While the UFC typically presents some of the best fighting talent on the planet, there have been more than a few that failed to meet expectations.
To the dismay of the fans and even Dana White, these are some of the worst UFC fighters of all time. Some of which it is shocking they were kept under contract for so long.
So who is the worst UFC fighter? I’ve ranked those I found by their UFC record and performance, can you guess who is number one? Scroll down to find out.
Table of Contents
13. Jon Fitch
UFC Record: 14-3-1
MMA Record: 31-8-2-1 (retired)
Let me be clear, Jon Fitch does have an impressive record over both his UFC and MMA career overall.
But I just had to include him simply because he is well known for being one of the most boring fighters to watch—with 63% of his career wins by decision (and boring ones at that).
Dana White was vocal about his decision to cut Fitch despite the outcry from fans regarding him as one of the best fighters of the Welterweight division at that time with the impressive record.
White argued that Fitch was a fighter that rose through the ranks then slowly dropped to 9th and on a poor recent run of fights, with too much of a high fee per fight for it to make sense to put him on a preliminary card.
A lot of the MMA community argued that Dana’s decision was simply based on Jon’s boring style by taking people down to the mat and mounting them and not finishing enough fights.
Whether you agree with Dana or not, it’s always been pretty clear that boring fighters who don’t do much more than sit on top of their opponents doesn’t create exciting fights.
12. Marcus Brimage
UFC Record: 4-4 (5-5 if including TUF)
MMA Record: 7-8 (8-9 if including TUF, retired)
Marcus Brimage started his UFC career as a promising striker, entering the organization in 2011 and earning a three-fight winning streak—all by decision.
But then he came across the upcoming superstar Conor McGregor which he lost by TKO.
That loss started a significant downturn in performance for the American, competing four more times in the UFC and winning only once more before being let go and ending up at smaller promotions.
Not only did he help McGregor springboard into greatness, but Cody Garbrandt and Jimmie Rivera too.
The Bama Beast has been well known for a long time despite a short and unsuccessful record, but most likely due to being a part of the history of The Notorious.
A notable name that had a pretty poor record during his time at the UFC makes him a worthy inclusion.
11. Greg Hardy
UFC Record: 4-5 (6-5 if including DWCS)
MMA Record: 7-5 (currently active)
Greg Hardy was a promising UFC Heavyweight, already having an athletic background as an NFL standout player.
His 266 lbs weight would allow him to throw around some serious knockout power that earned him several TKO’s over opponents like Dmitry Smoliakov and Maurice Greene.
But he’s better known for his famous glass chin and poor cardio from his last few fights in the UFC.
Greg had quite a bit of controversy when he was caught using an inhaler between rounds.
An action technically illegal in the UFC, but something he got away with but angered plenty of fans.
Prince of War also didn’t take his losses very well, becoming very salty when he was knocked out by Tai Tuivasa. Calling it a “lucky shot” and begging for a rematch that he didn’t deserve.
Greg instead was given a matchup with Sergey Spivak to prove he belongs in the UFC but was cleaned out with a three-fight losing streak, completing the fights on his contract and not being resigned by the promotion.
We haven’t seen Greg compete since early 2022 so we’re not yet sure if we’ll see him compete again in another promotion.
10. Roy Nelson
UFC Record: 9-10
MMA Record: 24-19 (currently active)
Roy Nelson is a UFC veteran who fought in the early days of the Heavyweight division, best known for his reckless striking and always going for the knockout.
He’s a bit of a legend in MMA circles as he has faced some, and won, against a selection of other UFC greats like Matt Mitrione, Dave Herman, and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.
But Big Country Nelson has also had slightly more losses than victories during his UFC octagon time.
He’s faced other veterans that picked him apart as Roy’s cardio constantly lets him down, likely due to his significant weight.
On several occasions, Nelson was pushed to a decision loss by the likes of Junior dos Santos, Frank Mir, Fabricio Werdum, Daniel Cormier, and more.
Only suffering a knockout a few times in his whole career, his downfall is always being pushed to the decision. That’s what happens when your only gameplan is to knock out the opponent.
Incredibly, Roy is still competing sparingly as he was most recently victorious with a TKO over Dillon Cleckler at the Gamebred Fighting Championship.
With his record being barely even in the UFC, it makes him a worthy addition to this list.
9. Sam Alvey
UFC Record: 10-13-1
MMA Record: 23-18-1-1 (currently active)
Sam Alvey was a promising fighter who entered the UFC in 2014. His infectious personality and smile won over the fans, commentators, and even journalism surrounding combat sports.
Add to that his mostly successful early fights in the UFC where he secured several knockout wins, he seemed like a keeper.
And for a while, Alvey had mixed results in the octagon that made him still competitive at Middleweight. That was until a TKO loss to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira saw a significant downturn.
