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3 Best MMA Judoka of All Time

22 Nov 2019 08:05

   David Finch /

There have been many well-known MMA judokas in the past who have shown the best of their martial arts skills using superb throws, effective chokes as well as submissions. In fact, there were several throws that were done away with from the competitions as many of them could prove dangerous for the opponents, for instance, leg attacks, knee crushes etc. On the whole, MMA allows only the best judo moves in the sport.

Today, you can witness several MMA fighters beating their opponents by effectively using magical chokes and submissions. Here in this short article we will acquaint you with the 3 best MMA fighters who came from judo, and not the kinds that only trained in judo after entering into MMA.

Kim Dong-Hyun

He’s always been recognised as amongst the best MMA judokas and a very tough rival. A 4th dan judo blackbelt, it used to be extremely difficult for the opponents to knock Dong out. The only thing that stopped him from reaching the pinnacle of MMA was his inability to win the most important matches. The legendary Korean judoka’s overall MMA score stands at 22-4-1 and 1 no contest. He still actively competes in the UFC, where his last known score stood at 13-4 and 1 no contest. In fact, if you go around referring to the websites offering the best UFC odds, you will find plenty of people backing Dong Hyun Kim in his fights.

Popularly known as ‘Stun Gun’, his biggest wins came against Matt Brown, Paulo Thiago and Nate Diaz. In his last UFC fight, he beaten by Colby Covington via a unanimous decision in the UFC Fight Night 111 in Singapore.

Hidehiko Yoshida

An extremely successful Japanese judoka in the heavyweight category, Yoshida won a gold medal at the Olympic Games, Asian Games as well as the World Championships. Counted amongst the most recognized judokas in the MMA, he is referred to by many as the real submission expert. However, he didn’t have the best of striking skills and couldn’t defend the incoming strikes very well. Nevertheless, whenever Yoshida managed to take his rivals to the ground, he would always win the match. With an MMA score of 9 wins, 8 losses and 1 draw, his wins over Don Frye, Mark Hunt, Maurice Smith and Tank Abbott were nothing short of remarkable. He could have enjoyed a lot more success if he were a slightly better striker. Yoshida retired from the sport in 2010 after getting beaten by Kazuhira Nakamura, another well-known MMA Judoka.

Yoshihiro Akiyama

Presently signed up with ONE FC, Yoshihiro Akiyama is counted amongst the rare MMA judokas who are blessed with amazing kicks. Popularly referred to as ‘Sexyama’, his MMA score stands at 14 wins, 6 losses with 2 no contests. He has won the Asian Championships and the Asian Games gold medal in the past, and is a 3rd dan black belt. His notable MMA wins came against Denis Kang and Alan Belcher. Unfortunately, he couldn’t make it very big in the UFC.

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Related Judo Photos

  • Hidehiko Yoshida (JPN) - Olympic Games Atlanta (1996, USA) - © David Finch,
  • Hidehiko Yoshida (JPN) - World Championships Chiba (1995, JPN) - © David Finch,
  • Ruslan Mashurenko (UKR), Hidehiko Yoshida (JPN) - Olympic Games Atlanta (1996, USA) - © David Finch,

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