Based on our experience, your height doesn’t really influence your skills in martial arts and professional success. Indeed, our latest overview of the shortest UFC fighters in history is here to prove it! On the best betting sites for sports provided by MightyTips, you can place your bets on each one of the prominent fighters mentioned in this article. But first of all, let’s make a closer acquaintance with them, shall we?
Initially, being tall was considered a physical advantage in the UFC, which, as with almost any other sport, is not surprising at all. The advantages of height were considered by many to be obvious by observing Stefan Struve, the tallest fighter in the championship’s history. Being 7’0” (2.13 m) tall, he became known by the nickname Skyscraper. However, as we compare the records of the tallest UFC fighters with those of shorter competitors, we see that, even though height is important among other physical measurements, it’s still not a definitive element of a fighter’s success.
In fact, the average height in each UFC division shows that there’s a well-maintained balance between remarkably tall and more compact fighters. For instance, the average height in the women’s strawweight division is 5’4”, while the same number in the men’s flyweight category is 5’5”. It’s also notable that the current UFC men’s flyweight division champion, Deiveson Figueiredo, is exactly 5’5″ in height.
Indeed, studies have shown that the most important factors relate to properly chosen and well-trained fighting tactics. When a UFC competitor picks a fighting style that suits their height, weight, and body type, defeating even a way taller opponent becomes much less of a hassle. In the further sections of our article, we are going to discuss the shortest UFC boxers in history who, despite their height, have managed to set and break some notable records.
While these men might not be breaking records for being the tallest, this doesn’t prevent them from pursuing brilliant careers – and there are many reasons why. Now it’s time to list out the names of the shortest male UFC fighters in the sport’s history.
|Top 5||Shortest male UFC fighter||Height||Weight||Division|
|5||Jarred Brooks||5’3” (160 cm)||131 lb (59 kg)||Bantamweight, flyweight, strawweight|
|4||John Lineker||5’3” (160 cm)||145 lb (66 kg)||Bantamweight|
|3||John Dodson||5’3” (160 cm)||125 lb (57 kg)||Flyweight|
|2||Demetrious Johnson||5’3” (160 cm)||135 lb (61 kg)||Flyweight|
|1||Hector Sandoval||5’2” (157 cm)||125 lb (57 kg)||Flyweight|
5. Jarred Brooks – 5’3’’ (160 cm)
Jarred Brooks Ford, known as ‘The Monkey God’, has been a professional martial artist since 2014. Having previously competed for the UFC, he is currently a fighter in the ONE Championship in such divisions as bantamweight, flyweight, and strawweight. Out of all 23 matches fought by Brooks, he won 20 and lost only 2, as one of the contests was withdrawn.
4. John Lineker – 5’3’’ (160 cm)
John Lineker is a Brazilian martial arts fighter who has been a professional player and champ since 2008. He formerly competed in the Bantamweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Throughout his career, Lineker fought a total of 48 matches, scoring 37 victories and 10 losses. It’s notable that in his ONE championship fight against Fabrício Andrade on October 22, 2022, Lineker was unable to continue due to a knee-to-groin accident.
3. John Dodson – 5’3’’ (160 cm)
Another remarkable UFC fighter is John Dodson; a professional martial artist and boxer born in New Mexico, United States. Dodson is 5’3” feet tall and a bare-knuckle boxer who currently competes in the flyweight divisions of the Rizin Fighting Federation and Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship. He is also the current BKFC Flyweight Champion. Johnson started his professional career in 2004. His current record includes 37 matches: out of which he has scored 24 wins and lost 13 matches by decision.
2. Demetrious Johnson – 5’3’’ (160 cm)
The second shortest UFC fighter in history is 5 feet, 3 inches tall, and his name is Demetrious Johnson. He made his UFC debut in 2011 and quickly rose to become one of the top fighters in the flyweight division. Johnson is a former UFC Flyweight Champion and currently competes in the ONE Championship. It’s interesting to know that he holds the record for the most consecutive title defenses in UFC history: 11 in total.