Sam then had nine fights in the UFC, losing eight and only inching a draw against Da Woon Jung at UFC 254.
Most fighters’ fortunes don’t last this long with Dana or the UFC, but it seems his popularity kept him in the promotion for an unusually long amount of time considering his results.
Sam was eventually cut from the roster in 2022, but has found a new home with B2 Fighting Series where he was recently successful against Cameron Graham.
You have to love Sam for many reasons and he offered plenty of great fights for us fans, but he deserves to be here as a potential for the worst fighter in UFC considering his signifcant losing streak with the promotion.
8. Jeremy Stephens
UFC Record: 16-18-1
MMA Record: 29-21-1 (currently active)
Jeremy Stephens enters this list with a lot of fights and wins but unfortunately more losses during his UFC tenure.
In case you forgot, he’s the same fighter on the receiving end of one of Conor McGregor’s best quips, “who da f*&k is dat guy?”
But we’ve got to give him the credit as an entertaining fighter who isn’t afraid to take on any challenge.
You might call him one of the better known journeymen since he never ranked highly or competed for a belt.
Lil’ Heathen has notable losses to upcoming and veteran names like Yair Rodriguez, Calvin Kattar, Zabit Magomedsharipov, Jose Aldo, and many more.
His most notable victory was probably the surprise knockout over Rafael dos Anjos way back in 2008.
Even so, Stephens has had a pretty shocking record during his UFC career.
7. Kimbo Slice
UFC Record: 1-1
MMA Record: 5-2-1 (deceased)
Kevin Ferguson, better known as Kimbo Slice, was famous for his boxing power during his short octagon career.
Before he got into mixed martial arts, he was a pioneer of the early viral videos for street fighting and backyard brawls where he would throw down bareknuckle with any invitation to fight him.
His history of internet memes and fame made him an immediate fan favorite walking into the UFC.
But he struggled to deal with the grappling nature of the sport, being frustrated during his time in The Ultimate Fighter series and winning its finale in one of the most terrible grappling displays we’ve ever seen against Houston Alexander.
Kimbo recorded that win followed by one loss to Matt Mitrione to create his 1-1 record in the UFC.
Seeing as he had so much support and expectations put on him only to show some of the worst grappling we’ve ever seen, he had to be included on this list!
Sadly, Kimbo Slice passed away in 2016 and will be forever missed by combat sports fans.
6. Ben Askren
UFC Record: 1-2
MMA Record: 19-2 (retired)
I can’t call this list complete without mentioning Ben Askren.
Granted, Askren was an unstoppable force during his time with ONE Championship having gone undefeated there as well as his whole MMA career until reaching the UFC.
Ben came in to the UFC as part of a trade between UFC and ONE Championship.
Demetrious Johnson went in the opposite direction having dominated the Flyweight division except for his last UFC bout with Henry Cejudo.
Funky Askren was a wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu master, expected to shake up the Welterweight division with his entry.
At first, he did what we expected and secured a controversial stoppage Bulldog Choke on Robbie Lawler for his first UFC matchup at UFC 235.
Then Askren found himself on the receiving end of the fastest knockout in UFC history with that flying knee from Jorge Masvidal at UFC 239.
A lucky knee for Masvidal, perhaps?
But we got to see Ben Askren perform one last time against Demian Maia in 2019 where we saw some of the most horrendous striking ability on display from him:
It’s moments like this, Ben’s fighting history and him being knocked out by Jake Paul easily, that we have to at least give him the trophy of one of the worst UFC strikers of all time.
He’s a fighter that you have to love to hate and for that alone he deserves a spot on this list alongside a couple of horrific performances in his short-lived UFC career.
5. Jorge Santiago
UFC Record: 1-5
MMA Record: 25-12 (retired)
Jorge Santiago was a promising prospect when he first entered the UFC.
The success of many Brazilian fighters succeeding in the octagon might have been the culprit of overly high expectations.
His entry into the UFC even began successfully with a knee-KO win over Justin Levens.
He then fought Chris Leben where Jorge was swarmed by strikes in the second round and suffered a punch knockout.
He fought Alan Belcher next and was knocked out with a jaw-shattering head kick.
After two straight knockout losses in the UFC, he was let go from his contract by the end of 2006.
He would go to compete under Strikeforce, Sengoku, among other promotions and make a return to the UFC again in 2011.
But once again, Santiago would suffer two straight losses in the UFC against Brian Stann and Demian Maia.
A couple more fights at Titan FC before one final UFC bout and loss to Gunnar Nelson in 2013 before retirement.
He fought in the UFC six times in total and only one won of them, making him enter this list with strong potential as the worst MMA fighter.
