20 Youngest UFC Fighters of All Time – All 20 & under at career start

Thanks to good promotions and social networks, MMA as a global sport grows daily. We get new fighting organizations, new weight categories, and new fighters all the time. What has started to be a frequent phenomenon is the young pros arriving every day in martial arts organizations. And thanks to the spread of MMA sport at the world level, their talents have come to the fore much faster than they did ten years ago. It’s always nice to see a young and prosperous face appear on the world stage like the UFC, ready to take the torch from the veterans of the sport and shine in their light.

Igor da Silva (20)

Igor da Silva Severino was born in 2003 in Jurita, Para, Brazil, and fights out of the Chute Boxe Joao Emilio team. This young flyweight prosperity made his professional debut at 15, where he did not hold back in defeating an older fighter with a submission in the first round.

Igor continues to show his success and fighting skills in the following matches on his way to the Dana Whites Contender Series, where he comes after five years of competition. In that period, da Silva achieved seven victories with four submissions and four knockouts. Very young and already well-rounded, Igor needed only two rounds to knock out his compatriot Jhonat Silva in the presence of President White, whose attention he quickly attracted.

In addition to his complete style, Igor is known for his humility, and regardless of his hunger for the fight, da Silva wants to patiently and carefully step toward the top, unlike many young fighters. Considering he’s young, remember his name because he will shine even brighter in the future.

Chase Hooper (20)

Chase Alan “Dream” Hooper was born in 1999 in Enumclaw, Washington, USA. Chase comes from the Combat Sport & Fitness team and is a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu black belt. Hooper started his MMA career as an amateur in high school, stopping all opponents with a stoppage in five wins and ending his amateur career undefeated.

After making his professional MMA debut in 2017, he needed five wins to reach the Dana White Contender Series, where he won the match. After that, he did a few more matches in other organizations to hone his craft and returned to the UFC scene as a 20-year-old and new fighter in 2019, where he still performs today.

Chase achieved four wins and three losses in a couple of years under the UFC lights, never choosing opponents. If we have learned anything from his performances, it is not to be fooled by his grappling abilities, as Hooper has four knockouts to his name and a long career ahead of him to show his development.

John Alessio (20)

John Paul “The Natural” Alessio was born in 1979 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. John is an old-school fighter and retired sports veteran who found his passion as a young man in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and kickboxing. Even before he turned 20 and made his debut for the UFC, Alessio did as many as ten matches in various organizations. Immediately on his UFC debut, Allesio got a chance for the UFC Welterweight title, which he could not grab.

John continued to compete in different organizations, fighting everyone everywhere, and after six years of relentless fighting, he once again appeared in the UFC octagon, where he unfortunately lost again. Six years passed, and he returned to the UFC for the third time, but even after the third failed attempt with two defeats in a row, he went to compete for Bellator, and in 2015, he said goodbye to the sport with 54 fights. His resume includes 35 wins, ten knockouts, seven submissions, 17 defeats, and two draws.

Tereza Bleda (20)

Tereza Bledá was born in 2001 in the Czech Republic and trains at the REINDERS MMA team in Prague. As an amateur, she had only one match, which she won in 2019, and the following year she debuted and won as a professional. Tereza is a former amateur MMA champion of the Czech Republic, an amateur junior boxer with a record of three wins and zero losses, and a former champion of the Oktagon organization in the flyweight division for which she made her professional debut.

After five victories and a title at the Octagon, Tereza got a chance at the Dana White Contender Series at the age of 20, winning by unanimous decision. Bleda rushed to return to the UFC arena in two months, where she lost by knockout. She took enough time to prepare to return after over half a year and returned to winning ways with a decision against Gabriella Fernandes.

Rong Zhu (20)

Rong Zhu “Little Yama” was born in 2000 in Sichuan Province, China, and is of Tibetan descent. He comes from a Sanda background, where he started training at 12 and soon after decided to do MMA, which he started training at the nearby Enbo Fight Club. Zhu made his debut as a professional for the first time in 2016 at the incredible age of 16, and in subsequent fights, Rong achieved success in the Chinese WLF organization, where he held the lightweight title and managed to defend it three times.

