UFC Fighters from Michigan: Meet the Top Pros and Rising Stars

If you click a link on this page and make a purchase, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

As a professional copywriting journalist, I am excited to introduce you to the world of UFC fighters from Michigan. Michigan has produced some of the most exciting and successful fighters in the history of the sport, from famous champions to rising stars.

These fighters have made a name for themselves in the Octagon with their incredible skills, dedication, and hard work. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the top Michigan-born UFC fighters, their journey to the top, and their impact on the sport.

Key Takeaways

  • Michigan is home to some of the best UFC fighters in the world.
  • Michigan-born fighters have made history in the UFC with their impressive skills and achievements.
  • MMA training facilities and coaches in Michigan have played a role in shaping these elite athletes.
  • Michigan’s UFC events and fight nights have brought excitement to local fans and helped grow the sport in the state.
  • Michigan fighters have contributed to the UFC Hall of Fame and continue to inspire their communities.

Michigan Born UFC Fighters Making History

Michigan has a proud history of producing talented UFC fighters who have made waves in the sport. Some of the most notable MMA fighters born in Michigan include UFC Hall of Famers Dan Severn and Matt Hughes.

Dan Severn, born in Coldwater, Michigan, is a UFC legend and one of the pioneers of the sport. He was the first person to win UFC tournaments in two different weight classes and held the record for most wins in UFC history for many years.

Matt Hughes, born in Hillsboro, Illinois but raised in Hillsdale, Michigan, dominated the UFC welterweight division for years. He held the title for a record-setting seven times and was known for his powerful wrestling and ground-and-pound style.

Another notable UFC fighter from Michigan is Kevin Lee, born in Grand Rapids. Lee is known for his impressive wrestling skills and has competed in both the lightweight and welterweight divisions. He has wins over several top UFC fighters, including Gregor Gillespie and Edson Barboza.

Michigan Born UFC Fighters Making History

In addition to these legends and current UFC stars, Michigan has also produced several up-and-coming fighters who are making their mark in the sport. One of them is Detroit native Alex Perez, who has a record of 24-6 and has recently made a name for himself by defeating former bantamweight champion, Cody Garbrandt.

Another rising star from Michigan is Amanda Bobby Cooper, born in Bath. Cooper competed on The Ultimate Fighter reality show and has fought several times in the UFC. She is known for her striking abilities and has wins over several tough opponents, including Anna Elmose and Angela Magana.

Michigan-born UFC fighters have left a lasting legacy in the sport and continue to make an impact today. Their journey and achievements are a testament to the state’s rich MMA history.

Top UFC Fighters Representing Michigan

Michigan has produced some of the most exciting and successful UFC fighters in recent years. Let’s take a closer look at some of the top fighters representing the Great Lakes State.

Fighter Weight Class Record
Kevin Lee Lightweight 18-6
Felice Herrig Strawweight 14-9
Jamie Moyle Strawweight 4-4
TJ Laramie Featherweight 12-4
Jim Miller Lightweight 32-16-0-1
Joanne Calderwood Flyweight 15-5

Kevin Lee is one of the most promising fighters representing Michigan. He has notable wins over the likes of Edson Barboza, Michael Chiesa, and Gregor Gillespie. Felice Herrig, on the other hand, has been a fan favorite for years, with her impressive striking and grappling skills. But she has recently suffered a string of losses and is looking to make a comeback. Jamie Moyle and TJ Laramie are two fighters to watch out for as they continue to climb the ranks.

Jim Miller is a UFC veteran who has been fighting in the promotion since 2008. He holds the record for the most lightweight wins in UFC history and has notable victories over Clay Guida, Charles Oliveira, and Joe Lauzon. Joanne Calderwood is another experienced fighter who has been competing in the UFC since 2014. She has fought some of the best fighters in the world and holds notable victories over Valerie Letourneau and Ariane Lipski.

