In the world of mixed martial arts, fighters come in all shapes and sizes, each possessing their own unique set of skills and attributes. However, there exists a group of individuals who have defied conventional expectations and achieved remarkable success in the octagon despite carrying extra body fat.
In this article, we will explore the realm of the best fat UFC fighters of all time. Join us as we delve into the stories of these remarkable athletes who have overcome weight-related challenges to leave an indelible mark on the sport.
- Extra body fat can be advantageous for certain fighters, such as Daniel Cormier and Derrick Lewis, who use it to enhance their wrestling and knockout power respectively.
- The heavyweight division in the UFC has seen successful fighters like Ben Rothwell and Marcin Tybura who choose to avoid weight cuts and compete at their natural heavier weight.
- Mark Hunt and Tai Tuivasa have shown that despite their struggles with weight management, their knockout power and impressive wins have made them successful fighters in the heavyweight division.
- Roy Nelson and David Abbott have surprised fans with their talent despite being overweight, with Nelson even becoming a former IFL heavyweight champion. However, their lack of discipline with diet and struggles against more technical fighters have affected their overall records.
Daniel Cormier – DC (22-3-1NC)
Daniel Cormier, known for his wrestling and dirty boxing style, has utilized his extra body fat to enhance his fighting techniques. Despite being criticized for carrying extra weight, Cormier has proven that it can be an advantage in the octagon.
The impact of his extra body fat on his fighting style is evident in his wrestling prowess. The additional mass gives him increased strength and leverage, allowing him to execute powerful takedowns and control his opponents on the ground.
Moreover, Cormier's body type, characterized by thicker and shorter limbs, is well-suited for his style of fighting. While some may argue that his extra body fat affects his speed and footwork, it is important to remember that Cormier compensates for this with his technical skills and fight IQ.
In comparison, Derrick Lewis relies on his extra pounds for knockout power, but it hinders his footwork and speed. This highlights the trade-off between power and agility in fighters with higher body fat percentages.
Derrick Lewis – The Black Beast (27-11-1NC)
Among the best fat UFC fighters ranked in 2023, Derrick Lewis, famously known as The Black Beast, has established himself as a formidable heavyweight contender.
Lewis's success can be attributed to his knockout power, which he relies on heavily during his fights. His extra pounds provide him with the necessary force behind his strikes, allowing him to generate devastating knockouts.
However, the impact of Lewis's body fat on his footwork and speed cannot be overlooked. The excess weight does hinder his movement, making him slower and less agile compared to his leaner opponents.
Despite this, Lewis has managed to overcome these limitations and secure victories over elite fighters like Marcin Tybura and Francis Ngannou. It is a testament to his skill and determination that his extra body fat hasn't hindered his career and has even become a trademark of his fighting style.
Ben Rothwell – Big (39-14)
Despite his heavyset physique, Ben Rothwell, also known as Big, has proven to be a formidable force in the UFC with an impressive record of 39-14. His heavyset physique, rather than being a disadvantage, has actually worked to his advantage in the octagon. Here is an analysis of his fighting style and knockout power compared to other fat UFC fighters:
- Explosiveness and Power:
- Rothwell avoids weight cuts to maximize his explosiveness, power, and energy.
- His heavyset physique allows him to generate tremendous knockout power.
- Out of his 39 wins, an impressive 28 have come via knockout.
- Victories and Undefeated Streak:
- Rothwell has notable victories over Stefan Struve, Alistair Overeem, and Josh Barnett.
- He remains undefeated in the International Fight League (IFL) promotion with a record of 9-0.
- Fighting Ability:
- Despite his heavyset physique, Rothwell's fighting ability remains unaffected.
- His skill set, including striking and grappling, compensates for any potential disadvantages.
Marcin Tybura – Tybur (24-8)
Marcin Tybura, also known as Tybur, has made a significant impact in the UFC with his impressive record of 24-8. Despite choosing not to cut weight, Tybura has found success in the heavyweight division. His decision to compete at his natural weight has allowed him to maintain his strength and power, which is evident in his high takedown defense and knockout power.
