13 Best Mexican UFC Fighters (Of All Time)

After Brandon Moreno’s huge success in becoming the first Mexican UFC champion, are you wondering about other great Mexican UFC fighters?

Let’s take a look.

What Determines Which Mexican UFC Fighters Make the List?

Most of the fighters making this list are American-born but have Mexican heritage, while a few are Mexican-born. Although subjective, the Mexican UFC fighters make the list based on:

  • UFC titles won and title defenses
  • MMA record
  • Other records set
  • Competition faced
  • Fighting ability, entertainment, and influence in the UFC, (subjective)

Mexican UFC Fighters

Here’s a list of the best Mexican UFC fighters, in no particular order:

Henry Cejudo (16-3)

Henry Cejudo is an American-born fighter with Mexican heritage and one of only four UFC fighters to become a double champ, which he achieved by becoming the flyweight and bantamweight champion.

He’s a highly decorated athlete, winning gold in wrestling at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and also being a black belt in aikido.

Known as “The Messenger”, he has three title defenses and is recognized for ending Demetrious Johnson’s 11 straight title defenses (UFC record).

He’s also beaten TJ Dillashaw and Dominick Cruz, whilst only losing to two former champions, Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson.

What made Henry so good was his standout wrestling, which allowed him to take people down, control them, use ground and pound, and dominate in clinch positions.

On top of this, he had a much higher IQ than most of his opponents and had quick and effective striking combinations.

After retiring in 2020, Henry has coached some of the best UFC fighters, such as Deiveson Figueiredo, Jiri Prochazka, and Zhang Weili. In 2022 he flirted with returning to the UFC, in an attempt to become the first three-division champion (by winning the featherweight title).

Dominick Cruz (24-3-0)

Dominick Cruz is of Mexican descent and is considered one of the greatest bantamweights and most technically gifted fighters of all time.

With an incredible record, Cruz had 3 successful title defenses, was a 2-time UFC bantamweight champion, and was the last WEC bantamweight champion before the promotion became defunct.

He’s known for his unorthodox body movement and footwork, making him one of the most elusive fighters, who then strikes his opponents from different angles with off-beat timing. 

He’s also one of the most focused and strong-minded UFC fighters, as after being out of the octagon for three years due to injuries, he denied ring rust and pressure on his return, claiming them to be mental weaknesses.

He beat and faced great competition, holding wins over Joseph Benavidez (2), Urijah Faber (2), TJ Dillashaw, and Demetrious Johnson, while only losing twice in the UFC, once each to Henry Cejudo and Cody Garbrandt.

With his exceptional fight IQ and knowledge of the game, he’s been a regular UFC color commentator since 2016 with some of the best analyses of fights.

Brandon Moreno (21-7-2)

Known as the “Assassin Baby”, he became the first Mexican-born UFC champion after beating Deiveson Figueiredo in his second attempt at UFC 263.

Brandon’s a former LFA flyweight champion and has a black belt in Bjj. Out of 19 wins, 11 are by submission, and he’s become known as one of the UFC’s slickest submission artists.

After originally being cut from the UFC roster in 2018 following two losses, he re-earned a UFC contract and went on to win three fights in a row, before getting a draw in his first title shot against Figueiredo, and then going on to win their second fight.

Moreno is still somewhat early in his career and therefore hasn’t fought the greatest of competition, but has beaten other notable names such as Brandon Royval and Kai Kara-France, whilst losing to Alexandre Pantoja, Sergio Pettis, and most recently to Deiveson Figueiredo in their third fight (UFC 270).

He’s one of the most loved fighters in the UFC as he wears his heart on his sleeve, has extremely entertaining fights, and has an incredible comeback story of becoming a Mexican UFC champion after being formerly cut.

Cain Velasquez (14-3-0)

Cain is an American fighter who’s very proud of his Mexican heritage, often wearing a Mexican mouthpiece and also having tattooed on his chest, “Brown Pride”. 

He’s a former two-time UFC heavyweight champion and a two-time All-American wrestler, with a reputation as one of the best UFC heavyweights of all time – where he had two successful title defenses.

With his MMA debut in 2006 and UFC debut in 2008, Velasquez went on 7 fight UFC win streak, becoming the heavyweight champion after beating Brock Lesnar at UFC 121. 

