If you’ve ever actually gotten into an actual fight, not just a sucker punch here or there but a down on the ground, rolling around, wrestling mixed with punching fight, you’ll know that it’s absolutely exhausting. Because of that you have to think that the guys who fight like that for a living, in really any combat sport, are in tip-top shape. While that’s really the standard more often than not, there are still exceptions to that rule and we spent countless hours to find each-and-every one of them (to shame them into doing some sit-ups). So, here’s the top ten UFC fighters that have the dreaded (or beloved) dad bod.
10. Dana White
Dana White is the face of the UFC and while he hasn’t technically stepped in the octagon shirtless, he was a boxer at one point in his life and that alone lands him on this list. So, while he’s never fought in the ring some people think that he very well could’ve had he not ended up, you know, owning a multi-billion dollar sport. Joe Cavallaro, a former boxer (and friend of White’s) stated this in terms of whether or not White could’ve cut it in MMA, of that, he said “I think Dana could have fought pro…” however like this entry says, “He’s got a real nice job” so he obviously would rather not get hit in the face (or even worse, lost a fight and get trolled about that for the rest of his life). White does appear to have a dad bod because he’s a dad (of three children) and he doesn’t need to stay in perfect shape. He’s been known to spoil his kids, as he bought his son a brand new BMW for his 16th birthday and hired Kendrick Lamar to perform at his birthday party. So, if you have to have a dad body, it makes sense to actually be a great dad while rocking the personification of what has taken the internet by storm. The good news is that it’s just extra weight for White (and others) to put behind their punches. I guess.
9. Roy Nelson
Roy Nelson is nicknamed “Big County” for a reason. The six-foot tall fighter personifies the dad body to the point that he is close to switching over to simply being fat, to be honest. While this has been said a few times but it needs to be brought up again… Fighting in mixed martial arts is one of the most physically taxing things a person can do so when you see someone who has that extra fat on them you have to wonder whether or not they’re training as hard as the guys that they’re facing and/or how big they’d be if they weren’t fighting in the UFC. There are some, though, that believe that the extra weight helps these guys as according to more than one UFC fan online, guys with extra weight seem to handle body shots a lot better than skinnier guys out there. Outside of that, having that extra weight puts more weight behind power punches and so there’s an added benefit or incentive for guys to be in great shape but also to add extra weight as well. That means that these guys have to be consuming enough calories every day to feed the entire country of North Korea, and while that’s not something that’s sustainable for decades, it’s definitely a trend in the heavyweight division and I guess we know why.
8. Daniel Cormier
Daniel Cormier, like many on this list, is an actual dad but unlike the others on this list, he’s got a ton of credentials in his fighting career. He wrestled in the Olympics twice and is/was a six-time U.S. Open National Champion for wrestling. If you’ve ever actually wrestled (or talked to wrestlers), you’ll know that it’s one of the more physically taxing sports that one can partake in and so the fact that guys like Cormier have extra weight on them means that they have that weight for a reason. Oftentimes, these guys can only gain so much weight by adding muscle and so they make the prudent move to add weight a different way. So, instead of taking performance-enhancing drugs they take food. Lots and lots of food. Cormier was always a big guy (for his height, being 5’9″ and wrestling at 184 pounds at his lightest and getting up to 212 at his heaviest). Perhaps not ironically, Cormier is considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the history of the MMA and is currently the light heavyweight champion (as his loss to Jon Jones was scrapped due to Jones’ doping issues). While Cormier rocks the dad bod proudly and is a proud dad (he’s written about his experiences as a father) he does have some tragedy in his life in that regard as his first daughter died in a car accident back in 2003. While it took him almost ten years to have another child, he never stopped rocking the dad bod which while it’s clearly part of his strategy you have to think that at least some part of him rocking a dad bod, retroactively, implied or incorrectly surmised or otherwise, is a silent tribute to his daughter.
