Many incredible mixed martial artists have come from Denmark over the years. But who are the most notable of all time? Here is our selection of the top six.
Martin “The Hitman” Kampmann was the first Dane to compete in the UFC, and he paved the way for other Danish MMA fighters. Born in Denmark’s second-largest city, Aarhus, the retired mixed martial artist is most well-known for being a former Cage Warriors World Middleweight Champion. The legendary Muay Thai fighter also has a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Kampmann had successes in both middleweight and welterweight, but the latter brought him more achievements. As a welterweight, Kampmann was better than many notable names from the world of MMA, such as Carlos Condit, Paulo Thiago, and Jake Ellenberger. Kampmann decided to take a break in 2014 and officially retired in 2016. Since 2014, he has become quite a renowned poker player. The Dane has played in numerous casino online competitions and live-tournaments, including the World Series of Poker Main Event and the Nevada Poker Challenge. In the latter, he pocketed a very nice $52,000.
With 14 wins and only one loss, Soren “The True Viking” Bak is one to watch out for. Born in Toksværd, Storstrøm, this rising featherweight star signed with Bellator in 2019. But he had also received a preliminary offer from UFC, which he turned down. Surely anyone who receives two offers from MMA’s biggest-names is someone we can expect to see much more of in the coming years.
Mads Burnell is a grappling pro and Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt from Husum, a district on Copenhagen’s outskirts. The mixed martial artist competes in the Bellator featherweight division. He has also competed in the UFC and Cage Warriors, where he became a Featherweight Champion. Burnell was also the BJJ European Champion and the No-Gi European Champion in 2014. Although still young, Burnell has proved he has what it takes to compete at a high professional level, and he is unquestionably one of Denmark’s most talented MMA fighters.
The former Superior Challenge light heavyweight champion and German Mixed Martial Arts Championship light heavyweight title-holder, Joachim Christensen, is a boxer, wrestler, and BJJ fighter all in one. After becoming one of Europe’s top-ranked light heavyweight fighters, the Copenhagen-born Dane began his UFC career at the age of 37 in 2016. Before he signed with UFC, Christensen had amassed a record of 14-3-0. He won his first belt in Denmark when he fought for Adrenaline MMA back in 2008. After a spell of recent losses, Christensen came back in 2019 to win via majority decision when he faced the formidable Miloš Petrášek at Oktagon, proving that there is still a fight left in the old dog.
One of the most promising Danish fighters out there, Mikkel Parlo, began his professional career in 2010. After fighting for Fighter Gala and Royal Arena, with a record of 8-0, Parlo signed with Bellator in 2012. He made his promotional debut against Jared Combs in the same year and won via knockout in the first round. The Copenhagen-born mixed martial artist’s accomplishments include being the Bellator Season 9 Middleweight Tournament Runner-Up and the Royal Arena Middleweight Champion.
Copenhagen-born Nicolas Dalby certainly lives up to his nickname of Lokomotivo. He is the current number-one-ranking Danish MMA fighter, according to Tapology. He participates in the welterweight division of the UFC and is a former welterweight and interim welterweight Cage Warriors champion. The BJJ brown belt is also a former EMMA, Fight Gaia, and CFFC Welterweight champion. Although Dalby has seen some ups and downs in the ring, he undoubtedly stands a good chance of becoming the greatest Danish MMA fighter of all time.