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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

The 25 Best & Most Iconic Bald UFC Fighters of All Time (2023) – GroundedMMA

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Recognized for his bald head and fierce fighting style, Anthony Smith is also remembered for several epic wars in the octagon, especially the time he handed his teeth to referee Jason Herzog mid-fight while Glover Teixeira was pummeling him from his back.Known for his excellent submission game (18 submissions in 29 wins), Struve was an extremely entertaining Dutchman and has been referred to as a ‘Hype Killer’ due to his ability to derail the momentum of rising heavyweights – most notably knocking out Stipe Miocic.

Bald UFC Fighters

Keith Jardine is a retired UFC fighter who competed as a light heavyweight in the UFC and Strikeforce. He was known for his unorthodox fighting style, which made him a difficult opponent to predict. His bald look complemented his pointed beard or goatee and made him look like Stone Cold Steve Austin.Mostly remembered for his French accent and beautiful stand-up game, Cyril’s as bald as they come and looks like Mr. Potato Head from Toy Story.

1. Alexander Volkanovski – ‘The Great’

His bald look and thick beard became iconic because he still had hair on the sides of his head, which connected to his beard, but the top of his head was completely bald. Sadly, Kimbo Slice passed away in 2016 at the age of 42 due to traumatic heart failure.Standing at an imposing 6’4″, Ben Rothwell is a seasoned veteran of the UFC’s heavyweight division. He started out by joining one of the best MMA teams at the time in 2002, Miletich Fighting Systems, and he’s been with Roufusport since 2019.His fight against Ken Shamrock at UFC 61 helped smash the UFC’s PPV record, bringing in 775,000 PPV buys in 2006. He was soon after involved in UFC 66, Liddell vs Ortiz 2 (2006), with 929,000 PPV buys, again smashing the record he helped set. This led him to become the 9th UFC Hall of Fame inductee.

2. Anderson Silva – ‘The Spider’

Early in his UFC career, Kamaru Usman sported very short hair (practically bald), but jokes made about his hairline by Colby Covington and UFC fans led Usman to start rocking the bald life.His UFC career is marked by notable victories over the likes of Alistair Overeem and Josh Barnett, as well as having 53 MMA fights with a record of 39-14.Considered one of the best Brazilians and all-time greats of the UFC heavyweight division, Junior Dos Santos was a very entertaining fighter. He’s a former UFC heavyweight champion and was known for his high-level boxing, power punches, and his ability to finish fights (15 knockouts in 21 wins).

3. Anthony Smith – ‘Lionheart’

He also had brilliant post-fight interviews full of broken English and catchphrases, and he’s one of the best UFC fighters to never win a title.Struve made his professional MMA debut aged 17 and quickly amassed a record of 16–2 before signing a four-fight contract with the UFC in 2009.

4. Bas Rutten – ‘El Guapo’

Frenchman Cheick Kongo is considered a veteran in the MMA world and has had a long and successful career – fighting in the UFC for 7 years between 2006 and 2013 and having 46 MMA fights. Last competing in Bellator in 2022 just one week before his 48th birthday, Cheick is still pushing the boundaries.Usman secured 5 title defenses and won 15 consecutive UFC fights during his title reign, falling 1 win short of Anderson Silva’s record when he lost to Leon Edwards via round 5 KO.Ronaldo Souza’s aggressive grappling style and alligator-inspired celebrations have made him a fan favorite. Souza’s journey from the favelas of Brazil to the pinnacle of MMA serves as an inspiration to aspiring Brazilian MMA fighters. 

5. Ben Rothwell – ‘Big’

Are you wondering who the best and most iconic bald UFC fighters are?Randy Couture is a UFC Hall of Famer and one of the most influential UFC fighters of all time, first competing in the UFC in 1997 and retiring from the UFC in 2011 at the age of 48.Anthony Smith is American and competes as a light heavyweight in the UFC. Known for his knockout power and submission skills, Smith has been a formidable competitor in the UFC, once challenging Jon Jones for the title at UFC 235 in 2019. 

6. B.J. Penn – ‘The Prodigy’

His baldness is very much part of his image, and once had hair painted on his head before the Johnson vs Bader in 2016. Now a UFC commentator, DC’s also remembered for successfully using the towel trick to make weight for his UFC 210 fight against Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson.Derrick Lewis was challenged for the UFC heavyweight interim title but lost to Ciryl Gane, but he has excellent wins over Alexander Volkov, Curtis Blaydes, and Francis Ngannou.He defended his welterweight title a consecutive 9 times, a record in the UFC welterweight division. His background is in kyokushin karate and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and he’s known for his disciplined and methodical approach to training and preparation.

7. Brandon Vera – ‘The Truth’

He rose to fame through his bare-knuckle backyard fights, which were viral on the internet, where he also made Jorge Masvidal famous. Kimbo made his MMA debut in 2007 and brought a lot of new fans to the sport. He was known for his incredible punching power and intimidating presence inside the cage.Daniel Cormier, an American mixed martial artist, and former Olympic wrestler, is considered one of the greatest fighters in the history of MMA. Cormier held the UFC light heavyweight and heavyweight titles simultaneously, making him one of only four fighters to become a UFC double champ.Anderson Silva, a Brazilian MMA legend, is one of the greatest fighters in the history of the sport.

8. Cheick Kongo – ‘The Darkness’

With a background in the US military where he learned greco-roman wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu after leaving, Filipino-American Brandon Vera became the inaugural ONE Championship heavyweight champion and the WEC heavyweight Grand Prix champion in 2005.Jacare is a 4th-degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and was widely successful, being a two-time black belt World Champion, European Open Champion, ADCC Submission Fighting World Champion, and many more.Included in this list of iconic bald UFC fighters are fighters who are remembered for rocking bald heads. It doesn’t include fighters who’ve had hair for the majority of their career and are now bald. One example of this is Conor McGregor, who rocked being a baldie a few times but isn’t recognized for it.

9. Cyril Gane – ‘Bon Gamin’

While not technically bald, GSP’s remembered for always fighting with a completely shaved head, as well as his technical karate striking, high fight IQ, wrestling skills, and ground-and-pound.Kamaru Usman is a Nigerian-American UFC fighter considered one of the greatest UFC welterweights of all time, only second to GSP. Jardine’s background in martial arts includes a black belt in Gaidojutsu and a solid foundation in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and kickboxing. His best wins came against UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell and former middleweight champion Forrest Griffin. 

10. Daniel Cormier – ’DC’

Silva’s martial arts journey began at the age of 13 with Muay Thai and kickboxing at the Chute Boxe Academy in his hometown of Curitiba, Brazil. While there, he formed a very aggressive style of fighting rooted in street brawling with the added elements of technique and skill. A former UFC flyweight champion, Johnson holds the record for the most consecutive title defenses in UFC history with 11 – which is also the joint-most with Jon Jones. He has since moved on to become the ONE Championship flyweight champion, further cementing his status as an MMA GOAT.The last fight Penn had hair was UFC 41 (2003) against Caol Uno at the age of 25, so he rocked the bald head for 16 years until his MMA retirement in 2019.

11. Demetrious Johnson – ‘Mighty Mouse’

He’s widely recognized for his huge bald head, which he’s rocked since his UFC debut way back in 2012.Once upon a time, he had a little bit of hair, but he’s remembered for his long-time bald look which adds to his intimidating presence in the Octagon and makes him look like a garden gnome. When he first sported the bald head, The Rock reached out to him to offer some support.Alexander Volkanovski is an Australian beast, considered the greatest UFC and MMA featherweight of all time ahead of Jose Aldo and Max Holloway. He’s the current UFC featherweight champion with 6 title wins and 5 consecutive title defenses.

12. Derrick Lewis – ‘The Black Beast’

One of the best Dutch UFC fighters of all time, Bas Rutten’s legacy in the UFC is as solid as his bald head. With a background in kyokushin karate, kickboxing, and taekwondo, Rutten transitioned to MMA and became a force to be reckoned with.He’s well-known for his submission grappling prowess where he has 36 submission wins and is a two-time ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship winner.Cyril Gane is a rising star in the UFC’s heavyweight division, known for his technical striking, fluidity, and power. Gane became the UFC heavyweight interim champion and challenged for the UFC heavyweight title twice, falling short to the beasts Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou.

13. Georges St-Pierre – ‘Rush’

Georges St-Pierre, often referred to as GSP, is a retired Canadian MMA fighter. Widely regarded as one of the greatest MMA/UFC fighters of all time, GSP was a two-division champion in the UFC, having won the welterweight and middleweight titles.B.J. Penn is a UFC Hall of Famer and the former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion, and his bald look is as iconic as his MMA achievements and legacy. His UFC tenure includes memorable wars with Robert Whittaker and Paulo Costa, his ability to eat head kicks on repeat, and his Soldier of God physique at the age of 42 which made it unbelievably obvious he was taking steroids.

14. Glover Teixeira

Wanderlei Silva, given the nickname Sakuraba Hunter for his time spent in PRIDE, is one of the most famous and brilliant MMA fighters of all time. He’s the former PRIDE middleweight champion and he also won the 2003 PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix Tournament.A former Muay Thai champion, Gane has transitioned seamlessly into MMA since making his professional debut just 5 years ago in 2018. Outside of the UFC, he became the TKO Major League MMA heavyweight champion.Kimbo Slice, whose real name was Kevin Ferguson, was a Bahamian-born American mixed martial artist who competed as a heavyweight in the UFC just two times.

15. Jeff Monson – ‘The Snowman’

Demetrious Johnson has been bald for as long as anyone can remember, but he chooses to wear his hair on his chin.Brandon Vera competed in the UFC from 2005 to 2013 where his best win came against Frank Mir. Vera had very precise and powerful striking, which earned him 11 knockouts in 16 MMA wins. After retiring in late 2022, Brandon Vera signed a deal to act in 10 movies in the Philippines.In this article, we’ll list 25 iconic bald UFC fighters who’ve been influential in the development of MMA and the UFC.

16. Junior Dos Santos – ‘Cigano’

Outside of the cage, Randy Couture started a successful gym chain and clothing line, Xtreme Couture MMA. Post-fighting, Couture has made significant strides in the entertainment industry, with notable roles in the “Expendables” franchise and other films. He can be considered the Jason Statham of the UFC.Teixeira began his martial arts training in boxing and later transitioned to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and is known for his powerful striking, high-level grappling skills, and unbelievable heart and resilience in the octagon. 

17. Keith Jardine – ‘The Dean of Mean’

Known for his evasive fighting style and striking accuracy, Silva held the UFC Middleweight Championship for a record 2,457 days which saw him notch 10 consecutive title defenses between 2007 and 2014.He was also one of the first truly well-rounded MMA fighters and after losing to Ken Shamrock at Pancrase – Eyes of Beast 2 in 1995, Bas Rutten went on a 13-fight win streak, followed by a draw, followed by another 8-fight win streak before retiring in 2006.

18. Kevin Ferguson – ‘Kimbo Slice’

Ben Rothwell looks like Kratos and is easily recognizable with his bald head, hairy chest, and carrying a few extra pounds around his midsection. Still, he’s quick and powerful and competed in the UFC for 13 years since 2009. He now competes in Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship.His high-pitched voice and his bald head are as iconic as his fighting prowess and he’s been bald since he started his MMA career in 1997 at the age of 22.His UFC career spanned 15 years from 1997 to 2012, where he was the light heavyweight champion (2000-2003) with 5 successful title defenses in a row, before losing to Randy Couture at UFC 44.

19. Kamaru Usman – ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’

He has a background in wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu and has competed in many of the top MMA promotions, including the UFC, Strikeforce, PRIDE, and Dream. Jeff had two stints in the UFC, where he fought to a record of 4-3 and challenged Tim Sylvia for the UFC heavyweight title.Considered one of the MMA goats, American Demetrious Johnson is known for his quickness and agility in the UFC Octagon. Glover Teixeira is Brazilian and formerly competed in the light heavyweight division of the UFC. He’s a former UFC light heavyweight champion, a title he won in 2021 at the age of 42 years old, 9 years after first joining the UFC in 2012.Dos Santos’ best wins came against Derrick Lewis, Tai Tuivasa, Stipe Miocic, Mark Hunt, Frank Mir, Cain Velasquez, Stefan Struve, Mirko Filipovic, Fabricio Werdum, and the list goes on. He was a fearless fighter who faced the best fighters one after the other and smashed most of them to pieces.

