The sport of Mixed Martial Arts has come a long way over the years; from Style vs. Style spectacle to the dynamic all-encompassing combat art you see today. But as the sport has evolved and technique has become paramount to a fighter’s success, there is one thing that continues to be the great equalizer; heavy hands.

Fighters can train to become physically stronger, but it doesn’t necessarily translate into that raw punching power that can change the complexion of a fight. Some fighters are just born with explosive power in their hands; they just have an innate ability to destroy what they hit.

While technique will always rule the day, natural power is a weapon that will never go out of style. When it comes to fight ending power, these fighters are the best of the best.

#5 Johny Hendricks

There are several UFC welterweights with brutal punching power, but none are more dangerous than former welterweight champion Hendricks. A former elite NCAA Division I wrestler, Hendricks entered MMA with an incredible grappling base, but then he flashed the real weapon in his arsenal; his destructive punching power. When Hendricks is able to land, his opponents hit the mat.

#4 John Lineker

When you think about heavy hitters, generally flyweights and bantamweights are the last names that come to mind. But Lineker isn’t your average little man because where he hits someone, they go down; a fact he drove home at UFC 191 when he dropped a much larger Francisco Rivera in the first round before choking him out. With 12 career wins by knockout, Lineker is the most dangerous little man – power wise – in the world today.

#3 Mark Hunt

When it comes to power, the first fighters that always come to mind are the heavyweights. But even in a division where everyone has fighter ending power, there are some that stand head and shoulders above the rest; Hunt is that fighter. A former K-1 World Grand Prix champion, Hunt’s brutal power has always been his calling card. Anyone who can knock Roy Nelson out cold has to be mentioned somewhere on the list.

#2 Melvin Manhoef

There are fighters who hit hard, then there are fighters with true knockout power and then there is Manhoef. With 27 of his 29 career wins coming by way of knockout – including a knockout over heavyweight knockout artist, Hunt – Manhoef is an absolute destroyer. His vicious Muay Thai combined with his dynamic power make him one of the most exciting fighters to watch in MMA today.

#1 Anthony Johnson

While everyone on this list could have a solid argument for being placed in the top spot, no one in the sport today is as dangerous as Johnson is. A former welterweight who constantly struggled with cutting weight to make 170 pounds, Johnson finally came to the realization that he was doing more harm than good trying to fight that low. Now that he has found his true weight class, Johnson has flourished and his power has become even more dangerous. No one in the sport today generates more power than Johnson does and it’s a scary level of power.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.