10 Best MMA Fighters Who Retired Undefeated (UFC & More)

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Throughout the history of Mixed Martial Arts there have been countless win streaks, but rarely do they remain unbeaten.

On this list I found ten MMA fighters who retired undefeated, with some retiring early, and others fighting for over a decade.

Whether it was for health complications, trouble with the law or a promise to their family; each of these names decided to walk away unbeaten; let’s get into it.

10. Mark Schultz 1-0

Mark and his older brother Dave made history at the 1984 Olympics by becoming the first pair of American brothers to win wrestling Gold in the same year.

He retired from competitive wrestling after winning Silver at the 1988 Olympics, with his story later being told in the film “Foxcatcher”.

In 1993 Mark Schultz accepted the “Gracie Challenge” against Rickson Gracie.

After thirty minutes of wrestling, Gracie submitted Schultz via Triangle Choke and later admitted Mark was the toughest opponent he’s faced. 

That match inspired Mark to learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and when his training partner, Dave Beneteau, got injured before his 1996 match; Mark stepped in. 

His first and only fight took place at UFC 9 against Gary Goodridge, in which Mark won via TKO due to ground and pound. 

Schultz only has one fight on his record, but due to being the first Olympic Gold Medalist in UFC history; he’s earned a spot on the list. 

9. Robert Drysdale 7-0

Robert Drysdale
Dcelasun, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Drysdale started his career in 2010, fighting in Aggression Fighting Championship (AFC) and Legacy FC before his short stint in the UFC.

Before transitioning to MMA, Drysdale won the World Championship of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He relied heavily on his grappling throughout his MMA career, with all 7 wins coming by submission

Drysdale’s last fight was against now UFC fighter, Ryan Spann; where he’d win by rear-naked choke.

Drysdale has since become a published author, but predominantly works as a coach for active fighters.

8. Ali Magomedkhanov 8-0

This Dagestani fighter had a short but successful career in AFC and Rebel FC. 

In 2018 he won the AFC Featherweight Title by defeating Jayson Sosmeña in the first round through ground and pound. 

Ali won most fights by dominating the grappling exchanges and reigning punches from top control.

He retired in 2020 after his fight with Artur Stakhnyuk and now focuses on coaching active fighters like UFC Bantamweight, Louis Smolka.

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7. Gary Wright 8-0

The “Evil Ginger”, Gary Wright, mainly competed in the King of the Cage throughout his four year career. 

His most impressive win came at KOTC: Megiddo when he faced off fellow undefeated fighter, TJ Grant.

They fought to a Decision with the judges unanimously giving Wright the nod. Grant would go on to have a successful career in the UFC. 

Wright continued to fight two more times before retiring. He was not popular, but the Evil Ginger was a legit competitor during his time in the cage.

6. Cole Konrad 9-0

Cole Konrad became the first Heavyweight Champion in Bellator history after winning the 2010 Heavyweight Grand Prix.

He was praised as “rookie of the year” by several media outlets and sought out by Brock Lesnar to be a training partner. 

Konrad started wrestling at a young age, eventually winning two NCAA Championships in his college career.

His first title came in 2006 when he faced future UFC Legend, Cain Velasquez in the finals. By the time he transitioned to MMA, Konrad was considered a prodigy. 

Konrad didn’t train at all before his only title defense, but still beat Eric Prindle in 60 seconds by submission. 

Though he won, Konrad was disgusted in his lack of training and wanted to disassociate from MMA altogether. To the shock of fans, he swiftly vacated his belt and retired.

He felt his identity was centered around athletics and wanted to make a name for himself outside of sports. 

Konrad now works as a commodities trader for the dairy industry and no longer keeps up with MMA.

5. Dmitriy Sosnovskiy 11-0

The Ukrainian born, Russian fighter, Dmitriy Sosnovskiy was a professional Arm-Wrestler until his friend and current UFC Fighter, Aleksei Oleinik, suggested he try MMA.

Sosnovskiy began his career in 2012 and had his most notable fight in 2014 when he faced Aleksander Emelianenko, the little brother of Pride Legend Fedor Emelianenko

Sosnovskiy won in the first round by TKO

His only UFC fight was in 2018 against Mark Goodbeer, which he won by submission. 

Unfortunately he never fought again, due to being arrested in 2019. 

He was convicted and is currently serving an eight and a half year sentence in Moscow. 

4. Rafael Lovato Jr. 11-0

A former Bellator fighter, Rafael Lovato Jr., competed from 2014 to 2022 but unfortunately had to retire due to a brain condition. 

Lovato started his career in Legacy FC (now LFA) where he quickly became Champion with wins over names like Marcelo Nunes and now UFC star, Kevin Holland. 

He continued his winning streak after signing to Bellator and earned a shot against then Champion, Gegard Mousasi, winning by Majority decision. 

Lovato relinquished the Middleweight belt after his Cerebral Cavernoma diagnosis, resulting in Mousasi winning the title back and defending two more times. 

Lovato was able to return in 2022 for a catchweight bout against the undefeated Taiga Iwasaki, winning via submission. Due to health suspensions, he has not fought since.

3. Rickson Gracie 11-0

Collage of the Vale Tudo match between Rickson Gracie and Rei Zulu
See page for author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The Gracie family is best known for introducing their form of Jiu-Jitsu to the world, with Royce famously winning UFC 1. 

But out of all family members, his brother Rickson Gracie is widely considered to be the best grappler and fighter. 

Royce was famously picked over Rickson to compete in UFC 1 and represent Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

The explanation being Royce was the smaller fighter, helping to prove that Jiu-Jitsu was the most effective form of combat.

Though rumors spread that Royce was chosen because Rickson recently opened his own school, creating conflict in the family. 

Rickson’s first two fights were prior to UFC 1 in the 80’s, but it wasn’t until 1994 that he would start fighting consistently. 

Competing in Vale Tudo Japan and Pride FC, he showed his dominance by retiring 11-0 with his last fight in 2000. 

2. Philip Miller 16-0

Coming in second is former UFC fighter, Phillip Miller, who beat future veterans like Mark Weir and Jake Shields. 

Miller first learned wrestling in high school and once graduating he met UFC contender Joe Stevenson. 

They quickly became training partners and although Miller only competed from 2000 to 2003; he amassed a 16-0 record, 10 wins coming by KO. 

His record includes several same-day tournaments, of which he won. 

Miller now works as an officer in the LAPD, with no regrets of leaving the sport early. 

1. Khabib Nurmogomedov 29-0

Khabib Nurmagomedov
Olympic.uz, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Eagle, Khabib, trained out of AKA (American Kickboxing Academy) and is widely known for introducing the Dagestani-style of wrestling to the world.

He won the vacant UFC Lightweight Title by defeating Al Iaquinta and went on to defend it against top contenders like Dustin Poirier, Justin Gaethje and Conor McGregor.

Khabib promised his mother to retire from MMA after the loss of his father. He vacated the belt during his prime and at the height of his popularity. 

Khabib ensured Dagestan was still prominent in the world of MMA, by helping his teammates, like Islam Makhachev, secure belts in both Bellator and the UFC.

The Eagle had incredible success in both fighting and coaching; and in retirement now spends most of his time with family. 

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