best athletes The Toughest Professional Fighters in History  

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List Rules Professional boxers, wrestlers, and MMA fighters

The toughest professional fighters in history include some of the fiercest and bravest boxers, MMA fighters, and even wrestlers who proved their strength and perseverance time and time again. These tough men are the types you'd love to have behind you in a dark alley or a bar fight, as well as the men who entertain us on pay-per-view fights in the ring and the octagon. We can argue all day about the best boxers, MMA fighters and wrestlers, but which professional fighter is the toughest of them all? Who is the toughest man in history? Vote up your favorite and add other tough guys below.

Despite also being known for their silly UFC fighter nicknames, because of the skill required to compete and the level of danger of the sport, a great argument can be made that mixed martial arts fighters are some of the toughest pro fighters around. Anderson Silva, Fedor Emelianenko, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Dan Henderson and the great Chuck Liddell all lead that pack as some of the toughest MMA fighters and the hardest men in history. 

Others would argue that boxers are the greatest fighters in history. Ukrainian heavyweight Wladimir Klitschko, the great welterweight Micky Ward, top puncher Earnie Shavers and Muhammad Ali are favorites in the boxing world as some of the toughest to enter the ring. Sure, some of the technical best boxers of all time are not on that list but remember, this is about the toughest fighters, not necessarily the best.

Professional wrestlers can be added to the mix despite being more entertainers than athletes. Regardless, they are required to be pretty darn tough to do their jobs. Stone Cold Steve Austin, Terry Funk, and Mike Foley are just a sampling of the WWF/WWE wrestlers that you wouldn't want to take on in a fight.

Each of these professional fighters dealt with different challenges and opponents as they competed in their respective sports. All of these pro fighters proved their toughness time and time again. To get knocked down once and get back in that ring takes a whole lot of courage, and these fighters did that over and over throughout their careers. If that isn't a measure of toughness, I'm not sure what is.
list ordered by

1
7,583 2,588
Rocky Marciano is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Rocky Marciano Italy, United States of America

2
5,886 2,752
Muhammad Ali is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Muhammad Ali United States of America

3
12,891 7,207
Fedor Emelianenko is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

4
6,051 3,756
Mike Tyson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Mike Tyson United States of America

5
3,678 1,809
Joe Louis is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Joe Louis United States of America

6
3,210 1,290
Sugar Ray Robinson is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Sugar Ray Robinson United States of America

7
3,309 2,427
Anderson Silva is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

8
2,841 1,037
Jack Dempsey is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Jack Dempsey United States of America

9
3,270 1,453
Jake LaMotta is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
JamesHunt added Jake LaMotta Italy, United States of America

10
4,798 2,645
Bruce Lee is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Bruce Lee Hong Kong, United States of America

11
3,260 889
Joe Frazier is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Joe Frazier United States of America

12
2,582 1,777
Georges St-Pierre is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

13
2,623 888
George Foreman is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
George Foreman United States of America

14
2,482 928
Marvelous Marvin Hagler is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
SeanPatrickKennedyHill added Marvelous Marvin Hagler United States of America

The Coolest Championship Belts

15
2,727 1,488
Dan Henderson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Dan Henderson United States of America

16
2,568 1,485
Wanderlei Silva is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

17
1,527 850
Royce Gracie is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Hammerman47 added Royce Gracie Brazil

18
2,446 1,012
Manny Pacquiáo is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Manny Pacquiáo Philippines

19
2,097 1,291
Chuck Liddell is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Chuck Liddell United States of America

20
2,250 1,422
Randy Couture is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Randy Couture United States of America

21
2,060 1,147
Floyd Mayweather Jr. is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
ejlinehan added Floyd Mayweather Jr. United States of America

The Most Stunning Female Volleyball Players

22
2,023 1,261
Evander Holyfield is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Evander Holyfield United States of America

23
1,898 1,075
Mark Hunt is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Mark Hunt New Zealand

24
1,853 863
Arturo Gatti is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
kassaq added Arturo Gatti Canada, Italy

25
1,912 1,149
Roberto Duran is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

26
1,325 813
Ronda Rousey is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
MatthewKurňava added Ronda Rousey United States of America

27
1,665 1,171
Micky Ward is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Micky Ward Ireland, United States of America

28
1,735 1,046
Cain Velasquez is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Cain Velasquez United States of America

The Best Pro Sports Knockouts

29
1,675 1,223
Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

30
416 328
Jon Jones is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
JamesNicholsIII added Jon Jones United States of America

31
1,908 1,258
Bas Rutten is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
bcmoney added Bas Rutten Netherlands, United States of America

32
1,558 1,250
B.J. Penn is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
B.J. Penn United States of America

33
1,034 715
Alexander Karelin is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

34
1,203 655
Archie Moore is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Archie Moore United States of America

35
1,043 665
Gene Tunney is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Gene Tunney United States of America

37 Celebrities Who Played High School Basketball

36
1,239 841
George Chuvalo is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
lac la biche added George Chuvalo Canada

37
1,247 706
Julio César Chávez is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
g_money_stud added Julio César Chávez Mexico

38
1,247 639
Kazushi Sakuraba is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
bcmoney added Kazushi Sakuraba

39
1,289 993
Junior dos Santos is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

40
1,336 1,073
Roy Nelson is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

41
730 459
Roy Jones Jr. is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Roy Jones Jr. United States of America

42
147 205
Chris Leben is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Chris Leben United States of America

Professional Wrestlers Who Died Young

43
1,323 1,255
Mirko Filipović is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
bcmoney added Mirko Filipović Croatia

44
1,064 1,010
Vitali Klitschko is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

45
1,205 679
Thomas Hearns is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Thomas Hearns United States of America

46
936 992
Matt Hughes is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Matt Hughes United States of America

47
394 237
Sonny Liston is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Sonny Liston United States of America

48
884 775
Frankie Edgar is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Frankie Edgar United States of America

49
711 576
Carmen Basilio is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Carmen Basilio United States of America

50
331 562
Brock Lesnar is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Brock Lesnar United States of America