25 Skinny UFC Fighters (Who Need To Start Bulking)

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

In this article, we list the 25 most skinny UFC fighters we have come across.

25 Skinny UFC Fighters

Most of the skinniest UFC fighters are those who are tall for their weight class division. 

To use their height advantage, these fighters sacrifice muscle mass and cut weight to get down to weight classes you wouldn’t think possible.

However, this article also includes skinny UFC fighters who aren’t especially tall for their weight class division, but who still appear skinny.

1. Chase Hooper (Featherweight – 145 Lbs)

Chase Hooper is a UFC featherweight fighter who stands out as the epitome of a skinny UFC fighter.

At 6’1″, his height and reach advantage aid his striking, but it’s on the ground where Hooper truly shines.

His jiu-jitsu skills, coupled with his long skinny limbs, make him a threat in submission scenarios, often using his leverage to secure advantageous positions.

However, his lack of muscle mass has been a problem for him in the UFC, especially in the wrestling department. Since joining the UFC in 2019 at the age of 18, Chase Hooper has a 5-3 record.

2. Choi Doo-ho – ‘The Korean Superboy’ (Featherweight – 145 Lbs)

Choi Doo-ho, nicknamed The Korean Superboy, is a featherweight fighter known for his skinny frame, baby face, and explosive striking.

Standing at 5’10”, he uses his height and reach to land powerful punches and kicks. Choi’s agility and speed make him a tough opponent to catch, and most of his opponents are caught unaware of his power.

His fights often feature high-paced striking exchanges, where he often showcases his ability to deliver knockout power.

3. Cody McKenzie (Lightweight – 155 Lbs)

Cody McKenzie, known for his signature guillotine choke, is a lightweight fighter with a skinny fat build.

Standing at 6’0″, he’s tall for the lightweight division, where fighters typically have more muscular frames.

McKenzie’s skinny physique belies his grappling prowess, particularly his ability to secure chokes from various positions.

His unorthodox fighting style and ability to capitalize on his reach and flexibility make him a unique and unpredictable opponent in the lightweight division.

4. Corey Hill (Lightweight – 155 Lbs)

Corey Hill was the tallest ever UFC fighter in the Lightweight division. He was 6’4” (193cm) tall while the average height in the division was 5’9.6”.

And while Corey did have some muscle mass, his lanky frame paired with minimal body fat made him look very skinny.

He also had an 80” reach, so he looked to keep fights on the feet and use his height and reach advantage in fights.

His skinny frame came back to bite him in December 2008, as he broke his leg after his opponent checked a calf kick. Long thin bones don’t agree with shin on shin.

5. Cory Sandhagen (Bantamweight – 135 Lbs)

Cory Sandhagen is a bantamweight fighter who leverages his lanky and tall physique to gain a significant striking advantage.

Standing at 5’11” with a 70” reach, Sandhagen’s style integrates technical striking from a distance alongside beautiful in-and-out movement.

While his skinny build is often seen as a disadvantage in grappling against muscular opponents, Sandhagen’s wrestling is phenomenal and he can hold his own.

6. Dan Hooker (LW/FW – 155/145 Lbs)

The Hangman has a decent pair of shoulders, but apart from that, he’s a stickman.

Dan has fought at both lightweight and featherweight. He doesn’t appear too skinny at lightweight, but when fighting at featherweight, Dan looks like he could do with an Australian double beef burger.

However, Dan Hooker likes fighting at these weight classes because he’s a technically gifted kickboxer who utilizes precision and timing rather than power.

It’s also because he’s 6’0” tall with a sizeable 75” reach, which is a considerable advantage over the majority of his opponents.

7. George Roop (Bantamweight – 135 Lbs)

George Roop competed in the UFC bantamweight and featherweight divisions and was known for his extremely skinny and tall frame. 

At 6’1″ and weighing 135 lbs, Roop was the tallest UFC bantamweight fighter in history.

He used his height and 72” reach to maintain distance and effectively use his striking, particularly his long legs for impactful kicks.

However, his skinny frame meant he was weak in the grappling department, and he finished his UFC career in 2015 with a 5-8 UFC record.

8. Israel Adesanya (Middleweight – 185 Lbs)

Labeled by Paulo Costa as a skinny clown, former two-time UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is the face of skinny UFC fighters.

Adesanya holds most of his muscle mass in his glutes and quads due to genetics. This is good for him as it allows him to more easily defend takedowns and able to hold his own when standing grappling.

