Best Judoka In MMA

As the world of mixed martial arts (MMA) continues to captivate audiences with its relentless action and awe-inspiring displays of skill, one particular art form stands out for its effectiveness and versatility: Judo. Combining precise techniques, unparalleled strength, and unwavering determination, Judo has become a force to be reckoned with inside the MMA cage.

If you’re an MMA enthusiast seeking to delve into the captivating world of judo, or perhaps you’re already a fan looking to learn more about the best judoka in the sport, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we’ll take a thrilling journey through the world of MMA, exploring the phenomenal athletes who have mastered the art of judo and have left an indelible mark on the sport.

From the incredible throws that leave opponents dazed and bewildered to the seamless transitions from standing to ground grappling, judoka in MMA have proven time and time again that their skills are invaluable in the quest for victory. As we explore the best judoka in MMA, we’ll delve into their backgrounds, their notable accomplishments, and the impact they’ve had on the sport as a whole.

Best Judoka In MMA

Whether you’re a passionate fan looking to expand your knowledge or an aspiring fighter seeking inspiration, this blog post will provide you with valuable insights and a deeper understanding of the immense contribution judo has made to the world of MMA. Get ready to witness the indomitable spirit and technical prowess of the best judoka in MMA as we embark on an exhilarating journey through their remarkable careers.

So, join us as we unveil the extraordinary individuals who have mastered the art of judo and have risen to the pinnacle of success in the thrilling world of mixed martial arts. Prepare to be amazed by their unrivaled skills, unwavering determination, and unyielding spirit as we explore the best judoka in MMA. Let’s dive in and discover the untapped power within the confines of the cage.

Table of Best Judoka in MMA

NameNumber of Wins
Hector Lombard34
Satoshi Ishii26
Karo Parisyan24
Kim Dong Hyun22
Rick Hawn21
Yoshihiro Akiyama16
Kayla Harrison15
Ronda Rousey12
Hidehiko Yoshida9
Paweł Nastula5

1. Hector Lombard

Hector Lombard is a Cuban-Australian professional mixed martial artist, bodybuilder, and former Olympic judoka who competes in the Light Heavyweight division of Eagle FC. Here are some key details about him:

  • Lombard was born on February 2, 1978, in Matanzas, Cuba.
  • He is known for his tenure in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and has also fought in Deep, Pride, and Bellator, where he was the inaugural Bellator Middleweight Champion.
  • Lombard represented Cuba at the 2000 Sydney Olympics in the lightweight division of the Judo competition, a sport in which he is a fourth-degree black belt
  • He has a professional MMA record of 34-10-1 (2 NC)
  • Lombard has signed a multi-fight contract to join the roster at Eagle FC, which is owned and operated by former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov
  • He has also competed in bare-knuckle boxing, where he is a cruiserweight
  • Lombard is sometimes referred to by the nickname “Lightning” or “Showeather”

2. Satoshi Ishii

Satoshi Ishii is a Japanese-born judoka, mixed martial artist, kickboxer, and submission grappler who has held Croatian citizenship since 2019. Here are some key details about him:

  • Ishii was born on December 19, 1986, in Ibaraki, Osaka, Japan.
  • He won a gold medal in Olympic Judo at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China, and a silver medal at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, UK.
  • Ishii has competed in various mixed martial arts organizations, including Dream, Bellator, and the Professional Fighters League (PFL).
  • He has a professional MMA record of 26 wins, 10 losses, and 1 draw.
  • Ishii has also competed in kickboxing and submission grappling.
  • In 2010, he was disqualified from a judo match at the World Judo Championships for unsportsmanlike conduct.
  • Ishii has fought notable opponents such as Fedor Emelianenko and Mirko Cro Cop.
  • He won the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the men’s +100 kg division.

Overall, Satoshi Ishii is a well-known athlete who has achieved success in judo and mixed martial arts.

