24 Bald UFC Fighters Who Earned Legendary Status In MMA

MMA Hive is reader supported. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more ›.

There is something particularly threatening about a bald MMA fighter, isn’t there? Baldies get a bad rap worldwide, often being labeled as the “skinhead” and hounded with “hey baldy!”

But let’s be clear, you’re unlikely to say things like this to the face of any of these bald MMA fighters.

I’ll list the top selection of some of the best bald UFC fighters we’ve ever seen due to their undeniable fighting skills—let’s crack on.

1. Junior Dos Santos

Junior dos Santos at UFC weigh in
Peter Gordon, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Junior Dos Santos, AKA “Cigano,” is a heavyweight fighter that gained a considerable following during his prime fighting days.

Cigano has been fighting in the UFC since early as 2008, when the world of MMA was under some of its rockiest periods in viewership terms. He faced Fabrico Werdum and won at UFC 90.

He went on a nine-fight winning streak, successfully winning and then defending his heavyweight belt several times.

An extensive and proud baldy, Junior Dos Santos deserves all the respect from fans, new and old!

2. Tito Ortiz

Tito Ortiz
Mingle Media TV, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Tito is another legend of the MMA world. The Huntington Beach Bad Boy (yes, that’s his chosen nickname) smashed into the UFC in 1997.

Few fighters like Ortiz started their MMA career straight into the UFC.

His career was always exciting to watch. He had a bunch of big wins against opponents like Wanderlei Silva, Ken Shamrock (x3), Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, and Chuck Liddell.

Tito Ortiz spent seventeen years fighting at the UFC level before spending the last few years of his career at Bellator and then Combate Americas.

These days he spends a lot of his time making appearances at events, running his clothing line and athlete management company, and supporting veterans.

Ortiz had a unique short and blonde hairstyle for most of his career. As he grew older, the balding came in but lucky for him, his rough look with a shaven head suits him down to the ground.

3. Anderson Silva

Anderson Silva in the octagon
Elite Sports Tour, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Often named one of the Greatest Of All Time, Anderson “The Spider” Silva is a shiny domed legend of the UFC. He’s also one of the most successful black UFC fighters in history!

Silva’s bald head wasn’t practical for grappling as this was never his specialty, but his hairless crown could have helped him sense the flow of the air coming his way.

How else do you explain his unnatural ability to slip and weave punches like a God?

Anderson will always be remembered for incredible fights against Michael Bisping, Chael Sonnen, Vitor Belfort, Israel Adesanya and more.

4. Randy Couture

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Randy Couture (@xcnatch)

Enjoying this article? Share it with your friends:

Randy isn’t just well known for his infectious smile. He’s a veteran of the sport of MMA, having fought competitively as early as 1997.

His reputation grew as one of his era’s most decorated MMA fighters. He had multiple title reigns as a UFC Champion in two different weight classes.

Nicknamed “The Natural,” Randy’s robust wrestling takedowns and ground-and-pound style made him very competitive and challenging to beat.

His style was so successful that he held the UFC record for competing in sixteen title fights in his career. He also became the first UFC fighter to hold a UFC Championship belt across two weight classes.

Even more incredible is that he still holds the record as the oldest champion in UFC history with his title win over Tim Sylvia at age 43.

Randy Couture’s MMA efforts granted him induction into the UFC Hall of Fame. He was the 4th UFC fighter to ever reach that recognition.

But Randy wasn’t only an MMA star. He was also a movie superstar who worked alongside Hollywood names like Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis, and Rob Schneider.

Randy also opened his own chain of mixed martial arts gyms named Xtreme Couture MMA and a clothing line, Xtreme Couture Clothing.

5. Anthony Smith

Anthony “Lionheart” Smith is another bald fighter who has had many fights and faced his own challenges with staying consistent and in the win column.

Despite that, he has had some really extraordinary performances against some of the best opponents in that Light Heavyweight division.

Big wins against Alexander Gustafsson, Rashad Evans, and Hector Lombard have kept his name up there in the mix to continue challenging for title spots.

Lionheart isn’t often beaten easily, with his loss to Jon Jones going to the decision of a full five rounds. And another to Glover Teixeira taking the majority of five rounds.

Recently, Anthony’s name has been coming up again in good fights that he’s winning. It may not be long before this bald Lion is ready to challenge for a title once again before his career is over.

