Professional fighters tend to find themselves on the muscular side of the anatomical spectrum. With intense physical training taking up most of their time, it's easy to see why. These athletes focus on cardiovascular conditioning, which helps them breathe in the cage. By improving their cardio, fighters also see fat melt off of their bones.
In addition, the strength programs that these warriors endure transform some men into rock monsters who appear to be chiseled out of granite.
However, there are exceptions to every rule. For every Alistair Overeem or Todd Duffee in existence, there are six overweight, out-of-shape fighters who look like their personal trainer is Aunt Jemima.
Last week, I shared with you an article on the 25 Hottest Women in MMA. As a believer in feng shui, I have decided to write the exact opposite article to help maintain balance among my articles.
Here is a look at the 10 worst physical specimens in MMA.
We kick off today's list with the fighter that you all knew would be here: Roy Nelson.
After walking to the Octagon to the booming chorus of Weird Al Yankovich's "Fat" and openly requesting endorsements from fast-food chain Burger King, it is clear that the man known as Big Country has a sense of humor about his hefty gut.
“I mean, look at him. All that muscle to feed oxygen to, of course he gets tired. You have all that muscle on you, you’re going to get tired. That’s why I prefer to be fat.”
Nelson pledged to drop to light-heavyweight if his Facebook page were to hit 100,000 likes back in March. Since that time, the goal was achieved, but he has signed on for two fights at heavyweight, a bout with Dave Herman at UFC 146 and a coach's fight against Shane Carwin at the end of Ultimate Fighter 16.
Twice winning NCAA Division I championships at 285 pounds, Bellator's heavyweight champion Cole Konrad is used to squaring off against big guys. Now that The Polar Bear fights with a 265-pound weight limit, he has slimmed down from his college days.
However, the weight restriction hasn't caused Konrad to improve his physique. The hefty wrestler remains one of the least toned fighters in the sport.
With a flawless 9-0 record in mixed martial arts, I'm not about to tell the former DeathClutch team member that he needs to change anything about his workout regimen.
Weighing in at 248 pounds, Russow clearly isn't likely to cut down to the light-heavyweight division. However, replacing some of his extra baggage with toned muscle could allow him to both slim down improve his physique and obtain more strength for his wrestling game.
Considering that Russow still works as a Chicago police officer, it makes sense that he doesn't have the time to sculpt his body like some of the statuesque fighters in the UFC's heavyweight division.
The former DeathClutch fighter doesn't have much tone, but his physical deficiencies were under a microscope at UFC 114 when he stood toe-to-toe with Todd Duffee. By comparison, Russow might as well have been a beached whale.
Any fighter who nicknames himself after a vegetable should probably look like he eats them every once in awhile. Eric Esch, better known as "Butterbean" is a super heavyweight boxer who lost only three times in his first decade of fighting.
Moving over to his mixed martial arts career, you would be surprised to find out that 10 of The Bean's 17 career victories came by way of submission.
Esch owns his own restaurant in Jasper, Alabama called Mr. Bean's BBQ.
Fedor Emelianenko is a flabby Russian who certainly spent more time honing his craft than he did sculpting his abs. With a torso that resembles a piece of pastrami that was dropped on the carpet, the appearance of The Last Emperor may have lulled many opponents into a false sense of safety.
Let's not beat a dead horse here. This is not an insult to the once-great Fedor Emelianenko. In fact, it is a testament to his skill. The fact that the Russian phenom could deliver the style of performances that he did with the physique of an arm-chair quarterback is nothing short of miraculous.
Fedor's chubby exterior was a major reason that fans and critics pleaded for the M-1 Global star to make a drop to light-heavyweight. With the right diet and workout regimen, cutting 25 pounds permanently wouldn't have been a major hassle.
Do not attempt to adjust your computer monitor. That is no mistake. The picture you are seeing is of former UFC Heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia as he enters the cage for a super-heavyweight contest.
In January of 2011, Sylvia met former Ultimate Fighter contestant Abe Wagner. The 250-pound Wagner scored a slightly controversial knockout over the former champion, who came into the fight at 310 pounds.
Big Timmy has battled at super-heavyweight seven times since leaving the UFC, however, he has returned to the division he once ruled for his last two contests.
Sylvia has desperately pleaded his case in hopes of returning to the organization that made him rich and famous. He has offered to fight for the UFC's minimum salary, and also offered to go through the TUF house if it means getting another crack at the biggest stage of the game.
By no means was Tank Abbott ever a jacked-up warrior who we would accuse of being on steroids. Even during his physical prime, the goateed brawler was carrying some extra belly weight.
I could talk about a lot of things in the career of Tank Abbott. His guest appearance on FRIENDS, or his longtime blood feud with Ken Shamrock would both be interesting topics regarding the legacy of the 47-year-old slugger.
Instead, I want to remind you of Tank Abbott's professional wrestling career, in which he played a character who was a crazed fan of the boy band 3 Count. When the youngsters wouldn't allow Abbott to take part in their song-and-dance routine, he proceeded to beat the snot out of them.
As you can see in the photo above, Abbott continued to fight without really continuing to train. For allowing himself to get into the cage in such awful shape, he makes our countdown.
We end our Top Stars who Stopped Taking Care of Themselves section with former UFC Heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez.
“My biggest battle has been with myself,” Rodriguez said. “I know what I'm capable of doing. I went from 350 to 290 pounds. I'm battling my own demons like in the movie Raging Bull. I'm an extreme person. When I see something I want I go for it. You are going to see me drop to 270 and then to 250 pounds. You will see me progress in the Octagon.”
Rodriguez appeared to be on the cusp of a return to the big time back in 2011. After rattling off 12 consecutive wins on the independent circuit, he was signed with the Bellator organization.
Unfortunately, his comeback story was short lived, as Seth "The Kimbo Killer" Petruzelli knocked out the man known as "Suave" in the first round. Since that time, Rodriguez has lost six out of seven fights on the independent scene.
There is a reason that the UFC does not have a super-heavyweight division, despite having a roster that includes several men who cut weight to reach the 265-pound limit. Taro Akebono is one of those reasons.
As a former sumo star, Akebono decided to try his hand at a sport that was more striking-intensive. With a 1-8 record in kickboxing and an 0-4 record in mixed martial arts, you can clearly see that the man born Chad Rowan is one of the worst fighters to ever step foot in the cage.
In case you're wondering, Akebono currently tips the scales at a whopping 514 pounds.
Honestly, did you really think that this award was going anywhere else? For God sakes, Emmanuel Yarborough is so large that his only MMA victory came by way of smother.
You read that correctly, the 700-pound fighter literally laid on top of his opponent and used his enormous belly to (for lack of a better term) swallow his head.
It's not a video you want to see, but the link above includes the brief fight.
Yarborough is best known for his sole UFC appearance, which saw Keith Hackney ravage the monster with tremendous punches at UFC 3.