He’s known for his stoic demeanor, unrivaled cardio in the heavyweight division, and crisp technical kickboxing. 12 of his 14 wins were by knockout, aided by his superior wrestling skills meaning he could take people down with ease and finish them with ground and pound.

His record boasts fights against the best competition, with impressive wins over Junior Dos Santos (twice), Antonio Silva (twice), and Antonio Nogueira. His three losses came against Dos Santos, Werdum, and Ngannou – three former champions.

Nate Diaz (22-13-0)

Nate Diaz has Mexican heritage and has been one of the most entertaining UFC fighters over the past 15 years – he’s tied third in the UFC for the most UFC bonus awards (15), and is tied 1st with 8 Fight of the Night awards.

He entered the UFC by winning The Ultimate Fighter season 5, holds a black belt in Bjj, and his fights are so entertaining because of his never-back-down approach, combined with good boxing skills and one of the best chins of all time – having only lost twice to TKO’s (one was by doctor stoppage).

Known for never turning down a fight, Nate has faced high-level competition, with his most notable win coming over Conor McGregor at UFC 196. His two fights with Conor McGregor are in the top four highest PPV events in UFC history; which earned him legend status.

Diaz’s other big fights were for the lightweight title in 2012, losing out to Benson Henderson, and for the BMF title against Jorge Masvidal, which he also lost.

Despite not being a great fighter, Diaz undoubtedly deserves a spot as one of the best Mexican UFC fighters because of his influence and compelling character.

Tony Ferguson (26-10-0)

Ferguson is an American fighter of Mexican heritage and is one of the most popular UFC fighters ever, due to his unique fighting style and 11 years in the UFC. He’s a winner of The Ultimate Fighter season 13, has a black belt in Bjj, and is also a 2-time All-American wrestler.

Tony has the nickname “El Cucuy”, which translates to boogeyman, and he received this nickname because of his appearance and how he hunts fighters down in the octagon. 

It’s believed he has the best endurance out of any UFC fighter ever; always setting relentless forward pressure combined with unorthodox and vicious attacks.

Not only this but he’s considered one of the best-ever UFC fighters to never become an undisputed champion.

He did however become an interim lightweight champion and go on an insane 12-fight win streak, which is the highest in the lightweight division’s history and 8th-tied longest in UFC history.

He has faced whoever the UFC has put in front of him, beating names such as Anthony Pettis (former champion), Rafael Dos Anjos (former champion), Edson Barboza, and Kevin Lee. 

El Cucuy has been unfortunately riddled with injuries throughout his career – famously having an anticipated fight with Khabib canceled 5 times, where he would’ve fought for the lightweight championship title.

Tito Ortiz (19-12-1)

Often walking to the octagon with a half-American and half-Mexican flag, Ortiz has Mexican heritage and was one of the first UFC superstars.

His UFC career spanned 15 years from 1997 to 2012, where he was the light heavyweight champion (2000-2003) with 5 successful title defenses in a row, before losing to Randy Couture at UFC 44.

He helped the UFC through their hard times (lack of funds) in the early 2000s, and his fight against Ken Shamrock at UFC 61 helped smash the UFC’s PPV record, bringing in 775,000 PPV buys in 2006.

He was soon after involved in UFC 66, Liddell vs Ortiz 2 (2006), with 929,000 PPV buys, again smashing the record he helped set. This led him to become the 9th UFC Hall of Fame inductee.

As a fighter, he had crazy strength which translated to powerful boxing, takedowns, and relentless ground and pound. Aside from this, Tito is criticized for having a low fight IQ and being a trash talker.

Overall he faced the best competition available, and his results were very mixed; his best wins came over Ken Shamrock, Wanderlei Silva, Vitor Belfort, and Forest Griffin.

His famous losses were in fights against Forest Griffin, Chuck Liddell, Rashad Evans, Lyoto Machida, and finally in his title fight loss against Randy Couture (UFC 44).

Carlos Condit (32-14-0)

Nicknamed the “Natural Born Killer” and representing Mexico because of his heritage, Carlos is a former welterweight interim champion after beating Nick Diaz at UFC 143. He has fought for the UFC since 2009, and before this, he was the WEC welterweight champion.

Carlos is a very entertaining fighter, with 28 of his 32 wins ending with a finish (15 knockouts and 13 submissions), and he also has one of the best chins in the UFC, only being knocked out once in 56 MMA fights.

