Several Asian MMA fighters have dominated the octagon for the past few years.
Some of them are retired, and some remain active, but we’ve seen plenty of talent from this part of the world.
Below is a selection of the very best Asian UFC fighters we’ve ever seen. Have a read and find out who is the best of the bunch.
Table of Contents
13. Yoshihiro Akiyama
Yoshihiro Akiyama is a former UFC fighter who became a Lightweight in the ONE Championship. He has a solid Judo foundation in his entire fighting style.
Aside from Judo, Yoshihiro can swing his hands with anyone. Before the UFC, he dominated DREAM and K-1, defeating fellow Japanese fighters.
But everything changed when he entered the UFC. He only had 7 fights in the organization and won only 2 of them.
Aside from being a fighter, Yoshihiro is a famous TV personality in Japan. Being famous quickly raised his fandom as a professional fighter.
After an unsuccessful UFC run, he went to ONE Championship. In ONE, he found his home. He got multiple wins, including in a grudge match over Shinya Aoki.
12. Andre Soukhamthath
Andre Soukhamthath is a Laotian immigrant. This means he is originally from Laos, Indonesia.
Andre didn’t have a long career in the UFC, but making it in the organization makes him one of the best Asian MMA fighters to live.
Andre had his UFC debut in 2017 against Albert Morales. Both men had a head-to-head fight that went to distance. Andre lost via a close split decision.
Despite the debut loss, the UFC gave him a chance. In that same year, he knocked out Luke Sanders in a stylish fashion.
Everything was going well until he faced Sean O’Malley. He got brutally dominated by Sean and lost via unanimous decision. Soukhamthath was one of few fighters that haven’t been finished by O’Malley.
11. Mark Muñoz
Mark ‘The Filipino Wrecking Machine’ Muñoz is a Filipino-American pro-MMA fighter. Mark fought as a Middleweight during his UFC days.
Before the UFC, Muñoz fought under WEC. This is the same organization where Jose Aldo and Uriah Fabre started.
Mark became known for his wrecking machine-like style of striking. His aggression and strike precision made him look good inside the octagon.
Some of his notable wins are over former UFC superstars Kendall Grove, Chris Leben, and Damian Maia.
Despite an excellent career with plenty of KO and submission victories, Mark didn’t have the chance to take the belt. Some title shots could’ve ranked him higher on this list.
10. Yushin Okami
Yushin ‘Thunder’ Okami is a Japanese-born pro-MMA fighter. Yushin is a veteran fighter. He’s been around in the business since 2002.
Before going to the UFC, Yushin fought in multiple organizations. Some of them are M-1, PRIDE, DEEP, and more.
Yushin had his UFC debut in UFC 62 against Alan belcher. He showcased his world-class strike mixed with a little bit of everything. After 3 dominant rounds, Yushin won via unanimous decision.
Okami went on to continue his UFC career until 2018. During his UFC days, he fought several superstars, such as Chael Sonnen, Anderson Silva, and Rich Franklin.
After leaving the UFC, he became a successful fighter in ONE Championship.
9. Kenan Song
Kenan ‘The Assassin’ Song is a Chinese MMA fighter. Before MMA, he studied traditional Chinese martial arts as a kid.
Song had his UFC debut in front of his country. He fought Bobby Nash in 2017. Kenan sent the crowd roaring as he knocked his opponent in 15 seconds of round 1.
This 15-second KO debut skyrocketed his name in the headlines of MMA news. He then followed this fight with another KO win against Hector Aldana.
Kenan tasted his first KO loss in 2021 against Max Griffin.
8. Doo Ho Choi
‘The Korean Superboy’ Doo Ho Choi is a South Korean MMA phenom that entered the UFC in 2014. He had an excellent 3-fight win streak, all via knockout.
Some of his notable fights are against Thiago Tavares and Cub Swanson. His Tavares bout was a KO win that gave him a performance of the night award.
Choi’s war with Cub proved that his baby face is the exact opposite of his ruthlessness. Both had a back-and-forth battle, but Cub’s arm was raised in the end.
7. Shavkat Rakhmonov
Shavkat ‘Nomad’ Rakhmonov is a Kazakh welterweight fighter. Shavkat is one of the fastest-rising UFC welterweights, with 4 straight dominant wins.
Shavkat captured the attention of everyone with his dominant wrestling. 3 out of his 4 wins are submission wins, thanks to his dominant groundwork.
What makes Shavkat interesting is all of his first 4 UFC fights didn’t get past the second round. That’s why people compare him to Khamzat Chimaev.
Before the UFC, Shavkat was the welterweight king of M-1, an MMA promotion from Russia. In that promotion, Shavkat demolished everyone in his division.
Shavkat has the power, the ground game, and the time to work his way up to UFC gold. A win over Khamzat will seal the deal for him.
6. Song Yadong
‘Kung Fu Kid’ Song Yadong is a Chinese UFC bantamweight rising star. He debuted in UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Gastelum against Bharat Kandare.
