Tue 21 December 2021 | 20:29

The Smartest MMA Fighters of All Time

Much to your consternation, many greatest MMA fighters have not realized the circulated jokes about their being stupid and dump in any sense of the word. Instead, they are very smart and well educated both in and out of the cage. So here is the highlight of the smartest MMA fighters of all time.

While MMA fighters as the likes of the Diaz brothers are often get made fun of for their being dumped in the cope of their inability to properly express themselves during interviews, this stereotype is not the case for all of them.

Specifically, those fighters that have wrestling backgrounds are often very educated fighters who have career plans after their retirement.

Although they may appear to be terrifying with tribal tattoos on their bodies, massive muscles, and bald head, you should never judge the book by its cover and consider them necessarily as cavemen who have an insatiable desire for crushing people’s skulls both inside and outside the cage.

Instead, most of them are the most charming people you can meet, very clever, and intelligent who might have a background in high education too.

This means that even though some fighters in this list are just very well educated regardless of how they performed in their fights, the fighters being highly educated, is not our only criterion for enlisting them in our list of the smartest MMA fighters of all time.

To be specific a number of first spots in this list are allocated to genius fighters who are very intelligent and smart in their fight, notwithstanding their educations.

The Smartest MMA Fighters of All Time

Read on to know The smartest MMA fighters of all time encompassing both the most educated UFC fighters and the smartest UFC fighters.

Peggy Morgan

The American former MMA fighter who fought in the Featherweight category of the UFC and Invicta FC is included among the list of the UFC fighters with degrees.

Her MMA journey was started in college where she began her boxing while attending SNHU. While she was ranked second in the 152-pound category by USA Boxing in her amateur career, soon after her son birth, she assumed that she was done with fighting.

Therefore, she tried to take Brazilian jiu-jitsu lessons at Triumph BJJ in Nashua, where her striking ability caught the eyes of UFC veteran O’Neil.

So he encouraged Morgan to take a fight, and amazingly she had instant success, in her early career both as an amateur and a professional.

Perhaps, she had never expected to become an MMA fighter nor did she ever predict fighting in the UFC, especially had you known that she is a very talented blog writer.

Unlike many other fighter's blogs, her blog is interesting, coherent, insightful and worth reading perhaps because the

MMA fighter PhD

is in the major of adjunct literature.

That is to say, she is the composition professor at Southern New Hampshire University Yeah, while she is able to beat you up and then write a best-seller about it.

Yet it seems as though, in her life as a female mixed martial arts fighter, she went through some awkward moments as she had to get accustomed to dirty looks of some people.

Rosi Sexton

Although the British athlete, MMA fighter, sports therapist, osteopath, and politician, became retired from her MMA career in 2014, as an amazing versatile character she still is regarded as one of the smartest MMA fighters of all time.

It seems as though she was born to exceed in everything she enters in as much as every single thing she touches, will turn into gold.

As a young girl, she started her martial arts career by training in jujutsu and Taekwondo. While she went on to earn a black belt in Taekwondo, Ju-Jitsu, and BJJ, her focus was leaned toward the MMA.

Rosi competed under the banner of different promotions like the UFC as she racked up a record of 13–5 in her glorious career. In her final MMA fight, amazingly she went toe-to-toe with one of the now

Top UFC Fighters of 2021

, Joana Jedrzejczyk.

But what has landed her a spot among the UFC fighters with degrees, is the fact that she got her first degree in maths in 1998 from Trinity College, Cambridge.

Afterwards, she moved to Manchester and achieved a Master of Science degree in math logic in 2000. Even more importantly our MMA fighter PhD is said to be in Theoretical computer science.

Not to mention that she is a musician, writer and is trained in sports therapists and osteopaths, which is considered to be a bridge between a doctor and a chiropractor in Europe.

Moreover, she went on to be a politician just recently as she became a candidate in the Green Party of England and Wales leadership election and appeared to come second, being beaten by incumbent leaders Jonathan Bartley and Siân Berry.

Terry Martin

The American MMA fighter who competed in different categories of the UFC, Affliction, Strikeforce, the MFC, King of the Cage, and Adrenaline MMA, is widely regarded as one of

the smartest MMA fighters of all time


As a recognized fighter in the sport of MMA, he started fighting professionally in 2002 while he was born and raised in Chicago, being drawn to fighting from a young age.

But unfortunately, it took no time for him to become immersed in the gang culture and as a result, he was miserably wounded in a shootout at age 15.

Be that as it may, this incident changed the path of his life so drastically that he made his mind to put his concentration on his education more than his fights.

This has seen him get a bachelor's in Psychology and receive a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, while he is on the road to receiving his PhD too.

But it seems that he did not stop there and went on to use his MMA fame to encourage youngsters to stay at school and focus on their studies in an attempt to spread the word about the importance of education.

