Who Are The Most Intimidating MMA Fighters Ever? Check Out the List Below to Find Out…
There are many different types of fighters. Some are artists, like Anderson Silva or Israel Adesanya. They’ll go out there, pick you apart and make it look beautiful. Others are grinding battlers who’ll drag you to the ground and beat down on you like, like Daniel Cormier or Khabib Nurmagamedov.
Not every fighter has the same aura about them. What we’re saying is that some guys are just way more terrifying than others. Georges St. Pierre and Jon Jones might be the two best UFC fighters of all time but you wouldn’t necessarily say they’re the most intimidating.
Some fighters though have a level of intimidation factor that goes off the chart. They may possess unfathomable KO power or be ludicrously built. They might have a savage style that will bring guaranteed damage – even if you end up winning. We’re not saying that they’re technically the best fighters, just that they’re brutal and scary. Here are the ten most intimidating fighters in MMA.
10. Chuck Liddell
Let’s just pretend that comeback fight never happened. In his heyday, Chuck Liddell was one of the scariest men on the planet. The face of the UFC for a few years, without the Iceman it would not be where it is today. Liddell was the UFC light-heavyweight champion and spent his days knocking fools out for fun.
His fighting style was brutal and relentless. Liddell went to war. Of course, this wasn’t sustainable towards the end of his career, which is why six of his last seven fights ended with him losing by KO. But back in the mid-noughties, he was the man.
9. Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson
In his heyday, ‘Rampage’ was as fearsome a fighter as you could face. A powerhouse of a man, who can forget him picking up Ricardo Arona and bombing him into the canvas? You’re not supposed to be able to do that to another man, but then Jackson was no regular fighter.
A former UFC light-heavyweight champion, he struck an iconic figure with that huge chain around his neck. His menacing gaze added to his aura of savagery. ‘Rampage’ has an iconic rivalry with Wanderlei Silva.
8. Alistair Overeem
There was a version of Alistair Overeem that was literally the Super Saiyan of combat sports athletes. We’re talking of course about ‘Ubereem,’ a ludicrously sculpted, genetically-modified human being that destroyed all in his path. We’re fairly sure he had more banned substances in him than a North Korean nuclear missile factory, but that’s ok.
Overeem’s physique wasn’t just cosmetic. He was a genuinely elite fighter with titles in DREAM, Strikeforce and K-1. He’s one of only two men to hold titles in kickboxing and MMA at the same time. Overeem’s beaten five former UFC champions, although he’s never held the belt himself.
7. Yoel Romero
‘The Soldier of God’ is a genetic miracle. Hailing from Cuba, this barrel of pure muscle is still an elite middleweight at the age of 42. He can drag you to the ground or he can knock you down with a moment of explosive dynamism. Ask Chris Weidman or Luke Rockhold just how hard and quick he can hit.
That physique and Cuban accent just lend to his aura of intimidation. There’s a reason Michael Bisping found every reason not to fight him – and we honestly don’t blame the Count at all.
6. Wanderlei Silva
His nickname is ‘The Axe Murder’ for crying out loud. Of course, he’s a long way from his heyday now but his fighting style was one of the most brutal we’ve ever seen. He didn’t just look mean, he was mean. 80% of his wins came from finishes, as he ruthlessly blitzed his opponents, throwing caution to the wind.
One of PRIDE’s greatest ever fighters, he’s a former middleweight champion. He holds the record for the most wins, knockouts, title defences, and longest winning streak with the redundant Japanese promotion.
5. Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson
Now retired, Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson is arguably the most intimidating light-heavyweight fighter of all time. Sure Jon Jones is the best ever and seemingly invincible, but while ‘Rumble’ wasn’t as technically good, he had the ability to change your brain. Just ask Glover Teixeira.
He was the Francis Ngannou of his day and division. 16 of his 22 wins came via knockout. Now he’s a fulltime bodybuilder. It’s insane to imagine that he fought as low as the welterweight division.
4. Francis Ngannou
Possibly the most terrifying fighter active today, the Cameroonian UFC heavyweight is an absolute monster. Is he technically the best fighter in the division? No way. But in terms of a pure fear factor, ‘The Predator’ is top of the pile. He possesses knockout power like Mike Tyson on steroids.
When he connected with Alistair Overeem’s chin, we thought we had witnessed our first death in the octagon. The man is frightening. He’s KOed Junior dos Santos, Cain Velasquez, Curtis Blaydes and Andrei Arlovski. Stand in front of him at your peril.
3. Cris Cyborg
The only female MMA fighter on this list, Cris Cyborg is arguably the greatest of all time, although Amanda Nunes might have stolen that mantle. For years nobody was able to get near her. A physically dominant featherweight in a thin division, every girl that stood across from her in the cage knew that they were going to earn their paycheck through a savage beating.
Until Nunes came along and knocked her out, Cyborg hadn’t lost since her debut back in 2005. Her physique gives her the ability to just dominate other women. That’s the reason she’s this high on the list. A frightening specimen.
2. Mirko Cro-Cop
The Croatian fighter is renowned for his head kicks. ‘Right leg hospital, left leg cemetery. He won via knockout 71 times in his combined combat sports record. A former special forces operative in his native country, Cro-Cop is as intimidating as they come.
With a stoicism that matched his lethal ferocity in the cage or ring, this all combines to make him the embodiment of menace. Daniel Cormier might beat him 9 out of 10 times but put the two men side by side and tell me who is scarier?
1. Fedor Emelianenko
The Last Emperor is ice cold and has an otherworldliness about him. Nothing fazed the former Russian heavyweight champion. He became a mythological figure, going almost ten years without getting beaten. Cold, mysterious and unstoppable, his aura and mystique grew, with many considering him the greatest ever.
You could make the argument that the fact that he’s never fought for the UFC has actually added to his fear factor. He’s talked about like a creature from the Upside-Down in Stranger Things. Brutally efficient, he was also slightly undersized as a heavyweight, making his achievements all the more exciting.