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Ten Successful UFC Fighters With Stocky Builds

When you think of a martial artist, the first thing that comes to mind is probably someone with a Bruce Lee-style physique, ready to throw some quick and flashy kicks.

Well in the real world, this is not always the case.

There are many successful martial artists who have a very stocky build, making them wider and shorter than the average person in their weight class. Despite their apparent shortcomings, these stockier fighters usually implement their strength effectively to win them the fight.

So in this post, I’m going to bring light to these martial artists who don’t fit the mold. Here are ten successful UFC fighters with stocky builds.

These fighters are not necessarily ranked by how successful they are (which they all are) but by how stocky they are. Barrel-chested. The wider the better.

10. Alexander Hernandez

Height: 5’9

Weight: 155 lbs (Lightweight)

To kick off our list at #10, we have lightweight contender Alex Hernandez. Hernandez is an interesting pick for the list, because he’s the only pick that is not shorter than the average man in his division.

That’s not to say he isn’t stocky though. He is as wide as they come, and he almost seems bigger than other lightweights of his same height. He definitely doesn’t fit the Bruce Lee physique if you ask me.

His size lends itself well to his wrestling base, which is something you will notice among most of the fighters on this list.

He is currently 3-1 in the UFC, although he is coming off a controversial decision win over Francisco Trinaldo.

9. Urijah Faber

Height: 5’6

Weight: 145 lbs (Featherweight)

For #9, we have none other than the fearless leader of Team Alpha Male, Urijah Faber.

Urijah is well known as a pioneer for the smaller weight classes in MMA. He is also well-known for his amazing chin.

As an NCAA Division 1 wrestler in college, he is known for his ability to take his opponents to the ground, winning many of his fights with chokeholds.

His stocky frame is a bit interesting, as he is wide throughout his torso, and not just his chest and arms. Though he often competes at Bantamweight, he is even stockier at Featherweight.

He is currently fighting in the UFC’s Bantamweight division, after his return from retirement in 2019.

8. Frankie Edgar

Height: 5’6

Weight: 155 lbs (Lightweight)

Frankie Edgar is just a ball of muscle, especially at Lightweight.

Although he is now known for being a top contender in the UFC’s featherweight division, Frankie is a former UFC Lightweight champion. At 5’6, he is easily one of the shortest Lightweights to ever compete in the UFC.

That doesn’t mean he’s small though. His short stature means he is usually stronger than his opponents, and he is very effective with his overhand strikes, especially when mixing in his wrestling.

Also an NCAA Division 1 wrestler, he qualified for Nationals during each of his four years at the Clarion University of Pennsylvania.

He is currently 2-3 in his last five fights, and is considering a move down to the UFC’s Bantamweight division.

7. John Dodson

Height: 5’3

Weight: 135 lbs (Bantamweight)

John Dodson is stocky fighter #7 on our list, and is also the shortest on the list. Being stocky doesn’t necessarily mean being short, but it definitely applies in Dodson’s case.

His wrestling background gained the attention of Greg Jackson, an MMA coach who co-owns the world-renowned JacksonWink gym. Dodson was recruited to help train fighters, and eventually became a fighter himself.

Dodson was previously a top-contender in the Flyweight division, but since losing a second fight to Demetrious Johnson, he has filled up and remained at Bantamweight.

He has had mixed success as a Bantamweight, going 3-4 since moving into the weight class.

6. Henry Cejudo

Height: 5’4

Weight: 135 lbs (Bantamweight)

Henry Cejudo is the #6 pick on our list, and is also by far the most successful fighter on the list.

Henry Cejudo has been a contender in the UFC’s Flyweight and Bantamweight divisions for several years. Prior to fighting with the UFC, he was an Olympic wrestler, winning gold at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Since joining the UFC, he has accomplished great things. He has a very strong frame, which he uses well when combined with wrestling experience and tenacious striking.

Cejudo is the most recent UFC fighter to have attained champ-champ status, having simultaneously held the Flyweight and Bantamweight champions.

