15 Oldest UFC Fighters in The World

oldest ufc fighter

Often fighting is seen as a young person’s game but that isn’t always true. Sometimes an older fighter can defy nature and expectations to rise against the odds and prove age is just a number. Here we wanted to celebrate such amazing fighters.

We’ve decided to split this into three sections. We’ll first look at the oldest ever UFC champions, and then we’ll look at who are the oldest active fighters of all time. Finally, we’ll show you the oldest ever UFC competitors. Let’s get started!

Oldest Ever UFC Champions

As a fighter starts getting towards their late 30s, all those years of fighting starts to take their toll. The body takes longer to recover, and those reflexes aren’t quite as sharp as they once were. 

But there are a few fighters who still managed to battle through and win a UFC title in their twilight years.

Here we’ll be calculating the fighter’s age based on how old they were when they lost their world championship belt, as they were still UFC champions on the day of that contest. Let’s get started!

5. Michael Bisping

Michael Bisping

Nationality: English

Weight Class: Middleweight, Light Heavyweight

MMA Debut: 2004

Date of Birth: February 28, 1979

Last Championship Fight: November 4, 2017

Age When Championship Lost: 38 years, 8 months

Record: 30-9

Michael Bisping is an inspirational figure in the world of UFC. He not only won a UFC title very late into his career, but did so with just one working eye! Early in his career, he won both the Cage Rage and Cage Warriors light heavyweight championships before moving to the UFC in 2006.

There he struggled to work his way to a title shot, including losing to the legendary Dan Henderson in 2009, which was a UFC Middleweight Championship title eliminator. After that, he had to work his way back to another shot and lost another eliminator to Chael Sonnen in 2012.

At that time, many fighters would have given up on their dream, but not Bisping. After a run of victories, he was given the opportunity to fight for the middleweight title again in 2016, which he won by knockout against Luke Rockhold.

He’d go on to defend his title once against the aforementioned Dan Henderson, before losing it to another legend in Georges St-Pierre. By that time, his legacy was cemented, and was later inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.

4. Fabricio Werdum

Fabricio Werdum

Nationality: Brazilian

Weight Class: Heavyweight

MMA Debut: x

Date of Birth: July 30, 1977

Last Championship Fight: May 14, 2016

Age When Championship Lost: 38 years, 9 months

Record: 24-9

Fabricio Werdum was a masterful fighter, which included him winning the Brazilian jiu-jitsu world championship four times. He is unsurprisingly a black belt in BJJ, but also Judo and Muay Thai as well.

Werdum spent a long time searching for a championship and didn’t manage to win one in any of the other organizations he appeared in, such as Jungle Fight, WAFF, Pride, and Strikeforce.

His first fight in the UFC was in 2007 but it wasn’t until 2014 that he’d get a title eliminator, which he won vs Travis Browne. That led to an interim title fight against Mark Hunt which he won by TKO, then a unified UFC Heavyweight Championship fight in 2015 against Cain Velasquez, which he won by guillotine choke submission.

He’d then go on to lose his title against probably the greatest heavyweight of all time, Stipe Miocic. He’d go on to fight in MMA for five more years but never had another title shot.

3. Daniel Cormier

Daniel Cormier

Nationality: American

Weight Class: Heavyweight, Light Heavyweight

MMA Debut: 2009

Date of Birth: March 20, 1979

Last Championship Fight: August 17, 2019

Age When Championship Lost: 40 years, 4 months

Record: 22-3 (1 NC)

Losing your UFC Heavyweight Championship to Stipe Micoc? Daniel Cormier knows how that feels too. That championship wasn’t his first, however, as Cormier had already won the Light Heavyweight title a few years earlier.

He never lost that title and instead vacated it to move up a division. While we mentioned that both Cormier and Werdum lost their heavyweight titles against Miocic, that is exactly who Cormier won the title from as well.

The two shared an epic trilogy of fights with Cormier winning the first, and Miocic winning the last two. All three fights had the UFC Heavyweight Championship belt on the line. Cormier only ended with three losses in his career and is many people’s choice for the greatest UFC fighter ever.

2. Glover Teixeira

Glover Teixeira

Nationality: Brazilian/American

Weight Class: Light Heavyweight

MMA Debut: 2002

Date of Birth: October 28, 1979

Last Championship Fight: June 11, 2022

Age When Championship Lost: 42 years, 7 months

Record: 34-9

Glover Teixeira is another feel-good story in the world of UFC. He is the oldest ever first-time champion in the organization’s history. The Brazilian, who has recently become an American Citizen, had an impressive career.

