The original idea of mixed martial arts was to face combatants off who know different styles. The Gracie jiu-jitsu style ended up dominating wrestling, karate, and even taekwondo.
That was a long time ago and now the sport has evolved. No longer can you only incorporate one style into your game and be a champion. Now you have to have multiple aspects hit with your training.
We have recently seen a reemergence of taekwondo into the sport. You’ll see when looking at the Vegas UFC odds that several of our fighters are favorites.
The best is Anthony Pettis. He has had some impressive moves inside the Octagon. Just take a look at this kick he used to finish off his opponent Ben Henderson in the fifth and final round. This secured him the WEC Lightweight belt.
Bettis has been training in taekwondo since he was five and was a third degree black belt before getting into mixed martial arts at 18.
The best back in the day was Anderson Silva. He was absolutely unstoppable about ten years ago. Take a look at this clip of his training in Taekwondo.
He’s not good enough just in Taekwondo just to make the Olympics or anything, and he’s seen some wear and tear on his body from all those years in the ring, but still Silva is an expert at the sport. He’s going to try to represent Brazil in the Olympics but I just don’t see it happening.
Some other fighters worth noting who use Taekwondo in the UFC are below.
Edson Barbosa is one of the most feared strikers in the lightweight division. He has an impressive 10-4 record inside the Octagon and is ranked in the top five. He started with Muay Thai but also earned a black belt in Taekwondo, making him a well rounded striking arts fighter.
John Makdessi is a fighter to watch. He started his career in 2008 with eight straight wins, but is just 6-5 in the UFC. He started training in TKD at six, but stopped at 14 when he dojo was closed. He moved on to karate and kickboxing. His kickboxing career was very lucrative as he went 22-0 before trying his hand at mixed martial arts.
The last major fighter we want to focus on is Daron Cruickshank. He was on the Ultimate Fighter so he is a little more popular than some of his more equal opponents. He has 6-6-1 in the UFC but is known for his knockout ability. His entire family is into taekwondo. Both of his parents have fourth degree black belts and run their own gyms. He is a second degree blackbelt and well on his way to making a name for himself in the UFC.