He came to the UFC with a record of 20 wins and three losses at 20. In the last two years of competition for the UFC and Road to UFC, he achieved three wins and two losses and reached the show’s finals in the lightweight category, where he will meet the Japanese fighter Shin Haraguchi in the fight for a UFC contract. To his name, Rong has 24 wins with 15 knockouts, five submissions, and five losses and is hungry to prove his fighting capacity.

Nick Diaz (20)

Nickolas Robert Diaz was born in 1983 in Stockton, California, U.S., and is one of the famous faces of the UFC cover. As a teenager, Diaz started practicing minor martial arts (karate and aikido) and participated in wrestling competitions. At the age of 16, Nick started training in sambo, and soon after that, he switched to MMA and Brazilian Jiujitsu, where today he has a black belt under the tutelage of Cesar Gracie.

In 2005, before his professional career, Nick won the Pan American competition and a bronze medal in the open category. He debuted as a professional MMA fighter in 2001 and, with the help of various organizations, paved his way to the UFC, where he performed at the age of 20 with a record of seven wins and two losses.

Under the UFC’s “command,” Nick achieved a record of seven wins and seven losses against quality competition in the following years, and his express boxing, relentless cardio, and slick jiujitsu skills always came to the fore regardless of wins or losses.

Cory McKenna (20)

Cory Poppins McKenna was born in 1999 in Cwmbran, Wales. She started showing her love for martial arts at the age of ten when she started karate, and it didn’t take long for her to attend classes in Muay Thai, BJJ, and boxing, which led to MMA training at only 13 years old. After an excellent amateur career of seven wins in three years, the Welsh girl debuted in 2018 for Cage Warriors.

After six solid performances, she got a chance at the Dana White Contender Series at only 20 years old. Cory is a member of Team Alpha Male and, for the UFC organization so far, has three wins, one loss, and one Contender Series victory. In addition, McKenna is a complete fighter whose brilliance should come to the fore in the coming years, and at the age of 24, she already has ten professional appearances, eight of which are wins and two losses.

Michael McDonald (20)

Michael “Mayday” Robert McDonald was born in 1991 in Modesto, California, United States. He discovered his path to martial arts at the age of ten when he joined kickboxing, and after a few years, he transitioned to MMA and earned a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Michael took little time to get his priorities in order, and he made his professional debut at the age of 16 and celebrated it with a submission victory.

After 12 appearances in smaller organizations and winning the TPF Bantam title, McDonald got the opportunity to perform for the UFC as a twenty-year-old and took the fight of the night bonus and victory in the first appearance. Michael remained under the UFC contract for five years, where he fought nine matches with six wins and three losses and showed with his varied finishes that he could end the match in all ways. After the UFC, he did two winning matches for Bellator, where he hung up his gloves, and after 23 matches, he deserved to retire.

Iasmin Lucindo (20)

Iasmin Lucindo Bezerra was born in 2002 in Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil, and fights out of Academia Fight House. She started martial arts out of a desire to help her family after witnessing domestic violence, and she excelled. Iasmin debuted as a professional at the age of 16, and on her way to the UFC, she achieved incredible results.

Such as three titles from three different fighting organizations, Action Fighting, Punch Fight, and Samurai Fighting, as well as the jiu-jitsu Bahia state championship, Brazilian BJJ championship in categories and open weight, and even ADCC trials, and she copied her martial knowledge in striking sports, where she has six victories in kickboxing.

After 17 fights, she got the chance to debut in the UFC at the age of 20. Unfortunately, she lost in her debut but returned to winning ways with two convincing victories in 2023.

Francisco Prado (20)

Francisco Prado was born in 2002 in San Lorenzo, Santa Fe, Argentina, and competes in the lightweight division. He has been a fighting lover since he was young and started training at 14. He holds a black belt in taekwondo, being a national champion multiple times, and a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

As an amateur, Francisco achieved five finishes in five matches, and in 2019, he sailed into professional waters. Not long after the TKO win debut, Prado continued to finish opponents and won the Samurai Fight House South American Lightweight and Super Lightweight Championships with two title defenses each.

With a 100% finish rate after 11 matches, he got the opportunity to perform for the UFC at the age of 20, but in his debut, he lost for the first time, and by referee’s decision. Like any young and hungry fighter, he couldn’t wait to get back into the cage and win, having defeated the dangerous Moroccan fighter Ottman Azaitar by technical knockout in July 2023.