His MMA career started off badly as he lost his first bout all the way back in 2002. He wouldn’t fight again for two years before also losing his fourth fight. He’d then go on an incredible 20-fight win streak which only ended when Jon Jones beat him for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.

For the next few years, his results were mixed until a five-fight win streak led him to another shot for the title, this time against Jan Błachowicz. He managed to win vis submission, becoming the oldest first-time champion.

He lost the title in his next fight vs Jiří Procházka but was able to fight again for the championship against Jamahal Hill in 2023 after Procházka vacated due to injury. He wasn’t able to finish his time in the UFC on a high as he lost via decision but what an incredible career he had.

1. Randy Couture

Randy Couture

Nationality: American

Weight Class: Heavyweight, Light Heavyweight

MMA Debut: 1997

Date of Birth: June 22, 1963

Last Championship Fight: November 15, 2008

Age When Championship Lost: 45 years, 4 months

Last Fight: April 30, 2011

Age At Last Fight: 47 years, 10 months

Record: 19-11

Even a casual UFC fan will know the name of Randy Couture and he gets the title of oldest UFC champion. Not many have had a bigger impact on the sport than him. Incredibly he won the UFC Heavyweight Championship three times, and the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship twice.

He won his first UFC title all the way back in 1997 against Maurice Smith when he was 34. However, that was only in his fourth fight in the sport. He left the organization for a while due to a contract dispute but came back in 2000 to win the championship once again vs Kevin Randleman.

Over the next few years, he’d go on to win more titles and have some of the most memorable fights ever. His record-setting title came against Tim Sylvia in 2007. He defended the title once, before losing it to Brock Lesnar in 2008.

Close Calls

There are a few fighters who very nearly made the top 5 but were a little too young. One of those was the legendary Chuck Liddell who was 37. A few other future hall of famers nearly made the list too with Anderson Silva at 38 years and two months, and Stipe Miocic at 38 years and seven months.

Miocic is still an active elite-level fighter and I wouldn’t bet against him coming back and winning a title. If he does, then he’ll probably slot in at number three on this list.

However, a special mention has to go to Jan Błachowicz. It was his loss for the Light Heavyweight Championship which gave Glover Teixeira the number two spot on this list.

Not only that, but he was 14,128 days old when he lost that fight, making him just one day younger than Michael Bisping was when he lost his championship.

Oldest Active Fighters in the UFC

Finding the oldest active fighters in the UFC is quite difficult as with the likes of Demian Maia, it’s hard to say for sure whether or not they’ll fight for the UFC again. However, here are the oldest fighters currently signed with the organization.

5. Robbie Lawler

Robbie Lawler

Age: 41

Nationality: American

Weight Class: Welterweight, Middleweight

MMA Debut: 2001

Date of Birth: March 20, 1982

Record: 29-16 (1 NC)

Greatest Achievement: UFC Welterweight Championship (once, two defenses)

Fighting into your forties doesn’t always mean you’ve had a great career but when he eventually retires, Robbie Lawler can look back on his time in MMA with a lot of pride.

His greatest moment came when he beat Johny Hendricks for the welterweight title in 2014. What made that sweeter was he had lost a title fight against Hendricks earlier in the year. With five losses in his last six fights, retirement must be close.

4. Holly Holm

Holly Holm

Age: 41

Nationality: American

Weight Class: Bantamweight, Featherweight

MMA Debut: 2011

Date of Birth: October 17, 1981

Record: 15-6

Greatest Achievement: UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship (once)

Holly Holm is a legend not just of UFC, but also boxing and women’s sport in general. As it stands, she is the only woman to have won a boxing and MMA world title. She is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters of all time in both sports.

If that wasn’t enough, she also won kickboxing championships as an amateur. In the UFC, however, she helped to raise the sport to new heights with legendary fights against the likes of Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, Valentina Shevchenko, and Cris Cyborg.

It was against Rousey that she won the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship in one of the greatest fights in the sport’s history.

3. Matt Brown

Matt Brown

Age: 42

Nationality: American

Weight Class: Middleweight, Welterweight

MMA Debut: 2005

Date of Birth: January 10, 1981

Record: 23-19

Greatest Achievement: ISCF East Coast Welterweight Championship

Unlike Lawler and Holm, Matt Brown has never quite been able to win a UFC championship. He’s not even had the honor of fighting for one, as the closest he has come was an eliminator which he lost against the aforementioned Lawler.

