Any win streak in the UFC is a considerable achievement. Fighters are pitting themselves against the best in the world every single time they step into the Octagon. Whether it be an elite Muay Thai striker, a sneaky Jiu Jitsu specialist, a combat Sambo master, or any other martial artist, putting together a series of wins against UFC fighters is already proving to the world that you are good enough to hang with the wolves, and after a streak of two or three, fighters very quickly are facing the best of the best in the world who are quickly there to take their head off. Very few fighters are ever able to achieve more than this. Being at the top of your game for an extended amount of time, and turning back fighter after fighter is something only the elite can do. This weekend, at the UFC's Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, Arman Tsarukyan will have the chance to earn his sixth win in a row - no easy feat, considering this is a streak only seven other non-champion fighters currently hold. Let's have a look at these fighters.
A name everyone is familiar with, Islam has terrorised the Lightweight division with his elite grappling and forward pressure for six years straight, with his lone loss coming against Adriano Martins in October 2015. Islam was still young in his career at that point, and fought wildly aggressive, getting caught with a clean counter after wildly winging a series of combinations to his opponent. Since that early loss, Islam has developed into an unstoppable force; with his stand up developing quickly to allow himself to get into position to be able to use his suffocating wrestling and tremendous top control to ground out opponents and secure the victory. No other fighter in the UFC division has looked so in control for so long since Makhachev's close friend Khabib Nurmagomedov, and there seems to be no sign of slowing Islam down. With 9 straight wins now under his belt, and his previously planned title eliminator bout against Beneil Dariush put on ice for now, will Islam be able to put his formidable win streak up against the indomitable Charles Oliveira?
Speaking off Beneil, the Iranian born martial artist has quietly amassed 7 straight wins since last losing in 2018. Last appearing in May 2021 to run through Tony Ferguson, up until that point Beneil had somewhat flown under the radar, perhaps unfairly though. Within those seven wins, Beneil has two submissions, two knockouts, and four bonuses. Not to mention one of those wins attained meme status, as his knockout of Drakkar Klose was such a stellar come from behind performance it blew the minds of commentators Daniel Cormier, Joe Rogan and Jon Anik - their reaction perfectly encapsulating the dazzling performances Beneil puts on when he walks in the cage. Whilst the 33 year old is currently injured, Beneil will have his eyes on a title shot when he returns, and will certainly be on the shortlist of future opponents for the Lightweight Champion in the next twelve months.
Since his lone career loss in his UFC debut, a hail mary submission to Paul Craig in the last second of the last round, the hulking Dagestani Light Heavyweight has made huge waves in the UFC. Quickly decimating his opponents, Ankalaev scored knockouts in four of his next five fights, picking up three bonuses along the way. The way the Sambo Master ruthlessly dispatched his opponents had everyone looking on in awe, and Magomed was quickly tagged as one to watch for a climb up the rankings. Since then, the knockouts may not be coming, but the decisive wins are still there, with the 30 year old proving his wrestling prowess is equally as problematic as his knockout power. Since entering the rankings, Ankalaev has emphatically beaten Nikita Krylov, Volkan Oezdemir and Thiago Santos. Currently lined up against Anthony Smith in a title eliminator bout at UFC 277 next month, the Dagestani will be looking to score a 9th consecutive win and earn his first ever title shot against newly crowned champion Jiří Procházka.
Allen has won 9 straight in the UFC, but 11 straight fights overall. Undefeated since joining the UFC back in 2015, the aspiring young English fighter has worked non stop, proving that he has enough to hang with the very best in the world. Utilising a varied approach that mixes up high volume boxing led by a strong jab, with a sneaky submission game ready to ensnare unwary victims, 'Almighty' has proven to be an impossible puzzle to solve, and has won all nine of his fights in the UFC. No victory was more important than his most recent, welcoming Dan Hooker back to the Featherweight and sending him packing with a standing TKO in the first round, a brutally convincing performance that signalled to the rest of the division that Allen wasn't here to play. With no fight currently booked, Allen's name has been linked with fights against Movsar Evloev and The Korean Zombie - both tantalising prospects as Arnold looks to build his case as a future challenger for the Featherweight strap.