All in all, as a force to be reckoned with during the 2000s, with a decent MMA career, he established himself among the most educated UFC fighters, notwithstanding having a frightening appearance.

Rich Franklin

It is quite amazing that the former two-time UFC champion who is also included in our list of

The most underrated UFC fighters of all time

is one of the

most educated UFC fighters


Because he had preferred to first finish his academic studies, he started to fight in the professional MMA quite late at 25 years of age.

That is to say, he studied at the University of Cincinnati so as to grab a B.A. in mathematics and then he received Masters in Education. Not to mention that he taught mathematics at Oak Hills High School, for one year until he joined MMA.

His devotion saw him grab his first UFC title in 2005 and after that, he succeeded to be a two-time UFC middleweight champ, therefore with such a stellar MMA career, he became the Hall of Famer in 2019 too.

So due to the fact that he had gained popularity through his MMA career, and while he was very well educated at the same time, he became a major contributor to the society to such an extent that the mayor of Cincinnati named 21st February as “Rich Franklin Day.”

Moreover, his candid and eloquent speeches in elaborating fighting concepts and techniques in his videos, provide further evidence about how well educated he is.

Chael Sonnen

Being often recognized by his ring name of ”The American Gangster”, he is a submission grappling promoter, MMA analyst, as well as a former MMA fighter.

While he is widely dubbed as one of the most creative and greatest trash-talkers in MMA history, he started his MMA career in 1997 and went on to compete for the UFC, so as to become a top contender in both the light heavyweight and middleweight categories.

If you have ever heard how he insulted his opponents, it is a bit hard to believe that he is also included among the

UFC fighters with degrees


Before he started his professional MMA career, he studied sociology at the prestigious University of Oregon, Sonnen so as to earn his B.A. in this field.

Although before joining MMA he worked as a real estate consultant and tried to be involved in politics, the octagon appeared to be the only place he found his true passion.

That is to say, as a decorated wrestler he joined MMA, and with a blend of spectacular fighting and trash-talking skills, he proved to be one of the best performers of the ground and pound grind.

While he tended to abuse almost every man he coped with inside the cage, he quickly reached the prime heyday of his career, yet he never grabbed a UFC title, as he challenged for it several times.

Kazushi Sakuraba

Being widely known by his Nickname “The IQ Wrestler,” among hardcore MMA fans, the Japanese professional wrestler, MMA fighter and submission wrestler, is currently signed to Rizin Fighting Federation.

While he has competed in a variety of MMA competitions as the likes of UFC, Pride Fighting Championships, Hero's and Dream, he is honoured to be the first of only two Japanese champions in UFC history.

With a unique, unorthodox and creative fighting style, his Pride fights usually draw more than 20 million viewers in Japan. But the compelling reason why he has such a glorious MMA career is that he has established himself as one of

the smartest MMA fighters of all time


That is to say with an intelligent approach to wrestling, he has blended his catch wrestling with his many submission locks so as to create his wrestling style.

With this style along with his intricate knowledge of submissions, he became one of the first fighters that proved BJJ fighters could be beaten by the right set of skills and a smart game plan.

After all, he did the impossible by handing the legendary Royce Gracie who is one of the

most influential fighters in MMA history

, underwent the first defeat of his career.

Likewise, he went on to topple three more members of the well known Gracie family including Royler Gracie, Renzo Gracie, Ryan Gracie too, so as to gain worldwide recognition as “Gracie Hunter" or the "Gracie Killer".

Moreover, he became so popular when he edged out 13 champions of different top MMA organizations; those who were often many weight classes above him.

As a result, it is no wonder to see him grab the utmost approbation by Renzo Gracie for his ability to play against his rival's weaknesses, and by Mark Kerr who called him the world's best technician of his era and that speaks volumes about his intelligence.

Mirko Cro Cop

Being widely dubbed as one of

The Greatest MMA Fighters of All Time

, he is a retired Croatian professional MMA fighter, kickboxer and amateur boxer.

While he rose to prominence at his span in Pride Fighting Championships, he also fought under the banner of the UFC, K-1, RIZIN and Bellator.

Although much of his success was achieved through his high kick strike which is widely described as right leg, hospital; left leg, cemetery, as time goes by he also improved his ground fighting skills so as to become adept in fighting from his back as well.

While his MMA career is so much impressive that has inspired many newer generation fighters, most notably Demetrious Johnson, what has landed him a spot among

the smartest MMA fighters of all time

, is due to his versatility outside of the cage.

Precisely as saying, prior to his MMA career, he was a Croatian Special Forces Police officer who already had some basic combat knowledge too.

This is the reason why he is known with the nickname of Cro Cop which stands for "Croatian Cop", as he was employed in the Lučko Anti-Terrorist Unit, Croatia's elite Police Special Forces tactical unit.

