Top 10 - Fighters who have never been a UFC Champion (2018)
In this list, I name who I think are the best fighters (past and present) to have never won a UFC title. I am focusing on how they performed in their prime along with their career achievements. Interim belts don't count.
10. Kenny Florian
One of the original BJJ wizards in the UFC - Kenflo. He started his UFC career as a Middleweight in the first TUF series but after losing in the final he worked his way up to top of the Lightweight pile and stayed there. But the likes of BJ Penn and Gray Maynard denied any chance of a lightweight belt and then the beast Jose Aldo ended his career.
Notable wins: Diego Nunes, Takanori Gomi, Joe Stevenson, Clay Guida, Joe Lauzon.
9. Wanderlei Silva
Although his record isn't flattering compared to other fighters on this list, the Axe Murderer was terrifying in his prime and one of the most aggressive fighters ever.
Notable wins: Brian Stann, Michael Bisping, Keith Jardine, Rampage Jackson, Kazushi Sakuraba, Dan Henderson.
8. Carlos Condit
The Natural Born Killer is one of the most talented fighters in the UFC and did earn an interim belt but narrowly fell short in two title fights against GSP and Robbie Lawler - they were absolute wars.
Notable wins: Thiago Alves, Martin Kampmann, Nick Diaz, Dan Hardy, Rory MacDonald, Jake Ellenberger.
7. Joseph Benavidez
Despite a recent loss to Sergio Pettis after 2 years out, Benavidez has only ever lost to Dominick Cruz and Demetrious Johnson who will go down as two of the best fighters of all time.
Notable wins: Henry Cejudo, Ali Bagautinov, John Moraga, Tim Elliot, Jussier Formiga, Ian McCall, Eddie Wineland.
6. Uriah Faber
The California Kid is a legend and a pioneer of the lighter MMA divisions. He suffered a few losses in his career but when he was in his pomp he arguably had the most well-rounded skill set in MMA and was ranked in the top 10 for 12 years. Incredible.
Notable wins: Michael McDonald, Brian Bowles, Eddie Wineland, Raphael Assuncao, Jens Pulver, Dominick Cruz.
5. Alexander Gustafsson
The Mauler is just unlucky that he is fighting in the same era as some of the best Light Heavyweight's that have ever fought. Apart from a loss to Phil Davis early in his career, he has only ever lost to Jon Jones, Anthony Johnson and Daniel Cormier. Let's hope he gets another shot at gold.
Notable wins: Glover Teixeira, Jimi Manuwa, Shogun Rua, Thiago Silva.
4. Anthony Johnson
If Rumble sorted out his weight cutting earlier in his career he would have surely been a champ. This monster somehow got down to 170 lbs but you just have to look at his record to see what he could have achieved at Light Heavyweight and even Heavyweight.
Notable wins: Glover Teixeira, Ryan Bader, Jimi Manuwa, Alexander Gustafsson, Phil Davis, Andrei Arlovski
3. Dan Henderson
Another legend of the game who seemed to fight among the best in the world for his entire career. Absolute veteran who held his own in every era... including the juicy PED era.
Notable wins: Shogun Rua, Fedor Emelianenko, Michael Bisping, Rich Franklin, Wanderlei Silva, Vitor Belfort, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.
2. Gegard Mousasi
Mousasi has got to be one of the most under rated fighters ever. He currently has a record of 44-6-2 which is insane. He has been around since 2003 and somehow seems to get better. It's a shame he left the UFC as he has all the skill to earn belt.
Notable wins: Rafael Calvalho, Chris Weidman, Uriah Hall, Vitor Belfort, Dan Henderson, Mark Munoz, Mark Hunt, Jacare Souza, Melvin Manhoef.
1. Rory MacDonald
The Red King could easily still win UFC gold as he is still in his prime. Unfortunately for UFC fans, he moved to Bellator but everyone will always remember his spectacular fights in the UFC. He has only ever lost to Wonderboy, Carlos Condit and Robbie Lawler which was an unforgettable and brutal war - all these guys were in their prime at the time.
Notable wins: Douglas Lima, Paul Daley, Tyron Woodley, Demian Maia, BJ Penn, Nick Diaz.