However, he’s still been in many great fights and provided plenty of entertainment. That includes winning UFC Fight of the Night four times and UFC Performance of the Night three times. He’s not done yet but he deserves to be respected as a good UFC fighter.

2. Frankie Saenz

Frankie Saenz

Age: 42

Nationality: American

Weight Class: Bantamweight, Featherweight

MMA Debut: 2010

Date of Birth: August 12, 1980

Record: 12-7

Greatest Achievement: Flyweight Champion in King of the Cage, Featherweight Champion World Fighting Federation, and Coalition of Combat

As with Brown, Saenz hasn’t won a UFC championship but he has in many other organizations. His UFC record isn’t great with five losses from his last seven fights. However, one of those losses did get the honor of being Fight of the Night.

He hasn’t fought in the UFC since 2020 but hasn’t officially retired and apparently has one fight left on his UFC deal. Hopefully we get to him in the octagon again and he can end his career on a high.

1. Andrei Arlovski

Andrei Arlovski

Age: 44

Nationality: Belarusian/American

Weight Class: Heavyweight

MMA Debut: 1999

Date of Birth: February 4, 1979

Record: 34-21 (2 NC)

Greatest Achievement: UFC Heavyweight Championship (once, one defense)

As it stands, the oldest fighter in UFC is Andrei Arlovski, who was also the oldest active UFC fighter 2022.

It’s been a long time since Arlovski managed his greatest MMA achievement of winning the UFC Heavyweight Championship but his career keeps rolling on and he may soon be regarded as one of the oldest fighters of all time.

That championship was won back in 2005 when he won an interim title against Tim Sylvia before it was upgraded to an undisputed title after he defended it vs Justin Eilers. He ended up losing the title after a rematch with Sylvia.

The oldest current UFC fighter has had many great battles since but has never quite managed to get another title shot.

Close Calls

There are many great UFC fighters who are 40 years old who may get on this list in the future. The likes of Stipe Miocic, Jan Błachowicz, Stephen Thompson, Vinc Pichel, and Jessica Penne are all still active and who knows, there may even be a future champion among them.

Oldest UFC fighters Ever

Now we’ve looked at the oldest fighters to ever be a UFC champion and the oldest active fighters, let’s take a look at who were the oldest UFC fighters of all time!

5. Yoel Romero

Yoel Romero

Nationality: Cuban

Weight Class: Light Heavyweight, Middleweight

MMA Debut: 2009

Date of Birth: April 30, 1977

Last Fight: September 23, 2022

Age At Last Fight: 45 years, 4 months

Record: 15-6

You’d presume that everyone on this list has long been retired, but Yoel Romero is still going strong. Romero has an incredible wrestling background, becoming World Champion in 1999 and being an Olympic silver medalist the year after. This is along with other achievements, such as being 5 x Pan American Champion.

Despite having that background, he was much more renowned for his striking in the UFC. He fought for the UFC Middleweight Title a couple of times but never quite managed it, with his last fight in the UFC being a title bout against Israel Adesanya in 2020.

If he won that fight, then he’d have easily been in our top five oldest UFC champions. Romero has since moved over to Bellator and is still in phenomenal shape.

4. Anderson Silva

Anderson Silva

Nationality: Brazilian

Weight Class: Middleweight, Light Heavyweight

MMA Debut: 1997

Date of Birth: April 14, 1975

Last Fight: October 31, 2020

Age At Last Fight: 45 years, 6 months

Record: 34-11 (1 NC)

Many people see Anderson Silva as the greatest UFC fighter of all time, and it’s hard to disagree. After winning the Cage Rage and Shooto Middleweight Championships, he went on to dominate in the UFC.

He won the UFC Middleweight Championship which was impressive enough, but went on to defend it a mind-blowing ten times. Along the way, he won Fight of the Night five times, and Knockout of the Night seven times. 

Unsurprisingly, he has the longest title reign in UFC history at 2,457 days as well as the longest win streak in UFC at 16. Should he have retired sooner? After he lost the Middleweight Championship probably would have been the best time.

That started a steak of just one win in his last nine fights as he went from a 33-4 record to 34-11. While not the most glamorous end, there is no doubting Silva’s place as one of the best ever.

3. Randy Couture

Randy Couture

Nationality: American

Weight Class: Heavyweight, Light Heavyweight

MMA Debut: 1997

Date of Birth: June 22, 1963

Last Fight: April 30, 2011

Age At Last Fight: 47 years, 10 months

Record: 19-11

As well as being the oldest man to ever become a UFC champion, he is also one of the oldest fighters ever in the organization full stop. It’s no surprise that he’s in the UFC Hall of Fame and there’s probably no other fighter more deserving.

