Sun 23 January 2022 | 8:30

The hardest punchers in MMA history

While the sport of MMA is teeming with a raft of insane techniques that keeps audiences at the edge of their seats, not a great majority of them are as impressive as hard punching. In this regard, we have prepared a tribute list for The hardest punchers in MMA history.

From explosive shots, devastating head kicks to granite chins and insane grappling, MMA fans have been blessed to take the full advantage of watching some of the most incredible moments in the sport of MMA throughout history.

Likewise, it is beyond a shadow of a doubt that nothing is more amazing than punching knockouts, which is both utterly horrifying and exciting like a car crash.

This is because many fighters that are also included in the Sportmobs list of

the most intimidating MMA fighters ever

have been specialists in knockouts that could instantly put their rivals to sleep.

Getting punches in the face is by no means an easy job, of course not for professional fighters, let alone undergoing such a heavy punch in your face that would right away throw your whole body on the ground.

Just imagine how powerful an MMA fighter is that just the power of his punch would outperform the whole weight of their opponents.

Among MMA fighters some of their giants, more often heavyweights are infamously known for their insane hard punches and that is why they have earned the title of 'Baddest Man on the Planet'.

Have you been curious to know these disastrous fighters, buckle up for the long dreadful ride ahead?

The full respect of the hardest punchers in MMA history

Read on to delve into everything there is to know in regard to The hardest punchers in MMA history.

Robbie Lawler

Being widely recognised for his aggressive fighting style, the former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler Is considered to be among

the hardest punchers in MMA history

. Just as his nickname of “Ruthless”  implies, his punches are extremely ferocious in every sense of the word.

He smashed a number of great fighters so as to join UFC and compete in their 170-pound category in 2014, while he went on to establish a career record of 15 losses and 29 wins, out of which 21 of his victories came through knockouts.

The full aspect of his insane punching power has been illustrated at the time when he battered Rory MacDonald’s face in one of the

Best UFC Fights of All Time

that occurred at UFC 189, in 2015.

Even Rory MacDonald confessed that Ruthless made him experience the hardest punch he has ever had in his MMA career, due to the intensity of his punch that shattered MacDonald's nose during a TKO defeat.

But it seems that MacDonald has been not the only victim of his devastating punches in as much as Pat Miletich, Tim Kennedy, and heavy-handed current welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley, agonizingly dubbed him the hardest punchers ever to grace the sport of MMA.

In fact, his punching has such an explosive power that even someone as adventurous as Nick Diaz has been utterly reluctant to fight him again as he expressed as saying: ”The last thing I want to do, win or lose, is get hit by more Robbie Lawler punches, that’s not good for your head!”, after all, he is highly revered as one of the UFC hardest hitters.

Shane Carwin

As one of the most giant and most imposing physical specimens, who ever entered the Octagon, Shane Carwin is infamous for his heaviest hands in the sport, having such abnormal big paws that made him obliged to wear 5XL gloves.

Spectacularly, Carwin had never let his fights take longer than the first round until the time that he confronted Brock Lesnar at UFC 116, where he underwent his first-ever defeat.

To be specific, the monster of a man, had such a terrifying power that made him grab eight triumphs in his twelve total fights all through first-round knockouts, so as to cement his place among the hardest punchers in MMA history. He put on show his concussive power when he beat Christian Wellisch and Gabriel Gonzaga just with one punch.

Be that as it may, because the UFC fast-tracked him to a title shot, although he could beat the former champion Frank Mir to grab the Interim UFC Heavyweight Champion, he went on to concede his next two final fights against Brock Lesnar and Junior dos Santos respectively through the arm-triangle choke and unanimous decision.

Finally, as a late bloomer in the sport of MMA, he became retired in 2011 when he was thirty-six years old in the cope of suffering from injuries.

It is notable to suggest that his main sparring partner Brendan Schaub, who is included in our list of the

10 UFC fighters who played other sports

, highly praised Carwin’s good footwork as he reminded his timeless endeavours to get out of the way of Carwin’s bone-crushing punches in the gym.

Even Junior dos Santos, who is one of just a few fighters who coped with Carwin without being rendered unconscious, admired him for the damage he incurred to him, claiming after their fight: ”I think [he has] the heaviest punches I have ever felt.”

Derrick Lewis

Being widely recognized for packing enormous knockout power in each of his gloves, The Black Beast, is undoubtedly one of

the hardest punchers in MMA history


While he has grabbed the #3 position in the official UFC heavyweight rankings as of August 9, 2021, he has an insane fighting style, despite his hilarious personality outside of the octagon both online and offline.

He tends to go several rounds without doing much of anything, so as to kill the time for finding an opening for that one well-placed punch to grab triumph and that is why he is recognized as a notoriously slow starter.

In his illustrious MMA career, he has set the career record of 21 wins and 8 losses while he has smashed the fighters like Gabriel Gonzaga, Shamil Abdurakhimov, Travis Browne, Marcin Tybura, Alexander Volkov and Aleksei Oleinik with his Octagon-shaking firepower.

