Emmanuel Yarbrough: The World’s Heaviest Athlete At 704 Pounds

The Guinness Book of World Records recognized Emmanuel Yarbrough as the world’s heaviest athlete.

There are only few that can say that have been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records. In 2012, Emmanuel Yarbrough joined this prestigious list.

Yarbrough is an athlete that was always known for his incredible size growing up. This culminated when he was recognized as the world’s heaviest athlete. At 6-foot-8 and 704 pounds, there was no bigger athlete on the planet.

Emmanuel Yarbrough was an amateur sumo wrestler who also competed in MMA, wrestling, and college football during his time at Morgan State — where he was also a two-time All-American Division II wrestler. After college, Yarbrough trained in judo and began competing as a sumo wrestler.

In 1992 and 1994, Yarbrough won silver medals in the Sumo World Championships. He added a bronze medal in 1993. Moving forward in his career, Yarbrough increased his weight to 828 pounds and this is when he was awarded as the heaviest athlete. Yarbrough quickly became the World Amateur Sumo Champion and was one of the most famous sumos outside Japan.


In 1994, Yarbrough appeared in UFC 3 beginning his journey in mix-martial arts. He was a big name and well-known figure that was used in promotions leading up to the event. Yarbrough did not see much success as an MMA pro, finishing just 2-4 in his career. Yarbrough added professional wrestling to his ledger once he was done as an MMA fighter.

It is no surprise that Yarbrough also appeared on the big screen. He had a certain flare for acting and it was because of his bright personality. In 1997, he appeared in a Bollywood film entitled Mr. and Mrs. Khiladi. He was also on several talk shows and a commercial for Motorola. This was followed by cameo appearances on other shows and commercials.

In 2015, Yarbrough suffered a heart attack and died at the age of 51. Born in Rahway, NJ, Yarbrough is remembered as a fan friendly personality and figure that found success in many avenues. He is known for his incredible size but brought much more to the table than that.

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Greg Patuto
Greg has covered the four major sports for six years and has been featured on sites such as Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, SB Nation, NJ.com, and FanSided. Now, he is transitioning into the world of bodybuilding and strength sports.