6. BJ Penn

The Prodigy that is BJ Penn is a name cemented into the very fabric of the UFC. Penn started his fighting career with UFC 31 in 2001 and ended his career there in 2019.

Although he did have a couple of fights with other promotions like ROTR and K-1.

The Hawaiian would trouble many opponents with a tight brawling style. He could throw straight punches down the middle while predicting counters and avoid them easily.

It was common for Penn to catch his opponent with a knee strike straight up the centerline to then jump on them on the ground and finish with punches.

When those didn’t work, you’d see him beat up the faces of many opponents until their face was pouring with blood and then wrap them up in his legs and swing hooks until they entirely gave their back. Then he’d just finish them off with a rear-naked choke.

He was one of the few fighters in UFC history to give Georges St-Pierre a rough time in two fights, despite losing both.

BJ Penn’s brand is now so big that he runs his own gym and entertainment network.

7. Kamaru Usman

Kamaru Usman
JoeKhanMMA, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Often regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters, Kamaru Usman is a black fighter born in Nigeria.

Usman has only suffered a few losses in his entire career. The first was way back in 2013, and the rest only until recently when Leon Edwards dethroned him.

Usman blew up the ranks in the LFC promotion and arrived in the UFC in 2015 with The Ultimate Fighter.

His undefeated reign against many notable opponents has helped him be considered one of the very best UFC fighters of all time.

Usman has wins against Demian Maia, Tyron Woodley, Colby Covington x2, Jorge Masvidal x2, plus many more.

This clean-shaven Nigerian Nightmare sits on this list comfortably.

8. Alexander Volkanovski

I’m still not quite sure if Alexander is bald by choice or ultimately for preference in training for a fight.

But he sure does rock a great bald look that seems to only aid him in being one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in recent UFC history.

The man is all hard work and all class, all the time. If you need the motivation to get things done in life, this is one UFC fighter who ticks all the boxes.

Volk reached our list of the best UFC fights in 2021 for his incredible resilience against Ortega’s signature triangle choke.

The man is just plain beastly in grappling, striking, and stamina.

9. Glover Teixeira

Glover Teixeira
Saltywaves, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

For my money, Glover Teixeira is simply one of the most inspiring light heavyweights that the UFC has ever seen.

He’s the second-oldest UFC champion in history (behind Randy Couture) and the oldest first-time champion in UFC history.

Just two days after his 42nd birthday, Glover became the Light Heavyweight Champion after defeating the excellent Jan Blachowicz. In my opinion, it’s an incredible achievement.

After a six-fight winning streak, the Brazilian became champion and overcame strong opponents (and other fellow baldies) like Anthony Smith and Thiago Santos. He simply worked hard, kept himself fit and injury-free, and built his way to the challenger’s spot.

This bald powerhouse fights out of his own Teixeira MMA & Fitness gym. I’m hopeful that he’ll be able to end his career in style as a champion. But it doesn’t look like he’s planning to retire anytime soon.

10. Kimbo Slice

Kimbo Slice mugshot
Miami Beach Police Department, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Kimbo Slice, whose real name was Kevin Ferguson, was one of the original backyard fighters that took the internet by storm in the early 2000s.

His popularity across the internet is likely what brought him the opportunities to fight competitively for the UFC, EliteXC, and Bellator.

Kimbo passed away in 2016 but managed to have an explosive fighting career in boxing and MMA separately. He had a 7-0 boxing record with all KOs.

In MMA, his results weren’t quite as perfect, with a 5-2 record. But Kimbo’s specialty was always his fists. He had heavy hands that could drop an opponent in a flash.

I have many fond memories of watching Kimbo slice people up at garden BBQs on early video-sharing sites back in the day.

While he wasn’t completely bald, he did rock the egg with sideburns look and a giant beard to go along with it.

Rest in peace, Kevin.

11. Daniel Cormier

Daniel Cormier
X2o, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

“DC” was recently inducted into the UFC’s Hall Of Fame for his extraordinary career at Heavyweight.

His career was full of ups and downs, mainly when competing against Jon Jones.

But despite all the drama, he proved himself as one of the elite wrestlers in his division and made it difficult for anyone who faced him.

A former champ and now a popular commentator for UFC’s most prominent events alongside Joe Rogan, DC is one bald UFC fighter that sticks in our hearts.

