23 Biggest UFC Fighters of All Time (2023)

Are you wondering who the biggest UFC fighters of all time are?

In this article, we’ll look at the biggest UFC fighters and their weigh-in weights, fight weights, and walk-around weights.

Biggest UFC Fighters of All Time

Not only is this a list of the biggest UFC fighters, but it also features some of the biggest weight differences in UFC fights.

Many of the fighters on this list will remain the biggest UFC fighters forever, as before UFC 31 (01/05/2001), heavyweights could weigh in at any weight they pleased.

From UFC 31 onwards, weight classes were further reformed and the heavyweight division now had an upper weight limit of 265 lbs.

Because of the weight limit, included in this list is:

  • The fighter’s biggest weight they’ve weighed in for an MMA fight
  • The fighter’s biggest fight weight they’ve been after regaining water weight

If these weren’t included, all fighters that fought after UFC 31 would be down as the maximum weigh-in weight of 266 lbs (120.2 kg).

1. Emmanuel Yarbrough – 616 lbs (279.4 kg) – Weigh-in Weight

Emmanuel Yarbrough was a 6’8” tall American sumo wrestler brought in at UFC 3 (09/09/1994). Before the fight, Emmanuel weighed in at 616 lbs (279.4 kg), making him by far the biggest UFC fighter of all time.

His opponent, Keith Hackney, weighed in at 200 lbs (91 kg), which also makes this the biggest weight difference in UFC history, a total of 416 lbs (188.7 kg).

At the start of the fight, he managed to use his weight advantage well, throwing Keith out of the cage through the door a minute into the round.

However, he caught a Hackney leg kick and was dropped by repetitive uppercuts, before tapping to relentless ground-and-pound by Hackney, many of which were to the back of the head and now deemed illegal strikes.

Emmanuel’s manager revealed that Emmanuel had struggled with food addiction since an early age, weighing 320 lbs by the age of 14. After the UFC, he once ballooned up to over 800 lbs before dying in 2015 from a heart attack.

2. Teila Tuli – 415 lbs (188.2 kg) – Weigh-in Weight

Teila Tuli is well known for three things. Being one of the biggest UFC fighters of all time, being in the first UFC fight ever (12/11/1993), and having his teeth knocked out in this fight via a Gerard Gordeau soccer kick in round 1.

Teila was a sumo-wrestler, and at UFC 1 he weighed in at 415 lbs (188.2 kg) at a height of 6’2”, while Gerard was only 216 lbs (98 kg) at 6’5”. This was another huge weight difference of 199 lbs.

3. Thomas Ramirez – 410 lbs (186 kg) – Weigh-in Weight

Not only was Thomas Ramirez one of the biggest UFC fighters of all time, weighing in at 410 lbs (186 kg) with a height of 6’1”, but he was also involved in the fastest UFC knockout at the time.

He was knocked unconscious by Don Frye in only 8 seconds at UFC 8 (16/02/1996), with one jab and one short right hook as Frye rushed him and Ramirez was too heavy to evade.

Both men were 6’1” and the weight difference was 204 lbs, as Don Fyre weighed just 206 lbs (93.4 kg).

4. John Matua – 400 lbs (181.4 kg) – Weigh-in Weight

John Matua was a 6’2” American mixed martial artist who retired 1-4. During his 2 UFC fights, John fought at a weight of 400 lbs, while his first opponent, David Abbott, weighed 280 lbs (127 kg).

While 120 lbs is a big difference in MMA and John goes down as one of the biggest UFC fighters of all time, he’s more remembered for getting brutally knocked out by David Abbott – left as stiff as a table on the canvas with his arms and legs in the air.

5. Koji Kitao – 390 lbs (176.9 kg) – Weigh-in Weight

At his first and only UFC event (UFC 9), 6’7” Japanese sumo-wrestler Koji Kitao weighed 390 lbs (176.9 kg). His opponent, Mark Hall, weighed 189 lbs (85.7 kg), meaning the weight difference was 201 lbs.

Despite the huge weight difference, Hall broke Koji’s nose with a right hook early in round 1, and after Koji took down Hall, John McCarthy surprisingly stopped the fight to have Koji’s nose looked at because of the blood leaking. Koji didn’t want to continue, so Hall was declared the winner by TKO.

