Tuesday, April 23

10 Best Southpaw Fighters In UFC History

Highlights

  • Left-handed MMA fighters have a strategic advantage in the octagon, showcasing impactful performances and becoming world champions.
  • The southpaw stance offers a unique offensive approach, seen in elite southpaw fighters like Valentina Shevchenko and Lyoto Machida.
  • Southpaw fighters like Stephen Thompson and Nick Diaz have honed their craft, utilizing their stance to secure victories with precision strikes.



In the UFC, southpaw fighters are a complicated challenge as with other combat sports. MMA fighters are used to orthodox techniques, and run into trouble when strikes are coming from the opposite directed with left-sided strikers.

They are a minority in combat sports gives left-handed combatants an advantage when they are elite contenders. The best southpaws in the UFC have become world champions or have emerged victorious as underdogs.

Related

10 Best Southpaw Boxers Of All Time

Left-handed boxing legends who left the right mark on the sport.

10 Valentina Shevchenko Is The Best Southpaw In Women’s MMA

‘The Bullet’ Punishes Her Opponents With Counter-Striking

Fighter

Matches

Wins

Losses

Valentina Shevchenko

28

23

4


Valentina Shevchenko’s signature move is her check right hook, yet it’s her left kick that leaves opponents reeling. Combined with her southpaw stance and impeccable footwork, she’s cemented her status as one of MMA’s finest.

9 Lyoto Machida Was A Precision Striker

Machida Was Unstoppable In His Prime

Fighter

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Wins

Losses

Lyoto Machida

38

26

12

A former Light Heavyweight Champion, Lyoto Machida fought in an era where the 205-pound division was filled to the brim with talent. It is hard to call Machida a true southpaw, as he would constantly switch stances during a fight to aid his array of offensive tools. However, he was naturally left-handed and would rely on his southpaw stance more.


Machida has his own brand of karate known as Machida Karate espoused in MMA. His wizardry on the feet with his stance switches, range building, and being a submission threat helped him dominate whenever called upon.

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8 Yves Edwards Is An Underrated Legend

‘Thugjitsu Master’ Was An All Round Unorthodox Fifghter

Fighter

Matches

Wins

Losses

Yves Edwards

66

42

22

Yves Edwards stands out as one of MMA’s most underrated fighters of all time. A cunning southpaw striker, he pioneered formidable clinch strategies in the UFC prior to Anderson Silva’s reign. At the peak of his career, he was widely regarded as the top lightweight on the planet.


7 Robbie Lawler Is Ambidextrous

The UFC Legend Favored His Left-Hand

Fighter

Matches

Wins

Losses

Robbie Lawler

47

30

16

Former UFC Welterweight Champion Robbie Lawler is one of the most evergreen fighters in the UFC. He has been fighting since the early days of the promotion and recently retired with a sensational knockout. His success is partially due to his southpaw stance, which helped him become one of the most violent fighters in UFC history.

Lawler can control all aspects of the Octagon, from striking to wrestling. He allows his movement to take advantage of orthodox fighters in finding openings and making the most of it. His success has shown through his career, and he undoubtedly is one of the best southpaw fighters ever.


6 Stephen Thompson Can Switch From Orthodox To Southpaw

‘Wonderboy’ Has Dropped Opponents With The Left Hand

Fighter

Matches

Wins

Losses

Stephen Thompson

25

17

7

While Stephen Thompson isn’t a higher stature fighter than some of the names we have already listed out, he is a southpaw fighter that exploits his stance to give him an advantage in fights. Thompson is one of the best strikers the sport has ever seen, using Machida’s karate style to an even greater effect.

Thompson has a wide southpaw stance that makes him defend takedowns while also giving him enough room to unfurl a barrage of kicks that are incredibly hard to stop or predict. His accolades may not say he is one of the greatest southpaw fighters in MMA history, but his fighting style does.