When it comes to his upper body and lower legs, it appears Adesanya skips calves, shoulders, back, chest, and arm day.

He doesn’t care though, because he still has knockout power and it allows him to easily make middleweight while not having to cut too much water weight. 

Not cutting much weight allows him to retain his energy and strength in his strikes.

9. Jessamyn Duke (Bantamweight – 135 Lbs)

Jessamyn Duke, a notable figure in the women’s bantamweight division, stands at an impressive height of 5’11” (180 cm), making her the second-tallest female UFC fighter of all time.

Her height, combined with her weight class of 135 lbs, results in a particularly lean and long-limbed physique.

Duke’s fighting style leverages her height advantage, using long-range strikes to keep opponents at a distance. 

Despite her skinny build, she has shown proficiency in both striking and grappling, using her reach to execute submissions and maintain control in fights.

10. Kendall Grove (Middleweight – 185 Lbs)

Kendall Grove is a middleweight fighter known for his exceptional height in the division. Standing at 6’6″ (198 cm), he’s one of the tallest fighters in UFC middleweight history.

The average height in the UFC middleweight division is 6’0”, so Grove used his long limbs to keep opponents at bay and excelled in striking from a distance.

His jiu-jitsu skills were also enhanced by his reach, allowing him to secure submissions that shorter fighters can’t manage.

11. Kevin Holland (Welterweight – 170 Lbs)

The Trailblazer was always on the smaller side for a middleweight (185 lbs), so he decided to cut an extra 15 lbs to become a welterweight in March 2022.

While he’s now in a more appropriate weight class for his frame and genetics, Kevin Holland became a skinny UFC fighter with very thin legs, especially below the knee.

It’s hard to say he dropped much muscle mass, but the extra fat and water weight he lost made him look a completely different and much skinnier fighter.

12. Luis Pena (Lightweight – 155 Lbs)

Luis Pena is known for his distinctive afro and lanky frame. He’s a lightweight fighter who uses his height and reach to his advantage. 

Standing at 6’3″, he’s one of the tallest fighters in his division. Pena’s fighting style is a mix of striking and grappling, and he often surprises opponents with his strength, despite his skinny build.

His ability to maintain distance and execute submissions has made him a notable fighter in the lightweight division. Luis Pena was released by the UFC in 2020 following domestic violence arrests.

13. Max Holloway (Featherweight – 145 Lbs)

One of the greatest UFC fighterweights of all time, Max Holloway has always been on the skinnier side.

He prefers a skinny build because it aids his style of boxing where he often overwhelms his opponents with range, agility, volume, and relentless forward pressure.

Max is 5’11” tall with a decent 69” reach, which are both advantages in the featherweight division.

Max has a very narrow body and he cuts a substantial amount of weight to make the 145 lbs cutoff, both making him look very skinny.

14. Na Liang (Strawweight – 115 Lbs)

Na Liang is a 5’9” strawweight fighter who’s notably taller than the average height of 5’3½” in her division.

Liang’s fighting style is characterized by her ability to maintain distance and utilize her long limbs for striking and grappling, making her a unique presence in the strawweight division.

She’s secured 7 knockouts and 10 submissions in 19 MMA wins, as her opponents find it hard to close the distance on her.

15. Nate Diaz (Welterweight – 170 Lbs)

Throughout his UFC career, Nate Diaz was always on the skinny side compared to his welterweight counterparts.

Instead of building muscle and dropping some body fat, Nate Diaz focused on his cardiovascular endurance, boxing skills, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Instead of weightlifting, Nate Diaz preferred marathons and triathlons so that he could outlast his opponents and suffocate them with high volume.

He was a vegetarian and also tried vegan for short periods. Overall, he was never into muscle building and eating tonnes of protein because he believed it would slow him down and hurt his performance.

16. Neil Magny (Welterweight – 170 Lbs)

Neil Magny is a skinny UFC welterweight fighter who hasn’t let his slender frame hold him back.

First joining the UFC in 2013, Neil Magny has gone on to become the most-winning UFC welterweight of all time, with 20 wins.

Like most skinny UFC fighters, Neil Magny uses his build to enhance his cardiovascular endurance, keep his distance, and aid his striking.

Unlike others, though, Neil Magny is exceptional in the clinch, which he uses to wear on his opponents and score plenty of damage.

17. Patrick Holohan (Flyweight 125 Lbs)

Paddy Holohan was an Irish former flyweight competitor who utilized his lean frame to maintain agility and speed in the octagon. 