Outspoken, controversial, brash. Keep your ears open for just a second and you'll be bound to hear Sean's stream of thought on something, and most of the time it'll be an R rated opinion. After an unfortunate motorcycle accident in 2018 that sidelined Strickland for almost two full years, Sean has added five more wins to his previous KO victory against Nordine Taleb. A high volume boxing attack has seen the American back up his wild comments outside the cage with a series of victories, and 'Tarzan' has steadily been climbing the ranks at Middleweight as a result. Most recently, the 31 year old defeated Jack Hermannson earlier this year in a performance that Sean described as if he "just coasted through the fight" and "took [his] foot off the gas" to break into the top five in the Middleweight division, Strickland is now set to fight against the fast rising 'Poatan' Alex Pereira in what could potentially decide the next challenger for UFC Middleweight glory.
There may not be a fighter in the UFC that lives up to their moniker better than 'The Machine', as Merab's grinding wrestling has completely shut out opponent time after time. Undefeated since 2018, the Georgian wrestler has notched up 6 wins on the trot, most recently battering Marlon Moraes with ferocious ground and pound in September last year. With less than ten fights in the UFC to his name, Merab has already notched up an incredible 63 takedowns against his opponent (the UFC record is held by GSP with 90 takedowns), a shuddering statistic most impressively highlighted in his fight against Gustavo Lopez. Over the course of 15 minutes, Merab proceeded to throw Gustavo around, slam him to the ground, let him stand up, and slam him again. Rinse and repeat. Sitting at number six in the UFC Bantamweight rankings, Merab has just been booked to fight the King of Rio, José Aldo in what will have huge implications in the race to the Bantamweight crown.
The second fighter to ever pull off the insanely rare twister submission in the UFC 'Thug Nasty' is officially undefeated in his professional career, with his perfect 15-0 including 6 victories since joining the UFC. Mitchell's game plan is no secret: takedown his opponents and control them on the ground with wrestling and ground strikes until the opportunity for a submission presents itself. This was perfectly highlighted in his most recent fight against Edson Barboza, as the Arkansas native controlled, dominated, and mauled the highly celebrated Brazilian kickboxer for fifteen minutes straight, earning one of the most lopsided Verdict scorecards in recent history and an emphatic win to break into the highly contested top 10 at Featherweight. Currently unbooked, Bryce Mitchell was most recently eyeing up a fight against The Korean Zombie to continue his ascent up the rankings. Look to see 'Thug Nasty' and his camo pants again in the cage some time before the end of this year hopefully.
Two of the longest win streaks in the UFC came to an abrupt and unfortunate end in March last year, when Leon Edwards' finger accidentally drilled deep into Muhammed's eye, leaving him screaming in pain and unable to continue. Edwards had won 8 straight before then, and Belal is undefeated in his last 8, with 7 wins and the no contest. Both well and truly deserving of making it on this list, if not for that fateful moment.
It cannot be overstated the devastation Aspinall has caused in the UFC's Heavyweight division in such a small amount of time. With 5 fights to his name, and 5 ruthlessly fast finishes against names such as Andre Arlovski and Alexander Volkov, the only thing stopping Tom from making this list was the fact that he hasn't had six fights in the UFC yet.
Incredibly, there isn't a single woman in the UFC (aside from current champion and #1 P4P, Valentina Shevchenko) with a win streak of six - and the longest active win streak out of any contender from any women's division belongs to France's Manon Fiorot, who is unbeaten in her first five UFC appearances. 'The Beast' is currently booked to fight Jessica Andrade, the ultimate test to get her sixth win.
It takes a special calibre of fighter to amass a win streak this long in the UFC. We'll find out very soon if Tsarukyan is able to achieve the impressive feat at UFC Vegas 57, and join this elite list of fighters. See you then.