Top Shortest MMA Fighters in the Cage

Finn Mitoma
No comments
shortest mma fighters

In the world of MMA, height and reach are often seen as crucial factors for success. However, there are fighters who have defied these expectations and achieved greatness in the sport despite their shorter stature. In this article, we will explore the top shortest MMA fighters who have dominated the cage with their skills and determination, proving that size is not always the defining factor in a fight.

Key Takeaways:

  • Short stature does not limit success in MMA.
  • Skills, athleticism, and determination can overcome height disadvantages.
  • Alexander Volkanovski, Marlon Moraes, TJ Dillashaw, Sean Sherk, and John Lineker are examples of shorter fighters who have achieved significant success in the sport.
  • Height is not the sole determinant of success in the cage.
  • Aspiring martial artists should be inspired by these fighters’ achievements and remember that size does not define success in MMA.

Alexander Volkanovski – The Featherweight Champ

Alexander Volkanovski, the reigning UFC featherweight champion, is known for his exceptional skills inside the octagon. Standing at 5’6″ (168 cm), Volkanovski may be considered shorter compared to his opponents in the division, but he has proven that height is not the sole determinant of success in MMA.

Despite his height disadvantage, Volkanovski’s physical strength compensates for any perceived limitations. His background in rugby has played a crucial role in developing his explosive power and solid foundation of strength. These attributes allow him to compete against taller opponents with effectiveness and confidence.

Volkanovski’s skill set, including his striking technique, grappling prowess, and defensive capabilities, has helped him dominate the featherweight division and emerge as one of the most formidable fighters in the UFC. He has showcased his exceptional abilities in memorable victories over top-ranked opponents, solidifying his status as a dominant force in the sport.

Volkanovski’s journey to becoming the featherweight champion serves as an inspiration to aspiring fighters, proving that dedication, technique, and mental fortitude can surpass physical attributes. He has shattered the notion that height alone determines success in mixed martial arts.

Volkanovski’s Key Attributes:

  • Incredible physical strength
  • Explosiveness and agility
  • Outstanding striking technique
  • Exceptional grappling skills
  • Mental toughness and determination

Volkanovski’s ability to overcome his height disadvantage and achieve greatness in the UFC’s featherweight division highlights the importance of skill, strategy, and perseverance in MMA. The featherweight champ continues to defend his title and leave a lasting impact on the sport.

Marlon Moraes – The Skilled Striker

Marlon Moraes - The Skilled Striker

Marlon Moraes, standing at 5’6″ (168 cm), is a former WSOF bantamweight champion known for his exceptional striking skills. Despite his shorter stature, Moraes possesses immense power and has left a trail of devastation in his fights. His background in Muay Thai and BJJ has allowed him to develop a well-rounded set of skills that compensate for his lack of height. His powerful kicks and clinch work are considered some of the best in the business.

Moraes’s dominant striking abilities are a testament to his dedication and training in martial arts. He utilizes his compact build and tremendous technique to deliver devastating blows to his opponents, often leaving them overwhelmed and unable to recover. His explosive power combined with his speed and accuracy makes him a formidable force in the bantamweight division.

“Marlon Moraes’s striking game is on another level. His ability to generate power and land precise strikes is unmatched. He’s a true technician in the cage.”

– MMA Analyst

Finesse in BJJ Techniques

While Moraes is renowned for his striking skills, he also possesses a strong foundation in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). His understanding of BJJ techniques allows him to effectively defend himself on the ground and, when needed, submit his opponents. Moraes’s well-rounded skillset ensures that he remains a threat in all aspects of the fight, regardless of where it takes place.

Setting the Standard for Short MMA Fighters

Moraes’s success in the cage against taller opponents serves as an inspiration to short MMA fighters around the world. He has proven that height is not a barrier to achieving greatness in the sport. With his exceptional striking and BJJ skills, Moraes has established himself as a top contender in the bantamweight division and continues to leave a lasting impact on the MMA community.

Advantages of Marlon Moraes Height: 5’6″ (168 cm)
Exceptional striking skills Reach: Average
Well-rounded skillset Power: Immense
Strong foundation in BJJ Speed: Fast

TJ Dillashaw – Overcoming Height and Reach Disadvantages

TJ Dillashaw, standing at 5’6″ (168 cm), has proven that shorter fighters can excel in striking exchanges against taller opponents. Despite his height and reach disadvantages, Dillashaw utilizes a combination of speed, precision, and strategic footwork to overcome these challenges.

