10 Oldest UFC Fighters in The World (Updated 2021)

The UFC of Ultimate Fighting Championship made its debut in 1993 and and popularized Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in the United States and Western part of the world. Since then, MMA and the UFC have exploded in popularity and the UFC is now a multi-billion-dollar enterprise. Of course, the UFC would be nothing without its top tier fighters.

The best UFC fighters often have long careers and everyone on this list was/is in their 40s. Some of the UFC fighters on this list are still contracted with the UFC, while others left the organization or retired from the sport of MMA.

As of April 2022, the information on this list is as accurate as possible and will be updated as needed.

10. Dan Severn (June 8, 1958 – Present)

Oldest Age While Signed with UFC: 42 years, 3 months, 13 days on September 22, 2000
Years Active: 1994 – 2013
Country of Origin: Coldwater, Michigan, USA
Weight Class: Heavyweight
Fighting Style: Wrestling
Team(s): N/A

Dan Severnphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

 

Although Dan Severn has his last UFC fight back in 2000, the legendary MMA fighter did not retire from the sport until 2013, making him one of the oldest MMA fighters in history. Technically, Severn is only semi-retired and most recently appeared for Major League Wrestling at their second Battle Riot in 2019.

Severn was one of the early pioneers of MMA and the first true world-class wrestler to compete in the UFC. During his professional wrestling career, Severn won the NWA (National Wrestling Alliance) World’s Heavyweight Championship twice.

While Severn was at the height of his UFC career, he also had a brief tenure in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and is the only person to compete in UFC and WWF at the same time and held the NWA and UFC championships at the same time.

Did You Know?

Dan Severn is the first and only UFC Triple Crown champion in MMA history.


9. Fabrício Werdum (July 30, 1977 – Present)

Oldest Age While Signed with UFC: 42 years, 11 months, 27 days on July 26, 2020
Years Active: 2002 – 2020 (still active in MMA, but retired from UFC)
Country of Origin: Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Weight Class: Heavyweight
Fighting Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Team(s): Akhmat Fight Club; Werdum Combat Team; and Kings MMA (current)

Fabrício Werdumphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Fabrício Werdum, chose not to re-sign with the UFC over the Summer of 2020, but has not yet retired from MMA. After departing the UFC, Werdum signed a multi-fight deal with the Professional Fighters League promotion and will compete in the 2021 PFL heavyweight tournament

Like many other Brazilian MMA fighters, Werdum specializes in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. After success in competitive Brazilian jiu-jitsu and submission grappling, Werdum started his MMA career in 2002. After a few years, Werdum signed with PRIDE Fighting Championships in 2005, before moving on to the UFC in 2007.

Did You Know?

In addition to his MMA career, Fabrício Werdum is is also a 4-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion, a two-time Abu Dhabi Combat Club World Heavyweight Champion and European Jiu-Jitsu champion.


8. Yoel Romero (April 30, 1977 – Present)

Oldest Age While Signed with UFC: 43 years, 7 months, 4 days on December 4, 2020
Years Active: 2009 – 2020 (still active in MMA, but retired from UFC)
Country of Origin: Pinar del Río, Cuba
Weight Class: Light Heavyweight (2009-2011; 2021-Present); and Middleweight (2013-2020)
Fighting Style: Wrestling
Team(s): American Top Team

Yoel Romerophoto source: Tapology

Yoel Romero is one of several UFC fighters who either ended their contract with the organization or completely retired from MMA in 2020. Romero departed the UFC on December 4, 2020, and was picked up a few weeks later by Bellator MMA. He is set to compete in the 2021 Bellator Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix Tournament, with his first fight in mid-April.

Romero started training in wrestling in the 1990s and went on to represent his home country of Cuba at the senior level in the FILA Wrestling World Championships. After a prolific wrestling career, Romero began to transition to MMA in the late 2000s.

Did You Know?

As a freestyle wrestler, Yoel Romero was the ’99 World Champion (five-time medalist at the World Championships), the ’00 Olympic Silver medalist, a three-time World Cup winner (six-time medalist), the ’03 Pan American Games Gold medalist (bronze medalist in ’99), and a five-time Pan American Champion.