As mentioned above, he won UFC championships on five separate occasions while also winning one of the UFC’s early heavyweight tournaments. Among his many records, he was the UFC’s first ever multi-divisional champion.

He was still having championship fights until his mid-40s and after losing his title to Lesnar, he still had some great fights against fellow legends such as Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira and Mark Coleman. That fight vs Coleman was the first ever time two UFC Hall of Famers fought against each other.

2. Maurice Smith

Maurice Smith

Nationality: American

Weight Class: Heavyweight, Light Heavyweight

MMA Debut: 1989

Date of Birth: December 13, 1961

Last Fight: November 2, 2013

Age At Last Fight: 51 years, 10 months (18952)

Record: 14-14

For this list I had to decide whether I should work out a fighter’s age from their last UFC fight, or their last in MMA. I decided to do the latter as otherwise Maurice Smith wouldn’t have been included. His last fight in the UFC was in 2000 but he kept on fighting until 2013.

His results in MMA were mixed but he gets a lot of respect for fighting until the age of 51. He won the UFC Heavyweight Championship in 1997 when he beat Mark Coleman and defended it once before losing it to Randy Couture.

Smith is also a kickboxing legend, having a 53-13-5 record in the sport, including winning the World Kickboxing Council’s world light heavyweight championship. In the UFC, he was deservedly inducted into the Pioneer Wing of the Hall of Fame back in 2017.

1. Ron Van Clief

Ron Van Clief

Nationality: American

Weight Class: N/A

MMA Debut: 1994

Date of Birth: January 25, 1943

Last Fight: December 16, 1994

Age At Last Fight: 51, 10 months (18953)

Record: 0-1

The oldest MMA fighter ever goes to the legendary Ron Van Clief. Unlike Smith above, Van Clief did have his last fight in the UFC. However, as you may have noticed from his record, it was his only ever fight in MMA!

The fight in question was against UFC legend Royce Gracie and he lost via a rear naked choke submission. Ron Van Clief’s legacy though is away from MMA. He’s a karate legend who won many international tournaments and wrote five instructional books.

Along with his work in karate, he also acted in many action films throughout the 70s. His fight against Gracie in UFC 4 was at a time when the organization was nothing like it is today, and it’s hard to see his record being beaten any time soon.

Close Calls

There have been quite a lot of fighters who have carried UFC careers into their early 40s. If we’d have excluded Maurice Smith then Mark Coleman would most likely have entered the list as he was 45 years and one month at the time of his last fight.

Also close were Marion Reneau and Antônio Rogério Nogueira who were both 44 before they finally gave up the sport. You have to respect any fighter who still has the courage to get into the octagon when past their peak.


Who was the oldest UFC fighter ever?

The title of the oldest ever fighter in UFC goes to Ron Van Clief. This was a time when the UFC was nothing like it is today, with there being no official weight classes. Van Clief fought all the way back in UFC 4 against the legend Royce Gracie at the grand old age of 51.

Who is the oldest MMA fighter active?

This is an almost impossible question to answer. There is a huge range of MMA organizations and you have no idea who is active or not in them. The answer is probably someone in their 50s fighting at a local or regional level.

Who is the oldest UFC fighter right now?

Finding the oldest active UFC fighter is a little easier as they have an active roster and it’s pretty easy to find out who’s on it. Obviously, the answer to this question can change quite often but as of right now the answer is Andrei Arlovski who last fought in the UFC at the end of 2022.

What age do UFC fighters retire?

MMA isn’t too different from most other sports, such as soccer, where most retire around the 35 to 37 years mark. Some can retire much sooner, such as Khabib Nurmagomedov, who retired at 32.

Is there an age limit for UFC fighters?

No, there isn’t. However, fighters must be cleared to fight and be in peak physical condition. We noted before that Ron Van Clief had his first and only fight in the UFC at 51, but that just wouldn’t happen anymore.

The only way you could see someone in their 50s fighting in the UFC is if they had a strong career and were still winning fights. That doesn’t look like happening any time soon.

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Kenny Jarvis
Kenny Jarvis
I have been practicing and studying boxing since I was a teenager. I am passionate about the sport, along with many other martial arts. While my fighting days may be over, I love channeling my passion into my writing to provide insightful blogs.