18 Shortest UFC Fighters Ever: Formidable Athletes Under 5’5

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Mixed martial arts is a sport that has seen a lot of greats come and go. And some of the best, most impressive fighters have been short in stature but big on heart! But who’s the shortest UFC fighter and others like them?

We’ll list them out here! From the (relatively) ‘tall fighters’ to the shortest, and briefly highlight some of their journeys. 

Shortest Male UFC Fighters of All Time

Shortest UFC Fighters (Male)HeightDivision
1Hector Sandoval5’2”Flyweight
2Fredy Serrano5’3”Flyweight / Bantamweight
3Jarred Brooks5’3”Flyweight/ Bantamweight / Strawweight
4Demetrious Johnson5’3”Flyweight / Bantamweight
5John Dodson5’3”Flyweight / Bantamweight
6Antonio Banuelos5’3”Flyweight / Bantamweight
7John Lineker5’3”Flyweight / Bantamweight / Strawweight / Lightweight
8Henry Cejudo5’4”Flyweight / Bantamweight
9Joseph Benavidez5’4”Flyweight / Bantamweight / Featherweight
10Zach Makovsky5’4”Flyweight / Bantamweight
11Jimmie Rivera5’4”Bantamweight / Featherweight
12Wilson Reis5’4”Flyweight / Bantamweight / Featherweight
13Ray Borg5’4”Flyweight / Bantamweight

Ray Borg – 5’4″

Ray Borg, also known as the Tazmexican Devil, is only 5’4″ tall, yet he started off his MMA career with a 6-win streak. He joined UFC around 2014 but lost his debut fight against Dustin Ortiz.

Ray Borg participated in both flyweight and Bantamweight divisions and has a record of 16W-5L. You may remember him for his Flyweight title fight against Demetrious Johnson, who won by a spectacular submission victory with a suplex to armbar.

Wilson Reis – 5’4″

The Brazilian UFC fighter and jiu-jitsu specialist, Wilson Reis, began his MMA career around 2007. He has participated in the flyweight, bantamweight, and featherweight divisions.

Reis had his fair share of wins and losses, but his most notable win was against Abel Cullum for the EliteXC Bantamweight title.

Jimmie Rivera – 5’4″

Jimmie Rivera, sometimes called ‘El Terror,’ is a bare-knuckle boxer and mixed martial artist. He competed in the bantamweight division of UFC and broke into the division’s top 5, where he faced champions, Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan.

A short, stocky fighter, he’s also competed in the featherweight division.

Rivera has an excellent record of 23 wins with only five losses (including one unfortunate loss to Urijah Faber, which we cover in our list of the dirtiest UFC fighters) and is the former flyweight champion of King of the Cage.

Zach Makovsky –5’4″

The 5’4″ tall Zachary Paul Makovsky has competed in Bellator, UFC, ShoXC, and EliteXC. He is currently in the flyweight division but used to participate in the bantamweight division.

Makovsky was the first Bellator Bantamweight World Champion. He has stood up against many prominent fighters, including Wilson Reis.

Joseph Benavidez –5’4″

Benavidez joined UFC in 2011 and had a long run of almost ten years. Throughout his time, he has fought many battles including 2 against Demetrious Johnson, one the best fighters of all time. Most of his fights ended with unanimous/split decisions (see UFC scoring here) or TKOs.

Benavidez is the fighter with the most knockouts (and arguably knockout power), most fights, and is tied for most wins in the UFC flyweight division. However, in his second attempt at beating Johnson, he lost the title fight via brutal KO in the 2:08 minute mark.

Henry Cejudo –5’4″

Cejudo is known by not one but two names: The Messenger and Triple C. Very few fighters have/had an illustrious career like him. Henry Cejudo is an American Mexican UFC fighter who has earned an Olympic gold medal and both UFC Flyweight and Bantamweight titles.

And so he is one of the most decorated and accomplished combat athletes of all time.

John Lineker –5’3″

John Lineker received the title ‘Hands of Stone’ for his mighty strikes. He won 17 of his MMA fights via knockout, hence the name. And he’s the only one on the list to also participate in the lightweight division.

Lineker is the former Bantamweight champion of ONE Championship. He has also been nominated as the number 1 fighter in the ONE Bantamweight fighter rankings as of March 6, 2023 (making him another smaller fighter to find success in both UFC and One Championship).

Antonio Banuelos –5’3″

Although Banuelos started his career with quite a lot of wins despite his lack of height, but the trajectory of his MMA life changed dramatically in the later years.

Banuelos fought only once in the UFC but had many fights in other organizations. He was active for 14 years and left the stage in 2014 after his loss against Joby Sanchez.

John Dodson –5’3″

John Dodson AKA ‘The Magician,’ secured a spot in UFC after knocking out (TKO), then-future champ T.J Dillashaw in the finale of Ultimate Fighter 14.

He was under the UFC banner from 2011 to 2020. Dodson has continued his MMA career under promotions such as XMMA, Rizin 40, and Bare-Knuckle Fighting Championship.