7. Demian Maia (November 6, 1977 – Present)

Oldest Age While Signed with UFC: 43 years, 7 months, 6 days on June 12, 2021
Years Active: 2001; 2005 – 2021 (still active in MMA, but retired from UFC)
Country of Origin: São Paulo, Brazil,
Weight Class: Middleweight (2005-2011) and Welterweigt (2012 – Present)
Fighting Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Team(s): Demian Mai Jiu-Jitsu

Demian Maiaphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Demian Maia is one of the few active UFC fighters who is in their early 40s. Maia first joined the UFC in 2007, but has been practicing martial arts for most of his life. As a child, Maia participated in Judo, Karate, and Kung-Fu. When he was 19, Maia was introduced to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for the first time and this became his main MMA style. Maia is also regarded as one of the best grapplers in the history of MMA.

Maia’s last fight was in March 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, affecting everything, including the UFC. He resumed his UFC fights in 2021, but chose to end his contract with UFC in August of that year. Maia’s last UFC fight was on June 12, 2021. 

Did You Know?

In 2007, Demian Maia won the 77–87 kg weight division at the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship, a grappling competition.


6. Marion Reneau (June 20, 1977 – Present)

Oldest Age While Signed with UFC: 44 years, 27 days on July 17, 2021
Years Active: 2010 – 2021
Country of Origin: Tulare, California, USA
Weight Class: Bantamweight
Fighting Style: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai
Team(s): Elite Team

Marion Reneauphoto source: UFC.com

Before her retirement in 2021, California-native, Marion Reneau was the oldest active UFC fighter and remains one of the oldest UFC fighters of all-time. She is the only woman on this list. 

Reneau began her MMA career in 2010, at the age of 33, which was considered “old” by the sport’s standards. Allegedly, Reneau wanted to try out for The Ultimate Fighter 18, but was told by UFC executives that she was “too old” for the show. Instead they told Reneau to keep winning fights.

Eventually, Reneau caught the eye of UFC and made her debut in early 2015. 

On July 17, 2021, Reneau had her last UFC (and MMA) bout. Unfortunately, Reneau did not end her career on a high note and she lost the fight with at TKO — this was the first time in her entire career that she had been knocked out. 

Did You Know?

So far in Marion Reneau’s UFC career, she has won five fights by knockouts and three by submissions and she is currently No. 12 in the UFC women’s bantamweight rankings.


5. Antonio Rogério Nogueira (June 2, 1976 – Present)

Oldest Age While Signed with UFC: 44 years, 1 month, 24 days on July 26, 2020
Years Active: 2000 – 2020
Country of Origin: Vitória da Conquista, Bahia, Brazil
Weight Class: Light Heavyweight
Fighting Style: Boxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Team(s): Team Nogueira; Black House; and Brazilian Top Team

Antonio Rogério Nogueiraphoto source: bjpenn.com

Antônio Rogério Nogueira retired from professional MMA after his last UFC fight on July 26, 2020 at the age of 44. Nogueira grew up with his twin brother, Antônio Rodrigo, in Vitória da Conquista, Brazil and trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Both of the Nogueira twins were UFC fighters, but Antônio Rodrigo retired back in 2015.

Nogueira’s professional MMA career started in 2000 and he competed in DEEP and HooknShoot events before signing with PRIDE Fighting Championships in 2002. He moved to the UFC in 2009 and had several wins under his belt before his retirement.

Did You Know?

Outside of MMA, Antônio Rogério Nogueira, is a proficient amateur boxer and was the 2006 and 2007 Brazilian Super Heavyweight Champion, as well as the bronze winner in the 2007 Pan American Games.


4. Aleksei Oleinik (June 25, 1977 – Present)

Oldest Age While Signed with UFC: 44 years, 9 months, 24 days (currently) 
Years Active: 1996 – 1999; 2001; 2004 – Present
Country of Origin: Kharkiv, Ukraine
Weight Class: Middleweight; Light Heavyweight; and Heavyweight (current)
Fighting Style: Combat Sambo
Team(s): Red Devil Sport Club; Team Oplot; American Top Team (current); and K-Dojo Warrior Tribe (current)

Aleksei Oleinikphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Aleksei Oleinik (born Alexey Oleynik) is currently the oldest active male UFC fighter at the age of 44. Ukrainian-born Oleinik started his professional MMA career in 1997 and is still going strong.

Before signing a contract with UFC in 2013, Oleinik had matches under M-1 Global, ProFC and IAFC and has competed for Bellator, KSW, and YAMMA Pit Fighting. Oleinik has a background in Japanese Jiu-Jitsu, but competes using Combat Sambo. Currently, Oleinik is No. 15 in the UFC heavyweight rankings.

