Ever wondered which athletes pack the heaviest punch? Is it the physically imposing rugby player or the more slight boxer?

Can a footballer nicknamed “The Beast” throw harder leather than a UFC champion?

In an effort to put this matter to bed, five sports stars from MMA, rugby, football and boxing came together to put their strength to the test.

Antonio Nogueira throwing a punch
(EA Sports)

British boxer George Groves, England rugby legend Nick Easter, UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold, former UFC heavyweight champion Antonio Nogueira and footballer Bayo Akinfenwa were the men who rose to the challenge, which had been extended by EA Sports on the day UFC 2 was released in stores.

Here is how they got on.

Technology from Strike Research measured the colossal impact of the athletes’ punches and kicks, comparing both their power and speed.

Unfortunately for the Brits, it was the American UFC middleweight champion who came out on top, clocking up the highest score ever recorded – 99,637.

Not far behind was super middleweight contender Groves, who recorded a respectable 70,770.

A graphic showing which athletes punched the hardest.
(EA Sports)

It was far from an embarrassing day in the office for footballers and rugby players, however, as both Easter and Akinfenwa hit scores that would be expected of heavyweight boxers.

Strike Research chairman Kevin Franklin said of Luke Rockhold’s record-breaking punch: “Luke’s score is the biggest straight punch we have ever recorded.

“We examined his punches and the staggering scores come as a result of fantastic technique and lightning speed twinned with near perfect accuracy and single pointed focus on impact.

“Heavyweight boxers tend to be punching at around 70,000 so a score of nearly 100,000 is nothing short of phenomenal.”