The answer everyone has been waiting for is here. After news broke on July 25, 2021, that 2017 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) champion Eddie Hall had to withdraw from “The Heaviest Boxing Match in History” against 2018 WSM champion Hafthor Björnsson due to suffering a torn biceps, the question loomed — who would Björnsson fight in the United Arab Emirates?
On Aug. 16, 2021, it was announced by Matt Rhodes, on his Instagram page and YouTube channel that Canadian Arm Wrestler Devon “No Limits” Larratt will step into the squared circle against “The Mountain” in Dubai on Sept. 18, 2021. BarBend confirmed Larratt is Hall’s replacement with CoreSports Founder and CEO Don Idrees, who deemed the bout a “Crossover sports fight night.”
One of the strongman G.O.A.T.s against an arm-wrestling G.O.A.T.
In Idrees’s view, pitting any two strongmen against each other not named Eddie Hall and Hafthor Björnsson “doesn’t make sense.”
The 46-year-old Larratt is a heavyweight arm wrestler with a professional record of 53 wins and eight losses across his 61 bouts since his competitive debut against Krister Jonsson in 1999. According to his biography for the World Arm Wrestling League, Larratt considers arm wrestling a “miniature martial art…it’s combative strength.” It appeals to Larratt because he “can really go hard at a guy…if you like aggression — if you like fighting.”
Björnsson vs. Larratt — Tale of the Tape
On paper, Björnsson has the edge. He is four inches taller, over 50 pounds heavier, and 14 years younger. However, one could argue Larratt has more experience in a head-to-head environment due to his arm wrestling career. Björnsson’s experience in the ring thus far consists of a pair of exhibition fights against Steven Ward and Simon Vallily.
The Björnsson vs. Larratt bout will be six three-minute rounds with 12-ounce gloves.
Hafthor “The Mountain” Björnsson
- Height — Six-foot, nine inches
- Weight — 156 kilograms (344 pounds)
- Age — 32
- Athletic History — Strongman
Devon “No Limits” Larratt
- Height — Six-foot, five inches
- Weight — 132.9 kilograms (293 pounds)
- Age — 46
- Athletic History —Arm Wrestler
Larratt and Björnsson are not strangers. Larratt posted a photo of himself embracing a smiling Björnsson on May 26, 2021 — two days prior to the retired strongman’s exhibition bout against Vallily. Larratt commented that Björnsson was in “fantastic shape” and that it was “amazing to watch [Björnsson] getting ready for the biggest fight ever!”
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One day before the Björnsson vs. Larratt bout is the World’s Ultimate Strongman contest, which will also feature a strongwoman competition for the first time in the contest’s history. The undercard for the bout will feature CrossFit Games veterans Josh Bridges vs. Jacob Heppner and powerlifter Stefi Cohen vs. Avril Mathie.
Feature Image: Matt Rhodes YouTube channel.