant for mixing up his fighting style throughout a round
  • Brilliant cardiovascular endurance which he uses to put a very high pace on opponents when he chooses to
  • Good defensive high guard which he uses to block and find speedy counters
  • Speedy boxing combinations

So far in the UFC, Charles Jourdain’s best wins have been against Lando Vannata, Ricardo Ramos, Kron Gracie, and Andre Ewell – and he also beat Shane Burgos but was robbed on the scorecards.

On the other hand, he’s lost to Andre Fili, Nathaniel Wood, and Julian Erosa – all future top 10s.

Overall, Charles Jourdain is a very fun fighter to watch because he’s always down for a scrap and has great skills. If he can add a little strength and improve his wrestling, it’s likely Charles Jourdain can go very far.

Charles Jourdain’s best UFC fights so far have been:

  • Charles Jourdain vs. Andre Fili (UFC on ESPN 10)
  • Charles Jourdain vs. Shane Burgos (UFC on ABC 3)

5. Marc-André Barriault – ‘Power Bar’ (16-6-1NC)

Height: 6’1” | Reach: 74” | Stance: Orthodox | Weight Class: Middleweight

Before his UFC career, Barriault held the TKO Middleweight and Light Heavyweight titles, demonstrating his versatility and dominance in multiple weight classes.

Originally with NOVA Gym in Quebec, Canada, Barriault started training with Kill Cliff FC (formerly Sanford MMA) in Flordia, USA, in 2021.

Under the guidance of Henri Hooft and Greg Jones, the results of the switch have been brilliant, with Barriault going 5-2. Before this, Barriault was 0-3 with 1 no-contest in the UFC.

Barriault is a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and before professional MMA he graduated with a DEC in dietetics (diet and nutrition) and two culinary diplomas – which have helped him perfect his UFC diet.

So far in the UFC, Marc-André Barriault has shown the following skills:

  • Highly effective collar tie and dirty boxing inside
  • Relentless combinations when he has someone on the ropes
  • Nicknamed the ‘Power Bar’ – Barriault’s a cardio machine who can push a pace not many in the middleweight division can handle
  • Very effective moving backward with counters
  • Powerful boxing – particularly with short punches in the clinch
  • Roundhouse body kick with a right straight combo
  • High resiliency and toughness – opponents have to throw the kitchen sink at him to get him out of the octagon

So far in his UFC career, Barriualt has defeated good fighters such as Julian Marquez, Eryk Anders, Jordan Wright, Dalcha Lungiambula, and Abu Azaitar.

Overall, Barriault’s improving skills and composure, powerful striking ability, and never-give-up attitude make him one of the best Canadian UFC fighters to do it – with plenty more to come.

Marc-André Barriault’s best UFC fights so far are:

  • Marc-André Barriault vs. Julian Marquez (UFC 285)
  • Marc-André Barriault vs. Eryk Anders (UFC 289)

Honorable Mentions

Here are some honorable mentions of fighters who would’ve made the list of best Canadian UFC fighters had the list been longer.

Patrick Cote ‘The Predator’ (23-11)

Cote was a decent fighter but he had 21 UFC fights and never beat anyone at the top level, losing every fight he had with hard opponents.

He was somehow a #1 contender after just three consecutive wins and competed well against Anderson Silva in the title fight. However, ultimately he lost and retired with a 10-11 UFC record.

Sam Stout ‘Hands of Stone’ (20-12-1)

Sam Stout is another UFC veteran, having 20 UFC fights and finishing with a 9-11 UFC record.

He had some decent wins over Matt Wiman and Joe Lauzon, but he was on the losing end in most of his competitive fights.

The Bottom Line

This has been the 5 best Canadian UFC fighters of all time.

Some newer fighters like Charles Jourdain made the list despite being earlier in their UFC career because it’s easy to see they have skills and the potential to go far.

Charles Jourdain is a more skillful fighter than both Patrick Cote and Sam Stout and will finish his career with a much better UFC record – you heard it here first.

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