3. Karo Parisyan

Karo Parisyan is an Armenian-American mixed martial artist who last competed in the welterweight division. Here are some key facts about him:

  • Parisyan was born on August 28, 1982, in Yerevan, Armenian SSR, Soviet Union (today Armenia).
  • He has fought in various promotions, including the UFC, Bellator, and Gladiator Challenge.
  • Parisyan has a professional MMA record of 24 wins, 12 losses, and 1 no-contest.
  • His fighting style is primarily judo, and he has won several fights by submission.
  • Parisyan has fought against notable fighters such as Georges St-Pierre, Matt Serra, and Diego Sanchez.
  • In May 2011, Parisyan fought Ryan Ford in the MMA Live 1 show in London, Ontario, Canada, and won by applying his takedowns.
  • Parisyan has had some personal struggles, including issues with painkiller addiction and depression.
  • His last fight was on October 3, 2014, against Fernando Gonzalez in Bellator MMA, which he lost by KO/TKO in the first round.

4. Kim Dong Hyun

Dong Hyun Kim is a retired South Korean mixed martial artist who most notably fought in the UFC’s welterweight division. He was born on November 17, 1981, in Suwon, South Korea. Kim’s original nickname is “Stun Gun”. He was signed by the UFC after fighting in the Japanese promotion DEEP and in the South Korean promotion Spirit MC. Here are some more key facts about him:

  • Kim was born on November 17, 1981, in Suwon, South Korea.
  • He is a retired South Korean mixed martial artist who most notably fought in the UFC’s welterweight division.
  • Kim’s original nickname is “Stun Gun”.
  • He has a professional MMA record of 22-4-1 (1 NC).
  • Kim is a 4th dan Black Belt in traditional Judo.
  • He fought out of Busan Team M.A.D.
  • Kim is a Southpaw fighter.
  • He stands at 6 ft 2 in (187.96 cm) tall and weighs 170 lbs (77.11 kg).
  • Kim’s last fight was on June 17, 2017, in UFC Fight Night: Holm vs. Correia.
  • He has won 9 fights by KO/TKO, 2 fights by submission, and 11 fights by decision.
  • Kim’s notable wins include Erick Silva, Siyar Bahadurzada, and John Hathaway.
  • He retired from MMA and is no longer an active fighter.

5. Rick Hawn

Rick Hawn is a former Olympic judoka and professional mixed martial artist. Rick Hawn retired from MMA in 2015 as the reigning Titan FC Lightweight Champion. According to an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Hawn announced that he was retiring from MMA because he was not a young kid anymore and it was a hard sport. He wanted to go out on his own terms and retire while holding the belt. Here are some key facts about him:

  • Hawn was born on September 15, 1976, in Chicago, Illinois, United States1.
  • He began training in Judo at age 12 when his father got back into the sport. Hawn continued to compete while attending South Eugene High School, where he also competed in wrestling and football in his senior year.
  • Hawn most notably competed for Bellator MMA, where he won the Bellator Season 6 Lightweight Tournament and the Bellator Season 9 Welterweight Tournament.
  • He officially retired from MMA on October 19, 2015, as the reigning Titan FC Lightweight Champion.
  • Hawn’s MMA record is 21 wins and 5 losses.
  • He is known for his judo skills and has won fights with judo throws.
  • Hawn is also a BJJ practitioner.

6. Yoshihiro Akiyama

Yoshihiro Akiyama is a well-known mixed martial artist from Japan. Akiyama has won gold in judo at both the Asian Games and Asian Championships. He first began training in judo at the age of three and before he embarked on his professional MMA career in 2004, he was already well-trained in karate, kickboxing, wrestling, submission fighting, and judo Here are some key facts about him:

  • Akiyama is a popular mixed martial artist in Japan and Korea.
  • He is also known as “Sexyama”.
  • Akiyama has fought in the UFC, Bellator, and ONE Championship.
  • He is a fourth-generation Korean-Japanese actor.
  • Akiyama is one of the middleweight division’s most unheralded entertaining fighters in MMA.
  • He has a record of 16-7-0 in MMA.
  • Akiyama’s fighting style is Judo.
  • He is a member of the Jackson-Wink MMA team.
  • Akiyama has pulled a 3,000-pound ship on Netflix’s show Physical!

