Hundreds of mixed martial artists, from eight different weight classes, make up the UFC. They put their bodies through hell in the cage—but that's nothing compared to their strict dieting and intense training. These fighters have cut muscles, bulging arms, rock-hard abs, and ferociously strong legs, giving them the ability to take down opponents and win titles in the Octagon.
A well-toned and well-trained body is essential to a fighter’s success. Here are the best bodies of the UFC.
The pride of New Jersey is a former lightweight champion and famous for his bottomless gas tank. Edgar has been through several hard-nosed battles during his eight-year UFC career. His uncanny ability for taking punishment, while dishing out his own in return—his UFC 136 win over Gray Maynard, for example—has turned him into a huge fan favorite. Edgar has taken down big names like B.J. Penn and Urijah Faber, using his mix of wrestling, boxing, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu in his fighting style. If you step into the ring with Edgar, be prepared to go the distance.
The Irish fighter has risen up the ranks to become the top UFC superstar in the game, and it’s because of his versatile skills in the Octagon. McGregor has competed at the featherweight, lightweight and welterweight levels. With a tattooed 5’9” frame and a comfort fighting at a weight from 145 to 170 lbs, McGregor intimidates opponents with his imposing ferocity and well-defined six-pack. He’s loud, he’s brash, he’s confident—and he’s not afraid of anyone in the ring. McGregor's combination of speed and power—plus his signature southpaw technique that often stymies conventional fighters—is hard to match: He pulled the fastest knockout in UFC history against Jose Aldo, taking him down in just 13 seconds.
Belfort has proven to be a versatile and skilled fighter during his career—he’s competed in three different weight classes and earned multiple titles. “The Phenom” has 18 knockouts over the first 38 fights of his career and he’s taken down some legendary names in the past, including Michael Bisping, the now-retired Dan Henderson, Randy Couture, and Wanderlei Silva. Belfort is challenging a matchup as anyone in the UFC—he uses a range of styles, including boxing, kickboxing, muay Thai, and Brazilian jiu jitsu—so his opponents never know what's coming next.
This Cuban fighter is a decorated Olympic wrestler—he took home the silver in freestyle wrestling at the 2000 Sydney Games—and he is built like a tank, muscles bulging out of his muscles. The "Soldier of God," as he calls himself, has battled in both the light heavyweight and middleweight classes, winning 12 of the first 13 fights in his career—10 of them by knockout. Using a near-75-inch reach and a combo of wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, boxing, sambo, and Muay Thai moves, Romero is one of the hardest-hitting fighters in the UFC.
“Rumble” is fast and fierce when he steps in the Octagon—Johnson set the record for most sub-60-second knockout wins in the UFC with five—and he’s shown his versatility by fighting in four different weight classes, including heavyweight, light heavyweight, middleweight, and welterweight. With a near-80-inch reach, the 6’2”, 205-pound muscular goliath has put up a strong record with 22 wins over his first 27 career fights, winning 16 of those by knockout. Johnson has flashed talent on the big screen too, portraying a fighter in the 2011 film Warrior.
The native of Stockton, California, isn’t afraid to stand up to any fighter in the UFC—even superstar Conor McGregor—and he has an intense fighting style that includes a mix of strong punches, Brazilian jiu jitsu, and boxing moves. Diaz won over McGregor in a huge upset at UFC 196, showing some major talent and strong preparation after stepping in with just 11 days of notice following an injury to Rafael dos Anjos. Even though Diaz was defeated in the rematch with McGregor, the rangy Californian lasted five rounds and matched the Irish fighter punch-for-punch until the final bell rang.
“Cowboy” fights hard in the Octagon and gets into the ring as much as he can—unlike most fighters, the Denver native will battle up to four times per year, a busy schedule for someone who takes shots to the body for a living. Fortunately for Cerrone, he has a huge arsenal of moves to keep his body protected, mixing wrestling, boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu in his fighting style. Cerrone won 31 of the first 39 mixed martial arts fights in his career and his kickboxing career was even more impressive: He won 28 of 29 fights, 18 of those by knockout.
The Brazilian fighter began his mixed martial arts training as a teenager and he hasn’t looked back since. Combining an arsenal that includes wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and Muay Thai moves, the 5’9” fighter has competed in both the lightweight and welterweight classes during his career. Tibau has won 33 of the first 45 fights of his mixed martial arts career and he's as cut as anyone in the sport, rocking a hard six-pack and beefed-up shoulders.
“No Love” is one of the toughest fighters in the UFC, earning his nickname by battling his opponents to the very end of every round. The Uhrichsville, Ohio native is a former coal miner who uses boxing, freestyle wrestling, and Muay Thai moves to take down his opposition. The rising star opened his career with 10 straight wins, taking nine of those on powerful knockouts.
“The Spider” is as accomplished as they come for MMA fighters, winning multiple titles and holding the record for the longest title streak in UFC history, lasting for over 2,400 days and 10 title defenses. The Brazilian native is an expert in Muay Thai and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, using a combination of powerful strikes and devastating leg kicks to take down his opponents. One of his most badass moments was his fantastic knockout of Vitor Belfort at UFC 126—Silva connected on a perfectly-timed kick to get the victory.
The American heavyweight fighter is a beast in the Octagon—at 6’1”, 240 pounds, he has the size and strength to take on any opponent. The former two-time champion has a formidable reach and is something of a knockout artist: Velasquez has won 14 of his first 16 career mixed martial arts fights, 12 of those by knockout. When Velasquez is at full strength, he is a cardio machine, beating down his oppositing with a flurry of kickboxing, wrestling, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu moves. Keep that in mind you skip the run in your workout routine.
It’s not often a fighter with the technical skills and physical ability of “Bones” comes along—his size, speed, and fighting style put him in a class of his own in the sport. At 6’4”, 205 pounds, he often towers over his opponents, his insane 85-inch reach makes him as tough to tussle with as anyone in the UFC. Jones won 22 of the first 23 fights of his mixed martial arts career, nine of them by knockout. Though his career has not been without controversy, Jones has proven to be one of the top fighters in the world, having won multiple titles over his career and setting records with the most wins and title defenses in the light heavyweight class.