The Top Ten UFC Fighters Under 5'6

This one is dedicated to all the manlets out there.

If you know anything about MMA, you’ll know that size isn’t everything. Many fighters give up reach, height, and even weight, and are able to emerge victorious.

Unfortunately, an unproportionate amount of attention is usually given to fighters in bigger weight classes. Well today, we’re changing that. I’m going to talk about the fighters with wives who are taller than them (looking at you Volkanovski), and yet still manage to be all-around badasses.

For this list, I’m going to order the top fighters based on their accomplishments. The list might include some fighters who are no longer in the UFC, for whatever reason.

I am also including the fighter’s weight when describing them. However, this is competition weight, and is not the fighter’s actual weight on a given day. For that, add about 15 pounds to their listed weight, which is the amount of weight fighters usually cut.

Also, I know the title says “under 5’6”, but there are a few guys on here who measure 5’6 exactly. So it’s more like under 5’7. The point is, they’re short ok?

10. Jussier Formiga, 5’5

Weight: 125 lbs (Flyweight)

First up on our list of fighters is the Brazilian flyweight contender, Jussier Formiga.

Born as Jussier da Silva in his hometown of Natal, Brazil, he was given the nickname ‘Formiga’ (‘ant’ in Portuguese) for his strength and stature. And it is a befitting nickname, I might add.

Formiga has competed in MMA since 2005, earning a record of 23-6 in the process. He is currently ranked the #2 flyweight contender in the UFC, even after a TKO loss to the #1 contender, Joseph Benavidez.

9. John Lineker, 5’3

Weight: 125 lbs, 135 lbs (Flyweight, Bantamweight)

John Lineker is the second fighter on our list, and is living proof that men with ungodly strength are made in all sizes.

Lineker, nicknamed ‘Hands of Stone’, is a stockier fighter who relies on his immense knockout power to win his fights. And to his credit, it seems to be working great, as noted by his 12-4 record in the UFC.

Indeed, his swing-for-the-fences style lends itself well to the grateful fans. Unfortunately, John Lineker also has an issue making weight consistently.

Former flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson once recounted a story of seeing John Lineker on the day of weigh-ins. Johnson’s wife noticed Lineker and asked, “Is that John Lineker? Why is he eating pancakes?”

Perhaps his undisciplined diet is part of the reason Lineker was cut from the UFC. He is currently signed to ONE Championship, at bantamweight.

8. Urijah Faber, 5’6

Weight: 135 lbs, 145 lbs (Bantamweight, Featherweight)

Urijah Faber is probably everyone’s favorite manlet. He’s thick, he’s strong, and he has the most recognizable chin in all of UFC history. A thing of beauty.

In all seriousness, Faber is a top-tier competitor. Faber has floated around at the top of the bantamweight division ever since WEC (where Faber was competing) merged with the UFC back in 2010.

Faber also runs a gym in California, Team Alpha Male, which houses some of the best UFC fighters in the lower weight classes. Faber doesn’t let the short jokes get to him though.

In a press conference once, a kid asked Faber if he could train at his gym, to which Faber jokingly replied, “I don’t know, how tall are you? 5’9 you’re pushing it.”

As cool as Faber is as a person, he tends to come up short in high-stakes fights, having lost all four of his title shots in the UFC. Faber retired back in 2016, but made a return in 2019. His latest fight was a KO loss against Petr Yan.

7. Marlon Moraes, 5’6

Weight: 135 lbs (Bantamweight)

Marlon Moraes is a force to be reckoned with in the UFC’s bantamweight division. He is strong, fast, and he has a nasty switch kick straight from the depths of hell.

Due in part to his stocky frame, Moraes has explosive power that he uses to punish his opponents with his expert kickboxing. If you need any proof of his power, check out his nasty KO of top bantamweight Aljamain Sterling.

He has taken out several high-ranking bantamweights, and is currently sitting at the top of the division. He most recently beat Jose Aldo in a controversial split decision.

His fight before that was a shot at the vacant 135-pound title, against 125-pound champion Henry Cejudo. Unfortunately, Marlon himself admitted that he ‘got tired’ midway through the fight, losing by TKO in the third round.

6. Chad Mendes, 5’6

Weight: 145 lbs (Featherweight)

Next up on our list, we have the ball of muscle that is Chad “Money” Mendes.

Chad Mendes is one of the toughest 145-pounders on the planet. As an NCAA Division 1 wrestler in college, the transition to MMA was an easy one for him.

Pair that with his incredible strength, and his crazy overhand strikes, and it’s no question why Chad has made an impressive run in his UFC career.

His runs have earned him three shots at the UFC Featherweight title, twice against Jose Aldo, and once again Conor McGregor for the interim belt. Mendes trains out of Team Alpha Male with Urijah Faber, and has also had his fair share of short jokes.

Fans may remember the attacks from McGregor towards Mendes in the lead up to their title fight at UFC 189. McGregor often addressed Chad as Chad “Mini” Mendes, and in one interview (through Skype) told Chad to “stand up because we can barely see you on the screen.”

Unfortunately, Chad did come up short in all three of his title shots, eerily similar to his coach Urijah Faber.

After sitting out two years due to suspension, Mendes came back to the UFC with a big TKO win over Myles Jury. However, in his next bout, Mendes would suffer a TKO loss to eventual Featherweight champion Alex Volkanovski, announcing his retirement shortly after.

5. Joseph Benavidez, 5’4

Weight: 125 lbs (Flyweight)

The third Team Alpha Male fighter on our list, up next we have Joe “The Beefcake” Benavidez.

