3 Best Colombian UFC Fighters of All Time Ranked (2023)

Are you wondering who the best Colombian UFC fighters are?

In this article, we’ll list the 3 best Colombian UFC fighters of all time and go through their background, credentials, records, fighting skills, and who they’ve won and lost to.

Best Colombian UFC Fighters

As there haven’t been many great Colombian-born UFC fighters, this list includes fighters who are nationals elsewhere but are of Colombian ethnicity and represent the Colombian flag.

Ranked starting with the most elite, here are the 3 best Colombian UFC fighters of all time.

1. Chris Gutiérrez – ‘El Guapo’ (20-5-2)

Height: 5’9” | Reach: 67” | Stance: Orthodox | Weight Class: Bantamweight | DOB: April 22, 1991 | Fighting Style: Kickboxing

Born in America to a Guatemalan mother and a Colombian father, Chris Gutiérrez carries a flag representing both America and Colombia when walking to the octagon.

Chris Gutierrez started MMA training at 16 years old at Chop Shop MMA in Greenville, Texas. Between 2007 and 2013, he won six amateur MMA belts: four bantamweight and two featherweight.

He turned professional in 2013 and became the SCS bantamweight champion in 2014 with 1 successful title defense, as well as the WFC bantamweight champion in 2015.

Since the start of his professional career in 2013, Chris Gutierrez has trained at Factory X Muay Thai in Denver, Colorado, under his long-time coach, Marc Montoya. He’s also earned a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Mario Correa.

Since joining the UFC in 2018, Chris Gutierrez has fought to a 7-2-1 UFC record and has shown the following skills in the octagon:

  • Powerful outside calf cicks – scored 1 of 13 UFC leg kick TKO’s
  • Highly accurate and powerful striking – 9 knockouts in 19 MMA wins
  • Elite composure, patience, and fight intelligence – he never rushes despite having opponents hurt
  • An ability to evade strikes and clinch his opponent when backed up against the fence to nullify their attack
  • Effective from both southpaw and orthodox stances – at times he mirrors the stance of his opponent so he can land outside leg kicks
  • Brilliant footwork and movement – especially head movement and lateral footwork to constantly change angles, stances, and evade strikes
  • Exceptional feinting with his hips, shoulders, hands, strikes, and off steps to read his opponent’s reactions and set up his strikes
  • Diverse striking weapons: spinning back fists, spinning back kicks, spinning side kicks, jumping knees, hook kicks, question mark kicks, low kicks, high roundhouse kicks, front kicks
  • Solid chin with excellent defensive Bjj and striking skills – only finished once by submission and never knocked out in 26 MMA fights

So far in the UFC, he’s beaten Frankie Edgar, Batgerel Danaa, Felipe Colares, Vince Morales, and Ryan MacDonald. On the other hand, he lost to Raoni Barcelos on his UFC debut and Pedro Munhoz in 2023.

After finally breaking into the top 15 in a stacked bantamweight division, Chris Gutierrez is entering his prime at 32 years old and has the potential to challenge for the title in the next couple of years.

2. Julio Arce (18-6)

Height: 5’7” | Reach: 70” | Stance: Southpaw | Weight Class: Bantamweight | DOB: October 27, 1989 | Fighting Style: Boxing

Julio Arce was born in America but moved to Colombia at three years old, where he stayed until he was 10.

After enjoying his Colombian food and becoming a light heavyweight fighter at 14 years old (200 lbs), Julio joined Tiger Schulmann’s Mixed Martial Arts in Queens, New York, to lose weight.

Since joining, he’s achieved a second-degree MMA black belt under Tiger Schulmann, the 2011 Golden Gloves boxing title, and the Ring of Combat bantamweight and featherweight titles.

He represents the Colombian flag when fighting, has fought at both featherweight and bantamweight and has shown the following skills since joining the UFC in 2017 via Dana White’s Contender Series:

  • Great boxing and head movement in the pocket
  • High-level striking defense
  • Excellent footwork which helps him defensively and in setting up strikes
  • Powerful straight lefts and right hooks
  • Throws every strike with balance and doesn’t lean over his lead leg so he’s able to come back into his stance and fire again quickly
  • Great counter striking with 1-2 combinations – he steps off and counters with angles
  • Effective jab which he sneakily turns into a lead right hook and always keeps in his opponent’s face when moving backward
  • Good striking and submission defense – only lost once via knockout and submission

So far in the UFC, he’s beaten Dan Ige, Daniel Teymur, Julian Erosa, Andre Ewell, and Daniel Santos. On the other hand, he’s lost Hakeem Dawodu, Song Yadong, and Montel Jackson – 3 very good fighters.

Overall, Julio Arce is one of the best Colombian UFC fighters but he’s been inconsistent since joining the UFC. He’s quite boxing-heavy and needs to add more kicks and some wrestling to improve his game.

3. Bryan Barberena – ‘Bam Bam’ (18-11)

Height: 6’0” | Reach: 72” | Stance: Southpaw | Weight Class: Welterweight | DOB: May 3, 1989 | Fighting Style: Boxing

Bryan Barberena is an American national born to a Colombian father. Bryan said he feels both American and Colombian, which is why he represents both countries’ flags when walking to the octagon.

Bryan Barberena’s professional MMA career began in 2009, competing for various MMA promotions like KOTC and Dakota FC where he became the middleweight champion (in DFC).

He’s trained at Gym-O in North Carolina since 2018 and has achieved a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under John Crouch.

Since joining the UFC in 2014, Bryan Barberena has shown the following skills:

  • Great boxing volume and combinations
  • Willingness and ability to take damage in order to give it
  • Mixes up his target and punches constantly
  • Powerful and accurate step-in elbows
  • Strong chin and durability – he often weathers the storm and comes back to win
  • Decent clinch game against the fence – uses elbows and shoulder strikes

His best UFC wins were against Robbie Lawler, Matt Brown, Warlley Alves, Joe Ellenberger, and Sage Northcutt, while he’s lost to Colby Covington, Leon Edwards, Vicente Luque, Randy Brown, and Gunnar Nelson.

Overall, Bryan Barberena has good stand-up but his lack of wrestling is responsible for many of his losses and needs improving if he’s to move up the rankings.

However, his lack of wrestling is the reason he’s such an exciting fight to watch, and also why he’s earned 5 Fight of the Night bonuses.

Best Colombian UFC Fighters: Honorable Mentions

Here are some Colombian UFC fighters who were good fighters but didn’t do enough to warrant a spot on this list.

  • Sabina Mazo – ‘Colombian Queen’: 3-4 UFC Record
  • Danny Chavez – ‘The Colombian Warrior’: 0-2-1 UFC Record

As more talented Colombian UFC fighters emerge, they’ll be added to this list.

If you feel a Colombian UFC fighter has been missed from the list, feel free to comment on that fighter below so they can be added.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *