There are a range of different body types, and having long limbs is seen as an advantage in fighting because you can keep your opponent at a distance. But, I wanted to know for sure if a person’s body type affects how well they do in MMA. So, I analyzed the body types of a large group of the most well-known MMA fighters to see what the best body type is for MMA, here’s what I found.
Overall, there is no best body type for MMA. A detailed analysis of over 17 of the top MMA fighters found that there is no correlation between the height to weight ratio, the reach (arm span) to height ratio, and their win to loss ratio.
Below, I present the data in easy-to-read tables so you can see how muscular or skinny an MMA fighter is relative to their height compared to their win/loss ratio. As well as, how the length of their arms relative to their body – a longer or shorter reach – affects how well they did in MMA.
Breakdown of the height/weight ratio of the top MMA fighters
A person can be tall and skinny, or short and be an average build. Or they can be tall and very muscular or fat. As well as, short and skinny. Therefore, it’s best to take a ratio of height to weight. This will tell you how muscular or fat they are relative to their height. And on the flip side how skinny they are relative to their height.
I did a calculation of this metric. But, also looked at the win to loss ratio of a large number of some of the best-known names in MMA. Here’s a table that shows the results sorted by the win to loss ratio – a higher win to loss ratio is better.
|Fighter name||Height to weight ratio||Win loss ratio|
A higher height to weight ratio means a fighter is skinnier relative to their height. Whereas, a lower height to weight ratio means they have a thick build relative to their height.
As you can see, the MMA fighters that perform the best in MMA, have a height to weight ratio that is the same as those that have a lower win to loss ratio.
The height-to-weight ratios are all over the place. And there is no clear pattern between fighters with a higher win/loss ratio and fighters with a lower win/loss ratio.
Therefore, it is very clear that short thicker fighters aren’t better or worse than tall skinny fighters. Next, I wanted to look at if there is any clear pattern between the win-loss ratio and a fighter’s reach.
As you may know, some people have long arms relative to their body, some have short arms relative to their body, and others have arm to body length ratios that are somewhere in between.
Here’s a table that shows the height-to-arm span ratio of the same well-known UFC fighters, sorted by their win to loss ratio in MMA.
|Fighter name||Height to arm span ratio||Win loss ratio|
From the table, you can see that it’s a pretty similar picture to the weight/height ratio. And the numbers are pretty much random across the board. Therefore, it’s very clear that the length of a fighter’s arms relative to their body is not a factor to influences how well they do in MMA.
Is Being Skinny Good for MMA?
Some people go to the gym a lot and are muscular, whereas, others are naturally skinny or fat even if they don’t do any exercise. I looked into whether being skinny is better for MMA based on the body types of a large number of some of the biggest names in MMA. And here’s whether being skinny is good for MMA.
As a general rule, being skinny is neither good nor bad for MMA. An analysis of the top MMA fighters revealed that there is no correlation between how skinny or how muscular an MMA fighter is and their win to loss ratio in the UFC.
Being stronger is an advantage in fighting because you can hit harder with your strikes, and can out muscle your opponent in a grappling exchange. Therefore, virtually all MMA fighters are muscular and relatively strong. I recently researched how MMA fighters train and summarized in this article whether MMA fighters lift weights.
Is It Better To Be Tall or Short for MMA?
There is an average overall height for both men and women. Some people are shorter relative to average, and others are taller. Having more reach is an advantage in striking but MMA involves a range of different martial arts, so here’s a summary of whether it’s good to be short or tall for MMA.
Overall, being either tall or short is good for MMA. Neither is better than the other. An analysis of the height to the win/loss ratio of a large number of some of the best-known MMA fighters found that there is no correlation between height and how well an MMA fighter does in MMA competition.
In general, though, fighters who are shorter will generally be in a lighter weight class. The reason is that there is only so much muscle a fighter can put on to their frame. Therefore, shorter fighters tend to be lighter overall.
It’s commonly known in MMA that smaller fighters are MUCH faster than bigger fighters. But, bigger fighters hit a lot harder. It’s common in the heavyweight division of the MMA for all fighters to have incredibly strong knockout power, and they can knock out their opponent in one punch. Whereas, in lightweight classes this is far less common.