Did You Know?

Aleksei Oleinik is the only UFC fighter to use an Ezekiel choke – a judo choke hold that opponent’s trachea or the carotid arteries. Oleinik holds the record for most Ezekiel choke wins in MMA competition, with fourteen.


3. Mark Coleman (December 20, 1964 – Present)

Oldest Age While Signed with UFC: 45 years, 1 month, 17 days on February 6, 2010
Years Active: 1996 – 2010
Country of Origin: Fremont, Ohio, USA
Weight Class: Heavyweight (1996-2006); and Light Heavyweight (2009-2010)
Fighting Style: Wrestling
Team(s): Team Hammer House

Mark Colemanphoto source: UFC.com

Mark Coleman is another UFC Hall of Fame legend who retired, but returned to the octagon years later. Coleman made his UFC debut in 1996 and initially left the sport of MMA in 2006. After three years he returned to UFC and although he did not technically retire until 2013, his last fight was on February 6, 2010 at the age of 45.

Prior to Mixed Martial Arts, Coleman did freestyle wrestling. Coleman was a high school state wrestling champion in 1981 and 1983 and he continued to wrestle in college. Hewas an NCAA Division I National Champion for the Ohio State Buckeyes. Additionally, Coleman was a wrestling World Championship runner-up and Pan American Games Gold medalist in 1991, won three Pan American Championships, and placed seventh overall at the 1992 Summer Olympics.

Did You Know?

Mark Coleman is credited with coming up with (and naming) the ground-and-pound MMA strategy and he is known as “The Godfather of Ground & Pound.”


2. Anderson Silva (April 14, 1975 – Present)

Oldest Age While Signed with UFC: 45 years, 7 months, 5 days on November 19, 2020
Years Active: 1997 – 2020
Country of Origin: São Paulo, Brazil
Weight Class: Middleweight and Heavyweight
Fighting Style: Taekwondo, Muay Thai, and Capoeira
Team(s): Chute Boxe Academy (1997-2003); Muay Thai Dream Team (2003-2006); Brazilian Top Team (2003-2006); Black House (2007-2013); and Killer Bees Muay Thai College (Current)

Anderson Silvaphoto source: Tapology

Anderson Silva, who was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, was only recently let go from his contract with UFC. While Silva has not officially retired from MMA yet, on November 19, 2020, UFC announced that they had released Silva from his contract. Many of Silva’s peers and MMA pundits consider Silva to be one of the greatest fighters in MMA history.

Silva began martial arts as a child and went on to train in Taekwondo, Muay Thai, and Capoeira. He made his professional MMA debut in 1997 and was part of several different teams. Silva signed to UFC in 2006 after spending a few years with PRIDE Fighting Championships and Cage Rage.

Did You Know?

Anderson Silva holds the record for the longest title reign in UFC history at 2,457 days, spanning from 2006 – 2013, which included 16 consecutive victories.


1. Randy Couture (June 22, 1963 – Present)

Oldest Age While Signed with UFC: 47 years, 10 months, 8 days on April 30, 2011
Years Active: 1996 – 2011 (brief retirement in late 2006)
Country of Origin: Everett, Washington, USA
Weight Class: Heavyweight (1997-2003; 2007-2009; 2010) and Light Heavyweight (2003-2006; 2009-2011)
Fighting Style: Wrestling
Team(s): Team Quest (1996-2006) and Xtreme Couture (2006-2011)

Randy Couturephoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Randy Couture is the oldest UFC fighter ever in the world and had his last fight on April 30, 2011 at the age of 47. Couture first made his mixed martial arts debut at UFC 13 in 1997. He continued in the UFC until a brief retirement in late 2006. However, in January 2007, Couture returned to the UFC and fought for a few more years.

Couture grew up wrestling and was a high school state champion as well as a three-time NCAA All-American. Following high school, Couture served in the U.S. Army from 1982 to 1988. He continued to wrestle and after leaving the Army, Couture became a three-time Olympic team alternate (1988, 1992 and 1996).

While Couture is retired from actively fighting, he’s still involved in the MMA world and owns a chain of gyms under the name Xtreme Couture Mixed Martial Arts.

Did You Know?

Randy Couture is the only UFC fighter to win a championship after becoming a UFC Hall-of-Famer and is the oldest champion in UFC history at the age of 45 years, 60 days.

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