Sports

The Toughest Professional Fighters in History 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated November 21, 2019 255k votes 29.5k voters 382.2k views

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
Rocky Marciano is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
United States of America
2
Jack Dempsey is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
United States of America
3
George Foreman is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
United States of America
4
Joe Louis is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
United States of America
5
Fedor Emelianenko is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
6
Marvelous Marvin Hagler ... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
SeanPatrickKennedyHill added United States of America
7
Sugar Ray Robinson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
United States of America
8
Muhammad Ali is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
United States of America
9
Manny Pacquiáo is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Philippines
10
Joe Frazier is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
United States of America
11
Jake LaMotta is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
JamesHunt added Italy, United States of America
12
Gene Tunney is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
United States of America
13
Mike Tyson is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
14
Conor McGregor is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
darren-bell added Ireland
15
Dan Henderson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
United States of America
16
Roberto Duran is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
17
Evander Holyfield is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
United States of America
18
Chuck Liddell is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
United States of America
19
Arturo Gatti is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
kassaq added Canada, Italy
20
Archie Moore is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
United States of America
21
Wanderlei Silva is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
22
Cain Velasquez is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
United States of America
23
Micky Ward is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Micky Ward Ireland, United States of America
24
Bas Rutten is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
bcmoney added Netherlands, United States of America
25
Georges St-Pierre is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History