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Top 10 tallest UFC fighters of all time

UFC Heavyweight Alexander Volkov
UFC Heavyweight Alexander Volkov

Being taller than an opponent in mixed martial arts inevitably means several advantages for the fighter inside the octagon. The taller a fighter, the harder it becomes for their opponent to take them down or land successful punches.

Having a height advantage can even make the difference between victory and defeat. Here, we discuss the ten tallest fighters in the history of UFC.


#10 Sean McCorkle (6 ft. 7 in.)

Sean McCorkle [Credit: Bleacher Report]
Sean McCorkle [Credit: Bleacher Report]

Sean McCorkle made his debut in September, 2010, against PRIDE veteran Mark Hunt and submitted him in just 67 seconds. But he also ended up causing damage to Mark Hunt's arms with the lock. Next he fought Stefan Struve, engaging in a continuous Twitter battle with his opponent heading into the fight. But he lost this bout as well as the next against Christian Morecraft before being released by UFC.


#9 Alexander Volkov (6 ft. 7 in.)

UFC Fight Night: Blaydes v Volkov
UFC Fight Night: Blaydes v Volkov

6 ft. 7 in. is not an unusual height in MMA and quite a few people stand at that range. However, Sean McCorkle and Alexander Volkov are two of the biggest names on the list.

6 ft. 7 in. and 80 in. reach, Volkov is one of the top Heavyweight fighters in UFC right now. He has had two losses against Derrick Lewis and Curtis Blaydes, and six wins over Timothy Johnson, Stefan Struve, Roy Nelson, Fabricio Werdum, Greg Hardy, and Walt Harris.

The former M-1 Global and Bellator Heavyweight Champion is supposed to fight another significantly tall fighter, Alistair Overeem, in February next year. Other 6 ft. 7 in. fighters would be Brad Imes, Travis Browne, John Hess, Daniel Spitz, and a few others.


#8 Paul Varelans (6 ft. 8 in.)

Paul Varelans [Credit: Sherdog]
Paul Varelans [Credit: Sherdog]

Standing at 6 ft. 8 in. height, Paul 'The Polar Bear' Varelans was a boxing and football veteran before joining UFC in 1995. He debuted at UFC 6 - Clash of the Titans and lost to David Lee 'Tank' Abbott in the first round of the tournament's semifinal. He appeared in UFC 7 and UFC 8 as well, before becoming a free agent and eventually joining wrestling promotion ECW.


#7 Tim Sylvia (6 ft. 8 in.)

Tim Sylvia [Credit: MMA PL]
Tim Sylvia [Credit: MMA PL]

The former two-time heavyweight champion stands at 6 ft. 8 in. and has an 80 inches reach. He debuted in UFC in 2002 and then went on to win the heavyweight title at UFC 41, beating Ricco Rodriguez. 'The Maine-iac' later claimed the title a second time later defeating Andrei Arlovski at UFC 59.


#6 Emmanual Yarborough (6 ft. 8 in.)

Emmanuel Yarborough
Emmanuel Yarborough

Emmanuel Yarborough made a single appearance in UFC in a losing effort, but it must be mentioned because of the nature of the fight. At 6 ft. 8 in. and 600 pounds, Yarborough was pitted against a much smaller Keith Hackney.

Hackney, 5 ft. 11 in., put Yarborough down twice with hand strikes and punches, knocking him out the second time. This happened at UFC 3, where Yarborough represented sumo. Hackney earned the name 'The Giant Killer' for this spectacular victory.


#5 Dan Christison (6 ft. 8 in.)

Dan Christison [Credit: Sherdog]
Dan Christison [Credit: Sherdog]

Yet another 6 ft. 8 in. fighter, Daniel 'The Sandman' Christison was a heavyweight submission artist who appeared in the second season of The Ultimate Fighter. He lost via decision to Seth Petruzelli, although that bout is considered pro-exhibition. He later fought and won at UFC Fight Night 4 against Brad Imes, a 6 ft. 7 in. giant himself, before losing to Frank Mir at UFC 61. He also has the longest reach in UFC history, with an index of 85 inches.


#4 Wes Sims (6 ft. 10 in.)

Wes Sims faces off Bobby Lashley [Credit: Alchetron]
Wes Sims faces off Bobby Lashley [Credit: Alchetron]

At 6 ft. 10 in. height, Wesley Sims started his career in an equally significant manner. He got himself disqualified trying to kick a downed Frank Mir and lost a fight he was probably winning. He faced Frank Mir again in a losing effort, though legitimately this time. After a loss to Mike Kyle, he was released by UFC, but he remains one of the tallest to fight in the company.


#3 Gan McGee (6ft. 10 in.)

Gan McGee
Gan McGee

With two wins under his belt, 6 ft. 10 in. Gan McGee faced 6 ft. 8 in. Tim Sylvia in 'The Battle of the Giants' in 2003. It was McGee's shot at the UFC Heavyweight title, but he lost via TKO. Later, Sylvia tested positive for banned substances, but McGee was denied a rematch for the belt, which made him lose passion for the sport, he later admitted.


#2 Semmy Schilt (6 ft. 11 in.)

Semmy Schilt [Credit: Liver Kick]
Semmy Schilt [Credit: Liver Kick]

Semmy Schilt started out by using his 6 ft. 11 in. height to his advantage. He was pitted against fellow Pancrase alumni Pete Williams at UFC 31 and was taken down. But he took advantage of his height to prevent the ground and pound and turn it around to a standing position and land a kick to the body followed by punches to win the fight.

He was not so lucky the next time around, which was also his last UFC bout. He got taken down by Josh Barnett, but Barnett was successful in landing a flurry of strikes and splitting open his face. Eventually, Barnett made Schilt tap out with an armbar hold.


#1 Stefan Struve (7 ft.)

UFC 254: Stefan Struve weighs in
UFC 254: Stefan Struve weighs in

Stefan Struve is the tallest UFC fighter of all time. No other fighter in the company has stood taller than 7 ft. His height has earned him the nickname 'Skyscraper'. Debuting with a loss against Junior dos Santos, Stefan Struve went on to pick up victories against the likes of Sean McCorkle, Pat Barry, Antonio Silva, and the current Heavyweight champ, Stipe Miocic. Struve has the second longest reach in UFC after Christison, with 84.5 inches index.

There have been other MMA fighters taller that Struve, such as Giant Silva and Choi Hong-man, both at 7 ft. 2 in. But they are not in this list as they have never competed in UFC.

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Edited by James McGlade
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