7. Vitor Belfort
Many of the guys on this list haven’t really discussed their dad bods and considering the line of employment they’re in, it’s not like a lot of reporters are too keen to ask them about their love handles. Belfort has been keenly aware of his dad bod and has gone from being in great shape to having a dad bod to being in great shape again and a lot of that has to do with the fact that he stopped his testosterone replacement therapy, which slowed his metabolism and ability to build and maintain muscle. There are countless pictures of Belfort rocking a decent gut on his or his wifes Instagram and while those pictures were taken months after/before his latest/next fight, it was still surprising to see a guy who was in such great shape devolve into the body of a mere mortal. His shifting weight has actually made him something of an inspiration to those who want to lose weight but need the additional motivation of seeing someone they respect basically going through the same thing. So, while the tons and tons of muscle that lays underneath Belforts fat makes it a lot easier for him to burn that fat, his lowered testosterone also makes it more difficult for him. So, if we’re throwing out labels we’d call Belfort the dad bod rollercoaster operator. That’s the perfect gift for the guy who seemingly has it all, at least according to his social media… Dad bod and all.
6. Johnny Hendricks
Johnny Hendricks is perhaps the most notorious dad bod rocker on this list as he is one of the few people that allowed his dad bod-ness to actually affect his weigh in. Since the USADA banned IV re-hydration, he’s struggled with his weight and making weight to the point that he missed his weigh-in multiple times and has even had to move up weight classes to compensate for his lack of willpower. Unfortunately, that’s marred an otherwise good to a great career, as he started out 9-0 in his first… Nine fights and went 15-1 in his first 16 fights. That was a great career that started to fall apart right around the time he had to move up to the middleweight division. Despite that start, he’s 3-7 in his past 10 bouts and is basically just around to fight in filler fights and because of that his career with the UFC is up in the air. He had his last fight last November against Paulo Costa at UFC 217, a fight in which he lost in the second round thanks to a TKO. Hopefully, that’ll be the catalyst he needs to actually shed his dad bod and while that goes against everything this article is about, it’s clearly ruining what’s left of his career and because of that, he needs to drop the weight and get serious.
5. Ben Rothwell
Ben “Big Ben” Rothwell is retired from the UFC and his MMA career but for a while there he was known as one of the best representation or personifications of the dad bod in the UFC. Unlike some other guys on this list, Rothwell was HUGE. His Wikipedia page lists him at 6’4″ and 265 lbs. that means he’d tower over other guys on this list who really are just regular sized guys that aren’t in the best shape, whereas Rothwell is the type of guy you wouldn’t dare insult in real life. After a long career in MMA (starting in 1999), Rothwell made his UFC debut at UFC 104 on October 24th, 2009 in a fight against the then-undefeated Cain Velasquez. That fight was controversial as it was stopped while Rothwell was apparently getting back on his feet, a move that bothered even Dana White, who called ref Steve Mazzagatti “the worst referee in the history of combat sports”. Rothwell’s career in the UFC seemed to have a lot of promise but was constantly offset by illness and injury, as, for example, he had to drop out of his second fight thanks to an illness and then he suffered his first torn ACL (and a deviated septum to boot) in his third fight with Gilbert Yvel. During a takedown in that fight, he tore that ligament in his knee, which required surgery post-fight. He bounced back and knocked out Brendan Schaub, a knock-out that earned him “knockout of the night” honors at UFC 145. He was then suspended for nine months thanks to elevated testosterone levels (despite the Wisconsin commission ruling that he should’ve only been given an administrative warning), something that was the basic end to his career in May of last year after his fight with Fabricio Werdum was canceled thanks to another failed drug test. He was considered a fan favorite and blamed his knee injury for a lot of his issues and while that’d be respectable, the way he tried to get around it wasn’t honorable and that’s why he’s one of the more sad dad bods on this list, just don’t say that to his face.