6. Tim Sylvia – 371 lbs (168.3 kg) – Weigh-in Weight

The heaviest Tim ever weighed was 371 lbs (168.3 kg) before a Reality Fighting bout in 2015, but the fight was canceled after Tim was declared medically unfit to fight.

Tim Sylvia was one of the biggest UFC fighters who knew how to use his height, reach, and weight advantage, becoming a two-time UFC heavyweight champion. He fought in the UFC 13 times between UFC 39 and UFC 81, where his maximum weigh-in weight was 266 lbs (120.6 kg).

To make 265 lbs, Tim often had to cut from 300 lbs in the months up to his fight. After becoming the undisputed UFC champion, he surrendered his title after testing positive for stanozolol, an anabolic steroid used by fighters to help them cut body fat and retain muscle.

Cutting this much weight meant Tim flushed around 20/25 lbs of water weight, so when he stepped back into the octagon he was 285/290 lbs after gaining it back.

7. Scott Ferrozzo – 350 lbs (158.7 kg) – Weigh-in Weight

Scott Ferrozzo had 5 UFC fights between UFC 8 and UFC 12, where UFC 8 was fittingly named David vs Goliath, a sign of things to come. Despite being very heavy in this fight, it wasn’t until his fight with David Abbott that Scott weighed in at a behemoth 350 lbs (158.7 kg).

Scott was only 5’10”, so he was very overweight. This weight served him well in the majority of his UFC fights, but when he fought the much lighter Vitor Belfort at UFC 12, he lost by TKO in just 43 seconds. 

Hilariously, Scott was angered by the loss against an opponent 140 lbs lighter and immediately started to grapple Belfort against the fence, before John McCarthy and help arrived to break them up.

8. Paul Varelans – 340 lbs (154.2 kg) – Weigh-in Weight

Paul Varelans, or “The Polar Bear”, was an absolute mammoth of a man. He had 8 fights in the UFC from UFC 6 to UFC 11.5, was 6’8” tall, and weighed in at 340 lbs during his last fight against Kimo Leopoldo, who weighed in at 235 lbs.

The weight difference of 105 lbs was no advantage for Paul, as Kimo knocked him out in the first round.

8. Mark Hunt – 340 lbs (154.2 kg) – Walk-around Weight

Mark Hunt is another UFC fighter with a maximum weigh-in weight of 266 lbs (120.6 kg), but who cuts down a lot of weight and rehydrates back to at least 285 lbs for a fight. He was once 284 lbs on a Thursday evening, leaving himself 18 lbs to cut by Friday’s afternoon weigh-in, which he made.

The heaviest Mark Hunt has known to be is 340 lbs (154.2 kg). This was his weight at the start of training camp for his fight against Antonio Bigfoot Silva. This is an incredible weight considering Mark’s only 5’10”.

9. Sean McCorkle – 334 lbs (151.5 kg) – Weigh-in Weight

Sean McCorkle, or ‘Big Sexy’, was another tower in the UFC, standing 6’7” tall and weighing 334 lbs (151.5 kg) in his last super heavyweight fight before retirement.

As Sean fought in the UFC three times between 2010-2012, his maximum weigh-in weight was a maximum of 265 lbs

However, before his first fight with Mark Hunt, Sean had to cut down from 320 lbs in just 12 weeks. Therefore it’s likely his actual fight weight against Mark was around 285/290 lbs, as he would’ve regained 20/25 lbs in water weight before the fight.

10. Kevin Rosier – 325 lbs (147.4 kg) – Weigh-in Weight

Kevin Rosier fought at UFC 1 weighing 80 lbs heavier than what he claimed he was. Art Davie in his book, “Is This Legal”, said Kevin Rosier actually came into UFC 1 weighing 325 lbs – which is enormous for a 6’4” fighter.

Throughout his MMA career and beyond, Rosier had always struggled with his weight and in 2015 at the age of 53, he died of a heart attack.