7. Kayla Harrison

Kayla Harrison is an American professional mixed martial artist and former Olympic and world champion judoka. Kayla Harrison got into MMA after her judo career. She was introduced to judo by her mother at the age of six and went on to become an Olympic and world champion in the sport. After retiring from judo, she decided to pursue a career in MMA and signed with the Professional Fighters League (PFL). She has since become a two-time PFL Women’s Lightweight World Champion. Here are some key facts about her:

  • She was born on July 2, 1990.
  • She competed in the 78 kg (172 lb) weight category in judo.
  • She won the 2010 World Judo Championships, gold medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, and gold at the 2011 and 2015 Pan American Games.
  • She is currently signed to the Professional Fighters League (PFL).
  • In 2019 and 2021, she won the PFL Women’s Lightweight World Championship.
  • She has a professional MMA record of 15-1-0.
  • She is known for her judo skills and has a foundation style in judo.
  • She has been a guest on the television show “Billions”.
  • In 2020, she acquired full custody of her niece and nephew after her stepfather, who had custody of the children at the time, died suddenly.
  • She hopes to fight at least once in 2023, but has no direction right now about what plans may be made regarding her.

8. Ronda Rousey

Ronda Rousey is an American professional wrestler, actress, former judoka, and mixed martial artist. Rousey has had a successful career in both sports and entertainment and has been recognized as one of the greatest female athletes of all time. Here are some key facts about her:

  • Rousey was born on February 1, 1987, in Riverside, California.
  • She began her sports career in judo competitions, making her Olympic debut in 2004 on the U.S. judo team in Athens and later winning a bronze medal in the women’s middleweight judo event at the 2008 Beijing Games.
  • Rousey joined the mixed martial arts circuit in 2010, earning fame as the UFC Bantamweight Champion, before suffering her first loss in November 2015.
  • She began a career in professional wrestling in 2018, signing with WWE, and debuted at WrestleMania 34. She won the Raw Women’s Championship at that year’s SummerSlam and headlined WWE’s inaugural all-women’s pay-per-view when she defended her title at WWE Evolution.
  • Rousey is the only woman to be the champion in both the UFC and WWE, as well as the only woman to headline a pay-per-view event in both companies.
  • She was voted the best female athlete of all time in a 2015 ESPN fan poll, and Fox Sports described her as “one of the defining athletes of the 21st century”.
  • Rousey has also acted in films such as Furious 7.
  • Her net worth is estimated to be around USD 14 Million in 2023.

9. Hidehiko Yoshida

Hidehiko Yoshida is a retired Japanese mixed martial artist and judoka who won a gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in the 78 kg category. He competed in the Middleweight (93kg) and Heavyweight divisions of Japan’s PRIDE Fighting Championships. Here are some key facts about him:

  • Yoshida was born on September 3, 1969, in Obu, Aichi, Japan1.
  • He had two famous fights with MMA pioneer Royce Gracie that resulted in a no-contest and a time-limit draw.
  • Yoshida tried leglocks, triangle chokes, and armbars in his fight with kickboxer Don Frye, with Frye blocking all of them via raw strength and a makeshift submission defense until Yoshida finally locked an armbar and won.
  • In addition to his Olympic gold medal, Yoshida was also a 1999 World Champion in Birmingham and won 4 World Championships medals.
  • Yoshida has a professional MMA record of 9-8-1.
  • He is considered a legend in both judo and MMA.

10. Paweł Nastula

Paweł Nastula is a Polish judoka and mixed martial artist who was born on June 26, 1970, in Warsaw, Poland. Paweł Nastula’s fighting style in MMA was a combination of MMA and Judo. Here are some key facts about him:

  • Nastula was the 1995 and 1997 Judo World Champion and the 1996 gold medallist at the Olympic Games.
  • He also won three European Championships in 1994, 1995, and 1996.
  • Nastula competed in mixed martial arts (MMA) and had a professional record of 2 wins by knockout and 3 by submission.
  • He competed in the heavyweight division and weighed 241 lb (109 kg; 17 st 3 lb).
  • Nastula was married and had two daughters.
  • He remained active in the MMA world by running his club, Nastula Club, in Warsaw and training with fighters like Robert Jocz, Jan Błachowicz, and Krzysztof Kułak.
  • Nastula competed to crown the first KSW Heavyweight champion against Karol Bedorf but lost the fight due to exhaustion in the second round.
  • He participated in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.
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Author Bio

Hi, I am William. I started out in martial arts with Goshin Ju Jitsu when I was 7 years old. I am passionate about martial arts and love sharing everything I learn. I created Master Fighting to become a resource for learning about martial arts and alternative fighting styles. Learn more about me.