MMA is not a sport for the feint hearted. If you stick around past your prime, you will get hurt. That’s why it’s so incredible that the fighters on this list have managed to stay fighting well into their 40s and even one who fought over 50 years of age! This is the official top 9 oldest fighters in UFC History.
#9. James Toney, 43
James Toney’s octagon career was a one and done affair. Toney made his sole appearance in the UFC fighting fellow ‘Oldest UFC Fighters List Member’ Randy Couture at UFC 118 at the grand old age of 43. Toney was a multiple world champion boxer and assumed it would be an easy transition into the world of MMA. Unfortunately for him, Randy had no intention of letting the boxer find a home in the cage and quickly submitted him in round one via head & arm triangle.
#8. Glover Teixeira, 43
Recently retired, Glover became the second oldest champion in UFC history (Randy Couture being the oldest) at UFC 267 when he beat Jan Blachowicz via rear naked choke. Because of visa issues, Glover didn’t have his first fight in the UFC till he was 34.
#7. Anderson Silva, 44
Long considered to be one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time, some might say Andersons career might of gone on a little too long. Some might also say that the 9 fights he had after the age of 38 tarnished his legacy somewhat as in those 9 he only earned 1 victory (Nick Diaz win was later declared a no contest when both fighters tested positive for banned substances). Anderson had his last fight in the UFC in October 2020 at age 44.
#6. Andrei Arlovski, 44
Still active, Arlovski is one of the few fighters who might end up catching Couture for second place (realistically nobody is ever catching Van Clief in first). As of the time of writing, Arlovski is still currently signed to the UFC winning 4 of his last 5 fights.
#5. Marion Reneau, 44
Reneau is the only woman to make this list and fought her last fight with the promotion against Miesha Tate at UFC on ESPN: Makhachev vs Moises in July 2021. Reneau initially tried out for TUF 18 but was allegedly told she was too old for the show. This didn’t stop her though and she went on to have 13 fights for the UFC
#4. Aleksei Olenik, 45
Along with being the only fighter to win a fight via Ezekiel choke (he done it twice by the way), Aleksei is also the fourth oldest person to ever compete in the UFC octagon having his last fight at a UFC Fight Night event in 2022 aged 45.
#3. Mark Coleman, 45
Coleman had his first MMA fight at UFC 10 in 1996 and his last at UFC 109 in 2010. Interestingly his last fight was the first ever UFC Hall of Famer v Hall of Famer match in history and was against a man mentioned many times on this list, Randy Couture. Coleman also holds the distinction of being the first ever UFC Heavyweight champion.
#2. Randy Couture, 47
Randy “The Natural” Couture started his MMA journey fairly late in life at the tender age of 34. That didn’t stop him though as he went on to be three-time UFC Heavyweight champion and two-time UFC light heavyweight champion becoming the oldest champion of all time in the process.
#1. Ron Van Clief, 51
Ron Van Clief had his one and only MMA fight at UFC 4 at the age of 51. To this day he remains the oldest fighter to ever compete in the UFC octagon. Unfortunately for Van Clief, His opponent was two-time tournament winner Royce Gracie. Royce won the fight by submission early and went on to win the tournament outright. Van Clief, because of his extensive martial arts knowledge went on to serve as the UFC commissioner.
So there you have it, the oldest UFC fighters of all time. Will the the record ever be broken? We doubt it. It’s unlikely the UFC would sanction someone over the age of 51 to fight in the octagon these days – but never say never. Ron Van Clief’s record is safe for now at least.