20. Randy Couture – ‘The Natural’

His dedication to MMA and his Filipino heritage has made him a beloved figure in the Philippines, where he uses his platform to promote martial arts and inspire the next generation of fighters.This translated into one of the most intimidating fighters, with his bald head, intense staredowns, knockout power, and relentless forward pressure – The Axe Murdered scored 27 knockouts in 35 MMA wins, all the while fighting the best fighters in the world.Before joining the UFC in 2013, Jacare was the Strikeforce middleweight champion. Along with his grappling skills, he was a powerful boxer and he had a granite chin. He fought until the age of 41 and retired in 2021.

21. Ronaldo Souza – ‘Jacare’

In alphabetical order, here are 30 iconic bald UFC fighters.A Cuban powerhouse, Yoel Romero was once a force of nature in the UFC’s middleweight division. A former Olympic silver medalist in freestyle wrestling, Romero transitioned to MMA and quickly made a name for himself with his explosive athleticism and devastating knockout power.Daniel Cormier had a brilliant feud with his rival, Jon Jones, and he’s undoubtedly one of the most iconic bald UFC fighters of all time.

22. Stefan Struve – ‘Skyscraper’

However, Stefan Struve was an inconsistent fighter who compiled a 13-11 UFC record. He found it hard to recover once hurt (glass jaw), and late in his career he found out he’d been fighting with a heart defect that affected his conditioning – ultimately leading to his retirement in 2020.B.J. Penn is known for his extreme flexibility, forward pressure style, and exceptional submission prowess, becoming the first non-Brazilian to win in the black-belt division of the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship. He also earned his Bjj black belt in just three years, a feat not matched by many MMA fighters.Cheick Kongo started kendo and karate at the age of 5 and earned black belts in both martial arts. On top of that, he also trained in boxing, savate (French kickboxing), and wrestling. His UFC career was filled with memorable moments, including his epic comeback victory against Pat Barry. Some of the best wins in his career have come against Mirko Filipovic and Alexander Volkov.

23. Tito Ortez – ‘The Huntington Beach Bad Boy’

He’s a six-time UFC champion, having become a heavyweight champion three times, a light heavyweight twice, and also the UFC 13 heavyweight tournament champion. He’s well known for his great wrestling and dirty boxing style of fighting.Standing just shy of 7 feet tall, Stefan Struve remains the tallest UFC fighter of all time. He’s also second for the longest reach in UFC history, with 84.5”. With his power, resilience, and exciting fighting style, Lewis is a fan favorite who’s also remembered for his hilarious comments throughout his UFC career, notably, ‘because my balls was hot’.Tito Ortez was very important for the UFC’s early success and has been credited with helping the promotion avoid bankruptcy.

24. Wanderlei Silva – ‘The Axe Murderer’

Known for his aggressive fighting style, impressive grappling skills, and titan mentality, Volkanovski has brought a lot of Australian fans to the UFC. Derrick Lewis is known for his devastating knockout power which has led to him securing the most knockouts (KO/TKO) in UFC history with 13. Just as well, because Lewis doesn’t have much wrestling or jiu-jitsu ability so he either knocks his opponent out or gets steamrolled.Usman has always been known for his dominant wrestling skills and has evolved into a well-rounded fighter with striking abilities under the guidance of Trevor Wittman.

25. Yoel Romero – ’Soldier of God’

Jeff Monson is a bald American-Russian and a seasoned veteran in the world of MMA – with 88 MMA fights and a total MMA record of 60 wins, 26 losses, 1 draw, and 1 no-contest. He was a three-time King of Pancrase world champion and he also became the UFC heavyweight champion. His influence on MMA includes inventing the Superman punch when he first used it at UFC 20 and using devastating liver shots which he used to rupture the liver of his opponent Jason DeLucia.He’s also remembered as being one of the original trash talkers, and his feud with Ken Shamrock was legendary. He’s by far one of the most iconic bald UFC fighters of all time.

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