But more importantly, he was a politician too and just before his grabbing victory in the Pride FC tournament, he was elected to the fifth assembly of the Croatian Parliament, so as to represent the capital city of Zagreb.

This means that from 23 December 2003 until 11 January 2008 he served as a member of the Social Democratic Party of the Croatian Parliament for the 1st electoral district.

Not to mention that in the 2004-05 season of the Croatian Second Football League, he featured in his hometown football club, HNK Cibalia, taking part in the final 8 minutes of a match against HNK Vukovar.

Dominick Reyes

The American professional MMA fighter and former college football player currently fights in the Light Heavyweight category of the UFC and as of November 2, 2021, he is the #7 fighter in the UFC Light Heavyweight rankings.

While in the light of his calamitous kicks, he earned the nickname of "The Devastator", he has established himself as one of the smartest UFC fighters too.

Because he proved how one can balance between two careers while performing them passionately with a great work ethic and a lot of effort.

That is to say, although he is one of the greatest stars in the UFC and just conceded two title fights against Jan Błachowicz and Jon Jones in 2020, he is also a well-educated fighter.

Growing up in a poor family; his parents urged him to follow sports to prevent him from getting involved with gangs while at the same time he pursued his studies in Hesperia High School.

After his graduation, he attended the Stony Brook University of New York in so far as to earn his B.S. in Information Systems.

Then he was eager to pursue his football career and join the NFL. However, because he failed to get into the big league, he started to get training in MMA and he quickly succeeded to rise to prominence.

In this respect, he once quoted as saying: “with football, you can do everything right, and because of the variety of factors that are involved in a game; the result may not go in your favour. With MMA, I feel I have greater control of my destiny.”

Above all, notwithstanding his being a famous UFC fighter, he has also a full-time job since he works as an IT support technician at Oak Hills High School in California since 2017.

Jon Jones

As the youngest champion in UFC history, with his spectacular striking and submission skills, he is widely dubbed as one the smartest UFC fighters in terms of how he has prepared and performed inside the cage.

Being considered as one of the most fascinating and intelligent fighters in the history of MMA, perhaps one of his biggest assets is how he can stick to the game plan regardless of the stressful situation inside the cage.

While he is one of the

Most athletic fighters in MMA history

, with a combination of exceptional long-range, genetic attributes, incredible wrestling skills as well as extremely high fight IQ, he could edge out stronger, more durable opponents who even had the technically superior striking ability.

That is to say with his making necessary adjustments and adaptation during the fights, he appeared to be so smart that could topple the giants like “Shogun” Rua, Brandon Vera, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, Alexander Gustafsson, Glover Teixeira, and Daniel Cormier, just to name a few.

Moreover, he apparently has a clear understanding of his opponents' strengths and weaknesses and knows exactly how to deal with them. Just for instance consider his rematch against Cormier at UFC 214  in 2017, where he performed in sheer shrewdness.

While he is preparing himself for a move to the heavyweight division, it remains to be seen whether he would be provided with the chance to prove his exceptional raw talent to the world or not.

Georges St-Pierre

As one of the

UFC fighters who retired as champions

, it is of little surprise to see him among the

smartest UFC fighters

too in as much as his fighting IQs is a lot more than any fighter in the history of the sport.

While he was one of the first genuinely well-rounded fighters, with a methodic approach to MMA, although he was competent enough to strike with anyone, he often preferred to take his opponents down and this speaks volumes about his smartness, in as much as it was the safest way of grabbing triumphs.

Moreover with a slowed-down body due to his age, when a stronger generation of challengers started to rise, he cleverly chose retirement.

Even in his return to MMA in 2017 where he grabbed the UFC middleweight championship over the tough Michael Bisping, he showed signs of intelligence.

Following this victory, he told Joe Rogan in the post-fight interview the following terms: “Martial arts is not about who’s got the biggest balls,” Sorry for my language. It’s about technique, setting traps, and intelligence. I was fighting a bigger man, and I was trying to prove it tonight to all my fans.”

Instead of being only an instinctive genius, he was an impeccable planner who always had a plan B, to the point that even under pressure he could read his opponents and turn their advantages against them.

While he brutally avenged his only two defeats against Matt Hughes and Matt Serra, any fighters who are aspired to improve their own fight IQs in MMA and even in the virtual world should study him a lot or at least probe into his Instagram account of




Read More:

source: SportMob

DISCLAIMER! Sportmob does not claim ownership of any of the pictures posted on this website. Again, we do not host pictures or videos ourselves. Our authors merely link to the rightful owner. Lastly, Sportmob have carefully considered and reviewed all of its content. Despite that, it is possible that some information might be out-dated or incomplete.