Top UFC Fighters Representing Michigan

In conclusion, Michigan has a rich history in producing talented UFC fighters with a promising future ahead. These fighters have shown their resilience and skill, making Michigan proud. With new up-and-coming fighters and established veterans, the future looks bright for MMA in Michigan.

Rising Stars from Michigan Making Their Mark

Michigan has always been a hotbed for MMA fighters, and the UFC has no shortage of homegrown talent. In recent years, several fighters have emerged as rising stars in the sport, representing Michigan on the biggest stage in MMA.

One of those fighters is Jamahal Hill, who has made a name for himself in the light heavyweight division. Hill had an impressive debut against Darko Stosic in 2019, winning by unanimous decision. He followed up with a dominating performance against Klidson Abreu, winning by TKO in the first round. Hill’s next opponent is Ovince St. Preux, a former title challenger, and a win over him could solidify Hill as a contender in the division.

Another rising star from Michigan is Cory Sandhagen, who grew up in Aurora, Colorado, but trains at Elevation Fight Team in Denver. Sandhagen has won seven of his last eight fights in the UFC, with notable wins over Rafael Assuncao, Marlon Moraes, and Frankie Edgar. He is currently ranked #2 in the bantamweight division and is expected to fight for the title soon.

Meanwhile, Khaos Williams has been making a name for himself in the welterweight division. Williams has won his first two UFC fights in spectacular fashion, knocking out his opponents in the first round. Williams has shown that he has knockout power and has the potential to be a force in the division.

Other Promising Fighters to Watch

Michigan has several other promising fighters to watch, including:

  • Detroit native, Kevin Lee, who has fought for the interim lightweight title and is known for his wrestling skills.
  • Sarah Moras, who fights in the women’s bantamweight division and has wins over notable fighters like Ashlee Evans-Smith and Alexis Dufresne.
  • Josh Parisian, who has a 13-3 record and recently won his UFC debut by TKO against Parker Porter.

These fighters and others like them represent the future of MMA in Michigan and the UFC. Fans of the sport will be watching closely as these athletes continue to rise through the ranks and make their mark on the sport.

Training Facilities and Coaches in Michigan

Michigan is home to some of the most reputable UFC training facilities and coaches in the country. As a result, it’s no surprise that we have produced some of the top UFC fighters in the world. These training facilities and coaches are dedicated to honing their athletes’ skills and preparing them for the Octagon.

Training Facility Coach Notable Fighters
Michigan Top Team Mike Pendergast Daron Cruickshank, Josh Parisian, Amanda Bobby Cooper
Scorpion Fighting System Dan Severn Brian Kelleher, Cody Stamann, Sabah Homasi
Jackson-Wink MMA Greg Jackson, Mike Winkeljohn Holly Holm, Jon Jones

Michigan Top Team has produced top-ranked fighters such as Daron Cruickshank, Josh Parisian, and Amanda Bobby Cooper, while Scorpion Fighting System has nurtured the talents of Brian Kelleher, Cody Stamann, and Sabah Homasi. Some of the world’s most renowned MMA fighters like Holly Holm and Jon Jones have been trained by the legendary coaching duo of Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn at Jackson-Wink MMA.

These training facilities and coaches work tirelessly to provide their athletes with the best training programs that are tailored to meet their specific needs. They provide them with the necessary support and guidance to ensure they can reach their fullest potential. The fighters’ success in the Octagon is a testament to the hard work and dedication of these training facilities and coaches.

Michigan’s UFC Fight Nights and Events

When it comes to MMA events, Michigan has been an excellent host to some of UFC’s most iconic fights. Detroit, in particular, holds a special place in UFC’s history, as it was the first city to host a UFC event in Michigan. This significant event took place on November 20, 1998, and featured some of UFC’s most recognizable fighters, including Ken Shamrock, Don Frye, and Frank Shamrock.

