When one thinks of the stereotypical fighter, images of fit, cauliflower-eared men and women come to mind. Just like any other sport, there are anomalies in the fight game.
Here is a list of fighters that deviate from the stereotypical ideals in the sport.
The Iranian Hulk
Sajad Gharibi, is a social media sensation with an absurd physique, known as the ‘Iranian Hulk’ and the ‘Persian Hercules’. Gharibi is a bodybuilder from Ahwaz, Iran. The 27-year-old will debut in BKFC next year, after becoming interested in bare-knuckle fighting.
He’s the biggest signing ever for the promotion.
Nick Newell (16-3-0) was born with congenital amputation of his left arm, which ends just below his elbow. He collected over 300 wrestling victories during his high school and college days.
Before turning professional, his amateur MMA record was 5 wins, 1 loss. Newell faced Alex Munoz on the July 24th edition of the Contender Series and lost the fight by unanimous decision. In 2019, Newell signed a single-fight deal with Bellator MMA. His debut took place at Bellator 225 against Corey Browning on August 24 which he won via arm triangle submission in the first round.
In September 2019, Newell signed a four-fight contract with Bellator. In his first fight on that contract, Newell faced Manny Muro at Bellator 232 on October 26, 2019. He lost the fight via split decision.
John Williams competed in one professional MMA fight in 2010 at the age of 70 – this makes Williams the oldest MMA fighter ever. Williams’ first and only professional fight was against a 49-year-old former pro wrestler, Larry Brewbaker.
In his youth, Williams was part of a very successful Canadian wrestling team. He continued to fight even as he got older and he made his amateur MMA fighting debut in 2000.
Williams has broken several other world records. He set one in the 1970’s for doing 13 straight hours of judo throws. He also holds another for breaking an eleven-inch chunk of ice with a single blow.
A lightweight tipping the scales at 70kg., Lee Hoy hails from the northern coastal town of South Shields, UK.
Born legally blind, he’s won amateur boxing bouts and competed in Brazilian jiu jitsu tournaments. Hoy has three bronze medals and two silver medals from national competitions. During bouts, Hoy uses grappling techniques to feel his way around his opponents. When a punch lands, he can tell exactly where his opponent is in the ring. Once they are in his grip, sight is irrelevant due to the extremely close range.
His depth of vision extends to about the length of a pencil.
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The Scrap’s Caroline Romero is a journalism graduate and has 3 children involved in combat sport. Make sure to follow her son Simon Romero on his Behind The Grind podcast on YouTube.