MMA is home to the hardest punching athletes the world has ever known. These fighters thrive in MMA because of puny 3 ounce gloves and the wide range of allowed strikes. If you haven’t noticed the rate of knockouts have steadily increased over the years. And we should expect it to increase further because of the big names on this list.
Here are the Top 10 Hardest Punchers in MMA:
1. Daniel Cormier
People are calling this guy the “Black Fedor”. I have to agree. From the way he moves and how he dominates his opponents there’s a lot we can expect from this fighter. Daniel Cormier or DC is small compared to others in his division, but don’t underestimate him. He is currently undefeated in his 12 fight career and is being considered for Light Heavy Title Contention in the UFC. His success may very well be attributed to his size. He can move quickly to hit and defend and he’s hard to take down due to the low center of gravity. He also has plenty of power in his hands. This is made obvious with his record; he has dispatched 7 of his 12 opponents by KO’s, TKO’s, and Submission by Punches.
His most notable victory is his first round knockout of UFC Top Contender Antonio Silva. In that fight Cormier punched Silva so hard that he broke his hand in the process.
2. Mark Munoz
“The Filipino Wrecking Machine” is currently one of the top 10 middleweights in the world. He is a high level wrestler and has knock out power on both hands. Since his loss to Chris Weidman he has slowly recovered and has returned a better and more powerful fighter.
3. Alistair Overeem
Alistair Overeem has gone on record to say that his massive constitution was due to his consumption of of horse meat. Whether or not this is true, his dramatic change since 2007 enabled him to be the first ever fighter to be Champion in kick boxing and MMA at the same time.
Overeem fights very aggressively. His favorite move is to clinch his opponents and knee the life out of them. As for power you can see his fellow 250lbs+ heavy weights jump up or get swayed from side to side from his knees and punches.
4. Roy Nelson
Fat? Somewhat. Powerful? Hell Yea. Big Country Nelson is one of those guys you dismiss because of his physique. But once Nelson steps onto the mat you automatically see where he puts all the mass to use, it’s in knocking people out. Of his 19 wins 12 came by way of knock out. Because of this Nelson has become a fan favorite. In fact Nelson’s match with Kimbo Slice is currently the 2nd most watched fight in history.
Right now Roy Nelson is a free agent and Bellator FC’s CEO Bjorn Rebney has expressed interest in signing a contract with Nelson.
5. Robbie Lawler
Robbie Lawler has the body of a middleweight but has the hands of a 300 pound gorilla. He just destroys people with punches. He isn’t the most technical of strikers but whoever he touches with his glove goes down hard. In a weight class that has seen more submission victories than knock outs, Robbie Lawler is somewhat of a fluke with 85 percent of his 20 wins coming by way of devastating knockouts.
He recently signed a contract with the UFC and in his first fight under that contract he defeated Josh Koscheck via TKO.
6. Mark Hunt
Mark Hunt is a former heavy weight kick boxer and the 2001 K-1 Kickboxing Champion. He has earned himself a fan-following due to his awkward but exciting style of fighting. A word to describe him is “heavy.” His whole fighting style revolves around his ability to knock people out. Though his punches are not very fast you can feel the weight behind them and you can watch his opponents crumble to the ground. One of his notable wins was when he stopped the winning streak of Wanderlei Silva in Pride.
7. Dan Henderson
The H-Bomb has been competing professionally since 1997. Since then he has never been defeated from strikes nor has he ever been knocked out. Hendo probably has the meanest right hand in the business. Even Michael Bisping’s demeanor changed after he ate a big one in their match at UFC 100. Bisping belongs to a long line of victims including the Last Emperor Fedor himself.
8. Junior Dos Santos
We have never seen a super punch quite like what Junior Dos Santos did to Cain Velasquez during UFC 139 Title Bout. It was just a regular overhand right but on steroids! You could hear the thud when it connected. Of course Cain later reclaimed the belt in awesome fashion. But JDS remains to be one of the hardest hitters in the Heavy Weight Division and in all of MMA.
9. Vitor Belfort
There’s not much that can be said about Vitor that has not already been said. The guy is a fucking legend. At age 19 he won the UFC tournament. He dominated most of his fights and won them by way of knockout. One of his most popular finishes was with Wanderlei Sivla. In under a minute Vitor sent Wanderlei to the other end of the cage with a furious barrage of punches.
10. Johnny Hendricks
In the middleweight division few can instill fear in fighters like Hendrix’s left arm. Although experts have been baffled as to how Hendrix have steamed rolled higher caliber opponents all the way to belt contention, it does not change the fact that he could well be the next middleweight champ IF he can touch GSP. There are a lot of counter’s to the overhand left that Jimi Hendrix loves to use to end fights. Yet he devastated technical fighters like Martin Kampmann and Jon Fitch with Fitch getting knockout out with the first punch.
There are other heavy punchers out there who are not on this list. Some of them didn’t make the list because they’re either retired or passed their prime.