If you’ve been watching mixed martial arts and the UFC for some time, you’ve probably noticed that many fighters look pretty lunchbox-sized when compared to the referee until you get to the Lightweight division or above.
It seems that many UFC fighters can benefit from being shorter in stature and producing excellent results as many fighters are below-average in height. Maybe it’s that small man syndrome, or perhaps they benefit from using the extra weight allowance in their muscle instead of in their height.
If you want to know who is the shortest UFC fighter? Here’s your answer:
Two fighters hold the record for the shortest in UFC history, Hector Sandoval and Fredy Serrano. Both fighters measure 5’2″ (157.48cm) tall. Interestingly, both fighters had a 2-2 record during their time at the UFC before being released.
In the rest of this article, I’ll break down the shortest UFC fighters of all time.
I did extensive research and cross-checking between multiple sources to produce the master list of shortest UFC fighters under 5’5″ tall (for brevity). Every one of these fighters has fought in the UFC at least once.
Master table of all shortest UFC fighters under 5’5″:
|Fighter’s Name||Fighter’s Division||Fighter’s Height|
|Hector Sandoval||Flyweight||5’2″ (157.48cm)|
|Fredy Serrano||Flyweight||5’2″ (157.48cm)|
|Demetrious Johnson||Bantamweight||5’3″ (160.02cm)|
|John Dodson||Bantamweight||5’3″ (160.02cm)|
|Jarred Brooks||Flyweight||5’3″ (160.02cm)|
|John Lineker||Featherweight||5’3″ (160.02cm)|
|Antonio Banuelos||Flyweight||5’3″ (160.02cm)|
|Jose Torres||Flyweight||5’4″ (162.56cm)|
|Wilson Reis||Flyweight||5’4″ (162.56cm)|
|Jimmy Rivera||Bantamweight||5’4″ (162.56cm)|
|Henry Cejudo||Bantamweight||5’4″ (162.56cm)|
|Bruno Silva||Flyweight||5’4″ (162.56cm)|
|Ray Borg||Bantamweight||5’4″ (162.56cm)|
|Joseph Benavidez||Flyweight||5’4″ (162.56cm)|
|Zach Makovsky||Flyweight||5’4″ (162.56cm)|
|Ali Bagautinov||Flyweight||5’4″ (162.56cm)|
|Norifumi Yamamoto||Bantamweight||5’4″ (162.56cm)|
Keep scrolling to learn more about each fighter’s appearances in the UFC.
16. Norifumi Yamamoto – 5’4″ (162.56cm)
Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto was one of the shorter pros coming from Tokyo, Japan, and has had an illustrious career across competitions in Japan like K-1, Shooto, and Shogun. But this 5’4″ tall fighter also had a late introduction to UFC from 2011 to 2015.
Sadly, this “Kid” had a brutal end to his career in the UFC with three losses in a row and one final NC (No Contest).
Yamamoto lost to Demetrious Johnson (like many others on this list have!), Darren Uyenoyama, Vaughan Lee, and an NC to Roman Salazar.
Although he felt that reaching the UFC was his destiny, it didn’t end well. Even so, he can be credited for having a diverse and successful career in Japan. Sadly, he died in 2018 from a battle with cancer. The MMA community will never forget him as one of the legendary and well-rounded MMA fighters from Japan.
15. Ali Bagautinov – 5’4″ (162.56cm)
Ali, “The King Puncher” Bagautinov, hails from Dagestan, Russia, and stands 5’4″ tall. Ali has fought across multiple promotions like Fight Nights Global, Brave CF and had his run within the UFC between 2013-2016.
“The King Puncher” has notable victories over John Lineker, Tim Elliott, and a loss to Demetrious Johnson during his time in the UFC.
14. Zach Makovsky – 5’4″ (162.56cm)
Zach “Fun Size” Makovsky is one of the lesser-known names on this list but had his time in the UFC between 2013-2016. Zach stands 5’4″ tall and has still had a long career in the Flyweight division, ever since his first pro debut in 2006!
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Zach’s promotions have been full of variety, as he’s fought plenty in Bellator in his early career and later, since being released by the UFC, others like ACB, WFC, and Brace CF.
13. Joseph Benavidez – 5’4″ (162.56cm)
Joseph Benavidez stands 5’4″ tall and is considered a Flyweight legend of the UFC, having continued fighting under their banner since 2011.
In this time, Joseph has fought against some of the greatest and shortest Flyweights. Like Henry Cejudo and others who missed out on this list by an inch (Dustin Ortiz, for example).