12. Demetrious Johnson

Demetrious Johnson
MiggyTube TV, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

“DJ” is one of the shortest UFC fighters and one with an incredible record at the UFC before he moved on to One Championship later in his career.

Many fellow fighters have even chosen Demetrious as one of their Greatest Of All Time, alongside Khabib Nurmagomedov.

DJ always had a potent combination of wrestling power and explosive striking, making him incredibly difficult to deal with.

This is one ex-UFC fighter that is well-deserving to be on this list as one of the best bald UFC fighters in MMA history.

13. Conor McGregor

We’re used to thinking of McGregor as a tattooed, bearded UFC fighter with a longer hairstyle.

But then he shocked the MMA world when he revealed his bald head in the preparations for his UFC 257 rematch with Dustin Poirier.

I secretly think he was getting some fresh new plugs to keep the hairline tight. But what do I know?

Conor McGregor has a habit of constantly inventing a new look for each of his fights.

When he returned after a long layoff to fight Donald Cerrone, he was as hairy as a lumberjack.

But I guess that’s the kind of man and fighter Conor is, who often likes to reinvent himself.

He’s on this list as an honorary inclusion since his bald look became prolific amongst the fanbase who either loved it or hated it (along with how they felt about him generally).

14. Georges St-Pierre

Georges St-Pierre
Ryan Mallard, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

GSP famously fought in the octagon with the shaven head look.

He gets an honorable mention here not only because he is one of the greatest fighters of all time but also for his distinguished shaven head look.

Georges is another fighter on the list who preferred to shave his head during his fighting days. Although now, he’s often sporting a Quicksilver-inspired look with high and tight jet white hair.

15. Derrick Lewis

Derrick Lewis
MMAnytt, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Derrick Lewis is one particular bald fighter that has continued to entertain us MMA fans, giving some of the most exciting knockouts in all of UFC history.

It looked like his powerful hands were on the way to an early retirement with a three fight loss-streak recently.

But he’s more-than-redeemed himself with a beautiful technical knockout victory over Marcos Rogerio de Lima (another bald fighter but with a shaky record) at UFC 291.

I for one am ecstatic to see him back in winning ways so we can be guaranteed many more sensational KO moments from The Black Beast.

16. Ciryl Gane

Ciryl Gane is a bald mixed martial artist from Paris, France and one which has some of the slickest striking abilities we’ve ever seen at the Heavyweight division.

Although he fights inside a cage, his talents lie mostly in his smooth footwork, positioning and variety of kicks at his disposal.

He entered the UFC in 2019 and went on a seven-fight win-streak, dominating other names (also on this list) like Junior dos Santos and Derrick Lewis.

It wasn’t until he met the The Predator, Francis Ngannou, at UFC 270 that his streak was broken and had his first MMA loss ever.

Since then, he’s also fallen short against Jon Jones but had credible victories over Tai Tuivasa and Sergey Spivak.

Both losses suffered were down to a lack of grappling experience, but his strong striking is like watching poetry in motion.

He moves around the octagon like a Middleweight with speed, tactical awareness and precision. So for me, he had to be included on this list even though he is still relatively early into his career!

17. Stefan Struve

Stefan was a Dutch mixed martial artist whom had a respectable career during his time at the UFC before retiring.

He stands a mighty 7’0″ tall where he was able to use his skinny frame and length to secure many notable wins at Heavyweight.

Those under his hit list were the likes of Marcos Rogerio de Lima, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Stipe Miocic!

Affectionaly nicknamed The Skyscraper, Stefan had quite a strong fanbase bringing a certain physical dominance and positive attitude into his cage fights.

18. Wanderlei Silva

Wanderlei Silva
Mhazevedo, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

What can I say, except that Wanderlei Silva is a respected legend of MMA.

And not just of the UFC, but the entire sport. He began his professional career way back in 1996!

In the late 90’s and early 00’s, Silva was a fighter in-demand as he constantly jumped between the infancy stages of the UFC and the now-terminated Pride FC.

When Pride’s organization shut down in 2007, the UFC took on many of its hot prospects included Wanderlei Silva—AKA “The Axe Murderer.”

His nickname likely came from his tough Muay Thai fighting style with which he used every pointy part of his body to inflict pain and damage.