11. Greg Hardy – 310 lbs (140.6 kg) – Walk-around Weight

Greg Hardy is a former NFL defensive end, who had no trouble making the transition to a UFC heavyweight. He quickly became one of the UFC’s biggest fighters, often walking around at 310 lbs (140.6 kg) and needing large weight cuts to make weight at 266 lbs.

His large size and weight cuts are known to be a problem, as he likes to lose a lot of water weight in order to retain as much size as possible.

He became one of the first UFC heavyweights to miss weight on his first attempt, weighing in at 266.5 lbs, before making the limit on his second attempt 2 hours later.

12. Derrick Lewis – 300 lbs (136 kg) – Walk-around Weight

One of the UFC’s most devastating knockout artists, ‘The Black Beast’ has weighed in at 266 lbs on multiple occasions. Prior to his training camp 3 months out from a fight, Lewis is known to weigh around 300 lbs, before sometimes cutting to under 260 lbs, depending on the style of his opponent.

All in all, Derrick isn’t shy about bulking up and getting to 300 lbs, and that’s a lot of weight for a man only standing 6’3”.

While he’s never missed weight in the UFC, he was once open in his belief he’d miss weight in his fight against Chris Daukaus, and many times open about his love of food; especially fried chicken and hamburgers.

13. Tank Abbott – 298 lbs (135.1 kg) – Weigh-in Weight

Tank Abbott is an absolute legend of the UFC and MMA world, and as the name suggests, he was a very big fighter, weighing in at 298 lbs (135.1 kg) for UFC 11 – packed onto his 5’11” frame.

Tank used his weight well in the octagon, often clinching opponents against the fence or delivering knockout blows. 

His style of fighting was of a brawler, once described as pit fighting, which he learned by having fights on the streets of Huntington Beach, California.

14. Gan McGee – 296 lbs (134.2 kg) – Weigh-in Weight

Gan McGee was a 6’10” giant who fought in the UFC from UFC 28 to UFC 44. As UFC 28 was before the heavyweight division adopted the 265 lbs limit, Gan McGee weighed in against Josh Barnett at 296 lbs (134.2 kg).

Gan McGee vs Josh Barnett is considered the first and only UFC super heavyweight fight because in the next events before UFC 31, there was only one other heavyweight fight in which both fighters were under 265 lbs, and McGee was the last fighter to weigh above the limit.

15. Semmy Schilt – 291 lbs (132 kg) Weigh-in Weight

Nicknamed appropriately as ‘The Hightower’, Semmy was 6’11” and had a maximum UFC weigh-in of 261 lbs (118.4 kg).

Mostly known for his 4-year MMA career with Pancrase and his kickboxing career in K1, Semmy bulked up to a maximum weight of 291 lbs (132 kg) when competing under Glory Kickboxing, as heavyweights have no upper limit.

If it wasn’t for the heavyweight limit, being 6’11” and on the thinner side, Semmy could’ve easily bulked well above 300 lbs.

16. Brock Lesnar – 290 lbs (131.5 kg) Walk-around Weight

When Brock Lesnar arrived in the UFC, he wowed a lot of people by being a genetic freak in terms of the amount of muscle mass he had on a 6’2” frame. Not only this, but he had a low body fat percentage and was very athletic.

His walking weight is around 290 lbs (131.5 kg), where he’s successfully cut down to make the 266 lbs weight limit every time. When fighting he rehydrates up to between 280-285 lbs.

Packing this much muscle and weight on a 6’2” frame is highly indicative of steroid use, and Lesnar was caught by USADA in 2016 using clomiphene, an anti-estrogen drug used commonly after a cycle of steroids.

17. Antonio Silva – 285 lbs (129.2kg) – Fight Weight

Antonio Silva, or ‘Bigfoot’, is an absolute giant of a man. He is 6’4” and his maximum UFC weigh-in was 266 lbs (120.6 kg). However, he’s known for having to cut weight to make the weight limit and would normally fight around 285 lbs (129.2 kg).

While not the tallest or most muscular, Bigfoot suffers from a form of gigantism, which increased his bone density, size, and weight.