Benavidez is one of those slug-it-out kinds of fighters. Many of his matchups go complete rounds and to the decision. There are some excellent TKOs in his career with his strong hooks to the body or chin.
Joseph has fought well into his late thirties, a relentless workhorse in the octagon.
12. Ray Borg – 5’4″ (162.56cm)
Ray, “The Tazmexican Devil” Borg, is a 5’4″ competitor, fighting across the Bantamweight and Flyweight divisions.
He arrived in the UFC in 2014 at a young age with a six-fight winning streak. Twelve fighters later, Ray was let go by the UFC in 2020.
During his time there, Ray earned a title shot against Demetrious Jonhson in 2017 but was unsuccessful.
Since his UFC days, Ray has recently appeared in Eagle FC, the promotion set up by former UFC Lightweight Champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
11. Bruno Silva – 5’4″ (162.56cm)
Bruno “Bulldog” Silva comes in at 5’4″ tall and has been fighting in the UFC since 2019. Often finding himself up against much taller fighters with reach advantages (Silva has a 65″ reach).
Silva had two straight defeats in his first two fights in the UFC, but the Brazilian began to turn around his UFC record from there on in the Flyweight division.
The Brazilian has a high energy level in his fights, producing a lot of strikes at the legs and head to try and overwhelm his opponents.
Even with a disadvantage in height and reach, Bruno Silva can connect well on the chin. We might find him going up the ranks in future years if he remains in the UFC.
10. Henry Cejudo – 5’4″ (162.56cm)
Henry, “The Messenger” Cejudo, is one of the loudest mouths in the UFC and yet one of the shortest at 5’4″ tall.
His record speaks for itself, having defeated most opponents in his way to reach earning the Bantamweight Championship Belt and having defended it multiple times against great names that are also on this list like T.J. Dillashaw, Marlon Moraes, and Demetrious Johnson.
Cejudo “retired” after defending his title at UFC 249 against Dominick Cruz. Since then, he has successfully coached the likes of Deiveson Figueiredo to recover his Flyweight Championship Belt from Brandon Moreno.
He could become one of the greatest coaches in the game if he continues. His unique knowledge of grappling martial arts has made him extremely difficult to beat, and this is only becoming more leveraged in modern MMA.
9. Jimmie Rivera – 5’4″ (162.56cm)
Jimmie “El Terror” Rivera is an American New-Jersey boy standing 5’4″ tall. His early career saw him in promotions like ROC, CFFC, and Bellator.
Jimmie advanced his career to win a contract with the UFC by 2015. Since then, he has gone up against a few of the old-and-new champions from the Bantamweight division like Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan.
“El Terror” sadly lost his place in the UFC in 2021 after a 2-4 record in six fights with the promotion.
It might not be the last we’ve seen of this fighter, though, as he could go on to keep fighting in other promotions.
8. Wilson Reis – 5’4″ (162.56cm)
Wilson Reis is a Brazilian fighter standing 5’4″ tall. This Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist had an expansive career with the UFC between 2013-2019.
Wilson had notable wins against Dustin Ortiz, Ben Nguyen, and Hector Sandoval in his time with the FC.
During his career with the UFC, his expertise won him opportunities against some of the very best in the Flyweight division, but with it came some significant losses.
Wilson Reis went up against Demetrious Johnson, Henry Cejudo, and Jussier Formiga; and lost to them all.
7. Jose Torres – 5’4″ (162.56cm)
Jose “Shorty” Torres is a 5’4″ tall fighter from Chicago, USA. Jose fought only twice in the UFC, winning once against Jarred Brooks and winning once against Alex Perez before moving to Brace CF.
Jose was fighting under Titan FC with a seven-fight win streak that led him to sign with the UFC.
6. Antonio Banuelos – 5’3″ (160.02cm)
Antonio Banuelos is a rare delicacy on this list. Not only is he one of the few 5’3″ tall fighters, but he’s also the only fighter on this list included for having just one UFC fight.
Over the rest of his career, Antonio competed between 2001-2014 in promotions like IFC, WEC, Dream, LFC, and several others.
Antonio had a good record with many wins under his belt during his early career. He forced many of his opponents onto the floor of the cage to suffer under his ground and pound. He shoots for the double leg, lifting his combatant and throwing them for the same result.
In Antonio’s later career, his results took a downturn. He hung up his gloves after a final loss to Joby Sanchez in 2014.