Since winning the Bantamweight championship, he has vacated his Flyweight belt, and is looking to defend at Bantamweight for his return to the UFC.

5. Alexander Volkanovski

Height: 5’6

Weight: 145 lbs (Featherweight)

When it comes to having a stocky frame, Volkanovski’s rugby history is bound to show up. In the #5 spot, we have the UFC’s Featherweight champion, Alex Volkanovski.

Volkanovski is probably the only fighter on this list to not have an extensive wrestling background. That’s not to say he didn’t wrestle though.

Volkanovski wrestled in his childhood, eventually giving it up at 14 years old. He instead pursued a career in rugby, playing semi-professionally in Australia prior to becoming a mixed martial artist.

As a rugby player, he apparently weighed over 200 pounds! That’s about as stocky as they come. When he started fighting, he quickly started trimming down his weight, as he initially was competing in amateur fights at Middleweight.

Over the years, he has slimmed down his body to where he feels optimal, which is at Featherweight. He is a very strong kickboxer, and is likely to hold on to the Featherweight title for a good while.

4. Kelvin Gastelum

Height: 5’9

Weight: 185 lbs (Middleweight)

Kelvin Gastelum is probably the thickest fighter in the UFC. The only reason he isn’t #1 on this list is that he isn’t as well defined as the top 3 picks.

Kelvin Gastelum is a vicious contender in the UFC’s 185-pound weight division. He has immense strength for his size, especially considering that he is a lot shorter than the average Middleweight, as most of his opponents are over 6’0.

That strength comes in handy when he throws that overhand though. Gastelum is known for his rock-solid chin, and his heavy hands, a great combination for a fighter giving up reach.

Kelvin Gastelum previously fought at Welterweight, where he had success. However, After missing weight multiple times, UFC President Dana White forced Gastelum to move up to Middleweight, where he has found his home.

3. Tyron Woodley

Height: 5’9

Weight: 170 lbs (Welterweight)

Tyron Woodley is the #3 pick of the list. And it shouldn’t be questioned. Just look at the picture.

Woodley is another fighter who often looks up at his opponents during the stare-downs. At 5’9, he is significantly shorter than the average Welterweight, his opponents usually 5’11 and taller.

Of course, as with all of the fighters on this list, he is exceptionally strong for his weight class. He is well known for his explosive power, and probably best known for his crazy first-round knockout of Robbie Lawler to win the Welterweight championship.

He looks like he could be a bodybuilder.

Tyron Woodley is coming off his first loss since winning the title, to current champ Kamaru Usman. He is set to make his return against up-and-comer Leon Edwards.

2. Yoel Romero

Height: 6’0

Weight: 185 lbs (Middleweight)

Yoel Romero is the athletic Cuban that terrorizes the Middleweight division. At 42 years old, he is still putting on amazing fights, and displaying his incredible athleticism.

At Middleweight, he has received three title-shots, which he earned through insane finishes against the top Middleweights in the world. His stocky frame and bulging muscles lend to his creative fighting style.

Romero tends to keep a slow pace during the fight, as his muscles expend a lot of energy, and he tends to get tired quickly. However, when he finds the right moment, Romero will explode with a quick strike.

His strategy of conserving energy is likely why he tends to finish his opponents in the third round of a fight, currently having 6 wins by third-round knockout on his record.

1. Ilir Latifi

Height: 5’10

Weight: 205 lbs (Light-Heavyweight)

At #1 for the stockiest fighter in the UFC, we have the heaviest man on the list: light-heavyweight Ilir Latifi.

Latifi is a lifelong wrestler, having been born into a family of wrestlers. As most wrestlers do, he naturally progressed towards MMA.

He is also one of the shortest light-heavyweights to grace the Octagon, as he stands at 5’10 (even shorter than Daniel Cormier!). Not that the height matters.

Latifi has the ability to dismantle his opponents any way he wants. He holds tremendous knockout power, but has finished off opponents with chokes as well.

His short stature in relation to the number of pounds he weighs makes him the stockiest fighter in the UFC.