Demetrious Johnson –5’3″

Demetrious “The Mighty Mouse” Johnson is considered in some circles to simultaneously be one of the best MMA fighters, while also one of the worst cauliflower ears of all time. You’ll see some pretty spectacular wins if you check out his highlight reel. And Johnson lost only four fights in his professional career.

He was the first UFC flyweight champion and is currently the One flyweight champion. Demetrious Johnson is the shortest fighter to become the undisputed champion of the flyweight division.

And although it was outside of the UFC, I’m particularly fond of his Muay Thai/MMA hybrid fight with Rodtang.

Jarred Brooks –5’3″

Jarred Brooks, also known as ‘The Monkey God,’ is the current strawweight world champion of ONE. He had been in bouts under many promotions, including UFC.

Brooks had a sleek 13-0 record but lost his first and second fights in UFC against Deiveson Figueiredo and Jose Torres. These are the only two fights he’s lost in his entire MMA career to date.

Fredy Serrano –5’3″

Fredy ‘El Profe’ Serrano didn’t get the opportunity or couldn’t show off his skills on the stage like the other fighter on the list.

Although he has been active since 2013, Serrano only played a few bouts in all these years. He joined UFC in 2014 but was released from the promotion after his loss against Hector Sandoval in 2016.

Hector Sandoval –5’2″

Hector Sandoval, AKA ‘Kid Alex,’ might be the shortest UFC fighter in his weight division and of all time. Despite his lack of height, Sandoval had a reach of 64″, which was more than enough to take down many much taller and bigger opponents.

Kid Alex was under the UFC banner for only a year as he was released from the promotion after his defeat against Dustin Ortiz in only 15 seconds. It is considered one of the fastest knockouts in the record books.

Shortest Female UFC Fighters of All Time

Shortest UFC Fighters (Female)HeightDivision
1Brianna Fortino4’11”Strawweight
2Montserrat Ruiz5’0”Strawweight
3Viviane Pereira5’0”Strawweight
4Hannah Cifers5’1”Strawweight
5Carla Esparza5’1”Strawweight

Carla Esparza –5’1″

Carla Esparza, also known as ‘Cookie Monster,’ has a few championships to her name. She was the first Invicta FC strawweight champion and the former two-time UFC women’s strawweight champion.

Her below-average height never held her back. She has a successful career and holds the record of having the most wins and takedowns in the women’s strawweight division of UFC history.

Hannah Cifers –5’1″

Hannah ‘Shockwave’ Cifers had her first UFC bout against Maycee Barber in 2018. She was under the banner for a few years but got released in 2022 for unknown reasons.

Cifers had achieved some great wins throughout her MMA career, but she is currently going through a four-lose streak.

Viviane Pereira –5’0″

Viviane Pereira, AKA ‘Sucuri,’ started her MMA career with a 13-win streak. She was undefeated for almost five years until her fight against Tatiana Suarez in UFC Fight Night: Poirier vs. Pettis.

Sucuri is a force to be reckoned with, and she has four strawweight titles to her name: Xtreme Fighting Championships, BITETI COMBAT, LIMO Fight, and ASPERA Fighting Championship.

Montserrat Ruiz –5’0″

Ruiz, also known as ‘Conejo,’ started her journey in Olympic wrestling before joining professional MMA. She has won the national championship 7 times in Mexico.

Later on, she shifted to various MMA promotions and had a 9-win streak. Around 2021, Ruiz joined UFC and had her first bout against Cheyanne Vlismas, which she (Ruiz) won via unanimous decision.

Brianna Fortino –4’11”

Brianna Fortino AKA ‘The Bull’ is the shortest female fighter in her weight division. She is only 4’11” tall, but that didn’t stop her from becoming the Invicta FC strawweight champion.

The Bull may be short compared to other competitors, but she had a reach of 62″. This allowed her to take down many opponents far larger and taller than her.

Frequently Asked Questions About Short UFC Fighters

Here are some answers to common questions you may have wanted to lean down and ask to the shortest UFC fighters!

Who is the shortest male UFC fighter ever?

Hector Sandoval, also called ‘Kid Alex,’ is the shortest male UFC fighter ever. He is only 5’2″ tall but was able to take down 15 opponents. His last fight was against Jorge Martin in 2019.

Who is the shortest woman in UFC?

Brianna Fortino, or The Bull, is the shortest female fighter in the history of UFC. She is about 4’11” in height but has a 62″ reach. Fortino stands at number 15 in the UFC women’s strawweight rankings.

Why are so many UFC fighters short?

Short fighters have some pretty neat advantages in a fight. They tend to be more agile than taller fighters because of their height. They can also land full-power punches faster as they have shorter limbs, provided they can close the gap.

Shortest UFC Fighters in Closing

I have tried to include the shortest of the shortest fighters that were under the UFC banner. These are the smallest MMA professionals I’ve found, and most of them have/had remarkable MMA careers.

If you think a lack of height puts a fighter at a disadvantage, think again. All of the fighters I mentioned are under 5’5″, but it didn’t stop them from achieving glorious victories, often over taller and bigger opponents.

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