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Luke Sanders (born December 12, 1985) is an American mixed martial artist currently competing in the Bantamweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). A professional competitor since 2011, he has also formerly competed for Strikeforce and the RFA.

Luke Sanders
BornLuke Sanders
(1985-12-12) December 12, 1985 (age 33)
Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Other namesCool Hand
ResidenceNashville, Tennessee, United States
Height5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Weight135 lb (61 kg; 9 st 9 lb)
Reach71 in (180 cm)[1]
Fighting out ofClarksville, Tennessee, United States
TeamThe MMA Lab
Nashville MMA
Years active2011–present
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout7
By submission2
By decision4
By knockout1
By submission2
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog



Born in Brenham, Texas and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, Sanders was athletic from a young age; he won national titles in BMX and finished fourth at the grand nationals event in 1992 at the age of seven. In wrestling, he won a state championship for Montgomery Central High School in 2004 at 145 lbs. Sanders also played hockey, winning two state championships in 2001 and 2002. He began competing in Toughman contests at the age of 17, winning several tournaments, and holds an amateur boxing record of 9-0.[2]

Mixed martial arts careerEdit

Early careerEdit

Sanders compiled an amateur record of 4-0 before making his professional debut for Strikeforce in 2011. Sanders won via TKO in the first round. He then continued his unbeaten streak, compiling a record of 10-0 before being signed by the UFC.

Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipEdit

Sanders made his promotional debut as a short notice injury replacement on January 17, 2016 against Maximo Blanco at UFC Fight Night 81.[3] He won the fight via submission in the first round and was awarded a Performance of the Night bonus.[4][5]

Sanders next faced Iuri Alcântara on March 4, 2017 at UFC 209.[6] He was handed his first professional loss via submission (kneebar) in the second round.[7]

Sanders was scheduled to face Felipe Arantes on September 16, 2017 at UFC Fight Night 116.[8] However, the fight was scrapped after Arantes fell sick on September 14 from an undisclosed illness.[9]

Sanders was expected to face Bryan Caraway on December 9, 2017 at UFC Fight Night 123.[10] However, on November 20, Caraway pulled out from the fight with undisclosed reason[11] and he was replaced by Andre Soukhamthath.[12] Sanders lost the fight via TKO in the second round.[13] California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) flagged Sanders, after the event, of gaining more than 10% of weight from weight-in weight against on fight day weight, from 135.6 Ibs to 154.5 Ibs, which well over the commission regulation contracted weight of staying within 10% body weight gain for CSAC would not license to Sanders to fight in bantamweight bout in California.[14]

Sanders faced Patrick Williams on April 14, 2018 at UFC on Fox 29.[15] He won the fight via unanimous decision.

Sanders faced Rani Yahya on August 25, 2018 at UFC Fight Night 135.[16] He lost the fight via heel hook submission in the first round.[17]

