Sean McCorkle

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Sean McCorkle
Born (1976-07-17) July 17, 1976 (age 40)
Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Other names Big Sexy
Nationality American
Height 6 ft 7 in (201 cm)
Weight 312 lb (142 kg; 22 st 4 lb)
Division Heavyweight
Super Heavyweight
Fighting out of Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Team C-4 MMA
Years active 2005–2014
Mixed martial arts record
Total 24
Wins 17
By knockout 4
By submission 12
By decision 1
Losses 7
By knockout 3
By submission 3
By decision 1
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Sean McCorkle (born July 17, 1976) is a retired American mixed martial artist who competed in the Heavyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. A professional competitor from 2005 to 2014, McCorkle fought for King of the Cage and local promotions in Indiana before signing with the UFC. He has also competed in the Bellator Fighting Championships and KSW.[1]


McCorkle is from Indianapolis, Indiana. He excelled at basketball, playing in high school and then in junior college. In 2005, McCorkle began training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and later met local UFC veterans Chris Lytle and Jake O'Brien before transitioning into mixed martial arts.[2]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

McCorkle fought out of C-4 MMA.[3] He fought at Super Heavyweight for most of his career, weighing as much as 320 lbs.[4] McCorkle has several nicknames, but "Big Sexy" is his best known moniker.[5] MMA journalist Ariel Helwani coined his other main nickname "The Curtain Jerker" during a post-fight interview. He was also known as "The Hater" early on in his career.[5]

After winning his first four fights, McCorkle faced Jeremy Norton on New Year's Eve 2006. During the bout, McCorkle dislocated his shoulder and broke his arm, but was able to continue and took a split decision victory.[5] Due to the injury, he was out of action for fourteen months of physical therapy before he could return to MMA.[5]

Legends of Fighting[edit]

McCorkle fought multiple times for an Indianapolis promotion called Legends of Fighting and remained undefeated with them, holding a 9-0 record and the promotion's Super Heavyweight Championship belt.

King of the Cage[edit]

On October 7, 2006 McCorkle fought Robert Hogan at King Of The Cage: Meltdown, winning via TKO (punches) in the opening round.

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

McCorkle signed a four-fight contract with the UFC in July 2010.[6] After agreeing to sign with the UFC, his debut opponent was announced as the K-1 and Pride Fighting Championships veteran Mark Hunt at UFC 119 in McCorkle's hometown of Indianapolis. In order to make weight for the fight, McCorkle had to cut down to 265 lbs - a weight he had not hit since the age of 18.[7] McCorkle won the fight in just 67 seconds, after locking in a straight armbar from his back.[8] It was later revealed that McCorkle's armlock had caused significant damage to Hunt.[9] The fight is now considered one of the biggest upsets in the history of the heavyweight division.

Due to the onslaught of publicity he received for his win over Hunt, McCorkle's next fight was the Co-Main Event of UFC 124. He fought 6'11" Dutch fighter Stefan Struve in Montreal, Quebec. Struve and McCorkle traded trash talk on the Internet in the weeks leading up to the bout, which was a new experience for the usually reserved Struve. After McCorkle unleashed a continual barrage of taunts via his Twitter account, Struve issued a contest in which fans would Photoshop insulting pictures of McCorkle.[10] The winner of the contest was promised the bloodstained fight gloves Struve was to use against McCorkle.[11] The eventual winner of the contest submitted a picture of McCorkle as Justin Bieber, which led McCorkle to show up at the weigh-ins wearing a Bieber-style wig for photographers.[12] When the fight began, McCorkle came out strong in the opening minutes, forcefully slamming Struve onto the ground and securing a kimura on him that nearly led to a tap out. After a struggle that sapped McCorkle of his energy, Struve was able to reverse the hold and pound him out, winning the fight by TKO.[13]

McCorkle next fought Christian Morecraft on March 26, 2011 at UFC Fight Night 24.[14] After a closely contested first round, Morecraft came out and dominated the first four minutes of the second round. The referee briefly stopped the fight for two minutes after Morecraft delivered an illegal low blow to McCorkle's groin.[15] When the action resumed, McCorkle dove in for a takedown but Morecraft was able to leverage this attempt into a standing guillotine choke that left McCorkle unconscious.