18. Shane Carwin – 285 lbs (129.2 kg) – Walk-around Weight

When Shane Carwin fought in the UFC from UFC 84 to UFC 141, he was an absolute mass monster with barely any fat on him and he managed to become the UFC interim champion. His maximum weigh-in weight was 265 lbs (120.2 kg), but his walk-around weight was around 285 lbs.

Shane was named during the 2010 sentencing of a pharmacist at Applied Pharmacy Services, convicted for selling steroids to professional athletes. Although Shane never tested positive for steroids or peds, it’s evident from his size, low body fat, and his naming during this case that he was definitely using.

19. Francis Ngannou 285 lbs (129.2 kg) Walk-around Weight

Unsurprisingly, the dominant UFC heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou, is another big UFC fighter.

The months before his fight with Ciryl Gane, Ngannou’s walk-around weight was 285 lbs, but he weighed in at 257 lbs for the fight. He’s weighed in heavier than this before, but for this fight he wanted to get lower in weight and closer to Gane who’s a very silky and quick heavyweight.

285 lbs is a hefty weight for a fighter only standing 6’4”, but Francis could get well over 300 lbs if he wanted to, as he’s all muscle with very little body fat.

20. Stefan Struve – 280 lbs (127 kg) – Fight Weight

Stefan Struve isn’t recognized for being the most big-boned or muscular UFC fighter, but what he lacks in size, he makes up for in height. Standing 7 feet tall and nicknamed ‘The Skyscraper’, his height makes up most of his weight.

Weighing in at the heavyweight limit of 266 lbs for nontitle fights at, his actual weight inside the octagon when fighting was around 280 lbs

With his height, it’s surprising Stefan never looked to add a lot more muscle to his frame and perform greater weight cuts – perhaps he didn’t want to be left drained.

21. Justin Tafa – 280 lbs (127 kg) – Walk-around Weight

New Zealander Justin Tafa became the first UFC heavyweight to miss weight when he weighed in at 267.5 lbs at UFC Vegas: 45. 

This is unprofessional seeing as he’s only 6’ tall, and while his walk-around weight isn’t known, it’s likely to be around 280 lbs (127 kg) – otherwise, he wouldn’t have missed weight.

The reason he missed weight was because of a botched water flush, while Tafa admitted he wouldn’t be able to fight if he continued sweating out water. Overall, he needed to cut more body fat in training camp but said he had visa issues that disrupted his training.

22. Dan Christison – 275 lbs (124.7 kg) – Fight Weight

Dan only had 2 fights in the UFC, but he put his name in the history books by being one of the tallest UFC fighters, standing 6’8” and having the longest reach in UFC history, with 85”.

Being as tall as he was, Dan weighed around 275 lbs (124.7 kg) and only needed to cut around 10 lbs to make the heavyweight limit, meaning he also fought around 275 lbs.

23. Roy Nelson 270 lbs (122.47 kg) – Walk-around Weight

Appropriately nicknamed “Big Country”, Roy Nelson is one of the biggest UFC fighters because of his unwillingness to cut his high body fat, rather than being extremely tall or carrying a lot of muscle.

Roy is only 6 ft tall and it’s often said Roy’s natural weight class would be middleweight if he were to diet down and execute a proper weight cut. He never cared for that though, and would constantly yo-yo between 240 lbs and 265 lbs throughout his 22 UFC fights.

Unfortunately, Roy couldn’t control his eating, and before fights weighed around 270 lbs (122.47 kg), which is the biggest confirmed walking weight of his.

The Bottom Line

This has been a list of the 23 biggest UFC fighters of all time, and for the fighters who weighed massive amounts prior to UFC 31, fair enough, they were allowed to and thought it’d be an advantage in the octagon.

However, as history has shown us, being a bigger fighter isn’t necessarily an advantage, especially when getting over 265 lbs – which is why the 265 lbs heavyweight limit makes sense and why many of these huge fighters were knocked out repeatedly.

What doesn’t make sense is the fighters who balloon up to 290 lbs or more after the heavyweight limit was introduced in 2001.

The UFC is year-round and getting up to these unhealthy weights leads to a fighter having to perform a weight cut which definitely impacts performance when fighting. Maybe some heavyweights just lack discipline as they believe they can get away with it.

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