Max Holloway (20)

Jerome Max Keli’i Holloway was born in 1991 in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. Max got into martial arts through kickboxing, and he won his amateur debut after only three days of training and by TKO. Already in his third professional fight, Blessed won his first title and, after another victory, got the opportunity to fight in the UFC at the age of 20 against the always dangerous Dustin Poirer, but unfortunately lost his debut.

Twelve years later, Max is still performing on the biggest martial arts stage, where he has achieved an incredible 21 wins and seven losses. Holloway is a UFC record holder by various parameters and is a former featherweight champion with three title defenses. Volkanovski twice, Ortega, Kattar, Edgar, Rodriguez, Aldo, and Pettis are just some of the names Max has shared the arena with.

Because of his love for the sport, he never asks who the opponent is, and it’s always the hardest fight, which he enjoys without a doubt. A fan favorite in every match, Max is the current featherweight gatekeeper.

Robbie Lawler (20)

Robert Glenn “Ruthless” Lawler was born in 1982 in San Diego, California, U.S. Before trying MMA, he went through various martial arts such as taekwondo, karate, and wrestling. He made his professional debut in 2001, and after four victories, he performed for the famous UFC the following year at the age of 20.

Robbie is the epitome of aggressiveness, who, even after twenty years, was tearing up the UFC competition until he retired in 2023 with an express knockout victory. Lawler is a former dominant Welterweight Champion of the UFC and other organizations such as SuperBrawl, Strikeforce, ICON Sport, and EliteX Middleweight Championshipships.

Lawler was repeatedly awarded the Fighter of the Year award and fought for years against well-known killers at the very top of the Welterweight category. The veteran of this sport of 47 total matches brought his record in the UFC to 15 wins and ten losses, which mostly followed the decline of his career in recent years.

Paige Van Zant (19)

Paige Michelle VanZant was born in 1994 in Dundee, Oregon, USA. She comes from a family of dancers, which is where her passion for dancing comes from, but due to bullying during her school days, she had to turn to the darker side and replace dance classes with boxing and MMA training.

VanZant is a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and she honed her skills at the American Top Team Gyms in Miami and Portland, Team Alpha Male, and Team Quest Gym. Only one amateur victory was required to make her go pro, and after four matches and three wins, Paige got the opportunity to perform for the UFC at only 19 years old.

She won her UFC debut with a knockout in 2014 and remained in that organization for nine matches with five wins and four losses. After parting ways with the UFC, she tried her hand at bare-knuckle and professional wrestling, and today, Paige is a personality who appears in various media and shows.

Vitor Belfort (19)

Vitor “The Phenom” Vieira Belfort was born in 1977 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He is a former MMA fighter who went through all the fire of the UFC. Vitor is a complete fighter with a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Shotokan karate, and judo and has 26 wins with 18 knockouts and 15 losses to his name.

Immediately following his successful debut in 1996, Belfort moved to the UFC at 19 in an era of multiple fights per night. He is the winner of 12 UFC heavyweight tournaments and a former light heavyweight champion with a UFC record of 15 wins and ten losses.

The Phenom also honed his craft fighting in PRIDE FC, and his resume is full of legendary names such as Jones, Rockhold, Bisping, Henderson, Wiedman, Souza, Mousasi, and many others. Like every restless Brazilian, after a busy MMA career, he turned to professional boxing, where he currently has two victories, performing at 46 years old.

Sage Northcutt (19)

Sage Northcutt was born in 1996 in Katy, Texas, United States. He comes from a martial family whose father is a shuri-ryu blackbelt, and his sister is a kickboxer and professional MMA fighter. Sage himself is one of the youngest MMA practitioners. He was already training at four and won as many as 77 world karate championships.

Sage has 15 wins and no losses in his kickboxing campaigns and debuted as an MMA professional in 2014. It only took one year for this young prosperity to reach the UFC, for which he performed at 19. In eight appearances, he recorded six wins and two losses, after which he signed a contract with ONE Championship, where he competes today.

The always-smiling Super Sage has grown over time into a real master of martial arts, a very well-rounded fighter capable of finishing the fight in all possible ways. Given that he is only 27 years old if his health serves him, he will have a long and successful career ahead of him.

