The "Optically Bad" Fighters

This relates to the Chuck Lidell-Under rated thread. List the best fighters you can think of who belong in the category of the "optically bad but effective" category. That is, fighters who appear to be out of shape, or use bad technique, yet constantly win. Here's a few off the top of my head...

1)Vovchanchin. King of the Loopers. He hasn't been too active lately, but back when he was whacking heads off in Pride on a regular basis he never failed to astound me with his striking accuracy, despite wailing his arms like a coked-up mental patient. Other fighters only think they loop their punches. Igor would just go freakin' Kamikaze with huge, huge haymakers that somehow landed. If you watch his fight with Enson, there doesn't appear to be much difference in their striking styles (or even ability) as they duke it out in the middle of the ring. Enson's fists seemed to be keeping up with Igor's as they both hooked punch after punch. But in the cyclonic blur or fists Igor's were the ones landing solidly and doing real damage, while Enson's were grazing. Time after time Igor has done this in fights! In addition, because he's fought as a freakin HW, at like 5'8" he's looked Pilsbury tubby, yet he's obviously strong as hell and pretty quick at that weight. I kept waiting for some orthodox opponent to demonstrate the flaws in Igor's standup game, but it never happened until Cro Cop.

2)Fedor. Kind of a bigger Vovchanchin as far as body styles go. His gut isn't as bad as some make it out, but he's a hefty boy and obviously doesn't sanction the low carb lifestyle. When on offense, he moves like a friggin' bionic computer, but what I've noticed is that he frequently gets in positions that appear bad or even hopeless---for example, Randleman's slam, and Coleman having his back in the corner of the ring---but scrambles and escapes with his ninja powers again and again. He probably keeps his spare CPU in the plentiful recess known as his belly button.

3)Tim Sylvia. This guy would not vertically fit in my apartment. He's saddled with "optically poor" genetics that contribute to overall movie star horror looks. And once he gets that big body moving, one might quickly conclude that Tim is a living dearth of athletic potential. That is why he shocked everyone by handling Ricco with such ease. This lumbering goliath with the foot speed of an ATAT walker has tremendous stand up skills with excellent timing in his punches and deft avoidance of takedowns despite all the repulsive visuals.

Jeremy Horn might fall under the not physically intimidating.But is still one in my top ten regardless if he wins/loses or looks out of shape.


You are so right on #3! When I first saw Sylvia fighting Cabbage, I thought he must have crippling arthritic knees or something. He moved in such a lumbering fashion! To his credit, his physique did look a lot better for his title fight ;-)

Josh Barnett in his younger days.

I don't mean just physical looks. I mean the way a fighter moves and the way he executes.

"overall movie star horror looks." f*cking hilarious

good call

Peter Aerts looks like a goofball until you realize he's fighting and usually beating the shit out of the best in the world.

I guess I haven't seen much of Aerts, but he looks OK to me.

I think you can put Royce in this category a little too, though moreso from his early days when he was fairly skinny. Of course he looks great on the ground, but that limp flicking front kick he always used to close the distance made him look so TMA, almost Ettish-like. In fact his whole stand up game is like that...yet it's hard to recall any fights that didn't eventually end up on the mat, where he wanted it.

Jeremy Horn is a pretty good call in terms of his general appearance (especially 5-6 years ago when he was truly Gumby), but once he moves on the mat you see his prowess right away. And his standup has gotten damned good over the years.