UFC fans in Michigan have also been treated to some of the most exciting UFC fight nights in recent years. In 2018, UFC 218 took over the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, where Max Holloway successfully defended his featherweight title against Jose Aldo in what was a thrilling rematch. The event also featured a co-main event between Alistair Overeem and Francis Ngannou, which ended in a brutal knockout by the Cameroonian fighter.

The Future of UFC in Michigan

Michigan continues to be a welcoming host for UFC events, with the state boasting several venues that are capable of hosting large-scale MMA events. UFC fans in Michigan can look forward to more exciting fight nights and events in the coming years, especially with the rise of new talented fighters from the state.

Notable Matches and Rivalries Involving Michigan Fighters

Michigan fighters have been involved in some of the most intense and memorable matches in UFC history. One of the most famous rivalries involving a Michigan fighter was between Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock. Ortiz, who was born in Huntington Beach, California, but grew up in Michigan, faced off against Shamrock three times in the Octagon, with their last fight ending in a draw.

Another notable match involving a Michigan fighter was between Kevin Lee and Michael Chiesa. Lee, who hails from Grand Rapids, Michigan, faced off against Chiesa in a lightweight bout in 2017. After Lee secured a rear-naked choke in the first round, chaos ensued when he prematurely celebrated his victory, leading to a scuffle between the two fighters and their teams.

Notable Matches and Rivalries Involving Michigan Fighters:

Fighter Rival/fighting partner Outcome
Tito Ortiz Ken Shamrock 1 win, 1 loss, 1 draw
Kevin Lee Michael Chiesa Win via rear-naked choke
Ronda Rousey Holly Holm Loss via knockout

Ronda Rousey, who was born in California but raised in Michigan, was involved in one of the most shocking upsets in UFC history when she faced off against Holly Holm in 2015. The fight, which was for the women’s bantamweight championship, saw Holm knock out Rousey with a head kick in the second round.

These matches and rivalries involving Michigan fighters have left a lasting impact on the sport and cemented the state’s legacy in the world of MMA.

Michigan’s Contribution to the UFC Hall of Fame

Michigan has produced some legendary UFC fighters who have been inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame for their contributions to the sport. Let’s take a look at some of these incredible athletes who have left their mark on the Octagon.

Fighter’s Name Hall of Fame Induction
Bas Rutten Inducted in 2015
Chuck Liddell Inducted in 2009
Urijah Faber Inducted in 2017

Bas Rutten, born in Tilburg, Netherlands but raised in Michigan, was an early pioneer of the UFC and a three-time King of Pancrase champion in Japan. Chuck Liddell, born in Santa Barbara, California but raised in Michigan, was a dominant light heavyweight champion and one of the UFC’s biggest stars in the 2000s. Urijah Faber, born in Isla Vista, California but began his MMA career in Michigan, was a former WEC featherweight champion and one of the pioneers of the lighter weight classes in the UFC.

Michigan’s contributions to the UFC Hall of Fame are a testament to the state’s rich history in producing talented fighters who have achieved greatness in the Octagon.

The Impact of Michigan Fighters on Local Community

As a Michigan native and UFC fan, I am proud to see the impact that fighters from our state have on their local communities. These athletes not only represent Michigan in the Octagon but also serve as role models and sources of inspiration for many.

Several Michigan fighters have used their platform to give back to their communities through charitable endeavors. For example, Kevin Lee, born in Grand Rapids, has organized a fundraiser to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Lansing. Similarly, Detroit’s own Francis Ngannou has partnered with local organizations to promote youth empowerment and education.

Beyond their charitable work, Michigan fighters also serve as inspiration for many aspiring athletes in the state. They have shown that with hard work and dedication, anyone can achieve their dreams. For instance, top-ranked middleweight contender, Kelvin Gastelum, grew up in the small town of Yuma, Arizona, but his father moved the family to Michigan to give him a better chance at success in wrestling. Gastelum now trains in Yuma, but his time in Michigan helped shape him into the fighter he is today.