Also, Johnson is the only fighter to win a championship in two different weight classes in the UFC and he has won Performance of the Night bonuses four times and Fight of the Night bonuses twice. Johnson is a black belt in Brazilian jujitsu and has trained in wrestling, boxing, and Muay Thai. He is known for his quickness and agility in the octagon, which has earned him the nickname ‘Mighty Mouse’.
1. Hector Sandoval – 5’2’’ (157 cm)
As our tests have shown, the shortest male UFC fighter in history is Hector Sandoval, and his height is only 5’2”! He is a fighter of Mexican–American origin who currently competes in the flyweight division. Sandoval made his debut in professional fighting in 2008 and, before he signed the UFC contract in 2016, he made a record of 12-2 on the Californian regional scene. His total number of UFC fights is 19: 15 out of them he won and he lost only 4, 2 of them by knockout and 2 by submission.
Practical knowledge shows that the comparatively short height of the top female UFC fighters doesn’t prevent them from winning dozens of matches in a row and setting considerable records. Let’s discuss the current shortest female UFC fighters of all time.
|Top 5||Shortest female UFC fighter||Height||Weight||Division|
|5||Carla Esparza||5’1” (155 cm)||115 lb (52 kg)||Strawweight|
|4||Hannah Cifers||5’1” (155 cm)||115 lb (52 kg)||Strawweight|
|3||Viviane Pereira||5’0” (152 cm)||115 lb (52 kg)||Strawweight|
|2||Montserrat Ruiz||5’0” (152 cm)||115 lb (52 kg)||Strawweight|
|1||Brianna Fortino||4’11” (150 cm)||115 lb (52 kg)||Strawweight|
5. Carla Esparza – 5’1”
Carla Esparza, professionally known by the nickname ‘Cookie Monster’, currently competes in the strawweight division of the UFC. She is considered the best strawweight fighter in the world, holding two titles of the former UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion. Esparza holds the total win count of 19 out of 26 matches fought.
4. Hannah Cifers – 5’1”
Hannah Cifers is an American fighter in the strawweight division. She fought in the UFC after making her professional debut in the MMA back in 2013 and holding a record of 8-2 prior to signing her contract. The total number of fights currently won by Cifers is 10 out of 17 matches.
3. Viviane Pereira – 5’0”
Another fighter in the strawweight division is a Brazilian mixed martial artist Viviane Pereira. She started her MMA career in 2013 and later on fought in the UFC. One of her most influential fights is the UFC 212 match against Jamie Moyle, in which she was awarded her victory unanimously. The total number of wins scored by Viviane is 14 out of 17, which is an impressive number.
2. Montserrat Ruiz – 5’0”
Montserrat Ruiz is a mixed martial artist of Mexican origin. She currently competes in the strawweight division of the UFC. Ruiz debuted in MMA professionally in 2014 and debuted as part of the UFC in 2018. Out of 13 matches fought throughout her career, Montserrat Ruiz won 10, including the remarkable fight against Janaisa Morandin on July 30, 2020.
1. Brianna Fortino – 4’11”
Brianna Fortino, known by the moniker ‘The Bull’, is an American martial artist and a strawweight fighter in the UFC. She started her MMA career in 2012 in California and debuted in the UFC on July 13, 2019, facing Lívia Renata Souza as a replacement for the injured Cynthia Calvillo. Fortino won by a unanimous decision and has continued her career in the UFC since then.
In this section, we are going to observe the shortest UFC fighters of all time according to their weight class. Each class has its remarkable champions and frequent victory holders, as well as its losers, but we are mostly interested in the fighters who struggled with their short height during matches or, on the contrary, used it to their advantage to set some notable records.
|Top 5||Shortest UFC Fighter by Weight Class||Height||Weight Class|
|4||Josiane Nunes||5’2”||Women’s Featherweight|
|2||Rin Nakai||5’1”||Women’s Bantamweight|
|1||Jessica Andrade||5’1”||Women’s Flyweight|
Antonio Banuelos – 5’3″ – Bantamweight
The shortest champion in the male bantamweight division, Antonio Banuelos is a former American UFC fighter who started his career back in 2001. He became a part of the UFC in 2010, after the merger of the World Extreme Cagefighting with the UFC. In his only UFC match against the former WEC bantamweight Champion Miguel Torres, Banuelos lost the fight due to his lack of reach advantage.
