If you’re competing in the UFC, understandably, you’re strong. However, some guys just stand out with their sheer physical strength and dominance. Let’s take a look at the 15 strongest UFC fighters of all time.
Note that the list is ranked based on the power presented in the fighter’s respective category. If we look at power alone, the list would be heavyweights only. Instead, I took into account the strength dominance displayed compared to other fighters in the same category.
15. Vitor Belfort
Juice or no juice, Vitor Belfort is one of the strongest dudes that has ever entered the UFC cage. Belfort was ripped throughout his career, and although he had some failed doping tests, he still dominated the competition with sheer power and strength.
By the end of his career, the crazy muscles disappeared, and he finished his career suffering a brutal front kick knockout against Lyoto Machida. Still, he had a long, successful UFC career, becoming the UFC light heavyweight champ and fighting for middleweight gold. His career score stands at 26-14.
14. Chuck Liddell
Chuck Liddell never looked too physically strong. He was a big man, alright, but he didn’t exactly rip his shirts with muscles like some folks on this list. However, his knockout power is still legendary, as he put guys to sleep with his devastating right, time and time again.
The Iceman put force and aggression behind every strike, leading him to knockout several super-powerful, elite opponents, such as Kevin Randleman, Alistair Overeem, Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture (twice), Wanderlei Silva, and others. Chuck retired from fighting with a 21-9 score, and 13 of those wins came via knockout.
13. Antonio Bigfoot Silva
You knew that a guy with the nickname “Bigfoot” would probably find his way on the list. Silva wasn’t the best technical fighter, but he is as strong as any guy that’s ever fought in the UFC. He was huge even for the heavyweight division, always right around the 165 lbs limit.
Regardless of winning or losing, Bigfoot rarely left it in the hands of the judges. Out of his 19 wins, a staggering 15 comes via knockout, simply manhandling his opponents in the cage.
Although he had trouble against top competition and lost his last six career fights, he’s still one of the all-time greats. If not, then he’s definitely at least one of the strongest fighters we’ve ever seen.
12. Mirko Cro Cop Filipovic
Right leg – hospital, left leg – cemetery. My lord, how many heads has Cro Cop taken off with his vicious trademark head kick? Due to his bear-like leg kicks, many people seem to forget how deadly the guy was with his hands.
Get this. Mirko has 38 career MMA wins, and he has won 30 of those via knockout. In his prime, nobody could outpower Cro Cop. He was a beast and one of the few fighters that didn’t retire on a huge losing streak. On the contrary, Filipovic retired on a ten-fight win streak, the longest streak of his MMA career.
11. Kamaru Usman
Kamaru Usman is not a 250-pound heavyweight beast. He is the welterweight kingpin, but when you compare his brute force to the rest of his division, it’s easy to conclude that he’s physically one of the most dominant UFC champions in history – not just currently. GSP dominated the same division with power, but I think Usman is unmatched in that department.
To add to his spectacular strength, Kamaru has a motor like no other. It sometimes seemed as if he could easily go for ten rounds instead of five. That’s why he swept the division and still hasn’t lost a single UFC fight after 14 fights.
10. Yoel Romero
Not to put Yoel Romero on the list of the most powerful UFC fighters of all time would be a sin. I mean, Robert Whittaker is one of the strongest folks we’ve seen compete in the middleweight division, but compared to Romero, he looked tiny.
His monster-like power in the middleweight category is the reason why Yoel kept failing to hit weight, but he never chose to go up to the light heavyweight division, namely because of his height. He had several chances to become the champ yet always fell short. Nevertheless, he was a beast and definitely a top-10 strongest UFC fighter of all time.
9. Quinton Rampage Jackson
The nickname Rampage says it all. Quinton Jackson was an absolute animal in his prime, and his training was brutal just to look at. He had killer power in those hands, knocking out 20 guys during his career.
People seem to forget that Rampage was no joke during his prime, knocking out fantastic fighters like Chuck Liddell, Dan Henderson, and Wanderlei Silva. He stumbled a few times in his career, but a 38-14 record with 20 knockouts is still impressive.
8. Shane Carwin
The only problem Shane Carwin had during his UFC career was his gas tank. If he could make it past round two without gassing out, he would be even more deadly than he was. Carwin was a physical beast, looking evenly buff even when fighting mountains like Brock Lesnar.
