Are you wondering who the best Dutch UFC fighters of all time are?
In this article, we’ll examine the 5 best Dutch UFC fighters of all time by presenting their records, titles, skills, and who they’ve beaten and lost to in their career.
Best Dutch UFC Fighters
Here are the 5 best Dutch UFC fighters, ranked starting with the best.
1. Gegard Mousasi – ‘The Dreamcatcher’ (49-9-2)
Height: 6’2” | Reach: 76” | Stance: Orthodox | Weight Class: Middleweight
Gegard Mousasi is a UFC and MMA legend, competing in 60 MMA fights across many of the top MMA promotions by the age of 37.
He’s a former two-time Bellator middleweight champion, DREAM light heavyweight champion, DREAM middleweight champion, Cage Warriors Middleweight champion, and Strikeforce light heavyweight champion – making him one of the most decorated MMA fighters of all time.
Mousasi’s martial arts journey began in judo at 8 years old, before starting boxing at 15. He compiled a 12-1 amateur boxing record, as well as an 8-0 kickboxing record before transitioning to MMA.
His record, experience, and titles speak for themselves, while his best skills are:
- One of the most composed and focused fighters you’ll see fight in MMA, which helps him pick shots and dictate the pace and range of a fight
- Works behind a very accurate and powerful jab
- Very patient and technical striker – his well-roundedness means he likes to wait for his opponents to make mistakes
- Strong wrestling and great ground control where he’s busy with ground-and-pound and advancing positions for potential submissions
- Strong takedown defense when against the cage
- Great timing with flurries and muay thai clinch combinations
- Fearless and entertaining fighter who always looks to finish fights – 28 knockouts and 12 submissions (40) in 49 career wins
Gegard Mousasi compiled a 9-3 UFC record before leaving for Bellator because he feels he was underappreciated and underpaid by the UFC.
In this time, he beat Thales Leites, Thiago Santos, Vitor Belfort, Uriah Hall, Dan Henderson, and Chris Weidman – 3 former UFC champions and beasts across the board. Overall, Gegard Mousasi goes down as the best Dutch UFC/MMA fighter of all time.
2. Alistair Overeem – ‘The Demolition Man’ (47-19-1NC)
Height: 6’4” | Reach: 80” | Stance: Orthodox | Weight Class: Heavyweight
Alistair Overeem, aka ‘The Demolition Man’ or simply ‘The Reem’, is another great Dutch UFC fighter and MMA icon. He’s the first fighter to hold kickboxing and MMA world titles simultaneously and is a former K1, DREAM, and Strikeforce heavyweight champion.
Throughout his MMA/UFC career, Alistair Overeem’s main skills are:
- Huge experience – Overeem has been fighting professionally in MMA since 1999 and has nearly 70 MMA fights
- Dominant Muay Thai clinch in terms of control and landing powerful knees and elbows
- Elite kickboxing and Muay Thai striking technique and accuracy combined with power and speed
- High finishing prowess – 42 of his 47 wins were finishes (25 Knockouts and 17 Submissions)
- Well-rounded to the point of having no weakness
- Energy efficient with his movement and techniques
Fighting at the end of his UFC career past his prime, Overeem compiled a 12-8 UFC record and beat the likes of Dos Santos, Brock Lesnar, Sergei Pavlovich, Fabricio Werdum, Stefan Struve, and Vitor Belfort. On the other hand, he lost to Ngannou, Volkov, and Stipe Miocic – three elite fighters.
Overall, Alistair Overeem’s one of the most entertaining kickboxers and MMA fighters of all time, and his great skills and remarkable longevity cement his place as one of the best Dutch UFC fighters.
3. Stefan Struve – ‘The Skyscraper’ (29-13)
Height: 6’11” | Reach: 84.5” | Stance: Orthodox | Weight Class: Heavyweight
Stefan Struve made his MMA debut at 17 years old and compiled a 16-2 record to earn a UFC contract in 2009. He’s the tallest UFC fighter of all time, standing just shy of 7 feet tall, and is joint second with Jon Jones for the longest reach in UFC history.
Struve has trained with the Blackzilians and Kill Cliff Fight Club, is a brown belt in Bjj, and has also competed as a kickboxer.