Josiane Nunes – 5’2″ – Women’s Featherweight
Josiane Nunes, known best by the nickname Josi, is a Brazilian martial artist and a fighter in the featherweight division. Her height is 5'2" (157 cm) and her reach is 67’0" (170 cm). Nunes actively fights in the UFC and currently holds a streak of nine wins. Her latest unanimous win was scored in the match against Zarah Fairn in the UFC 283 on January 21, 2023.
Hector Sandoval – 5’2″ – Flyweight
Previously named as the shortest male UFC fighter, Hector Sandoval is also the shortest fighter in the flyweight division. Among his most remarkable matches are the fight against Fredy Serrano on December 17, 2016, in which he won by a unanimous decision, and the victorious fight against Matt Schnell on April 22, 2017.
Rin Nakai – 5’1″ – Women’s Bantamweight
Rin Nakai is a Japanese professional mixed martial arts fighter who made her MMA debut back in 2006. Since then, Nakai has been part of such organisations as Pancrase, Smackgirl, Valkyrie, and the flyweight and bantamweight divisions of the UFC. Between 2006 and 2018, Rin Nakai was rated among the top ten fighters in the Women's Flyweight and Bantamweight divisions.
Jessica Andrade – 5’1″ – Women’s Flyweight
Jessica Andrade is a professional Brazilian mixed martial artist who started her career in MMA back in 2011. Andrade is currently signed as a fighter in the women’s flyweight and strawweight divisions of the UFC. Plus, she is a former UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion. Out of 36 matches fought throughout her career, Andrade has scored an indisputable victory in 24.
Let’s explore the strongest fighting techniques of the shorter UFC fighters by using the example of Hector Sandoval, the shortest male martial artist in UFC history. Our investigation shows that, being only 5’2” in height, Sandoval remains remarkable for his physical strength, stamina, endurance, and overall agility compared to other fighters of the same division. Sandoval’s main strong point is his wrestling, which he uses actively to gain advantages both against tall and compact opponents. He is a grappling-based boxer, which is a common characteristic of many shorter UFC fighters.
Another advantage used by many compact UFC boxers over their taller opponents is speed. In fact, speed is considered even more important than strength since the fast punch delivered by a shorter competitor is way more difficult to avoid. Plus, compact UFC players often build and stay in their own range by using the Swarmer style, which helps to eliminate their taller opponent’s reach advantage.
Our findings show that, even though height is not the largest obstacle to winning a UFC match, being a shorter opponent is not a bed of roses either. There have been cases of fighters losing and giving up their MMA careers after being faced with much taller opponents and not being able to build a proper defense. Still, if we look at the brighter side, a lot of compact UFC fighters have managed to leave their mark on the championship’s history.
For instance, the two shortest UFC fighters in history, Hector Sandoval and Fredy Serrano – both 5’2” (157 cm) tall – held a 2-2 record during their UFC careers. Many comparatively short female boxers became champions in their weight divisions as well, such as Rin Nakai, Carla Esparza, and Jessica Andrade, to name a few. These stats show us that, if you have a strong strategy and a well-sharpened fighting style, your height won’t become an insurmountable obstacle on your way to victory.
All in all, we can confidently say that height shouldn’t be your main priority for choosing the UFC fighter to place your bets on. Even though wagering on a taller opponent might seem like a safer option, statistics prove that height is not always a critical winning factor. Pay attention to stronger, quicker, wittier, and more agile fighters who have built a confident fighting tactic and shown remarkable results against both their tall and compact opponents. And don’t forget to consult our list of the best live sport betting sites in India to be the first to wage on the latest UFC events.