5. John Lineker – 5’3″ (160.02cm)
John “Hands Of Stone” Lineker was active in the UFC between 2012 and 2019, fighting in sixteen matchups. His shorter stature hasn’t stopped him from advancing his fight career, at 5’3″ tall.
His nickname comes from the unique strength in his hands. When John cracks opponents with the right timing, he can drop them to the mat swiftly in a daze. He’s quick to follow up with a flurry of punches to secure a win.
4. Jarred Brooks – 5’3″ (160.02cm)
Jarred “The Monkey God” Brooks is near the top of this list as he is 5’3″ (160.02cm) tall and has also had a theatrical career with a short stint in the UFC.
Jarred fought his way through various promotions like AFC, MFL, and WFCA. Eventually, he reached the UFC in 2017 to fight against Deiveson Figueiredo. Until that point, Jarred was undefeated with a 13-0 record.
The fighting style of “The Monkey God” is where his success comes from, as he throws big shots on the feet to force his opponent into a daze before lowering and shooting for the hips and taking them down to the mat to win most often by submission.
Sadly, Jarred’s record was broken quickly upon entry to the UFC as he lost to Figueiredo on a split decision. He went on to have another two fights in the UFC, losing one and winning his last before being released by the UFC.
Since his time in the UFC, Jarred has continued to bounce around between promotions, including WXC, Bellator, and One Championship.
3. John Dodson – 5’3″ (160.02cm)
John “The Magician” Dodson arrived in the UFC in 2011 by defeating T.J. Dillashaw for The Ultimate Fighter 14 finale. That win secured his spot in the UFC ranks, and he continued fighting exclusively for them until 2020 after losing to Merab Dvalishvili at UFC 252.
During John’s time with the UFC, he fought many opponents in the Bantamweight division. Including a few from this list like Marlin Moraes, Demetrious Johnson, and John Lineker.
Dodson’s skills in the octagon are always fun to watch. Despite his shorter size, he has hefty hands and can drop opponents much taller than him with one hit to finish them on the floor with ground and pound.
From seventeen fights with the UFC, The Magician won ten of those fights for a final 10-7 record during his UFC career.
2. Demetrious Johnson – 5’3″ (160.02cm)
The one and only “Mighty Mouse” comes in at the number two spot as one of the shortest fighters to have appeared in the UFC. He missed out on the number one spot on this list by just a fraction (well, an inch to be exact).
Demetrious Johnson is 5’3″ (160.02cm) tall. He has competed across many promotions before UFC and now fighting under One Championship.
Demetrious is a well-known and respected MMA fighter who has fought his way up the ranks of many fight promotions, including the UFC. At the start of his career, he boasted a 10-fight winning streak.
When he reached the UFC in 2011, he had a rocky start as he lost to Dominick Cruz and had a draw with Ian McCall early on. But after beating McCall in the immediate rematch, he went on to have a staggering 13-fight winning streak inside the UFC. He even had a win over Henry Cejudo in that streak though eventually relinquishing the streak to the same opponent.
1. Tie: Hector Sandoval and Fredy Serrano – 5’2″ (157.48cm)
The number one spot for the shortest UFC fighter is a joint-first-place between Hector “Kid Alex” Sandoval and Fredy “El Profe” Serrano.
Despite what you might read elsewhere online, these two are both 5’2″ (157.48cm) tall and fought in the UFC around the same time.
Amazingly, both fighters went head-to-head in 2016 for UFC On Fox 22, and Hector Sandoval was the one to come out on top. After that fight, Fredy Serrano was released by the UFC.
Hector, however, went on to compete in the UFC for two more fights before being released in mid-2018 after a 2-2 record. His release likely came due to being knocked out within the first 15 seconds against Dustin Ortiz in 2017. He went on to fight in Combate Americas.
Fredy had one more MMA fight with a promotion named Empire Sports before seemingly retiring.
That completes this list of the shortest UFC fighters of all time! All of them are under 5’5″ tall because otherwise, this list might be 50-fighters long. There are plenty of genuine greats on this list and others you might not have heard of before. It’s great to see so many short fighters able to fight their way up the ranks despite often having height and reach disadvantages. Hey short men, get in the gym, no excuses.
Joe Bloom is the lead author and editor of MMA Hive. Joe has been a passionate mixed martial artist in training since 2019, having studied Boxing and Muay Thai at BaliMMA and Soma Fight Club, as well as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with RitualsJJ.