4. Dan Kelly
Dan Kelly is a rarity on this list as while he does have a dad bod like everyone else on this list, he’s actually on the record in regards to his thoughts on being labeled a dad bod fighter. Kelly, who typically fights in the middleweight division in the UFC, has been an underdog his entire career even during his time in the Olympics where he ended up placing seventh in Judo in the 2004 games in Athens. During an interview regarding his then-upcoming fight against Rashad Evans, the Australian discussed how it felt to be considered such an underdog, as both a fighter and a representative of the Australian fighting community (as he said that the Australian fighting community was basically treated like the Jamaican bobsled team from the movie Cool Runnings (which is based on a true story)). Beyond that, he was asked about how he felt to be labeled as a guy with a “dad bod” and he responded: “I don’t really have a choice do I” as he laughed, continuing “I don’t really care. It’s not as derogatory as some things people have said online so I couldn’t care less”. While we’re being nice here he definitely has a point there, as the internet is obviously… The internet. He concluded: “Yeah, I’m not chiseled and ripped, but it doesn’t bother me at all”. So, there you go, the next time you run into a member of this list remember that they don’t mind it… Or at least the Jamaican bobsledder doesn’t.
3. CM Punk
Phil “CM Punk” Brooks is much more famous for his time as an extreme wrestler in the WWE and while some wrestlers have successfully made the transition from wrestling to mixed martial arts, namely or most famously in Brock Lesnar, Brooks wasn’t one of them. Part of what made Punk so appealing in the wrestling world is the fact that he looked liked a normal guy and tended to go a lot further than the other guys in the ring, perhaps he had to because he simply didn’t have the strength to do a lot of the things other guys did. That’s perhaps why the dad bod rocking Punk couldn’t make the transition to mixed martial arts as he simply didn’t have the actual fighting background that others did (Lesnar was a world-class wrestler at the University of Minnesota, for example). Punk, dad body and all, came up through the wrestling circuit and while that takes athleticism and strength, it’s completely different when going against people who have spent most of their lives learning things like Judo, wrestling or boxing. However, it’s hard to root against Punk, as he has been a big proponent of straight edge society, which in today’s world and it’s opiate problems, is probably the most dad-like behavior out of all the different dad bod rocking fighters on this list.
2. Din Thomas
Din Thomas is a retired MMA-fighter who is probably best known for his role on The Ultimate Fighter 4: The Comeback or the fact that he was a semifinalist during UFC 41 (the lightweight tournament, anyway). A black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, he is actually running two very successful Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and MMA schools in Port St. Lucie, Florida. He had a pretty great career in the UFC which lead to some minor roles in movies like Loren Class or Natalie, Queen of Scots. He’s also the smallest of the dad bod rocking fighters on this list as he fought in the featherweight, lightweight and welterweight divisions as his career progressed and he developed his dad bod. Unlike a lot of other guys on this list, it didn’t have a horrible impact on his career, either. Sure, he wasn’t as dominant as he was in his first 10 or so fights, but he still went out above .500 in his last five fights, something that a lot of the guys who ate their way into new divisions couldn’t say. So, he could be the best actual mascot for the dad bod in the UFC… Outside of Dana White, of course.
1. Matt Serra
Studies have shown that women are attracted to dad bods and that’s probably a holdover from the hunter-gatherer days as it shows that a man can both provide enough food to put on some extra weight and also that they’re for the most part healthy. So, Serra can take solace in that fact as his career in mixed martial arts didn’t really amount to much. Outside of the fact that he won a fight that was called the “Upset of the Decade” by Sports Illustrated when he knocked out George St. Pierre during UFC 69. Serra went into that fight as a “substantial underdog” and ended up winning the UFC Welterweight title by TKO via punches at 3:25 in the first round. The fight is considered not only to be one of the biggest upsets in UFC history but also one of the most legendary fights and because of that Serra is still remembered to this day. He currently hosts a UFC podcast that keeps him invovled in all things UFC and that makes him at least a cool enough dad. Beyond that, Serra has said that he’d only unretire if he could fight at Madison Square Garden, something that needs to happen for guys with dad bods everywhere. They could take this list and have five dad bod vs dad bod fights, it could be sponsored by Duluth Trading Company or whatever company makes those $3 reading glasses at Walgreens. It’d make a fortune, as long as it was over by 7.