However, Tybura's slower movement due to the extra weight does have an impact on his overall fighting style. While he may lack the speed of lighter weight fighters, Tybura compensates with his well-rounded skills and strategic approach. His ability to capitalize on his opponents' mistakes and deliver devastating strikes has been a key factor in his victories.
Mark Hunt – The Super Samoan (13-14-1-1NC)
Mark Hunt, with a record of 13 wins, 14 losses, 1 no contest, and 1 no contest, is widely known as 'The Super Samoan' in the UFC.
Hunt is a heavyweight fighter who never attempts to be a lighter weight class fighter. He possesses impressive knockout power and a strong chin, which have contributed to his victories over notable opponents such as Derrick Lewis, Stefan Struve, and Frank Mir.
However, Hunt has faced struggles with weight management and proper diet throughout his career. These challenges have hindered his ability to consistently make weight and maintain optimal conditioning.
Despite these obstacles, Hunt's knockout power and durability have allowed him to compete against and defeat some of the heavyweight division's genetic freaks.
Tai Tuivasa – Bam Bam (14-6)
With victories over Derrick Lewis and Greg Hardy, Tai Tuivasa, also known as Bam Bam, has established himself as one of the fattest UFC fighters to find success in the heavyweight division.
However, it is important to consider the impact of body fat on Tuivasa's performance. While his extra weight may contribute to his knockout power and speed in his hands, it also hinders his mobility and agility.
Tuivasa often struggles against opponents with superior footwork and striking, unable to effectively close the distance or avoid strikes.
Dropping body fat and competing in a lower weight class could potentially benefit Tuivasa. By shedding excess weight, he could improve his movement and endurance, allowing him to showcase his striking skills while maintaining power.
Additionally, competing in a lower weight class could provide Tuivasa with new opportunities and challenges, potentially leading to further success in his career.
Roy Nelson – Big Country (23-19)
Despite his overweight physique, Roy Nelson, also known as Big Country, has managed to surprise MMA fans with his talent and skills inside the octagon. However, questions arise about whether his lack of discipline with his diet is holding him back from reaching his full potential. Can Nelson improve his fighting skills without losing weight?
- Diet and Discipline: Nelson's lack of discipline with his diet is evident in his unkept physique. This raises concerns about his commitment to maintaining the physical condition required for optimal performance.
- Fighting Skills: Despite his weight, Nelson has achieved notable victories over fighters like Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Cheick Kongo. This demonstrates his ability to utilize his size and power effectively.
- Potential for Improvement: While losing weight may improve Nelson's overall athleticism and conditioning, it remains to be seen whether it will significantly enhance his fighting skills. It is possible for him to continue to succeed in the heavyweight division by refining his techniques and strategy, regardless of his weight.
David Abbott – Tank (10-15)
Although David Abbott, also known as Tank, carries extra weight for power and durability, his brawling style has led to notable victories over fighters like John Matua and Steve Nelmark. Abbott's strength and toughness have been instrumental in his success inside the Octagon.
However, it is important to note that his brawling style has also had an impact on his win-loss record. While his aggressive approach has allowed him to overpower and overwhelm certain opponents, it has also left him vulnerable to more technical fighters who can exploit his lack of technique and strategy.
In comparison to other fat UFC fighters, Abbott's extra weight provides him with significant power and durability, but it also limits his mobility and agility. This trade-off between power and agility is a common characteristic among fat UFC fighters, and each individual must find the right balance to maximize their performance in the cage.
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In conclusion, the world of mixed martial arts has seen the rise of remarkable fighters who have defied conventional expectations by showcasing their skills and achieving success despite carrying extra body fat.
From the wrestling prowess of Daniel Cormier to the knockout power of Derrick Lewis, these athletes have proven that physique does not define fighting ability.
The stories of Ben Rothwell, Marcin Tybura, Mark Hunt, Tai Tuivasa, Roy Nelson, and David Abbott further demonstrate that leverage and determination can overcome weight-related challenges.
These fighters have left an indelible mark on the sport, proving that greatness knows no body type.
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