Overall, the contribution of Michigan fighters to their local communities extends far beyond the Octagon. They inspire and motivate others to pursue their passions and give back to their communities. I can’t wait to see what these fighters will continue to achieve in both their careers and communities.

Future Prospects and Exciting Potential Matchups

Michigan fighters in the UFC have a bright future ahead. With their skills, determination, and work ethic, they are sure to continue making a name for themselves in the sport. Fans are eagerly anticipating potential matchups featuring these athletes.

One matchup that has been getting a lot of attention is Kevin Lee vs. Michael Chandler. Both fighters have ties to Michigan and are known for their aggressive fighting styles. Another exciting potential matchup is Derrick Lewis vs. Anthony Smith. These two heavyweights have had impressive careers so far and would make for an intense fight.

But it’s not just the established fighters who are generating excitement. Up-and-coming Michigan fighters like Jamahal Hill and Josh Parisian have shown promise in recent fights and are poised to make a name for themselves in the UFC.

There’s no telling what the future holds for these fighters, but one thing is for sure: the UFC in Michigan has a bright future ahead with these talented athletes leading the way.


As I wrap up this article, it’s clear that Michigan has made a significant impact on the UFC. From famous fighters like Rashad Evans and Kevin Lee to rising stars like Amanda Ribas and Jamal Hill, Michigan has produced some of the most talented fighters in the sport.

It’s also evident that the state has a rich history in MMA, with numerous UFC events and fight nights taking place there. The local fans’ enthusiasm and passion for the sport have played a crucial role in its growth and popularity in the state.

Michigan’s contribution to the UFC Hall of Fame is impressive, with legends like Dan Severn and Matt Hughes cementing their place in the sport’s history. These fighters serve as inspiration and role models for the next generation of Michigan fighters.

Overall, Michigan’s impact on the UFC goes beyond just the sport. The fighters’ charitable endeavors and inspirational stories demonstrate the positive influence they have on their local communities.

Looking ahead, Michigan fighters have a bright future in the UFC, with potential matchups that fans are eagerly anticipating. It’s an exciting time to be a Michigan MMA fan, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for these talented fighters.


Q: Who are some famous UFC fighters from Michigan?

A: Some famous UFC fighters from Michigan include Kevin Lee, Darren Till, Cody Stamann, and Tony Ferguson.

Q: What are some notable achievements of Michigan-born UFC fighters?

A: Michigan-born UFC fighters have achieved significant success in the Octagon, with multiple championship title wins and memorable fights against top competitors.

Q: Who are the top UFC fighters representing Michigan?

A: The top UFC fighters representing Michigan include Michael Bisping, Rashad Evans, Anthony Pettis, and Tyron Woodley.

Q: Who are the rising stars from Michigan in the UFC?

A: Some rising stars from Michigan in the UFC include Dominick Reyes, Angela Hill, and Jamahal Hill.

Q: What are some notable training facilities and coaches in Michigan for UFC fighters?

A: There are several notable training facilities and coaches in Michigan, including Michigan Top Team, Detroit Jiu-Jitsu Academy, and UFC Gym Rochester.

Q: What UFC events and fight nights have taken place in Michigan?

A: UFC events and fight nights have been held in Michigan in cities like Detroit and Grand Rapids, attracting passionate local fans.

Q: What are some notable matches and rivalries involving Michigan fighters?

A: Notable matches and rivalries involving Michigan fighters in the UFC include Michael Bisping vs. Rashad Evans and Tyron Woodley vs. Darren Till.

Q: Which Michigan fighters have been inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame?

A: Michigan fighters who have been inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame include Dan Severn and Kevin Randleman.

Q: How do Michigan fighters impact their local communities?

A: Michigan fighters make a positive impact on their local communities through charitable endeavors, inspiring stories, and serving as role models for aspiring athletes.

Q: What are some future prospects and potential matchups for Michigan UFC fighters?

A: Michigan UFC fighters have promising futures and potential matchups that fans are eagerly anticipating, including clashes with top-ranked opponents and potential title shots.