Yadong won his debut with a dominant guillotine choke victory. After, he had a 4-fight win streak with only 1 fight going the distance.
Despite fighting in the prelims, he captured the attention of the fight fans with his finishing capabilities.
Two of his most notable wins are against Marlon Moraes and Marlon Vera. Song fought Moraes in his retirement fight and gave no mercy.
He became closer to the gold with these dominant wins over high-level bantamweights. However, he suffered his first TKO loss against Cory Sandhagen.
5. Jingliang Li
‘The Leech’ Jingliang Li is a UFC welterweight from the northwest region of China. He had his UFC debut in UFC 173 against David Michaud.
Jingliang was considered a knockout artist. As of his last Rodriguez fight, he holds 8 knockout wins under his record. He needs 5 more to be included in the most KO wins UFC record.
The Leech faced his first true challenge in the form of Khamzat Chimaev. Unfortunately, he got choked out in the first round.
This loss against Khamzat made people love him and his fun media day events and fashion sense.
Li was supposed to fight Tony Ferguson in a Welterweight bout. But due to unexpected missed weights at UFC 279, changed his fight to a catchweight bout against Daniel Rodriguez.
Despite the weight disadvantage, Jingliang took the fight. He lost via split decision, but most fans believed he out-scored Rodriguez.
4. Dong Hyun Kim
‘Stun Gun’ Dong Hyun Kim was an average Welterweight fighter with a great UFC career. He fought multiple superstars, such as Nate Diaz, Damian Maia, and Colby Covington.
Kim was a South Korean MMA fighter. He fought under a Japanese promotion called DEEP. After dominating this organization, he had his debut in UFC 84 against Jason Tan.
Dong was successful on his debut by knocking out Tan with a series of elbows. Kim had his first challenge under Nate Diaz. He entered the octagon as an underdog and went out with an upset unanimous decision win.
After his Diaz win, he challenged a prime Carlos Condit. Unfortunately, Kim found himself on the receiving end of a Flying knee to the face.
The Stun Gun kept fighting top-tier Welterweights like Tyrone Woodley and Colby Covington. In 2017, he had his last UFC fight and retired for good.
3. Brandon Vera
Brandon ‘The Truth’ Vera is a Filipino-American UFC fighter. He fought on Heavyweight and Light-Heavyweight against several UFC titans.
Vera’s fighting style is versatile. Like Jon Jones, he can swing a combo of knees and elbows with his opponents. He can also take the fight to the ground and submit anyone.
Brandon entered the UFC without much fame and was the first UFC fighter with Filipino blood. His name quickly earned fame after finishing all 6 of his opponents, particularly in the Philippines next to Manny Pacquiao. Because of that, Filipino fight fans showed full support in each of his fights.
The highlight of his career was when Vera knocked out one of the fan favorites back then, Frank Mir. He did this in under 2-minutes of the first round.
Brandon ended his UFC career in 2013. After that, he transitioned to ONE Championship. After several fights in ONE, he became the Heavyweight King with a pile of knockouts.
2. Chang Sung Jung
‘The Korean Zombie’ Chang Sung Jung fights all the way from South Korea. Before MMA, his first love was kickboxing. He used this background as a foundation for his slick striking.
He got his nickname from being relentless. He always charges forward regardless of the damage that he’s absorbing.
Chang was famous for having the first twister victory in UFC. He did this against Leonard Garcia in the last second of round 2.
After shocking the world with a rare submission win, he followed it up with an upset. Jung submitted Dustin Poirer in 2012 via D’arce choke in the 4th round.
Chang got his first title shot against prime Jose Aldo after beating The Diamond. Unfortunately, he got finished with a barrage of punches.
After this loss, he knocked out Franky Edgar and Renatto Moicano in under 2 minutes.
Korean Zombie got his second featherweight title opportunity against Alexander Volkanovski. Sadly, he fell short again.
1. Weili Zhang
‘Magnum’ Weili Zhang was the first Chinese UFC champion. Zhang was born in Handan, Hebei, China. She started her pro-MMA career on Kunlun Fight, a local MMA promotion.
The UFC fans loved Zhang because of her versatile fighting style. She can wrestle and strike well despite being 5’4.
Before entering the UFC, Zhang had a 16-fight win streak. This made her a local superstar. She Caught the UFC scout’s attention and earned her shot at greatness.
Weili remained in her comfort zone, the women’s strawweight division. In the first years of her career, she fought Tecia Torres and Jessica Aguilar. Zhang won both of these fights via submission and decision.
Zhang had a 3-fight win streak that earned her a title shot. She faced a prime Jessica Andrade, known for her wrestling and explosive ground game.
Magnum pulled off an upset when she knocked Andrade out cold in the first 42 seconds of round 1.
Zhang defended her title against Joanna Jedrzejczyk with a fight-of-the-year performance. Joanna was unrecognizable after her 5-round war with the Chinese queen.
Unfortunately, Weili lost her belt to Rose Namajunas later in her career. Despite that, Zhang remained relentless and immediately continued her way back to gold.
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