Back in the early days of MMA when weight classes didn’t exist, it was the big, towering guys that drew the most attention. Now, even with several smaller weight classes, heavyweights are more exciting than ever. It’s a common misconception that heavyweights are slow and dopey. Don’t let their size fool you - the best heavyweights have as much martial arts skills as they have size.
Some of the quickest knockouts in the UFC were by heavyweights. These colossal athletes have heavy but quick hands, packing well over 200 lbs behind each punch. Their knockout power is unmatched.
And don’t underestimate their ground game - you definitely don’t want one of these guys trying to submit you. Just imagine arms with biceps the size of your head putting you in a choke hold. Heavyweights use their size to their advantage and have some of the quickest submissions in the UFC.
The heavyweight division has its share of legendary MMA fighters. From some of the most beloved pioneers to the most reviled villains of the sport, fans love watching these giants go at it, waiting for that next big knockout. Because the bigger they are, the harder they fall (and punch, kick, knee, and elbow). Check out this power rankings list and vote up the best heavyweight mixed martial arts fighters.
Born: 9/28/1976 in Rubizhne, Luhansk Oblast, Ukraine
Weight: 223 lbs
Fighting Style: Sambo, Judo, Kickboxing
Record: 36 wins (11 KO/TKO, 17 submissions, 9 decisions), 4 losses (4 KO/TKO, 1 submission), 1 N/C
Years Active: 2000 to 2012, 2015 to present
Promotions: Rings, Pride, Yarennoka, Bodog, Strikeforce, M-1, Dream, Rizin, Bellator
Known For: 28-fight/10-year winning streak
Born: 9/10/1974 in Vinkovci, Croatia
Weight: 234 lbs
Fighting Style: Tae Kwon Do, Kickboxing
Record: 35 wins (26 KO/TKO, 6 submissions, 3 decisions), 11 losses (5 KO/TKO, 3 submissions, 3 decisions), 2 draws, 1 N/C
Years Active: 2001 to 2015, 2016
Promotions: K-1, Pride, Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye, Pride, UFC, Dream, Legend, Rizin
Known For: Vicious head kicks
Born: 6/22/1963 in Everett, Washington, USA
Weight: 205 lbs
Fighting Style: Greco-Roman Wrestling
Record: 19 wins (7 KO/TKO, 4 submissions, 8 decisions), 11 losses (6 KO/TKO, 4 submissions, 1 decision)
Years Active: 1997 to 2011
Promotions: UFC, Vale Tudo Japan, Rings
Known For: Oldest champion in UFC history (at 43 years old), oldest fighter to defend UFC title (at 44 years old), oldest fighter to win a UFC fight (at 47 years old)
Nationality: United States of America
Born: 6/2/1976 in Vitoria da Conquista, Bahia, Brazil
Weight: 239 lbs
Fighting Style: Jiu Jitsu, Judo
Record: 34 wins (3 KO/TKO, 21 submissions, 10 decisions), 10 losses (3 KO/TKO, 2 submissions, 5 decisions, 1 draw, 1 N/C
Years Active: 1999 to 2015
Promotions: World Extreme Fighting, Rings, Pride, Universal Fighting Arts Organization, UFC
Known For: First-ever Pride Heavyweight Champion