5 of the Best Karate Fighters in MMA

In this page we'll cover the best Karate fighters who are in the UFC or have been in the UFC, and what makes them unique.

You'll also recognize some names that you most likely didn't know practiced Karate.

karate mma

Table of Contents

  1. George St-Pierre
  2. Wonderboy Thompson
  3. Lyoto Machida
  4. Urijah Hall
  5. Sage Northcutt

1. George St-Pierre

One of the greatest Mixed Martial Artists of all time, was known for his ferocious and polished skills inside the octagon, but also for his entrance.

He had a very famous walkout to the octagon by wearing his Gi and a headband.

He participated in Kyokushin Karate at a young age and is currently a 3rd dan black belt.

karate punch

He used those Karate skills in the octagon as well, showcasing his striking through his crisp jab and great kicks.

karate kick

2. Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson

Wonderboy began training Karate at 3 years old and it became an integral part of his game.

He then used his Karate base to transition to kickboxing to amass an undefeated record of 58-0.

karate jumping kick

Later on he would use a combination of those skills to consistently knock out his opponents through precision counter striking.

He is known as one of the best strikers in the game, and a nightmare match up for most opponents.

In fact, Tyrone Woodley who had fought him to defend his Welterweight belt, would successfully force Thompson to engage first, in order to minimize his counter striking strength.

3. Lyoto Machida

Machida is a 3rd dan black belt in Shotokan Karate.

He is one of the first 'Karateka' to bring Karate to prominence in the UFC.

He was able to capture the UFC Lightheavyweight championship through a dominant run of 15 wins and 0 losses by knocking out Rashad Evans.

He is also famously known for knocking out Vitor Belfort with a monster front kick that knocked him out cold.

karate practice

4. Uriah Hall

A 2nd dan Kyokushin Karate black belt, Hall has made some tremendous highlights himself.

In the Ultimate Fighter, Hall delivered a vicious spinning hook kick, that knocked his opponent completely unconscious.

Dana White would go on to say that this was the biggest knockout that he has ever seen in the Ultimate Fighter series.

karate break

Shortly after against his next opponent, he would throw a counter right, straight punch that would break his opponent's face in 3 different places.

Dana White would then praise Hall by explaining that he is the most dangerous fighter in TUF history.

Hall would then have some up and down success in the promotion by knocking out one of the greatest strikers in the history of the sport in Anderson Silva.

5. Sage Northcutt

A 3rd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, Northcutt is no slouch in the striking department.

Northcutt won 77 world youth championships in Karate, and would become an undefeated kickboxer at 15-0.

karate kick

He received tremendous hype through 'Dana White's looking for a Fight' series, as he ran through his opponent with a TKO in under a minute.

Northcutt would amass a 11-2 record prior to being let go by the UFC and signed onto ONE championship.