He’s a kickboxer and holds a black belt in gaidojutsu, with dynamic striking, creative combinations, and outstanding conditioning.

Despite being a great fighter with huge longevity, his record shows one of inconsistency. His best win came against Nick Diaz, and his most famous fight was the title unification against Georges St-Pierre, which he lost by unanimous decision.

He also had a title shot against Robbie Lawler (UFC 195), which he again lost by decision.

Anthony Pettis (24-10-0)

Anthony “Showtime” Pettis is an American-born fighter with Mexican heritage and was a former WEC lightweight champion before joining the UFC in 2011, where he fought until 2020. 

He has black belts in taekwondo and Bjj and was known for his speed, durability, and for bringing taekwondo techniques to the UFC. His fighting style was exceptionally entertaining, earning him the nickname “Showtime”.

Pettis became the UFC lightweight champion by beating Benson Henderson at UFC 164 and he successfully defended his title once against Gilbert Melendez at UFC 181, before losing to Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC 185.

He faced highly skilled and well-known fighters during his 9-year UFC career, with memorable wins over current lightweight king Charles Oliveira (2016), Stephen Thompson, and Michael Chiesa.

He’s also lost to many great fighters, like Tony Ferguson, Dustin Poirier, and Max Holloway.

Yair Rodriguez (16-4-1NC)

El Pantera is a black belt in taekwondo and came into the UFC after winning the Ultimate Fighter. He won his first 6 fights in the featherweight division, in which he displayed his amazing technical striking and flashy dynamic style. 

His most known fight was against the Korean Zombie (FN:139), which was a back-and-forward affair finished (KO) by Rodriguez in the final second of the fifth round by the most creatively thrown upward elbow.

Rodriguez is now a UFC interim featherweight champion and has beaten fighters such as BJ Penn, Dan Hooker, Josh Emmett, and the Korean Zombie.

His only two losses in the UFC were against two legends of the sport, Frankie Edgar and Max Holloway. He sports one of the best records out of all the Mexican UFC fighters on the list, and there’s plenty more to come from him.

Nick Diaz (26-10-0)

Nick Diaz is the older and less known brother of Nate Diaz, but arguably the better fighter. He has a black belt in Bjj, is a former WEC and Strikeforce welterweight champion, and had 2 title shots in the UFC, unfortunately coming up short in both.

He faced the best fighters throughout his UFC career, with his best wins against BJ Penn, and Robbie Lawlor (UFC 47), while his losses came against Carlos Condit, Georges St-Pierre, and in a rematch with Robbie Lawlor.

Despite not fighting in the UFC for many years, he made his first UFC appearance in 2003 and last fought in 2021, showing he’s a UFC great and has had huge longevity as a fighter.

Brian Ortega (15-3-0)

Nicknamed T-City and born in California, Brian is of Mexican descent and is a former RFA featherweight champion.

Early in his UFC career, he’s won 7 out of 10 UFC fights (1 NC), with his only two losses being two title fights against arguably two of the best featherweights in the UFC’s history, Max Holloway and Alexander Volkanovski.

His fight with Volkanovski (UFC 266) came second place in 2021 for ‘fight of the year’, owing hugely to Ortega’s entertaining and aggressive fighting style.

Brian is a black belt in Bjj, and this fight showed Ortega as one of the best submission artists in the UFC, coming so close to dethroning one of the best pound-for-pound fighters.

Moreover, his fight at UFC 231 against Holloway showed how extremely durable Ortega is, and his skill set has seen him gather wins over the Korean Zombie and Frankie Edgar.

Frank Shamrock (23-10-2)

A pioneer of the sport and the UFC, Frank is an American fighter of Mexican heritage, being born Frank Juarez and changing his name to Shamrock after being adopted aged 21.

He was the UFC’s first light heavyweight champion and had 4 successful title defenses before retiring from the promotion; with his biggest win being against Tito Ortiz (UFC 22).

Shamrock was also the WEC light heavyweight champion, and Strikeforce middleweight champion, and was a black belt in submission fighting.

He was considered one of the first complete mixed martial artists, mixing his dominant wrestling and ground game, with kickboxing and excellent cardio. He had powerful strikes but excelled in submissions, as 12 of his 23 wins were won this way.

After retiring as a fighter, Frank has worked as a color commentator, spokesman, and financial advisor for various MMA promotions.

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