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
7,761 2,621
Rocky Marciano is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Rocky Marciano Italy, United States of America

2
5,956 2,895
Muhammad Ali is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Muhammad Ali United States of America

3
12,926 7,362
Fedor Emelianenko is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

4
6,110 3,896
Mike Tyson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Mike Tyson United States of America

5
3,811 1,836
Joe Louis is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Joe Louis United States of America

6
3,287 1,370
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
2,981 1,050
Jack Dempsey is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Jack Dempsey United States of America

8
4,931 2,670
Bruce Lee is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Bruce Lee United States of America, Germany, China

9
3,333 2,537
Anderson Silva is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

10
3,345 1,473
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
3,340 902
Joe Frazier is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Joe Frazier United States of America

12
2,612 1,822
Georges St-Pierre is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

13
2,673 912
George Foreman is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
George Foreman United States of America

14
2,510 1,000
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
2,740 1,536
Dan Henderson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Dan Henderson United States of America

16
2,582 1,522
Wanderlei Silva is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

17
1,537 892
Royce Gracie is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Hammerman47 added Royce Gracie Brazil

18
2,470 1,049
Manny Pacquiáo is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Manny Pacquiáo Philippines

19
2,120 1,319
Chuck Liddell is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Chuck Liddell United States of America

20
2,261 1,459
Randy Couture is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Randy Couture United States of America

21
2,080 1,220
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
2,042 1,288
Evander Holyfield is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Evander Holyfield United States of America

23
1,908 1,107
Mark Hunt is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Mark Hunt New Zealand

24
1,871 895
Arturo Gatti is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
kassaq added Arturo Gatti Canada, Italy

25
1,926 1,177
Roberto Duran is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

26
1,682 1,194
Micky Ward is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Micky Ward Ireland, United States of America

27
1,743 1,067
Cain Velasquez is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Cain Velasquez United States of America

28
1,335 870
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
1,682 1,242
Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

30
1,925 1,276
Bas Rutten is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
bcmoney added Bas Rutten Netherlands, United States of America

31
427 360
Jon Jones is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
JamesNicholsIII added Jon Jones United States of America

32
1,567 1,271
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
1,038 736
Alexander Karelin is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

34
1,227 669
Archie Moore is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Archie Moore United States of America

35
1,056 677
Gene Tunney is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Gene Tunney United States of America

36
1,243 852
George Chuvalo is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
lac la biche added George Chuvalo Canada

37
1,259 716
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
1,254 648
Kazushi Sakuraba is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
bcmoney added Kazushi Sakuraba

39
1,291 1,004
Junior dos Santos is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

40
1,340 1,085
Roy Nelson is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

41
735 474
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
1,331 1,264
Mirko Filipović is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
bcmoney added Mirko Filipović Yugoslavia, Croatia

43
148 219
Chris Leben is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Chris Leben United States of America

44
1,066 1,024
Vitali Klitschko is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History

45
1,214 685
Thomas Hearns is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Thomas Hearns United States of America

46
942 1,001
Matt Hughes is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Matt Hughes United States of America

47
402 244
Sonny Liston is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Sonny Liston United States of America

48
721 581
Carmen Basilio is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Carmen Basilio United States of America

49
889 784
Frankie Edgar is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Frankie Edgar United States of America

50
340 577
Brock Lesnar is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Toughest Professional Fighters in History
Brock Lesnar United States of America