Sanders faced Renan Barão on February 17, 2019 at UFC on ESPN 1.[18] At the weigh-ins, Barão weighed in at 138 pounds, 2 pounds over the Bantamweight non-title fight upper limit of 136 lbs. As a result, the bout proceeded at catchweight and Barão was fined 20% of his purse which went to Sanders.[19] Sanders won the fight via knockout in the second round.[20] This fight earned him the Performance of the Night award.[21]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 13–3 Renan Barão KO (punches) UFC on ESPN: Ngannou vs. Velasquez February 17, 2019 2 1:01 Phoenix, Arizona, United States Catchweight (138 lbs) bout; Barão missed weight. Performance of the Night.
Loss 12–3 Rani Yahya Submission (heel hook) UFC Fight Night: Gaethje vs. Vick August 25, 2018 1 1:31 Lincoln, Nebraska, United States
Win 12–2 Patrick Williams Decision (unanimous) UFC on Fox: Poirier vs. Gaethje April 14, 2018 3 5:00 Glendale, Arizona, United States
Loss 11–2 Andre Soukhamthath TKO (punches) UFC Fight Night: Swanson vs. Ortega December 9, 2017 2 1:06 Fresno, California, United States
Loss 11–1 Iuri Alcântara Submission (kneebar) UFC 209 March 4, 2017 2 3:13 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 11–0 Maximo Blanco Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC Fight Night: Dillashaw vs. Cruz January 17, 2016 1 3:38 Boston, Massachusetts, United States Featherweight bout. Performance of the Night.
Win 10–0 Terrion Ware Decision (unanimous) Legacy FC vs. RFA Superfight Card May 8, 2015 5 5:00 Robinsonville, Mississippi, United States Defended the RFA Bantamweight Championship.
Win 9–0 Jarred Mercado TKO (knee and punches) RFA 20: Sanders vs. Mercado November 7, 2014 1 1:06 Broomfield, Colorado, United States Won the vacant RFA Bantamweight Championship.
Win 8–0 Darrick Minner TKO (punches) RFA 17: Cochrane vs. Giagos August 22, 2014 2 3:15 Sioux Falls, South Dakota, United States Bantamweight debut.
Win 7–0 Dan Moret Decision (unanimous) RFA 13: Cochrane vs. Escudero March 7, 2014 3 5:00 Lincoln, Nebraska, United States
Win 6–0 Zach Underwood TKO (punches) XFC 26: Night of Champions 3 October 18, 2013 2 3:38 Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Win 5–0 Javon Wright Decision (split) Rhino Fighting Championships 7 July 19, 2013 3 5:00 Spring Hill, Tennessee, United States
Win 4–0 Zachary Sanders TKO (punches and elbows) XFC 18: Music City Mayhem June 22, 2012 1 4:53 Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Win 3–0 J.R. Hines TKO (punches) Gameness Fighting Championship 10 November 19, 2011 1 2:08 Goodlettsville, Tennessee, United States
Win 2–0 Latral Perdue Submission Gameness Fighting Championship 9 April 28, 2011 1 1:07 Goodlettsville, Tennessee, United States
Win 1–0 Josh Jarvis TKO (punches) Strikeforce Challengers: Woodley vs. Saffiedine January 7, 2011 1 3:15 Nashville, Tennessee, United States Featherweight debut.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Luke Sanders ("Cool Hand") | MMA Fighter Page". Tapology. Retrieved 2017-04-10.
  2. ^ "Luke Sanders - Official UFC® Profile". Retrieved 2017-04-10.
  3. ^ Staff (2016-01-04). "Luke Sanders steps in to fight Maximo Blanco; UFC Fight Night 81 lineup shuffled". Retrieved 2016-01-04.
  4. ^ Ben Fowlkes (2016-01-17). "UFC Fight Night 81 results: Luke Sanders chokes Maximo Blanco in octagon debut". Retrieved 2016-01-17.
  5. ^ Tristen Critchfield (2016-01-18). "UFC Fight Night Bonuses: Cruz, Dillashaw, Herman, Sanders pocket $50K checks". Retrieved 2016-01-18.
  6. ^ Marcelo Barone (2016-12-15). "Ultimate forwards fight fit between Marajó and Sanders for March". Retrieved 2016-12-15. (in Portuguese)
  7. ^ Dave Doyle (2017-03-04). "UFC 209 results: Iuri Alcantara surprises Luke Sanders with kneebar finish". Retrieved 2017-03-04.
  8. ^ Craig Meyer (2017-08-08). "Luke Sanders vs. Felipe Arantes added to Sept. 16 UFC card at PPG Paints Arena". Retrieved 2017-08-08.
  9. ^ Dave Doyle (2017-09-14). "Illness forces cancelation of Felipe Arantes vs. Luke Sanders bout at UFC Pittsburgh". Retrieved 2017-09-14.
  10. ^ Dave Doyle (2017-10-10). "Bryan Caraway vs. Luke Sanders set for UFC Fresno". Retrieved 2017-10-10.
  11. ^ "Bryan Caraway out at UFC-Fresno, Luke Sanders needs new opponent". MMAjunkie. 2017-11-21. Retrieved 2017-11-21.
  12. ^ DNA, MMA. "Andre Soukhamthath vervangt Bryan Caraway tegen Luke Sanders tijdens UFC Fresno". Retrieved 2017-11-22.
  13. ^ "UFC Fight Night 123 results: Andre Soukhamthath TKOs Luke Sanders in second for first UFC win". MMAjunkie. 2017-12-10. Retrieved 2017-12-10.
  14. ^ "Marlon Moraes among four fighters CSAC recommends move up in weight after UFC Fresno". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  15. ^ Greg Moore (2018-02-06). "Former ASU wrestling star Patrick Williams added to UFC on FOX 29 at Gila River Arena". Retrieved 2018-02-06.
  16. ^ DNA, MMA. "BJJ wizard Rani Yahya treft Luke Sanders tijdens UFC Lincoln". Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  17. ^ "UFC Fight Night 135 results: Rani Yahya taps Luke Sanders, calls for title shot vs. Dillashaw". MMAjunkie. 2018-08-25. Retrieved 2018-08-26.
  18. ^ Lee, Alexander K. (2018-12-14). "Renan Barao vs. Luke Sanders, two other bouts booked for UFC's ESPN premiere". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  19. ^ "UFC on ESPN 1 weigh-in results: Three fighters miss, but all fights set". MMAjunkie. 2019-02-16. Retrieved 2019-02-17.
  20. ^ "UFC on ESPN 1 results: Luke Sanders rallies to stop Renan Barao in second". MMAjunkie. 2019-02-17. Retrieved 2019-02-18.
  21. ^ Hiergesell, Dan (2019-02-18). "UFC Phoenix Bonuses! Luque, Barberena Battle it Out For $50K Each". Retrieved 2019-02-18.
  22. ^ Hiergesell, Dan (2019-02-18). "UFC Phoenix Bonuses! Luque, Barberena Battle it Out For $50K Each". Retrieved 2019-02-18.
  23. ^ "Luke". Sherdog. Retrieved 2018-12-14.

External linksEdit