4. CM Punk
UFC Record: 0-1-1 (NC)
MMA Record: 0-1-1 (NC, retired)
Phil Brooks, better known as CM Punk from his WWE wrestling days, came over to the UFC on a two-fight contract that was likely Dana White’s latest attempt to win crossover fans.
He entered the UFC with what was reported to be only a handful of MMA training and sparring sessions, not fully preparing himself for the intensity of real fighting that awaited him.
And that lack of experience became all too clear when he had his first UFC matchup against Mickey Gall in 2016.
CM started the fight by driving straight toward Mickey, looking to land a heavy first punch. He was swiftly brought down to the ground with a double leg takedown, something he didn’t seem to expect (or have any training for).
He didn’t get back to his feet for the rest of the fight. Mickey Gall took the back and submitted Phil Brooks with a Rear-Naked Choke in minutes.
But Punk got himself a second chance to redeem himself two years later, next taking on another UFC newcomer in Mike Jackson who had also been submitted by Mickey Gall in 2016.
Punk entered this contest with a lot more training and confidence in his abilities.
He fought with Jackson on the feet and even mixed up his fighting style by attempting takedowns (even securing one in the first round) and securing controlling positions in the clinch—where Punk’s wrestling background could shine.
But it was Phil’s inexperience of striking movement that become much more apparent as the rounds went on. He wasn’t afraid to throw heavy shots, but Mike had a little more accuracy to counter with.
Punk spent the second round on his back taking heavy blows and causing him to bleed.
The third showed us more clinch grappling as the two looked worn out, but with the former wrestler being picked apart on the feet and eventually gave Mike Jackson the win at the decision.
Phil Brooks lost the fight but it was later overturned to a No Contest due to Jackson testing positive for marijuana on fight night.
CM Punk’s one loss, one no contest and clear inexperience in the octagon makes him fit the bill for this list as one of the worst.
3. James Toney
UFC Record: 0-1
MMA Record: 0-1 (retired)
James Toney was a former boxing champion, well respected for his striking ability and the confidence to think a crossover to mixed martial arts would be fruitful.
He was, of course, sorely wrong.
Toney began showing up at several UFC events, stalking and berating Dana White about his excellence and ability to take out fighters on his roster.
In March 2010, Dana finally gave him and gave James a one fight contract and put him against Randy Couture.
The pair faced off in the octagon for around 15 seconds before Couture leaped for the single-leg takedown, got it, and then side controlled Toney into an arm-triangle choke.
James Toney’s bravado got him into the UFC for a taste of what an MMA fighter can do.
His ego had the necessary check it deserved, but I can only commend his attitude for backing up his mouth and stepping into the octagon.
He enters this list for having a 100% UFC and MMA loss record—outstanding.
2. Ross Pointon
UFC Record: 0-2
MMA Record: 6-17
Ross Pointon was the wild swinging Englishman who first entered the UFC on Season 3 of The Ultimate Fighter on a 4-6 record.
He was recently submitted by Michael Bisping in Cage Warriors, after which both were invited to compete in TUF to secure a UFC contract.
And the pair would live to see a rematch inside The Ultimate Fighter, where once again Bisping would win by TKO.
Ross lost all three of his matchups in TUF, two being pro exhibition fights against Kendall Grove and Michael Bisping with a pro matchup in the finale against Rory Singer.
The Gladiator, Pointon, seemed to get more matchups than he ever deserved but it might have been down to the simple fact that he would accept a fight with just about anyone and at short notice.
Sometimes, only one half of professional fighting is being skilled, the other half is being ready to fight regularly to be successful.
This availability and tenacity landed him a one-fight contract with the UFC after conclusion of The Ultimate Fighter, where he faced Rich Clementi in 2007—he lost to a submission.
Ross went on to compete in Cage Rage, Caged Steel, UCMMA, among others. Out of eleven more fights he only won twice, both with submissions.
Finally he retired after a seven-fight losing streak in 2013.
1. Dan Lauzon
UFC Record: 0-3
MMA Record: 17-6 (retired)
Dan Lauzon is the brother of the UFC veteran Joe Lauzon, so of course fans expected the Lauzon brothers to be like another rendition of the Diaz brothers.
But with Dan’s awful performances in the UFC, it’s safe to say that Dan didn’t have quite the same level of success with the promotion—losing all three of his opportunities.
Interesting fact: Joe Lauzon didn’t have the most incredible UFC record, either, going 15-12 during his time there.
The Upgrade (who sadly wasn’t much of an upgrade) was disappointing with an early TKO loss to Spencer Fisher in 2006, released and eventually returned in 2010 to be beaten by Cole Miller and Efrain Escudero.
Of his whole pro career, only one victory stands out against Bobby Green by rear-naked choke when both were competing in the Affliction promotion.
It’s the worst UFC record of all with his three losses and zero wins inside the UFC. Dan fits the spot as the worst UFC fighter ever!