Best Athletes The Toughest Professional Fighters in History  

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Originally by Ranker Community
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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.

1
7,875 2,646
Rocky Marciano is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Rocky Marciano Italy, United States of America

2
6,005 2,999
Muhammad Ali is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Muhammad Ali United States of America

3
12,948 7,471
Fedor Emelianenko is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

4
6,152 4,001
Mike Tyson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Mike Tyson United States of America

5
3,892 1,855
Joe Louis is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Joe Louis United States of America

6
3,314 1,447
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
5,027 2,686
Bruce Lee is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Bruce Lee Hong Kong, United States of America

8
3,078 1,056
Jack Dempsey is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Jack Dempsey United States of America

9
3,345 2,592
Anderson Silva is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

10
3,409 1,489
Jake LaMotta is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
JamesHunt added Jake LaMotta Italy, United States of America

11
3,415 910
Joe Frazier is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Joe Frazier United States of America

12
2,628 1,862
Georges St-Pierre is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

13
2,718 918
George Foreman is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
George Foreman United States of America

14
2,533 1,030
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

15
2,744 1,557
Dan Henderson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Dan Henderson United States of America

16
2,586 1,539
Wanderlei Silva is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

17
1,548 904
Royce Gracie is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Hammerman47 added Royce Gracie Brazil

18
2,488 1,057
Manny Pacquiáo is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Manny Pacquiáo Philippines

19
2,131 1,324
Chuck Liddell is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Chuck Liddell United States of America

20
2,270 1,468
Randy Couture is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Randy Couture United States of America

21
2,091 1,247
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

22
2,059 1,293
Evander Holyfield is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Evander Holyfield United States of America

23
1,911 1,114
Mark Hunt is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Mark Hunt New Zealand

24
1,879 902
Arturo Gatti is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
kassaq added Arturo Gatti Canada, Italy

25
1,940 1,183
Roberto Duran is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

26
1,745 1,071
Cain Velasquez is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Cain Velasquez United States of America

27
1,689 1,198
Micky Ward is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Micky Ward Ireland, United States of America

28
1,341 896
Ronda Rousey is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
MatthewKurňava added Ronda Rousey United States of America

29
1,685 1,246
Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

30
433 372
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
1,938 1,279
Bas Rutten is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
bcmoney added Bas Rutten United States of America, Netherlands

32
1,576 1,277
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
1,042 740
Alexander Karelin is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

34
1,237 671
Archie Moore is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Archie Moore United States of America

35
1,069 678
Gene Tunney is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Gene Tunney United States of America

36
1,250 857
George Chuvalo is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
lac la biche added George Chuvalo Canada

37
1,267 716
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
1,256 649
Kazushi Sakuraba is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
bcmoney added Kazushi Sakuraba

39
1,293 1,004
Junior dos Santos is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

40
1,341 1,086
Roy Nelson is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

41
742 474
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
150 221
Chris Leben is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Chris Leben United States of America

43
1,334 1,266
Mirko Filipović is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
bcmoney added Mirko Filipović Yugoslavia, Croatia

44
1,070 1,029
Vitali Klitschko is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

45
1,222 686
Thomas Hearns is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Thomas Hearns United States of America

46
411 245
Sonny Liston is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Sonny Liston United States of America

47
947 1,002
Matt Hughes is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Matt Hughes United States of America

48
725 582
Carmen Basilio is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Carmen Basilio United States of America

49
890 786
Frankie Edgar is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Frankie Edgar United States of America

50
344 581
Brock Lesnar is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Brock Lesnar United States of America