Are you wondering who the best fat UFC fighters of all time are?
In this article, we’ll look at the best fat UFC fighters of all time in terms of their success and fighting abilities.
- 8 Best Fat UFC Fighters
8 Best Fat UFC Fighters
While the majority of UFC fighters are absolutely ripped, many UFC fighters such as those in the heavyweight division prefer to carry extra body fat as it gives them more power, energy, and the ability to absorb damage.
So, here are the 10 best fat UFC fighters who found huge success while carrying extra pounds.
Note: Some of these fat UFC fighters aren’t fat by normal standards, but compared to the majority of UFC fighters who go through strict weight cuts to make the lowest weight division possible, they are. They’re also not the biggest UFC fighters in terms of weight, rather they’re fighters with high body fat.
1. Daniel Cormier – “DC” (22-3-1NC)
Easily the most successful fat UFC fighter, Daniel Cormier rarely ever came in trim. He’s a former UFC double champ after becoming the undisputed light heavyweight and heavyweight champion, and he’s well-known for being on the flabby side when fighting.
The reasons Daniel Cormier was a fat UFC fighter were plenty. First, he was an endomorph meaning he naturally stored more body fat and has thicker and shorter limbs. Second, Daniel Cormier was only 5’11” tall so he needed the extra weight to compete against the true heavyweights.
Lastly, Daniel Cormier used extra body fat to give him extra weight, power, durability, and energy to supplement and further his fighting style and ability as an exceptional wrestler and dirty boxer who pressured opponents and looked to keep the fight close range.
And while DC liked having the extra body fat when fighting, he caused huge controversy when he came in overweight at UFC 210 and used the towel trick to illegally make weight. Regardless, DC is one of the best UFC heavyweights and the extra fat he carried never harmed his fighting ability.
2. Derrick Lewis – “The Black Beast” (27-11-1NC)
Standing 6’3” tall and weighing as heavy as 300 lbs outside the UFC octagon, Derrick Lewis isn’t shy about his love of food and bulking up, and often has to cut a lot of weight before fights to make the heavyweight limit of 265 lbs.
However, holding the extra pounds is where a lot of his power over his competition comes from and is the reason he’s known as a knockout artist – with 21 out of 26 wins coming via knockout.
Derrick Lewis likes to stay patient and have his opponents come to him where he can rely on his power. However, his body fat hinders his footwork and speed and he can be overwhelmed by heavyweights with nimble footwork and a well-rounded striking arsenal.
Despite never becoming a UFC champion, Derrick Lewis has beaten elite fighters Marcin Tybura, Francis Ngannou, Alexander Volkov, Alex Oleynik, and Curtis Blaydes; so the extra body fat clearly hasn’t hindered his career.
3. Ben Rothwell – “Big” (39-14)
Ben Rothwell is another fighter who doesn’t mind avoiding weight cuts in order to maintain maximum explosiveness, power, and energy. Weighing in at the 265 lbs limit, Ben Rothwell is a giant man with knockout power – 28 out of his 39 wins have come via knockout.
Before joining the UFC, Ben Rothwell won 14/15 bouts from 2005 to 2008, went undefeated in the IFL promotion (9-0), and also competed in King of the Cage, M-1 Global, and Affliction.
Being a heavyset fighter hasn’t hindered Rothwell’s fighting ability, as he’s beaten the likes of Stefan Struve, Ovince Saint Preux, Alistair Overeem, Josh Barnett, and Ricco Rodriguez.
4. Marcin Tybura – “Tybur” (24-8)
Tybur is another fat UFC fighter who doesn’t care about cutting weight to make light heavyweight (205 lbs) – and for good reason. After an up-and-down start to life in the UFC, Tybura has won 7 of his last 8 fights (2020+) by beating Walt Harris, Greg Hardy, Ben Rothwell, Sergey Spivak, and Alexander Romanov.
Tybura uses his extra body fat to great effect, having knockout power, one of the highest takedown defenses in UFC heavyweight history, and insane cardiovascular endurance for a heavy fighter.
The extra weight does slow his movement down, but his well-roundedness covers up this weakness. He’s also the former M-1 Global heavyweight champion and M-1 Grand Prix 2013 heavyweight champion, with a big future still to come in the UFC.
5. Mark Hunt – “The Super Samoan” (13-14-1-1NC)
Mark Hunt is a very well-known successful fat UFC fighter, never once trying to be a heavyweight fighter he isn’t. Mark’s been as heavy as 340 lbs and has to cut massive amounts to around 285 lbs before executing a perfect water flush to lose another 20 lbs before a fight.
It’d be fair to say Mark Hunt struggles with eating a proper diet, as standing only 5’10” tall he should probably be fighting in the middleweight or light heavyweight division. Instead, he’s had an up-and-down career fighting genetic freaks in the heavyweight division.
However, Mark Hunt has crazy knockout power and a strong chin thanks to his body fat; and has beaten the likes of Derrick Lewis, Ben Rothwell, Stefan Struve, Frank Mir, Bigfoot Silva, and even beasts Mirko Filipovic and Wanderlei Silva during their primes in Pride FC.
6. Tai Tuivasa – “Bam Bam” (14-6)
Tai Tuivasa is one of the fattest UFC fighters to have found success, but he’d do much better if he dropped some body fat and competed in the light heavyweight division.
Yes, Tai Tuivasa is a knockout artist with a lot of power and speed in his hands (13 knockouts in 14 wins), but it’s clear he performs best against fighters similar to himself.
When he competes against heavyweights with much better footwork, skill, speed of movement, and striking, he struggles and often loses.
Having said this, Tai Tuivasa is a great entertainer and a fearless forward-pressure fighter who’s beaten Derrick Lewis, Greg Hardy, Stefan Struve, Andrei Arlovski, and Augusto Sakai.
7. Roy Nelson – “Big Country” (23-19)
Roy Nelson was one of the first fat UFC fighters to really surprise MMA fans with how good he was; and it started with his undefeated run through TUF: Heavyweights (season 10).
Only 6 ft tall, Roy’s natural weight class is middleweight but he fought as a heavyweight throughout his career because he lacked discipline with his diet. He had a huge stomach and bounced between 240 and 265 lbs in his 22 UFC fights.
However, no one could deny his talent, not even Dana White who was notoriously never a fan of Big Country’s unkept physique and apparent stupidity.
8. David Abbott – “Tank” (10-15)
David Abbott is a legendary MMA fighter remembered for his large frame and being a street-fighting brawler in California. At his biggest, Tank weighed in at 298 lbs for UFC 11 (before the weight limit), a ridiculous weight for someone only 5’11” tall.
In the UFC, Tank Abbott used his weight to his advantage by adopting a dirty boxing style of fighting where he’d wear down his opponents in the clinch, secure takedowns, and land heavy punches. He’s well-known for his ability to bench press 600 lbs and could easily pick up opponents for slams.
David Abbott was also influential in getting some rules changed. He infamously tried to throw Cal Worsham out of the octagon but wasn’t tall enough; which led to the UFC making this an illegal move.
He was also the first UFC fighter to wear traditional MMA gloves as a way to protect his hands from breaking, and he also got fish-hooking added to the banned list because he was using it as a tactic on the ground.