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5 Nick Diaz Is A Right-Handed Southpaw

Diaz Was A Volume Puncher With A Nasty Left Hook

Nick Diaz - Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Fighter

Matches

Wins

Losses

Nick Diaz

38

26

10

Nick Diaz is one of the most beloved fighters in MMA history. His striking ingenuity along with his incredible submission ability once made people question whether he could defeat Georges St-Pierre when the Canadian was the welterweight king. We know that DIaz lost to GSP, but that doesn’t mean Nick Diaz was a slouch.

He used his southpaw stance to great effect, always pushing opponents back with his dirty boxing style. His career in the UFC may not have shone as bright as his career in Strikeforce, but Nick is arguably one of the best southpaw stance fighters ever to step inside a cage.


4 Nate Diaz Is Naturally Left-Handed

DIaz Has One Of The Most Dangerous Straight Left Hands

Nate Diaz UFC 266
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Fighter

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Nate Diaz

34

21

13

One can argue the merits of which Diaz brother is better, but Nate edges Nick on this one due to his more established UFC resume. Nate and Nick fight extremely similar styles and Nate Diaz has enjoyed a lot of success as a result. He is one of the biggest names in the sport and is seemingly immune to wins and losses affecting his perception.


His fighting style is really similar to his brother, but Nate’s longer arms can allow him to create separation for his dirty boxing even better. Nick’s peak outside the UFC beats Nate’s within the company, but Nate has had a better UFC career than his brother. Both are sensational fighters and a blueprint for southpaw fighters coming up right now.

3 Dustin Poirier Has The Best Hook In MMA

‘The Diamond’ Is A Dangerous Southpaw

Poirier vs McGregor 3
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via USA TODAY Sports

Fighter

Matches

Wins

Losses

Dustin Poirier

39

30

8

Dustin Poirier wouldn’t normally be expected to be on a list like this. But his rise in the sport of MMA has fast-forwarded exponentially since his wins over Conor McGregor. Dustin is one of the best all-around fighters in the UFC today and is soon going to get another crack at the undisputed title at Lightweight.


Poirier took a while to find his groove in the sport, but he has been knocking it out of the park ever since he made a switch to Lightweight. ‘The Diamond is easily the best 155 pounder not to hold a worltd title and is one of the best southpaw fighters in MMA history.

2 Conor McGregor’s Left Hand Is Legendary

The Irish Superstar Once Boasted That His Left Hand Made Him A Millionaire

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Losses

Conor McGregor

28

22

6

Even though Conor McGregor hasn’t been the same fighter he was prior to 2016 recently, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t have one of the most impressive resumes in the sport. McGregor leveraged his southpaw stance into one of the fastest knockouts in UFC history over Jose Aldo, and that alone counts for a lot.


McGregor isn’t only an elite talker – he is as pure a striker can get, using his stance to great effect. Not only does he have incredible power, he uses a variety of tricks and feints to trick his opponents before he can connect with a firm shot. His knockout rate speaks for itself, and his status as an all-time southpaw great was secured both inside and outside the cage.

1 Anderson Silva Seamlessly Switches From Southpaw To Orthodox

‘The Spider’ Is Arguably The Greatest Stiker In MMA History

UFC 148-Silva vs Sonnen II
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Fighter

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Anderson Silva

46

34

11


Topping Anderson Silva on any all-time list is a tall order for anyone. Silva is arguably one of the greatest fighters ever, period. His late-career failures cannot be ignored, but they don’t hold a candle to his years of dominating the UFC Middleweight division.

The longest-reigning champion in UFC history, Silva brought attacking fluidity that hadn’t been seen before in MMA. Not only was he one of the greatest strikers ever, Silva was no slouch on the ground with his tremendous BJJ expertise. His run of 16 consecutive wins is incredible and may soon be broken by Kamaru Usman, but it doesn’t take away from his position as arguably the greatest southpaw fighter in the history of the sport.

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