MMA fans and commentators often seem to regard striking offense as the only aspect when discussing great strikers, and completely forget about the defensive aspect, which is oftentimes more important, especially in the heavier weight classes where great defense can cause the opponent to gas out without throwing a single punch. Alistair Overeem for example is a guy that is talked about as one of the best MMA strikers ever, when in fact his defense is poor, which is why he has been knocked out more times than can be counted on two hands. Some names I can think of who have great striking defense (I don't think striking stats are an accurate reflection of effective striking btw): Not in any particular order: - Conor McGregor McGregor has some of the most effective distance management and control in MMA history, if not the very best. This allows him to be incredibly difficult to hit, especially when fresh. However, his striking defense when he gasses suffers a lot, as evidenced by both Diaz fights. He, much like Jon Jones, is phenomenal at utilising his length advantage in fights and also uses this very well in his striking offense. - Demetrious Johnson One of the most well-rounded fighters in MMA history, DJ has unmatched speed and movement which allows him to avoid most of his opponent's significant strikes and has been rocked only a handful of times in his career. - Anthony Johnson One of the few fighters in MMA history who hasn't been rocked visibly in his entire career. I've rewatched the Vitor fight a few times and I don't think he was rocked, but rather shot a few takedowns because Vitor charged him like a madman and then Rumble quit on the ground as usual. Under Henri Hooft during his LHW run, he had excellent head movement, never dropped his hands, and always tucked his chin; three things that he wasn't all that good at when he fought at 170/185. - Jon Jones Jones relies on his length a lot to defend strikes, which is why his usually impenetrable defense was cracked a lot by Gus. Still, Jones is great at using jabs, side kicks, and oblique kicks to keep opponents off him, and even though he has showed an iron chin on the few occasions he has been hit by clean, hard shots, he does not need to rely on his chin very often because his footwork is so great and is better than anyone in MMA history at utilising his physical tools. - Anderson Silva His fundamentals weren't textbook, but in his prime his reflexes and head movement were so great that he didn't need to keep his hands up at all to be an effective defensive fighter. - Cody Garbandt Yes, he got KOd by TJ, but I think TJ won because he has a better chin than Cody and because his striking offense is more varied and effective. TJ is a better kicker, and is better at cutting angles, feints, and effective in both stances. Despite this, his head movement isn't as good as Cody's and his feet aren't as quick, which means that he can't slide away from punches as quickly as Garbrandt.