Standing at 5’10”, Holohan’s build was particularly advantageous in his division, aiding his striking and movement and helping him secure 8 submissions out of 12 wins in his career.

Despite his slender physique, Holohan showcased resilience and toughness in his fights, making him a fan favorite during his tenure in the UFC.

Holohan retired in 2015 with a 3-2 UFC record and a 12-2-1 MMA record.

18. Roosevelt Roberts (Lightweight – 155 Lbs)

Roosevelt Roberts is another skinny UFC fighter who has an unexpected amount of power in his punches.

When appearing on The Ultimate Fighter Season 31 as an ex-UFC fighter attempting to return to the big leagues, Roberts was forced to cut his dreadlocks in order to make weight.

This is because he’s a 6’2” lightweight who should likely pack on some muscle mass and move up to welterweight.

19. Sean O’Malley (Bantamweight – 135 Lbs)

Wanting to utilize his height and reach advantage in the bantamweight division, Sean O’Malley has long been criticized for being skinny and in trouble when he comes up against top wrestlers.

However, he knew what he was doing. Sean O’Malley became the UFC bantamweight champion by easily knocking out the much more muscular Aljamain Sterling in August 2023.

Sean O’Malley is yet another skinny UFC fighter to have become a UFC champion – showing it’s not all about the muscles as he has legitimate knockout power.

20. Sean Woodson (Featherweight – 145 Lbs)

Sean Woodson is a featherweight contender who stands out with his towering height of 6’2″ in a division where fighters are typically much shorter. 

His skinny frame and exceptional reach give him a distinct advantage in striking, allowing him to land punches and kicks while staying out of his opponents’ range. 

Woodson’s style is marked by precision and effective use of distance, making him a challenging opponent for anyone in the featherweight division. 

Despite his lean build, he has demonstrated durability and skill, proving that agility and strategic striking can be just as effective as brute strength in the UFC.

21. Tim Means (Welterweight – 170 Lbs)

Tim Means is a welterweight fighter who stands out with his lean and tall physique. At 6’2″, he towers over many in his division, using his reach and height to outstrike opponents. 

Means is known for his technical striking and endurance, often wearing down opponents with his volume and precision.

Despite his skinny frame, he has shown considerable power in his strikes and resilience in grappling exchanges. Tim Means appears skinny because he doesn’t have the biggest chest.

22. Tony Ferguson (Lightweight – 155 Lbs)

Tony Ferguson is a veteran UFC lightweight who’s been competing in the UFC since 2011 when he earned a contract via The Ultime Fighter Season 13.

He’s known for his unorthodox fighting style in the lightweight division, utilizing his lean frame for dynamic movement and unpredictability. 

Standing at 5’11” with a 76.5” reach, Ferguson’s build contributes to his agility and cardio, allowing him to push a relentless pace throughout fights. 

His ability to absorb damage and keep pressing forward combined with his creative striking and standing grappling, make him a formidable fighter despite his leaner physique.

23. Will Chope (Featherweight – 145 Lbs)

Will Chope was 6’4” (193cm) and fought in the featherweight division (145 lbs). He used his height and reach advantage to strike opponents at range, but his main advantage was in the jiu-jitsu department.

As of November 2023, Will Chope has secured 29 submissions out of 42 MMA wins.

After a 14-fight MMA win streak, Will Chope faced off against Max Holloway in his first and only UFC fight in January 2014. 

Unfortunately, he was knocked out in the second round and released by the promotion.

24. Yuta Sasaki (Flyweight – 125 Lbs)

Yuta Sasaki is a flyweight fighter who stands out in his division with a height of 5’10”, towering over the average flyweight height of 5’6″. 

Sasaki’s long reach and height give him a distinct advantage in both striking and grappling, but his strikes massively lack power. In 24 MMA wins, only 2 are by knockout.

His main strength lies in his grappling and Bjj, where his skinny frame and long limbs have helped him secure 12 submissions.

25. Zabit Magomedsharipov (Featherweight – 145 Lbs)

Born in Khasavyurt, Dagestan, Russia, Zabit Magomedsharipov goes against the typical dominant grappler that you expect from Dagestan.

Instead, Zabit was one of the best strikers the UFC had ever seen, helped by his skinny physique and height of 6’1”, where the average height of a UFC featherweight is 5’8”.

His technique was exceptional and he also had a strong ground game. Zabit was 6-0 in the UFC before retiring. He retired as many fighters were unwilling to fight him and he later had health issues.

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