Stefan Struve’s best skills are:
- One of the most dangerous and active heavyweights on the ground with Bjj due to his long limbs and skill
- Accurate and long-reaching uppercuts
- Fast and accurate snap kicks to the body
- One of the most accurate strikers among UFC heavyweights
- Great movement and footwork for a fighter so tall
- Very offensive fighter – in 29 wins he has 26 finishes via 18 submissions and 8 knockouts
Despite his talent, height, and reach advantage, Stefan Struve was an inconsistent fighter who compiled a 13-11 UFC record. Struve found it hard to recover once hurt (glass jaw), and unfortunately, toward the end of his career he found he’d been fighting with a heart defect that affected his conditioning.
His best wins came against Stipe Miocic (arguably the best UFC heavyweight ever), Antonio Nogueira, and Antonio Silva, while he lost to Alistair Overeem, Junior Dos Santos, Marcin Tybura, Alexander Volkov, Mark Hunt, and Tai Tuivasa.
4. Bas Rutten – ‘El Guapo’ (28-4-1)
Height: 6’1” | Reach: 80” | Stance: Orthodox | Weight Class: Light Heavyweight
Despite only compiling a 2-0 UFC record by beating Tsuyoshi Kosaka and Kevin Randleman before retiring in 1999, Bas Rutten became the first European inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame (2015). This speaks to his legendary status and pioneering in the world of MMA.
Bas Rutten was a three-time Pancrase champion, UFC heavyweight champion, inventor of the Superman punch at UFC 20, and well known for devastating liver shots which even ruptured the liver of his opponent Jason DeLucia.
Before joining Pancrase in 1993, Bas Rutten had been competing in kickboxing and Muay Thai since 1985, which is where he developed his striking skills.
Bas Rutten’s most notable fighting skills were:
- Elite finishing ability – 10 knockouts and 14 submissions in 28 wins
- Very powerful kicker – known as one of the best in Pancrase
- His most well-known weapon is his liver shots with kicks and hooks
- Brilliant submissions due to his 6 years in Pancrase, especially the neck crank
- Powerful knees to the body, especially after sprawling
- Smooth grappling transitions
- Very high tenacity and cardiovascular endurance for a light heavyweight which is why he could always outwork his opponent
After losing to Ken Shamrock at Pancrase – Eyes of Beast 2 in 1995, Bas Rutten went on a 13-fight win streak, followed by a draw, followed by another 8-fight win streak before retiring in 2006.
Overall, Bas Rutten was one of the most dominant early MMA fighters whose skills were more well-rounded than the large majority.
5. Semmy Schilt – ‘Hightower’ (26-14-1)
Height: 6’10” | Reach: Unknown | Stance: Orthodox | Weight Class: Heavyweight
Semmy Schilt is another Dutch UFC fighter who had a very short UFC career, compiling just a 1-1 record before he joined the better-paying PRIDE in Japan. Nevertheless, he’s a karate black belt and an elite kickboxer considered one of the greatest of all time.
In kickboxing, he won the K-1 World Grand Prix Championship 4 times and the Glory Heavyweight Grand Slam Championship once, as well as the Glory Heavyweight Championship and the K-1 Super Heavyweight Championship.
In MMA, he was the Openweight King of Pancrase and competed in the UFC and PRIDE.
Making Semmy Schilt so impressive was his:
- Powerful knees which he could deliver like a roundhouse to the opponent’s head because of his flexibility and height
- Snap kicks to the stomach and solar plexus
- Powerful and accurate jabs which scored him many knockouts
- The cardiovascular endurance, footwork, and movement of a much lighter fighter
- High fight IQ and shot selection
- His lethal combination of a lead leg snap kick followed by a lead jab
- Powerful roundhouse which could rock opponents through the guard
Semmy Schilt was a fighter who knew how to use his height and long limbs to his advantage, with his reach likely being around 83/84”. It’s a shame he wasn’t in the UFC for a longer period, as he had the skills and experience to become one of the great early UFC fighters.
The Bottom Line
The 5 best Dutch UFC fighters of all time are Gegard Mousasi, Alistair Overeem, Stefan Struve, Bas Rutten, and Semmy Schilt.
It’s possible to argue both Bas Rutten and Semmy Schilt were better fighters than Stefan Struve, but Struve takes the third spot because of his longevity in the UFC and how he went up against all of the best heavyweights of his generation.