The 14 tallest pro MMA fighters of all time

In a sport filled with some of the biggest, scariest humans on the planet, a select few stand above the pack – literally.

Over the course of recorded MMA history, only 14 individuals have registered 6-foot-10 or taller. While many of their careers were short-lived, some found long-term success in major promotions.

Regardless, all eyes usually are on the big men as they try to use the advantages of their stature, but also negate the disadvantages. The “David vs. Goliath” optics was universally a successful attention-grabber, especially in MMA’s earlier days.

Scroll below to read about the 14 tallest fighters in pro MMA history. (Data compiled with the help of database Tapology.)

Reuben de Jong

Height: 6’10”
Weight: 309 pounds
Nickname: “The Man Mountain”
Country of origin: Netherlands
Pro MMA record: 2-0
Years active: 1999-2007

An MMA fighter, kickboxer, professional wrestler and strongman, Reuben de Jong tried a little bit of everything throughout his career. He also holds the Guinness world record for running through the most panes of glass in less than one minute. A true renaissance man, de Jong had two cups of coffee in MMA. He split the results before a stop in the WWE development program. De Jong later joined Impact Pro Wrestling.

Nathan Jones

Height: 6’10”
Weight: 345 pounds
Nickname: “The Front Row”
Country of origin: Australia
Pro MMA record:  0-1
Years active: 1997

Nathan Jones is best known for his stint in the WWE from 2002-2003, but also holds world championships from strongman competitions. He competed once at PRIDE 1 and lost to fellow behemoth Koji Kitao by first-round keylock submission.

Gan McGee

Height: 6’10”
Weight: 260 pounds
Nickname: “The Giant”
Country of origin: United States
Pro MMA record: 13-5
Years active: 1999

Born in Bismarck, N.D., Gan McGee first appeared in the MMA mainstream in 2000 when he fought Josh Barnett at UFC 28. He lost and departed the promotion, but two fights under the WEC banner got him right back in. Wins over Pedro Rizzo and Alexandre Dantas earned him a title shot vs. Tim Sylvia at UFC 44. Originally ruled a loss for McGee, the result was overturned when Sylvia tested positive for a banned substance. McGee had four more fights outside the promotion, including two in PRIDE, before his final fight in 2009.

Georgy Kaysinov

Height: 6’10”
Weight: 297 pounds
Nickname: None
Country of origin: Russia
Pro MMA record: 0-1
Years active: 2006

A freestyle wrestler who competed in international competition, Georgy Kaysinov has one lone MMA fight on his resume: a 68-second loss to future UFC heavyweight title challenger Antonio Silva.

Steven Shaw

Height: 6’10”
Weight: 258 pounds
Nickname: none
Country of origin: United States
Pro MMA record: 5-2
Years active: 2011-2013

Although he competed seven times a professional MMA fighter, Steven Shaw didn’t leave much of a digital footprint outside of his record and one pre-fight promo video on YouTube.

Cristian Anheliuc

Height: 6’11”
Weight: 353 pounds
Nickname: “Micutu”
Country of origin: Romania
Pro MMA record: 0-1
Years active: 2014

Not only was Cristian Anheliuc tall, he weighed more than 350 pounds. A big-bodied Romanian heavyweight, Anheliuc brought a national champion kickboxing skill set into MMA. His lone MMA bout was a TKO loss, however, by third-round body shot. In recent years, he’s arm-wrestled competitively.

Danielre Pinheiro

Height: 6’11”
Weight: 265 pounds
Nickname: “Crocodilo Dundee”
Country of origin: Brazil
Pro MMA record: 1-0
Years active: 2019

A complete mystery, no other information is available on Danielre Pinheiro, except for his lone MMA bout – a first-round TKO.

Semmy Schilt

Height: 6’11”
Weight: 256 pounds
Nickname: “Hightower”
Country of origin: Netherlands
Pro MMA record: 26-14-1
Years active: 1996-2008

One of the more notable sub-7-footers in MMA history, Semmy Schilt entered the sport in 1996. Kickboxing was his forte: He racked up 23 Pancrase appearances in his first 24 bouts. In 2001, he debuted in the UFC with a win over Pete Williams. After a loss to Josh Barnett, he departed the promotion for PRIDE, where he fought the likes of Fedor Emelianenko, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Sergei Kharitonov and Yoshihiro Takayama among others. In 2008, he retired from MMA on a three-fight winning streak. While he found moderate high-level success in MMA, it pales in comparison to what he found in kickboxing. The only fighter in K-1 history to win three consecutive world championships, Schilt’s final kickboxing match came in 2012 – a win over Daniel Ghita at Glory 4.

