How are some MMA fighters skinny but strong?

Spread the love

The nature of Mixed Martial Arts heavily depends on fighters’ fastness, agility and incredible endurance capacity. MMA is one of the few athletic sports where big muscles do not play a vital role. Rather, huge muscles tend to hinder the attainment of a desired goal. It often proves counter productive. Today we shall discuss the benefit of being skinny but still strong on the part of MMA fighters.

Skeletal Muscle source of strength

The amount of skeletal muscle on the body that influences strength. The most obvious anatomical factor is that muscles produce force. Therefore, the more solid muscle without fat an MMA fighter gains the more strength he can produce. Because after repeated exercises, there can not be loose muscles. So the fighters look skinny. But they are strong inside. 

Skeletal muscles connect to human bones and allow him to perform a wide range of movements and functions. Skeletal muscles are said to be voluntary, which means human beings can control them how and when they function. Skeletal muscles comprise 30 to 40% of a human’s total body mass. The best indicator of fighting ability in humans is upper body strength, which is fundamentally tied to the 

muscle system or muscular structure of the upper body. Fighters with greater upper body strength were better able to strike, injure, and disable competitors, especially in standing fights. Therefore, MMA fighters tend to be skinny to be conditioned for fighting better rather than having bulky physiques.

Average MMA fighters are skinny because their training essentially focuses on high-repetition workouts. For example, MMA fighters,in comparison, do 100 pushups rather than bench press 400 lbs. High-repetition workouts (physical training session) do not lead to big growth in muscles. But the rock-solid muscle mass keeps fighters immune to muscle fatigue. 

MMA Categories Depends on Weight

In Mixed Martial Arts, fighters compete in weight classes where they must weigh in at or around a specific weight the day before their fight. The UFC currently has 12 weight classes, eight for men, four for women. 

As MMA fighter classes depend on weight, of all the divisions in the UFC, Lightweight remains supreme. Ever since  merging the WEC roster with the UFC roster, Lightweight has become the premier division of the UFC. This MMA category features some of the most skilled, entertaining, and favourite fighters in the world. In a few words, most American Mixed Martial Arts Media outlets consider Lightweight competitors to be between 146 and 155 lb (66 and 70 kg). With the average height (5′-10″) of this category fighters and the weight are quite  perfect for an MMA fighter. 

Most  people think of MMA fighters as athletes with big muscles. As a matter of fact, a lot of MMA fighters prefer to stay skinny. Some of them may not even look like fighters at all. However, MMA fighters are the finest athletes and they like to keep their body skinny for easy moves in the octagon. This  is a good reason why MMA fighters tend to be skinny but they are stronger than fatty fighters. 

Skinny Fighters

There are so many skinny but strong MMA fighters who have been quite successful. Of them, some of the fighters name are given below:

  1. Conor McGregor= 77 kg.
  2. Dustin Poirier= 70 kg.
  3. Khabib Nurmagomedov= 70 kg.
  4. Daniel Hooker= 71 kg.
  5. Sean O’Malley= 61 kg.
  6. Neil Magny= 77 kg.
  7. Donald Cerrone= 77 kg.
  8. Stefan Struve= His Weight quite conforms to his height. He is 6′-22″
  9. Chase Hooper=66 kg.

      10.Zabit Magomedsharipov=66 kg.

There are a lot more MMA fighters who are skinny but strong and they can overpower big bodies. The skinny fighters have less oxygen consumption, so their hearts work better than bulky fighters who often pant heavily during competition. MMA fighters most of the time outlast their opponents and get the benefit of time duration to beat them in later rounds.

Gaining weight is Easy

A UFC fighter is allowed to fight while he is underweight. An MMA group can come 5 lbs below the weight limit. It doesn’t make a difference for the Promoter or the Sanctioning body, because gaining weight is easier than losing weight. Ahead of the title match, a fighter has to undergo a rigorous and challenging dieting to reduce weight to be fit for the competition. It is often seen that a former athlete gains a lot and he or she looks awful for stopping exercises. Most of the MMA fighters are young. It is quite natural they would like to keep their body skinny and thus handsome.


In MMA, big muscles don’t play a big role like it does in other sports. This is because big muscles burn more oxygen, forcing the heart to work faster, resulting in breathing difficulties which weakens the fighter. Besides, big muscles tend to fatigue faster, which is overall bad for MMA fighting. Being thin and having strong muscle endurance let the fighter last longer in a fight. It also makes the fighter more agile and faster than the opponents who carry big muscles.

Leave a Comment