As we gear up for a heavyweight showdown between big-boned punchers Derrick Lewis and Mark Hunt in New Zealand this Saturday (June 10), let’s take a look at some of the best examples of fighters whose looks have proved to be deceiving.


Big Country

Roy Nelson

Known to celebrate knockout victories by rubbing his rotund gut, Nelson is unkempt and out-of-shape, yet still one of the toughest men on the planet.

The Super Samoan

Mark Hunt

The only thing bigger than Mark Hunt’s chest is the power in his fists. Soft around the edges, the Samoan has viciously knocked out some of the best in the world.

Big Rig

Johny Hendricks

Fluctuating between welterweight and middleweight, Hendricks remains a stranger to muscle definition. Didn’t stop him winning the UFC welterweight title, though.

The Mustache

Timothy Johnson

Overflowing midsection and horse shoe mustache, Timothy Johnson is your next-door-neighbour with deceptive cardio and combat skills.

The Barn Cat

Tamdan McCrory

Bullied as a child for being a ‘nerd’, McCrory exorcised those demons in the best way possible. ‘The Barn Cat’ became a professional fighter.

The Skyscraper

Stefan Struve

Struve is 6’11 with a pasty body, all straight lines, rubbery arms and a baby face. He made his debut at 17 and seemingly hasn’t aged a day since.


Dustin Hazelett

Hazelett, the former fighter known as McLovin, the man responsible for some of the coolest submissions in MMA history, was anything but cool.

The Last Emperor

Fedor Emelianenko

Doughy Fedor, before fights, carried the distracted look of a man who had either left the gas on or his house unlocked. He then took this out on his opponent.


*** This feature appears in the July 2017 Fedor icon issue of Fighters Only, OUT NOW ***