Currently, the UFC has 47 fighters from Australia and New Zealand, 8 of which are from New Zealand. Australia is the 4th most common country for UFC fighters, behind the USA, Brazil, and the United Kingdom.
Australia and New Zealand not only produce a lot of professional MMA fights but they also produce champion MMA fighters. Of the eight male weight classes, two have a champion from Australia and New Zealand, and you’ll see their faces on TVs at any sports bar in Perth.
However, this is not news. Here are the latest Athletes from Oceania that have been dominating the UFC octagon for years.
1) Israel Adesanya
Rotorua, New Zealand
Nickname: “The Last Stylebender”
Israel Adesanya is the reigning Middleweight Champion with an MMA record of 22 wins and one loss. He was born in Nigeria but moved to New Zealand as a young teenager and still lives there today.
Adesanya is making his name as a legend in the sport and was undated for years until he moved up a weight class for his 2021 fight with Light Heavyweight champion Jan Błachowicz. Regardless, Andesanya still holds an impressive record and is undefeated in his weight class.
He has a unique fighting style that stems from his history as a professional kickboxer. He fights with heart and a lot of flair, and he surely isn’t going anywhere.
2) Alexander Volkanovski
Nickname: “The Great”
Volkanovski is the current Featherweight Champion with an outstanding record of 24 wins and 1 loss. He won the title against Max Holoway at UFC 245 on Dec. 14, 2019, and has held it since.
In 2021, Volkanovski was a coach on the return of the reality show The Ultimate Fighter and led a team against Featherweight contender Brandon Ortega. Later that year, he defended his title against Oretaga in a highly publicized fight and won.
After his latest title defense against the “Korean Zombie” in early 2022, Volkanovski is on an 11-fight win streak in the UFC, the second-longest ever.
A former rugby player, Volkanovski is known for his toughness and mental fortitude in the octagon.
3) Tai Tuivasa
Nickname: “Bam Bam”
Tuivasa proudly represents his Indigenous Australian (Wiradjuri) and Samoan heritage. He is most recognizable for his traditional Samoan tattoo, the Pe’a, which covers a large portion of his body.
He is rapidly climbing the Heavyweight ranking, and after his massive knockout win against Derrick Lewis in February 2022, he is ranked number 3.
He boasts an impressive 12 wins by first-round knockout and is known for his simple yet effective fighting style.
Tuivasa is a lovable character, and his antics outside of the octagon have gained him a large following, something the UFC takes notice of when booking flights. You’ll be seeing lots of Tuivasa in the near future, hopefully, with more shocking knockouts.
4) Robert Whittaker
Nickname: “The Reaper”
Whittaker was in Auckland, New Zealand but was raised in Australia from a young age.
He is a former UFC Middleweight Champion and currently ranked as the number 1 contender with a record of 24 wins and 6 losses. He has earned a reputation as one of the best middleweights in UFC history.
Whittaker most recently fought fellow New Zealander, Israel Adesanya, in February 2022 for the Middleweight title but was defeated in a five-round unanimous decision.
He is known for his positive attitude and is a fan favorite around the world.
5) Kai Kara France
Auckland, New Zealand
Nickname: “Don’t Blink”
France is currently rated as the number 2 contender in the UFC Flyweight division. He holds a record of 24 wins and 9 losses with 12 first-round finishes.
He has rapidly climbed the Flyweight ranking and is an up-and-coming fighter to keep your eyes on.
Aussies and Kiwis To Watch
The above fighters are among the best MMA athletes in the world. Additional ranked fighters from Oceania to keep an eye out for are Dan Hooker, Jimmy Crute, Casey O’neil, and Brad Riddle. Australia and New Zealand are home to elite MMA, boxing, and kickboxing gyms that contribute to the success of these fighters.
It is clear that Oceania produces tough fighters who won’t stop until they get the championship title. Keep your eyes on these athletes because they are sure to put on an incredible show in all their fights.