Cory Peterson

Height: 6’11”
Weight: 316 pounds
Nickname: “LA Giant”
Country of origin: United States
Pro MMA record: 2-1
Years active: 2004

Cory Peterson competed three times, but his loss is his most notable. At PRIDE 27, Peterson fought Sergei Kharitonov and was quickly defeated by 83-second armbar submission.

Jan Nortje

Height: 6’11”
Weight: 353 pounds
Nickname: “The Giant”
Country of origin: South Africa
Pro MMA record: 2-6
Years active: 2001-2009

After an 11-0 start to his pro boxing career, Jan Nortje pivoted to mixed martial arts competition. Things went a little less smooth with lighter gloves, though Nortje did fight for K-1, PRIDE and DREAM. He even picked up a 55-second TKO win over Bob Sapp in Strikeforce.

Radu Spinghel

Height: 6’11”
Weight: 272 pounds
Nickname: none
Country of origin: Romania
Pro MMA record: 0-2
Years active: 2012-2015

Born in Romania, Radu Spinghel moved to New York as a teenager. There he acquired street-fighting skills, which eventually propelled him into a professional pursuit of mixed martial arts. Although his stint in MMA competition was brief, it elevated him into his next career ventures: acting and body-guarding. According to IMBD, Spinghel has served as security for Nicole Kidman, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lopez and Jim Carrey. He also has appeared in “The Pink Panther” and “Gotham.”

Stefan Struve

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – OCTOBER 24: (R-L) Stefan Struve of The Netherlands kicks Tai Tuivasa of Australia in their heavyweight bout during the UFC 254 event on October 24, 2020 on UFC Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Height: 7’0″
Weight: 265 pounds
Nickname: “The Skyscraper”
Country of origin: Holland
Pro MMA record:  29-13
Years active: 2005-2020

When fight fans think of tall, they likely think of Stefan Struve. It’s one thing to be tall and simply get inside a ring or cage. It’s another to succeed at the highest level. From 2009-2020, Struve was a staple of the UFC heavyweight division. He headlined UFC events and even has a TKO win over all-time great Stipe Miocic. He overcame adversity in 2014 when he was medically cleared to return from a potentially career-ending heart condition. In 2020, Struve retired after back-to-back TKO losses.

Hong-man Choi

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN – MAY 26: Former Oakland Athletics slugger Jose Canseco (R) is hit by Choi Hong-man at first Round of Super Hulk Tournament during Dream.9 at Yokohama Arena on May 26, 2009 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. Canseco lost at 1 minute 17 seconds in the first round. (Photo by Hiroki Watanabe/Getty Images)

Height: 7’2″
Weight: 353 pounds
Nickname: “Techno Goliath”
Country of origin: South Korea
Pro MMA record: 4-5
Years active: 2006-2016

“Che Man.” “Techno Goliath.” “Korean Monster.” “Korean Colossus.” These are all nicknames to describe Hong-man Choi, a real fan favorite in Asia and beyond. Putting his 22 kickboxing matches aside, Choi partook in some of the unusual MMA matchups in history – which makes sense considering there was only one other fighter ever as tall as him. While he lost notable bouts against legendary heavyweights Fedor Emelianenko and Mirko Crop Cop, Choi does have a win over one legend: six-time All-Star and two-time World Series champion Jose Canseco. The two fought at Dream 9 in 2009. Choi won when Canseco tapped due to strikes 77 seconds into the bout. Choi most recently competed in kickboxing in 2019, but hasn’t fought MMA since 2016.

Paulo Cesar Silva

Height: 7’2″
Weight: 386 pounds
Nickname: “Giant”
Country of origin: Brazil
Pro MMA record: 2-6
Years active: 2003-2006

As MMA rapidly expanded in the early 2000s, the hankering to bring in eyeballs any way possible was evident. What better way to catch someone’s attention than have one of the biggest humans on earth fistfight much smaller opponents? Paulo Cesar Silva, a former Olympic basketball player from Brazil and World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) superstar, signed with PRIDE in  2003. Seven times, Silva strapped on the gloves as the Goliath to fight David. While his optically shocking loss to 194-pound Ikuhisa Minowa might be what he’s remembered for, Silva did have a pair of wins – including one over sumo wrestling legend Akebono Taro in 2006.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie

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