A long-time competitor in the UFC, Joe Benavidez was one of the pioneers of the 125-pound weight class. As part of the inauguration of the Flyweight division, Joe was one of the fighters selected to compete in a tournament to decide the very first champion.

Joe made it to the tournament finals, in which he would face Demetrious Johnson, a former Bantamweight title challenger. Joe would lose a close fight by split-decision.

Joe has had an amazing run in the UFC since then, going 12-2 after his loss for the inaugural title. Unfortunately, one of those losses would be a rematch against Johnson, again for the title. What’s up with Team Alpha Male fighters losing title fights?

Benavidez is currently the #1 contender in the Flyweight division, and has been pressing the champion, Henry Cejudo, for a fight.

However, Cejudo has seemingly vacated the title, and Benavidez is set to face Deiveson Figueiredo for the vacant title.

4. Frankie Edgar, 5’6

Weight: 155 lbs, 145 lbs (Lightweight, Featherweight)

At number 4 on our list, is none other than former Lightweight champion, Frankie Edgar.

Frankie is probably the biggest guy on our list, as he used to fight at 155 pounds. However, this is debatable, as it has been said that Frankie didn’t cut weight to make the 155-pound limit (Chad Mendes is probably just as big). Frankie has even stated that he is fairly small for a Featherweight.

Regardless, Frankie is a phenomenal competitor at both Lightweight and Featherweight, having taken out some of the best names in both divisions. Frankie holds wins over top fighters such as BJ Penn (x3), Gray Maynard (x2), Urijah Faber, Chad Mendes, and Cub Swanson (x2).

Aside from winning the Lightweight championship, Frankie has worked his way to earning three Featherweight title shots, although coming up short in all three.

He is currently considering a move down to the Bantamweight division.

3. Alexander Volkanovski, 5’6

Weight: 145 lbs (Featherweight)

Remember that thing I said at the beginning of the post about Volkanovski’s wife?

Alexander Volkanovski is the UFC’s current Featherweight champion. Volkanovski put on a great performance against a longer fighter in Max Holloway.

Holloway is known for using his length to keep his opponents at bay. However, Volkanovski used his pressure, along with consistent leg kicking, to beat Max Holloway over five rounds, becoming the first Australian-born UFC Champion.

And Volkanovski is likely to remain champion for awhile. He is currently on an 18-fight win streak, since his lone professional loss back in 2013.

Due to a hand injury, it is unclear when Volkanovski will return to make his first title defense. There are a lot of options for his next fight, including Chan Sung-Jung, Zabit Magomedsharipov, or a rematch with Holloway.

2. Demetrious Johnson, 5’3

Weight: 125 lbs (Flyweight)

Demetrious Johnson is a legend in the world of MMA. He is a former Bantamweight title challenger, and the UFC’s inaugural 125-pound champion.

You can probably already guess who #1 is on this list. I can already hear most of you disagreeing with me.

Despite not being #1 on our list, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson is still one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time. But don’t take my word for it.

Take a look at his record and you’ll find a 34-fight career packed with wins and titles. After winning the title in 2012, Mighty Mouse made 11 successful defenses of his title, a UFC record which he still holds.

But alas, after 11 title defenses came an Olympic gold medalist named Henry Cejudo, to steal the shine. Demetrious lost a split-decision to Cejudo, snapping his win streak.

In a surprising move, the UFC traded Demetrious Johnson to ONE Championship, where Demetrious is currently set to face the Flyweight champion, Adriano Moraes.

1. Henry Cejudo, 5’4

Weight: 125 lbs, 135 lbs (Flyweight, Bantamweight)

You had to see it coming.

Henry Cejudo, the self-acclaimed “King of Cringe”, is #1 on our list of the best fighters under 5’7. Henry is the current Bantamweight champion and the former Flyweight champion of the UFC.

Since beating Demetrious Johnson in Demetrious Johnson in 2018, Cejudo has brought attention to the UFC’s Flyweight division, which was on the verge of extinction. Combine Henry’s impressive combat abilities with his interesting ‘Triple-C” gimmick, and you get an interesting show.

Cejudo put on an impressive display against Demetrious Johnson, edging out a split-decision win to become the first Olympic gold medalist to win a UFC title.

In his first title defense since beating Demetrious, Cejudo would face the reigning 135-pound champion, TJ Dillashaw. At the time, Dillashaw was considered one of the best bantamweights ever, having twice knocked out Cody Garbrandt for the title, after initially winning it against Renan Barao years earlier.

Cejudo would knock out Dillashaw 32 seconds into the very first round. What made this win more impressive was the fact that Dillashaw was caught using EPO for the fight, a performance-enhancing drug.

Because he knocked out the 135-pound champion, Cejudo was given a shot at the bantamweight title, facing top bantamweight Marlon Moraes in the fight.

Despite starting slow in the first round, Henry started to pick up as he went, turning it on during the third round. Cejudo picked Moraes apart with an excellent display of clinch work, eventually finishing Marlon by TKO.

Upon winning the Bantamweight title while simultaneously holding the Flyweight title as well, Henry deemed himself “Triple-C”. The name originates from his Olympic gold medal, which he won in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Considering his medal makes him a wrestling champion, he added the two UFC belts to his name, making him a champion three times over.

As great as Henry Cejudo may be, he has yet to be seen since his win over Moraes. He seems to have vacated the Flyweight belt, and is hoping to recover from injury and soon make a defense of his Bantamweight belt.