One of Dillashaw’s key strengths is his ability to constantly switch stances and change angles during fights. This confuses his opponents and makes it difficult for them to take advantage of their height and reach. By staying elusive and unpredictable, Dillashaw maximizes his striking opportunities while minimizing the effectiveness of his opponents’ attacks.

In addition to his evasive footwork, Dillashaw possesses exceptional mobility and speed, allowing him to close the distance quickly and launch his own strikes with precision. He relies on his quick reflexes to slip past his opponents’ defenses and land devastating blows.

Dillashaw’s success in overcoming the height and reach disadvantages is also attributed to his relentless determination and mental fortitude. He refuses to be intimidated by taller opponents and consistently pushes forward, refusing to give them space to utilize their longer limbs effectively.

Throughout his career, Dillashaw has faced taller opponents like Renan Barão and John Lineker and emerged victorious through his tactical approach and relentless pressure. His ability to overcome height and reach disadvantages has solidified his reputation as one of the most formidable fighters in the bantamweight division.

Sean Sherk – The Lightweight Champion

Sean Sherk, standing at 5’6″ (168 cm), is a former UFC lightweight champion who fought his entire career under a significant height disadvantage. Despite being shorter than many of his opponents, Sherk’s exceptional submission wrestling skills have made him a formidable fighter in the lightweight division.

What sets Sherk apart from other fighters is his relentless pursuit of takedowns and his ability to control his opponents on the ground. He combines speed, agility, and elite wrestling techniques to overcome opponents who are much taller than him.

Throughout his career, Sherk has faced top-level competition, including fighters with significant height advantages like Nick Diaz and Georges St. Pierre. However, he has consistently showcased his skill set and secured victories in impressive fashion.

With his dedication to his wrestling craft, Sherk has managed to nullify the reach advantage of his opponents and utilize his ground game effectively. His ability to take the fight to the mat and dominate his opponents has earned him the title of the UFC lightweight champion.

“I may not have the height advantage, but I make up for it with my wrestling skills. I’ve dedicated my life to this sport, and I’m confident in my abilities to overcome any height disadvantage in the cage.”

Sean Sherk’s achievements in MMA are a testament to the fact that height is not the sole determinant of success in the cage. His outstanding wrestling skills and relentless determination have allowed him to overcome his height disadvantage and emerge as a champion in one of the most competitive divisions in the sport.

Height Reach Division
5’6″ (168 cm) 71″ (180 cm) Lightweight

John Lineker – The Powerful Bantamweight

short MMA fighters

John Lineker, standing at just 5’3″ (160 cm), may be small in stature but possesses a powerful and muscular physique. Lineker has competed in four different weight classes throughout his career and has enjoyed success in the bantamweight division. He relies on his solid reach and physical strength to dominate his opponents. Throughout his UFC career, Lineker has secured victories over notable fighters such as Ian McCall and John Dodson.

In the bantamweight division, Lineker is known for his relentless pressure, heavy hands, and exceptional knockout power. Despite his short stature, he uses his strong physique to generate immense punching power that can quickly end fights. Lineker’s aggressive fighting style and ability to deliver devastating strikes make him a formidable opponent for anyone in his weight class.

Lineker’s stamina and durability also play a significant role in his success as a shorter fighter. He possesses an impressive cardio capacity, allowing him to maintain a high pace and pressure his opponents throughout the fight. His ability to absorb punishment and keep pushing forward has earned him a reputation as a tough and tenacious competitor.

The Accomplishments of John Lineker

Despite the challenges posed by his height, Lineker has achieved notable success in his MMA career. Here are some of his achievements:

  • Victories over notable fighters such as Ian McCall, John Dodson, and Rob Font.
  • Multiple “Fight of the Night” bonuses, highlighting his exciting fighting style.
  • Impressive knockout power, with a high percentage of his wins coming by way of knockout.
Stat Total
Total Fights 35
Wins 32
Knockouts 16
Submissions 2
Decision Wins 14
Losses 3

John Lineker’s remarkable achievements in the bantamweight division showcase that size is not the sole determinant of success in MMA. With his short stature, strong physique, and powerful striking abilities, Lineker has proven that he can compete with the best in the world and come out on top.


In conclusion, height and physical attributes are often considered important factors in combat sports like MMA. However, the top shortest MMA fighters have proven that success in the sport is not solely determined by height. Fighters like Alexander Volkanovski, Marlon Moraes, TJ Dillashaw, Sean Sherk, and John Lineker have shown that their skills, athleticism, and determination can overcome any height limitations in MMA bouts. These fighters serve as inspirations to aspiring martial artists, reminding them that size does not define success in the cage.

Source Links

Finn Mitoma

Founder @ The Combative

Leave a Comment