If you’ve ever had a conversation with someone about fighting, there’s always one statement that is bound to be spoken; don’t underestimate a fighter’s size. Of course, we all know this to be true. Look at Bruce Lee or Oscar De La Hoya. These guys are on the lower side of 5 feet and weigh next to nothing yet, are deadly in their own right. But let’s be honest, there is something to be said for being a 7 feet 2 inches 350-pound warrior as well
Yes, the smaller person may be faster and more agile but sheer strength is never something to just sneer at either. History has seen some truly monstrous fighters come through and strike fear into their opponents. Here are 9 of the biggest fighters you would never want to mess with.
#9. Renan “Problema” Ferreira
How calm would you be if you knew you had to stare down a youthful in-shape fighter with an incredible reach and ferocious knockout power? If your answer was “terrified”, then we don’t blame you. Fighting out of Brazil is the humongous Renan “Problema” Ferreira, a 6 feet 8 inches 260-pound fighter who at 31 years of age is in his prime. Ferreira has a professional record of 6 wins and 2 losses. 5 of his 6 wins have come by way of KO or TKO. One of those matches fighting against Alexandre Sabara, his TKO took his opponent into retirement. On his 6th and latest fight versus Jared Vanderaa, Ferreira proved that his skills went far past striking as he beat his opponent in the second round via submission, with a triangle choke. The man is a giant with a versatile fighting style. His last fight was in August of 2019. So it’s anyone’s guess if he will make another appearance in the ring.
#8. Emmanuel Yarbrough
Intimidating physiques don’t only come in the form of height or arm reach; sometimes it can come in the form of sheer size and bulk. That was the case with Emmanuel Yarbrough who was an American martial artist, professional wrestler and football player. During his career, he was 6 feet 8 inches tall and 704 pounds. Although he fought in many styles, he is most well known for being the most famous non-Japanese sumo wrestler. He started his amateur sumo career in 1992 and won silver medals in the Sumo World Championships in 1992 and 1994 as well as a bronze in 1993. He quickly became the world amateur sumo champion. Additionally, as he attempted to fight in the UFC at one point, he earned a Guinness World Record for being the world’s heaviest living athlete. Sadly, he passed away from a heart attack in 2015, battling food addiction for the majority of his life.
#7. Gan “The Giant” McGee
September 26, 2003 was the day of UFC 44: Undisputed where the heavyweight champion, Tim Sylvia defended his title against Gan “The Giant” McGee. Sylvia was one of the tallest in the organization standing at six foot eight. However, McGee stood 2 inches taller at 610 and weighed 260 pounds. It was an amazing physical bout that was dubbed “The Battle of the Giants”. Up to that point, Gan McGee was 11-1, mostly being knockouts. After this match though, he went to Japan’s PRIDE MMA which was known for having no rules. Although he only stayed long enough to fight twice losing both matches, it is a testament to his ferocity and tenacity. He admitted that his passion left him after his match with Tim Sylvia which he lost by TKO. After the match Sylvia tested positive for steroids and his title was stripped. However, the UFC refused to give McGee another shot. Even McGee acknowledged that Sylvia clearly won but the cold shoulder that he received from the UFC was his real defeat.
#6. Semmy “Hightower” Schilt
One of the most fierce and humongous fighters to ever grace the sport of MMA was Semmy “Hightower” Schilt. He was 6’11” and weighed in at 256 pounds. Although he has been retired from the sport since December of 2008, he is still remembered as being one of the fiercest and most versatile competitors to ever step foot into the cage. When he retired, he held a record of 26 wins and 14 losses. Of those wins, 15 came by way of KO or TKO and 9 by way of submission. His standing game and ground game were nearly equally dangerous. He only ended up making 2 appearances in the UFC, opting instead to fight in the Japanese PRIDE MMA. He fought 8 matches overseas, winning 4 of them before briefly returning to the States to finish his career.
#5. Paul Wight “The Big Show”
The wrestling entertainment industry may be known for having staged performances but their talented wrestlers, having to pull off these physical performances multiple times per week, are athletes in their own right. One of the biggest and most intimidating of them was the WWE’s Paul Donald Wight Jr., better known as “The Big Show”. Standing at a towering 7 feet tall and weighing 400 pounds, “The Big Show” was one of the most recognizable and ferocious competitors in the ring. He is one of the most popular characters. He has won numerous titles in both the WWE and the defunct WCW.
#4. Stefan Struve
Retired Dutch MMA fighter, Stefan Struve was a big name in the UFC, both physically and figuratively. Standing at 7 feet, weighing in at 265 pounds and having an incredible 84 and a half inch reach, Struve is today the tallest fighter in the history of the UFC. His last match was in October of 2020 where he lost via knockout to Tai Tuivasa in the first round. Although he retired with a professional record of 29 wins and 13 losses, he was a force to be reckoned with in his early years. Even though he was a seven foot behemoth, his ground game was stellar. 18 of his 29 wins came by way of submission and 8 by knockout. For being such a huge guy, he was incredibly versatile, able to fight where he needed and to conquer.
#3. Julius “Towering Inferno” Long
Moving to the sport of boxing, we have Julius “Towering Inferno” Long. Although he had a professional career that was 18 years long, he was better known for his physical stature. He stood at 7’1″ tall having a reach of 90″. Throughout his career, he has fought notable opponents such as former WBC heavyweight champion Samuel Peter, Olympic gold medalists; Audley Harrison and Odlanier Solis, as well as several heavyweight title contenders. Through it all, he still lacked the numbers to be considered a successful professional boxer, with a record of 18 wins and 24 losses. However, he was definitely an intimidating opponent with an enormous stature.
#2. Paulo César “Giant” Silva
A former Brazilian national basketball player, Paulo César da Silva also known as the “Giant” was a 7’2″, 385-pound beast who became a professional wrestler and mixed martial artist. He first started with the world wrestling federation in 1997 but after a mixed reception from audiences he was released in 1999. He would join other random wrestling promotions before ending up in Japan where he signed with New Japan Pro-Wrestling. While in Japan, he fought in the PRIDE Fighting Championships where he fought mainly as a Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner. However, as he only had limited experience, he did not fare well, finishing his MMA career with 2 wins and 6 losses. Regardless of his professional MMA record, his size and athleticism made him an incredible force to be reckoned with.
#1. Choi Hong-man
Standing at 7’2″ and weighing in at over 350 pounds is the South Korean kickboxer and MMA fighter known as the “Techno Goliath” Choi Hong-man. Having such a huge stature allowed him to enjoy a successful and lucrative career in the K-1 MMA organization, specializing in kickboxing and winning the 2005 Grand Prix. His kickboxing career had a record of 13 wins and 9 losses. Later on, he focused more on the MMA side of things. He fought some notable fighters including Fedor Emelianenko and Mirko Cro Cop, losing to both by small margins. He was at one time scheduled to fight against former WWE wrestler Brock Lesnar but the fight had to be canceled as Choi was facing medical issues. He definitely won more fights that he lost and his losses were very close. Regardless of his record though, he stands as one of the fiercest and most physically intimidating fighters ever.
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