Texas is synonymous with toughness, so it’s no surprise there are so many great fighters coming from this state.
There’s an interesting mix of UFC fighters from Texas.
So many different styles with a variety of grizzled veterans and upcoming prospects.
Before we get started, I must say this list is purely my own opinion. I based it off the quality of opponents and tenure in the UFC.
So without further ado, let’s highlight the best MMA fighters from Texas.
10. Adrian Yanez
We kick things off with a major prospect.
Adrian Yanez earned a spot in the UFC by TKO victory on Dana White’s Contender Series.
Since then, he has gone 4-0 in the UFC.
What’s really impressive, is that he’s won Performance of the Night or Fight of the Night bonuses in each of these fights.
I personally believe Yanez has a very bright future in the UFC.
While he’s currently number ten on this list due to his newness, one day he may become number one.
9. Chas Skelly
When researching this list, Chas Kelly kind of surprised me.
I’ve seen several of his fights, but he hasn’t been on my radar, until now.
His overall record is 19-3-1 and in the UFC he’s amassed a record of 8-3-1
My only criticism is that his level of opponents have not been very elite yet.
And the few times he’s fought a higher level of competition, he’s lost.
But there’s always growing pains as a developing fighter, and Chas has continued to put on great performances.
8. Alex Morono
Alex Morono has fought for quite some time in the UFC – enough to be considered a veteran at this point.
But in many ways, it feels like Morono is just entering his prime.
Throughout his career in the UFC, Morono has amassed a record of 10-4-1.
He’s had notable wins over Donald Cerrone, Max Griffin, Mickey Gall, and Josh Burkman.
Riding a nice win-streak, I look forward to seeing what’s next for Morono.
7. James Vick
James Vick has received a significant amount of criticism throughout his career.
His trash talking and cocky attitude have made him a somewhat polarizing figure.
And though he’s suffered a number of losses at the tail end of his career, there was a time where Vick was considered to be a very serious contender in a stacked division.
At one point, Vick was 9-1 in the UFC with wins over Francisco Trinaldo, Joseph Duffy, Abel Trujillo, and many more.
6. Andrea Lee
The only female MMA fighter on this list, Angela Lee has earned her spot with a few impressive wins including Cynthia Calvillo and Antonina Schevchenko.
She’s faced a few setbacks over her eight fights thus far in the UFC, but has continued to show improvement while fighting the highest levels in the Flyweight division.
There was a time when I thought her well-rounded abilities might be the answer to Valentina Schevchekno. Truthfully, I jumped to conclusions based on some of her earlier performances.
But she still remains a true contender in the division and has some of the best transitions between striking and grappling I’ve seen in female MMA.
5. Mike Swick
Hands down, Mike Swick is a legend.
He fought on The Ultimate Fighter season one against future legend Stephan Bonnar.
He got his nickname, Mike “Quick” Swick, due to his fast finishes including a 22-second KO in the UFC over Gideon Ray.
Other notable wins included David Loiseau, Marcus Davis, Joe Riggs, and Josh Burkman.
At one time, Mike was 9-1 in the UFC and had a number one contender fight against Dan Hardy, who went on to fight the champion, George St-Pierre.
He’s been retired for many years now, but his contribution to the sport cannot be forgotten.
4. Shawn Jordan
This one may come as a surprise to some, but when you look at the quality of opponents, it’s no surprise to see the El Paso native on this list.
His record in the UFC is not all that impressive at 6-4.
But what some may have forgotten, is that he has wins over Derrick Lewis, Jared Cannonier, and Pat Barry.
And his losses include Matt Mitrione, Gabriel Gonzaga, and Chieck Kongo.
Jordan fought the most dangerous guys in the Heavyweight division and pulled off a number of very impressive wins.
3. Geoff Neal
Born in Austin – Geoff Neal looks like a future title contender.
He’s gone 6-2 in the UFC thus far with wins over Nico Price, Belal Muhammed, and Santiago Ponzinibbio.
His only two losses are to high-level competitors, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and Neil Magny.
The win over “Platinum” Mike Perry is one of the most vicious knockouts I’ve ever seen, breaking his nose with a head kick and punches TKO.
The Welterweight division is extremely competitive, but Geoff Neal firmly holds his spot and has a bright future ahead.
2. Jared Cannonier
Born in Dallas – Jared Cannonier has an incredible story.
He started off at Heavyweight in the UFC going 1-1. Then he dropped down to Light-Heavyweight where he went 2-3.
Finally, he dropped down to Middleweight where he amassed a record of 5-1.
He’s since earned a title shot against Israel Adesanya.
This is thanks to wins over Anderson Silva, Kelvin Gastelum, Derek Brunson, and Jack Hermansson.
It took some time, but Cannonier has found the right weight class and is looking better than ever.
1. Derrick Lewis
While not originally from Texas, Derrick Lewis has called Houston home for most of his life and proudly represents “H-Town.”
As an honorary Texan, he’s had an amazing career, fighting for the Heavyweight and Interim Heavyweight UFC championships.
He has huge wins over Francis N’Gannou, Curtis Blaydes, Alexander Volkov, Travis Browne, and many more.
His UFC record is 17-7, but everybody loves Lewis’ fighting style because he possesses the power to knock anybody out with one punch and often does.
What is also surprising is his agility. He’ll throw switch kicks out of nowhere and will rush his opponents with terrifying speed.
“The Black Beast” is a one-of-a-kind fighter and a great representation of Texas toughness.
The Future Of Texas MMA
One thing that has eluded the great fighters of Texas is a UFC championship.
But with all the talent showcased in this top 10, I have no doubt that a gold belt is coming to Texas very soon.
One thing is for sure, Texas has brought us some great athletes and amazing fights.