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There is a lot of debate as to who is the strongest UFC fighter of all time and, of course, there’s a lot of competition for the title too.
Strength and fighting prowess are not the same thing.
It’s fair to say that being strong is an element of what makes a great fighter, but mental toughness and skill are equally important to become a champion.
So, that’s why our choice for the strongest UFC fighter isn’t an all-time champion but has done very well in the ring.
Yes, it’s Francis Nagannou.
Our choice is made on the simple grounds that Francis Nagannou has the hardest recorded punches in UFC history.
You can’t argue with facts and punching hard is a measure of the upper body strength of the fighter.
It’s also, importantly, a strength factor which directly affects the ability to win fights, you can only knock someone out, by punching them out.
Francis is currently the reigning UFC heavyweight champion and we assume that he does a lot of strength training to maintain his place at the top.
However, for now, he is only the UFC’s number 5 in pound-for-pound rankings which means he’s not considered the greatest fighter in the championship even if he is the best in his weight class.
It’s worth noting though that as a heavyweight, he is likely to be far stronger than those in lower weight classes, strength is related to your frame size as much as it is to muscle gain.
So, no matter how much creatine powder or which testosterone booster a middleweight takes to boost his performance in the gym, he’s going to cap out at a lower level of strength to a similarly dedicated heavyweight athlete.
Rather like boxing’s Manny Pacquiao, Ngannou’s story is one of rags to riches.
He grew up dirt poor in Cameroon and by the age of 10, he was working in a quarry, because his family needed the money.
He was asked to join a gang, but instead, chose to become a boxer to stay away from street fighting.
He trained for a while in his youth but then an illness prevented him from continuing, he migrated to France at 26 but was soon in jail for entering Spain illegally.
He ended up homeless in Paris where he was persuaded to attend a boxing gym for the first time since his youth.
It was there they saw his potential as an MMA star and the rest, as they say, is history.
The UFC is full of strong, exciting fighters but for our money, the strongest of them all, at least for now, is Francis Ngannou.
His is a happy tale that proves if you work hard enough, you can overcome adversity and become the best in the world.