He started his career going 12-0, with twelve knockouts, all coming in the first round. Even in his first career loss to Lesnar, he still displayed his brutal power, rocking Lesnar hard before eventually going out of energy and losing to a choke.
7. Anthony Johnson
I was thinking about putting Anthony Johnson even higher up on this list as I rewatched some vintage highlights to create this list before some other guys pushed him to number seven. However, some of his knockouts were genuinely scary. Even though he was a light-heavyweight, I believe he was the most powerful striker in the UFC at one point.
Rumble decapitated folks with single strikes only to get stopped twice in a title fight by the same man, Daniel Cormier. To think that Johnson developed this kind of power despite starting his career as a welterweight makes it that more spectacular.
6. Junior dos Santos
Junior dos Santos is one of the best strikers the heavyweight division has ever seen. He’s also one of the guys packing the deadliest power punches ever. Cigano was a beast in his prime, and nobody could control him in the Octagon. He always pushed the pace and destroyed people with his extreme strength.
The former champ has wins over five former champs: Stipe Miocic, Cain Velasquez, Shane Carwin, Frank Mir, and Fabricio Werdum. Out of his 21 career wins, 15 came via knockout. It’s a shame he hadn’t retired when it was time, as he has four consecutive knockout losses since 2019.
5. Cain Velasquez
When you look at Cain Velasquez in the cage, he looks like a small chubby guy with no muscle or strength. Well, if you assume that, it’s already game over. He’s one of the toughest, strongest fighters to ever set foot in the cage.
He manhandled guys much bigger than him, such as Bigfoot Silva, Junior dos Santos, Brock Lesnar, and many more. He did that not only to sheer physical force but his elite wrestling abilities, too.
He’s one of the greatest heavyweight fighters of all time, and if there weren’t for so many injuries, I bet he would dominate the game for years more.
4. Brock Lesnar
Whether Brock Lesnar fought while taking steroids is questionable, especially after a failed drug test after his win against Mark Hunt. Still, nobody can deny he was physically one of the biggest, strongest fighters we’ve ever seen.
Even seeing Lesnar in the cage was a scary sight. He fought behemoths like Shane Carwin, Alistair Overeem, and Randy Couture, yet they all looked tiny compared to him. His problem was his cardio and, of course, lack of MMA experience, but had he chosen to get clean from steroids and pursue MMA more seriously; he could’ve had a good UFC career.
3. Alistair Overeem
Over the last few years, Alistair Overeem looks more or less like your average heavyweight – it may be slightly above the average in terms of weight and size. However, in his early UFC days, the guy was a total beast. He looked like he was chiseled out of rocks.
Some say it was steroids, just like with Vitor Belfort, but still, it made him one of the scariest sights you could see in the cage. He was a skilled striker, too, making him even more dangerous and devastating, having an outstanding 47-19 record for his career with 25 knockouts.
2. Khabib Nurmagomedov
I know some of you will say, “how can Khabib be higher on this list than Lesnar or Overeem?” Well, because nobody ever dominated physically in the cage as he has, even though he’s a lightweight fighter.
He arguably lost only a single round in his career (second round against Conor McGregor), and that was a very close round, too. He did whatever he wanted to do with virtually every opponent he ever faced, getting them down on the ground, dominating them physically, and then just mauling them until they’re completely done.
You know what he’s going to do, you know what’s coming, but nobody could ever do anything about it. Khabib was not only too strong but just plainly too good at what he does.
1. Francis Ngannou
Last but not least, Francis Ngannou takes the cake as the strongest UFC fighter of all time. Not only is the guy colossal and ripped, but he has also improved his technique drastically, making him one of the scariest sights we’ve ever seen.
I can’t think of anybody that I’d bet on strength-wise compared to The Predator. Once he starts swinging those bombs, there’s not much you can do.
He has one of the most brutal knockouts in UFC history against Alistair Overeem and knocked out the strongest punchers as well as the most skilled strikers in the game: Stipe Miocic, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, Junior dos Santos, Cain Velasques, and Andrei Arlovski.
Rarely do his opponents last for more than a minute. We’ve seen some might guys in the Octagon, but I don’t think anybody can match the brutal force that Ngannou possesses, making him the strongest UFC fighter of all time.