It was so effective that Silva ended his career with a record of 35-14-1-1 and a whopping 27 of them by KO/TKO.

19. Yoel Romero

Yoel Romero
Эркек, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The “Soldier of God” that is Yoel Romero is another great mention for this list despite having a short career from starting MMA late in his career.

He entered the pro-MMA fight scene in 2009 at the age of 31 and after only five fights made his debut in the UFC against Clifford Starks in 2013.

Romero went on to have an eight-fight win-streak with notable victories over Brad Tavares, Derek Brunson, Lyoto Machida and Chris Weidman.

The streak was broken by Aussie Robert Whitaker, after which his results were far from perfect for his last few fights in the UFC before moving on to Bellator.

But for someone that had a career starting so late and competing well into his mid-40’s, Romero showed he was built of something special.

Even doctors have inspected his bone structure and found Yoel to have surprising bone density for a man of his age. Certainly a soldier of God.

20. Bas Rutten

Bas Rutten is another Dutch fighter on the list that also shares the legendary status.

“El Guapo’s” career finished with an incredible 28-4-1, although the majority of his matchups took place in the Pancrase promotion.

It wasn’t until 1999 when Bas joined the UFC for two fights, winning both over Tsuyoshi Kosaka and Kevin Randleman.

It was a crossover that fight fans had been begging for since the early days of the UFC and he certainly proved himself as one of the most dynamic mixed martial artists at the time.

Bas had a mixture of quality abilities to add more wins to his record, whether through a TKO or a perfectly executed submission (his speciality.)

A bald pioneer of the fight game and well deserving of being included here.

21. Donald Cerrone

Donald Cerrone
Peter Gordon, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You’d probably place Donald under the “balding” category, but the guy ages like a fine wine.

Donald has a generally hairy exterior. Sometimes he might be clean-shaven, but he can look like bigfoot just a week later.

Donald Cerrone has been around for such a long time and has fought many of the biggest names in the sport that he’s deserving of recognition here.

22. Keith Jardine

Keith Jardine
Kaloozer, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Keith was nicknamed “The Dean Of Mean” because of his ferocious fighting style. He retired after his final fight in 2012 and had not fought in the UFC since 2010.

Many of his UFC fights, particularly towards the end of his contract, were at a loss. But even so, he was the kind of fighter where you felt uneasy about what he would do next.

An absolute brawler would walk forward throwing fists and finish people with a takedown and some ground and pound.

He was definitely entertaining to watch, so I’ve included Keith with his shiny head and pointy beard in this list!

23. Jeff Monson

Jeff Monson
Dmitry Rozhkov, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Jeff, “The Snowman” Monson, is a heavyweight who fought out of the American Top Team. Amazingly, Jeff had over 85 fights in his MMA career.

His career goes all the way back to 1997, fighting in the UFCF. He then first appeared in the UFC for UFC 27 in 2000.

Jeff bounced between different fighting promotions in those early days, including the UFC, AMC, and WEFC.

He appeared in the UFC again in 2002 before another layoff, then returned to fight four times in a single year for the UFC in 2006.

The Snowman has always prioritized his physical strength and conditioning to have such a long career in fighting.

His style was heavy on wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu techniques, which made him very effective at shooting for his opponents’ legs, pulling them down to the ground, and submitting them.

Over 60% of his wins came from submissions!

Although he didn’t have a vast array of fights in the UFC, his participation and a career full of fights make this bald Snowman a worthy addition to this list!

24. Colin Fletcher

Colin is known fondly as the “Freakshow” because of his creepy appearance.

The tattoos over his chest, his balding head, and the fact that he wears a vampiric mouthpiece during weigh-ins helped him capture plenty of attention.

But Colin’s real personality couldn’t be any further from his nickname. Outside of the octagon, Colin is actually known for having an authentically warm personality.

While he only featured in two UFC fights in 2012 and 2013, I’m still including him because of his infamy in the sport of MMA.

What to read next

There have been many great bald UFC fighters in the sport’s history.

Including some who prefer the shiny top to make their training and fighting experience much more straightforward.

There are a fair few fighters on this list that I think would make exceptional bare-knuckle fighters.

It could be a wild change if there were UFC fights without gloves. But that may be a pipedream.

These next articles dive even more into baldies and hairy subjects for your reading entertainment:

Leave a Comment