Something that the summer does to people is make them bigger. They eat at family gatherings, barbecues, and eating at various social gatherings. They gain some weight and have to work it off. While the desired body for a MMA fighter is athletic, there have been large people who have participated in the sport. For that reason we will be looking at the top 10 heaviest fighters in MMA.
Because of how many large people there have been over the years, here are a few honorable mentions:
Ron Waterman – 280lbs
Brock Lesnar – 286lbs
Semmy Schilt – 290lbs
Tony Halme – 300lbs
Paul Varelans – 300lbs
Sentoryu Henri – 300lbs
Mariusz Pudzianowski – 313lbs
Dan Bobish – 335lbs
Bob Sapp – 350lbs
With that here are the top 10 heaviest fighters in MMA:
10. Choi Hong-man
Known as “the Korean Giant”, Choi Hong-man lives up to his name. Standing at 7 foot 2 inches he weighs in at 353 pounds, no doubt a result of giantism. Originally starting out in K-1 as a kickboxer, Choi moved into MMA because of the common ownership of Fighting and Entertainment Group of Dream. While he had what could be considered a successful career in K-1, he didn’t fare very well in MMA, only going 2-3 with wins against MMA newcomers Bobby Ologan and baseball player Jose Conseco. However, it should be noted that his three losses were against MMA legends Fedor Emelianenko, Mirko Filipovic, and Ikuhisa Minowa.
9. Wakashoyo Shunichi
Wakashoyo Shunichi is one of many sumo rikishi to make the transition from sumo to MMA. During his sumo days, Wakashoyo weighed 362 pounds. His venture into MMA, like the above mentioned Choi, was a result of his association with K-1. He actually fared better in MMA than he did in kickboxing as he went 1-6-1 in MMA. On the other hand he went win less in kickboxing at 0-6-1.
8. Paulo Cesar da “Giant” Silva
Giant Silva as he is known started out on the Brazilian Men’s Bastekball Team. His massive height of 7 feet 2 inches and build allowed for him to grow to a massive 385 pounds. Initially he competed in pro wrestling before making his MMA debut in 2003 for Pride Fighting Championships. As is the common trend on this list, he didn’t do so well going 2-6 before simply discontinuing MMA after 2006. Of note is that his only two wins were against former sumo rikishi Akebono Taro and Henry “Sentoryu” Miller.
7. Wagner da Conceicao “Zuluzinho” Martins
Among a successful few on this list, Zuluzinho started out in combat sports as a Vale Tudo fighter. He grew to be a massive 6 foot 7 inches and 390 pounds. There has been some dispute as to what his true record is but actual confirmed matches lead to an official record of 11-8 with one No Contest. His only notable win is that of Ikuhisa “Minowaman” Minowa. However, some notable opponents whom he lost to include Fedor Emelianenko, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and Eric “Butterbean” Esch.
6. John Matua
John Matua is primarily known as the man who David “Tank” Abbott defeated in his MMA debut at UFC 6. Matua had been introduced as a pracitioner of the Pacific Islander martial art of “Bone Crushing”. He was also billed as being around 400 pounds in weight. Matua and Abbott got into a brief slug fest wherein Abbott got the best of the encounter and went onto make it to the finals of UFC 6. Matua would go onto fight a roughly about five times but only won one bout, finishing his career in King of the Cage.
5. Thomas Ramirez
Thomas Ramirez is known for being Don Frye‘s MMA debut. He was also on the receiving end of what was for the longest time a UFC record for fastest knockout at 8 seconds. Ramirez was billed as being around 410 pounds and undefeated in street fighting with about 50 fights under his belt. He was matched up against the smaller Frye for the whole “David versus Goliath” theme of UFC 8. While he looked like the bigger behemoth, Frye proved to be the better fighter and Ramirez never fought again.
4. Teila “Takamishu” Tuli
Teila Tuli is practically a part of MMA history as he competed in the first match ever in the UFC. Prior to competing in the UFC, he had briefly competed in sumo but didn’t make it above the lower divisions. He was picked as one of the participants of UFC 1 and weighed in at 414 pounds. In the first match, he was matched up against Savate fighter Gegard Gordeau. Many thought he would simply crunch the much smaller french man but ended up getting kicked in the face and loosing a tooth and his only MMA match.
3. Eric “Butterbean” Esch
Eric “Butterbean” Esch was already an established boxing champion weighing around 420 pounds before venturing into other combats sports. Like several above mentioned fighters, Esch started out in K-1 and transitioned into MMA from there. Out of everyone on this list he could probably be considered the most successful. His career would ultimately end in 2011 with a 17-10-1 record. Some career highlights included wins over James Thompson and the Elite-1 MMA Super Heavyweight Championship.
2. Akebono Taro
Originally born as Chad Rowan, Akebono Taro is still to this day the most successful American born sumo rikishi. Of Samoan descenet, Akebono weighs in at 514 pounds and as was the case with many on this list, ventured into MMA as a result of his association with K-1. He ultimately went win less in MMA, being submitted in three of his four losses. Notable losses include Royce Gracie, Don Frye, and the above mentioned Giant Silva. Akebono currently competes in pro wrestling after quitting MMA.
1. Emmanuel Yarborough
Emmanuel Yarborough is not only the heaviest MMA competitor ever, but also holds the Guinness World Record of heaviest athlete, having topped the scales at 882 pounds at his heaviest. Yarborough first competed in college wrestling and football and actually attained All American status at the division I and II levels in wrestling. Yarborough is most known for his UFC 3 match against the much smaller Keith Hackney. Yarborough ultimately went 1-2 in his career with his sole win coming by way of a submission by smothering his opponent in a Shooto match. Of note is an Amateur Sumo World Championship in 1995.