Maycee Barber (19)

Maycee Kaye “The Future” Barber was born in 1998 in Greeley, Colorado, United States. Maycee knew from an early age that she wanted to be a professional fighter, so with the support of her parents and her fighter brother, she traveled all over the US to hone her craft. Barber is a member of Team Alpha Male and holds a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and a black belt in karate.

After a quick and efficient amateur debut that ended with a TKO in the first round, Maycee made her professional debut for the LFA organization in the same year with the same output but with a first-round submission. One year later, Barber got a chance at the Dana White Contender Series at 19.

She took advantage of that opportunity and carried her winning streak to three more fights at UFC events. After four years of competing for the world’s best organization, Maycee brought her UFC record to eight wins and two losses, which is incredible considering her age.

Jake Matthews (19)

Jake Aaron “The Celtic Kid” Matthews was born in 1994 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Matthews got involved in sporting pleasures through Australian Football, and to avoid getting out of shape, he decided to train in MMA in the off-season. And you all know how it goes once you enter the gym.

After his professional debut, Jake excelled with a knockout in the second round, and after a few fights, he also won the FXP Welterweight title. It only took two years, seven fights, and a killer streak of finishers to bring him to the UFC organization, where Jake debuted at 19.

Matthews is 29 years old and has already had 18 fights in the UFC alone, with 12 wins and six losses. Considering his youth, he shared the Octagon against top-tier lightweight and welterweight fighters. This submission and knockout artist continues to be active, and in 2023, a difficult task awaits him against the undefeated Ecuadorian Michael Morales.

Song Yadong (19)

Song “Kung Fu Kid” Yadong was born in 1997 in Heilongjiang Province, China. At nine years old, Song was carving out his martial path through Sanda’s classes, and at the age of 13, he switched to MMA. Three years later, he debuted as a professional fighter in a draw in the first match.

For the first four years, he performed in China, fighting in three categories, where he achieved a result of 11 wins, five losses, and the already mentioned draw. At only 19, Song performs in his native China at his first UFC event where, in addition to winning, he also takes home the Performance of The Night bonus after a submission win in the first round.

From 2017 until today, Yadong has competed for the UFC with nine wins, two losses, and one draw. Song is 25 years old today, and his career and dangerous fighting skills in a complete style are getting better match after match; his resume is filling with victories against world-famous names.

Dan Lauzon (18)

Daniel “The Upgrade” James Lauzon was born in 1988 in Brockton, Massachusetts, United States. Dan is a retired MMA fighter with 17 wins, including nine knockouts, seven submissions, and six losses, which show his versatility over almost a decade of his career. He started training at the age of 14, and at 18, he performed as a professional for the first time, winning four matches in one year, finishing all opponents by submission, and getting a chance at the UFC at 18.

Unfortunately, Lauzon loses his debut and seeks glory in other organizations where he continues to finish his opponents. Four years later, he returned to the UFC again, where he lost two matches in a row, and when Dan returned to other organizations, he achieved a winning streak again, which shows that Daniel was unlucky on Dana White’s battlefield. Out of 23 matches, only two went to a decision, highlighting his percentage of finishes against opponents. Lauzon said goodbye to the sport after two defeats in a row in 2015 but left behind a quality career.

Raul Rosas Jr. (17)

Raul Rosas Junior was born in 2004 in Mexico and is one of the youngest UFC fighters ever, making his debut at 17. He started his MMA adventure at three years of age and immediately devoted himself to hard training with his father as coach. After a fast and efficient amateur career at IMMAF, Rosas focused on his professional career as a schoolboy.

He started to fight professionally and attend classes simultaneously and made his professional debut in 2021. In just two years of competition, Raul fought nine professional matches, collecting eight wins and one loss. He earned his UFC contract after appearing on the Dana White Contender Series in 2022, where he currently competes with a record of two wins and one loss.

Raul is one of the most promising young fighters in the world, and he is not even twenty years old. His quality and complete skill have a lot of time to rise to an even better level, and his hunger for active fights is incredible.

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Gregori Povolotski

I have been practicing martial arts since 2007. For as long as I can remember, I have always had a huge passion for combat sports, especially Muay Thai and boxing. Helping people on their martial arts journey is what drives me to keep training and learn new things. Read More About Me

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