In the spring of 2011, the UFC released McCorkle from his contract following back-to-back losses against Struve and Morecraft.[16] On October 17, 2011, ESPN announced that Sean McCorkle would be a featured heavyweight in the video game UFC Undisputed 3.[17] The game was released for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on February 14, 2012. The game went on to sell over one million copies.

Bellator Fighting Championships[edit]

After his release from the UFC, McCorkle won his next five fights with various promotions. He then signed to Bellator Fighting Championships, and on March 9, 2012 at Bellator 60 he made his debut in a catchweight fight against Richard White, winning via first round submission.[18]

Rivalry with "The World's Strongest Man"[edit]

Immediately after his win at Bellator 60, McCorkle lost three straight fights for the first time in his career. He then signed with Polish promotion KSW to face the five time World's Strongest Man, Mariusz Pudzianowski.[19] With McCorkle seeming to be at a low point in his career, many fight observers did not expect much from him in the bout.

The two met at KSW 23 on June 8, 2013. When the fight began, Pudzianowski came out swinging and took it straight to McCorkle. The two struggled fiercely, with Pudzianowski controlling the tempo of the match until he accidentally stepped into a hard jab from McCorkle and subsequently landed off his feet. McCorkle was able to quickly seize on the moment and locked in his signature kimura hold, submitting Pudzianowski.[20]

The unexpected outcome of the fight made news immediately, and the notoriety of the bout led both men to agree to a rematch. McCorkle and Pudzianowski met again at KSW 24 on September 28, 2013.[21] According to sports writer Chuck Mindenhall, "The two met like titanic slabs in the middle of the ring."[22] Pudzianowski was able to quickly take the fight to the ground, where he remained on top as the two grappled for the entire first round. The scene repeated itself in the second round, but midway through McCorkle went for a kimura and was able to reverse Pudzianowski and end up on top. The fight was only scheduled for two rounds, and Pudzianowski took the decision victory.

After the fight, McCorkle asked KSW for a third match with Pudzianowski.[22]

Professional Wrestling[edit]

Sean McCorkle also made appearances for Freedom Pro Wrestling, a promotion based in Wisconsin.[23] On April 20, 2012, McCorkle won his debut match against C.J. O'Doyle, the promotion's current heavyweight champion. McCorkle was called "a smack-talking jobber."[24]


On September 29, 2014, Sean McCorkle officially announced his retirement at the age of 38 during a light-hearted interview on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. He also admitted he had been suffering from "miserable" back injuries for some time. McCorkle said he is currently focused on managing other fighters.[25]

Over a career that spanned nearly a decade, McCorkle fought top names like "The Super Samoan" Mark Hunt, Stefan "Skyscraper" Struve, Soa "The Hulk" Palelei, Olympic gold medalist Satoshi Ishii, and 5-Time World's Strongest Man Mariusz Pudzianowski.

With his victory over Mark Hunt, McCorkle reached the height of his prime with a perfect 10-0 record. He would eventually go 16-2 before losing five of his last six fights. The final highlight of his career was his submission win over Pudzianowski.