Having knocked out these whooping number of fighters in the octagon particularly in the heavyweight category is mindblowing enough by its own term, but not unlikely for one of the UFC hardest punchers.

While he is the current record holder for most knockout finishes in UFC history, he even once smashed Francis Ngannou, who is an indispensable member of

UFC Current Champions: Who is the most dominant belt holder?.

Igor Vovchanchyn

Although the Ukrainian former bare-knuckle fighter who transitioned into MMA, is not very recognised among most of the current MMA fans, he is undoubtedly one of

The best fighters to never fight in the UFC


That is to say, as an old school fighter, he fought for many smaller promotions all around the world until he made his way to Pride fighting championships in 1999.

As one of the 10 hardest punchers in MMA history, he has such a furious power that just very few heavyweights could have been as impeccable as the MMA legend.

Notwithstanding his only 5′ 7” standing and his 68” reach, he sometimes confronted rivals who outweighed him by over 100 lbs and most amazingly he has the ability to knock them out with quite ease.

Thereby with having the potential to put anybody to sleep regardless of their size, it is of little surprise to see a staggering 41 T/KO victories in his career record.

Among his incredible knockout victories, his fight against Enson Inoue in Pride that occurred in 2000 is particularly outstanding.

Vovchanchyn actually beat the Japanese giant so tremendously that he was being struck by a train. That is because he made his rival suffer from some life-threatening injuries, while Enson went on to call him the hardest hitter he ever encountered.

Wanderlei Silva

The “Axe Murderer” is held in the highest esteem for his utterly fearsome strikes, so as to be considered as one of the hardest puncher's in MMA history.

That is to say, at the prime heyday of his career, he was highly regarded for his absolute wrecking ball due to his earth-shattering punching power and berserker style of brawling.

It was this striking power that led him to gain popularity across the world, smashing rivals from middleweight all the way through to heavyweight, while his performances in Pride in the early-90’s was the pick of his glorious career.

As one of the

Best MMA fighters in each weight class ever

, with his heavy-hitting style, he could earn 35 victories out of his total 51 fights, while 27 of those triumphs have come by way of KO/TKO.

Among his jaw-dropping fights, his encounter against the former UFC light heavyweight champion “Rampage” Jackson that took place at Pride Final Conflict 2003 was an absolute war.

Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz deemed Silva's punch to be the hardest one he ever grazed in his career when he “threw an overhand right and caught me right on the chin,” in their bout at UFC 25. “It literally felt like the earth had been turned upside down.”

Even ex-UFC light-heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin commented on Silva's terrific punching strikes after going through a traumatic experience when he coped with him in training indicating in a fan Q&A:

”Who hit me the hardest consistently was definitely Wanderlei, sparring with him is a horrible idea – it takes years off your life. Don’t do it!”

Not to mention that Dan Henderson who underwent the first defeat of his career to Wanderlei Silva at PRIDE 12, called him his toughest-ever rival. 

Chuck Liddell

The former UFC light heavyweight champion is widely revered as one of the

most influential fighters in MMA history

, due to his role in popularizing the sport in the early-to-mid-2000’s.

But what has earned The Iceman a special place among the 10 hardest punchers in MMA history is that as a ferocious brawler, he has devastating knockout power in his fists.

Being honoured to be the UFC Hall of Famer, he could smash some of the greatest fighters of his generation in the light of his awe-inspiring ability to knock people out so as to be emerged out as one of the biggest stars and of course one of the UFC hardest hitters the sport has ever seen 

Among his mind-blowing victories, his wins over Randy Couture (twice), Tito Ortiz (twice), Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral, Jeremy Horn, and Vernon White just to name a few, are specifically outstanding.

His knocking out of his punching power had such an intensity that it made some great fighters like Randy Couture compliment on it.

Couture stressed the seriousness of his punching power, indicating: “In terms of who hit the hardest, it had to be Chuck Liddell, I’ve been knocked on my can a few times in my career, but he was the only guy to knock me completely unconscious, to the point where you’re fighting one second and the next you’re looking up going, who the f**k are you guys?”

Likewise, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, once indicated: “Chuck hit me with the hardest body shot ever in PRIDE.”

Moreover, Rich Franklin called Liddell  the hardest hitter he went up against in the following terms: ”Chuck had very, very heavy hand, I mean he kicked me and broke my arm – so every time he hit me, it just felt like he was like swinging a sledgehammer.”

Even Bas Rutten similarly affirmed that Liddell’s famous punching power is everything it’s been hyped up to be.

Dan Henderson

The former UFC middleweight champion and Pride middleweight champion is among the few fighters who competed in four different weight classes from welterweight right up to heavyweight.

He proved to be among the best fighters who have ever fought in such a wide range of weight divisions because he had tremendous knockout power, particularly in his right hand, to the point that his right hand is recognised with the nickname of the H-Bomb.

Therefore he is utterly deserved to be enlisted among the

UFC hardest hitters

, specifically when the sheer force of Henderson’s punches saw him grab victories over other legends such as Wanderlei Silva, Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua and Fedor Emelianenko who is one of

the Greatest MMA Fighters of All Time


So it was actually a great honour for him to beat Emelianenko in their heavyweight encounter in July 2011, because Henderson was one of the first men in history who was able to stop Fedor via TKO, creating one of the most momentous moments in all MMA.

Likewise, his knockout victory over Michael Bisping at UFC 100 is very famous especially when The Count agonizingly admitted that he has never been hit harder, to such an extent that even after 9 years later he could remember much of what happened that night, after all, he is one of UFC hardest punchers

Similarly, Jake Shields claimed that ‘Hendo’ was the hardest-hitting opponent he ever faced, while even Daniel Cormier indicated as saying: ”Dan Henderson, even when you’re close and he hits you from very very close, you can feel how heavy his hands are.”

Above all, the retired UFC fighter-turned-analyst Kenny Florian once deemed Henderson qualified enough to rank him as the No.1 fighter among the hardest hitters of all time.

Mark Hunt

When it comes to

the 10 hardest punchers in MMA history

, one of the first names that might cross the mind of MMA fans would be Mark Hunt.

In the light of his popularization of walking away and stopping attacks before the referee officially brings the match to a halt, he has become widely regarded as "King of Walk-Offs."

The New Zealand-born heavyweight has applied his kickboxing skills to MMA, being blessed with a devastating knockout power on the feet.

Right after his successful kickboxing career, although in his MMA career he has gone through a number of losing streaks, with his landing thunderous shots on his rivals and walking off without waiting for the referee to stop the fight, there is no way that Hunt could be excluded from the list of the hardest punchers in MMA history.

That is to say, notwithstanding his rather modest MMA record, with more losses than victories, he is considered to be a true fan-favourite due to his all-action style and his awe-inspiring walk-off knockout.'

The Super Samoan' has prominent triumphs over Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, Derrick Lewis, Antonio Silva, Roy Nelson and the former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir who you can find more about him on the Sportmob list of the

most overrated UFC fighters of all time


In regard to his undeniable punching power one of his sparring partners who is the UFC heavyweight fighter, Tai Tuivasa once suggested: ”He’s the hardest person I’ve ever been hit by, it’s like running into a wall or letting someone hit you over the head with a bat.”

Joe Rogan also admired him a lot, giving him the nickname of ‘Captain Concussion’ on his JRE podcast as he claimed that, “Hunt hits like a f***ing asteroidal impact.”

Anthony Johnson

The former top UFC light heavyweight fighter Antony ‘Rumble’ Johnson, is highly revered as one of

the hardest punchers in MMA history

who fought in four-weight categories from welterweight right up to heavyweight.

Although he may not have earned a UFC title, he is still regarded as one of the most devastating finishers in the sport, being the most famous Dublin-born fighter in MMA history, apart from Conor McGregor.

Just his glorious MMA career record speaks volumes about the fact that he is one of the greatest knockout artists the sport has ever observed, while 10 out of his 12 UFC victories came by the way of strikes, as he could beat the giants like Alexander Gustafsson, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Ryan Bader, Jimi Manuwa, and Glover Teixeira along the way.

Generally speaking in the light of this ferocious power, 17 of his 23 MMA victories have been through knockouts. Even more amazingly, while he was initially knocking out his rivals at 170 pounds, he could maintain his punching power all the way up at 205 pounds and beyond.

Whereas he was about to grab UFC light heavyweight champion, he ended up conceding both of the fights in which he encountered the future Hall of Famer, UFC champion Daniel Cormier.

Yet he performed so brilliantly that he led Daniel Cormier to comment on the power he brought into the Octagon indicating: “Anthony Johnson hits harder than any other person, no doubt, every time he hit me, it made me kind of like fly all over the place. He was trying to take my head off. Even when he’d miss, you can hear it.”

Likewise, his frequent sparring partners, the former light heavyweight champion, Rashad Evans who has tangibly fathomed out how hard he can hit, expressed as saying: “He’s the hardest puncher I’ve ever experienced, for sure. No doubt about it, I’ve watched him knock out countless people in the gym.”

Francis Ngannou

The Cameroonian heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou is undoubtedly the most physically impressive human specimen in MMA history, earning the spot number in our list of the

UFC hardest punchers


This is while he has spent a rather short span in the UFC, setting the record for the hardest punch in the UFC.

Not to mention that his insane uppercut KO of the future Hall of Famer Alistair Overeem was announced to be the Knockout of the Year in 2017 in which he showcased his devastating punching prowess in the most decent way.

Most recently The Predator grabbed the heavyweight championship as he dethroned the former champ Stipe Miocic at UFC 260.

It goes without saying that in his run-up to that title, he ended his last four fights in a combined total of 162 seconds since all of these were first-round knockouts.


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source: SportMob

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