Personal life[edit]

McCorkle has a daughter who does not like fighting and a son who does. Childhood portraits of them are tattooed on each of his arms. McCorkle attended college for a year and a half, but dropped out to start his own business, which he sold in 2005.[26]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 17–7 Richard White Submission (armbar) Square Ring Promotions: Island Fights 30 September 20, 2014 1 3:03 Pensacola, Florida, United States
Loss 17–6 Mariusz Pudzianowski Decision (unanimous) KSW 24 September 28, 2013 2 5:00 Lódz, Poland
Win 17–5 Mariusz Pudzianowski Submission (kimura) KSW 23 June 8, 2013 1 1:57 Gdańsk, Poland
Loss 16–5 Satoshi Ishii Submission (kimura) IGF: GENOME 24 February 23, 2013 1 2:41 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 16–4 Soa Palelei TKO (punches) Australian Fighting Championship 4 December 7, 2012 1 1:45 Melbourne, Australia
Loss 16–3 Brian Heden TKO (punches) WMMA 1 March 31, 2012 2 2:44 El Paso, Texas, United States
Win 16–2 Richard White Submission (neck crank) Bellator 60 March 9, 2012 1 1:02 Hammond, Indiana, United States 280 lb catchweight, Bellator debut.
Win 15–2 Mike Williams Submission (arm-triangle choke) Legends of Fighting 51: Little Giants February 10, 2012 1 1:29 Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Win 14–2 Mike Gordon Submission (arm-triangle choke) North American Allied Fight Series: Caged Fury 16 January 28, 2012 1 2:14 Morgantown, West Virginia, United States
Win 13–2 Justin Grizzard Submission (kimura) Chicago Cagefighting Championship 4 October 15, 2011 1 1:57 Villa Park, Illinois, United States
Win 12–2 Alex Rozman Submission (punches) Legends of Fighting 48: Mega August 19, 2011 1 1:29 Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Win 11–2 Cameron Befort Submission (kimura) CFA 02: McCorkle vs. Befort July 23, 2011 1 1:12 Miami, Florida, United States
Loss 10–2 Christian Morecraft Technical Submission (standing guillotine choke) UFC Fight Night: Nogueira vs. Davis March 26, 2011 2 4:10 Seattle, Washington, United States
Loss 10–1 Stefan Struve TKO (punches) UFC 124 December 11, 2010 1 3:55 Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Win 10–0 Mark Hunt Submission (straight armbar) UFC 119 September 25, 2010 1 1:07 Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Win 9–0 Johnathan Ivey TKO (punches) Legends of Fighting 39 May 28, 2010 2 3:21 Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Win 8–0 Bobby Favors TKO (punches) Legends of Fighting 38 April 29, 2010 1 1:39 Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Win 7–0 Joe Mellotte Submission (punches) Legends of Fighting 37 February 26, 2010 1 0:29 Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Win 6–0 James Ferguson Submission (kimura) Legends of Fighting 19: Back in Action July 27, 2007 2 1:28 Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Win 5–0 Jeremy Norton Decision (split) Legends of Fighting 12: Black Tie Battles December 31, 2006 3 5:00 Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Win 4–0 Justin Wade Submission (punches) Legends of Fighting 11: Total Chaos December 8, 2006 1 1:51 Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Win 3–0 Robert Hogan TKO (punches) KOTC: Meltdown October 7, 2006 1 0:30 Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Win 2–0 Jason Johnson TKO (punches) Battle Ground 3 December 9, 2005 1 1:05 Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Win 1–0 Shane Paulson Submission (punches) Legends of Fighting 2 October 21, 2005 1 0:32 Indianapolis, Indiana, United States


See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b "Sean McCorkle". Retrieved October 8, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Sean McCorkle says he's Kimbo Slice, except without the fighting part". September 23, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d "The Unlikely Tale of Sean McCorkle". September 23, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Mark Hunt confirms UFC deal fight with Sean McCorkle at UFC 119". July 8, 2010. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "UFC 119 preliminary card recap: Dollaway stuns Doerksen, Mitrione takes decision". September 26, 2010. 
  9. ^ "UFC 119 medical suspensions: Cro Cop and Serra out until at least April 2011". September 27, 2010. 
  10. ^
  11. ^
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  14. ^ "Sean McCorkle vs. Christian Morecraft Slated for UFN 24". December 28, 2010. 
  15. ^ "UFC Fight Night 24 Results: Christian Morecraft Standing Guillotines Sean McCorkle". March 26, 2011. 
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  22. ^ a b
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