roaring lion

8% Of Americans Say They Think They Could Beat A Lion In A Fistfight

There are many ways to demonstrate one’s toughness, but far too many people opt to do so by engaging in a fistfight. Many people have made the error of believing they are capable of defeating anyone in a battle only to discover that they lack the necessary skills. According to a 2021 YouGov survey, a small, but still frighteningly high percentage of Americans believe they could defeat large, fierce, wild animals.


When asked “Which animal do you believe would win in a battle,” respondents were shown seven different match-ups. A staggering 8% of Americans think they could defeat a lion by themselves in a fist battle. The majority of Americans (72%) think they could defeat a rat in combat, which may be possible despite the rodent’s sharp fangs. Some gullible individuals, however, continue to think they can survive against a number of the most terrifying creatures in the Animal Kingdom, including the crocodile and grizzly bear.


Lions Aren’t The Only Apex Predator Americans Think They Can Beat In A Fistfight

Americans lack faith in their capacity to defeat a grizzly bear in combat. Only 6% of people think they can win. Male grizzly bears have a maximum height of 8 feet and a maximum weight of 1,700 pounds. Wesley Larson, a bear scientist and the presenter of the program Tooth and Claw, claims that only 6% of people are aware of the risks they are taking if they take on a grizzly bear in a fistfight.

According to Larson, the fight would be “extremely lopsided.” “Predators have a higher degree of protection thanks to their thick fur, skin, fat layers, and tougher, better-equipped fangs and claws. They are also quicker and stronger. As a result, we lack their offensive and defensive capabilities,” he explained. [2]

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lion walking through grassy area
Image Credits: Unsplash

A gender discrepancy in replies was also noticed in the poll. The biggest disparity may be seen in the percentage of males (61%) who said they were certain they could defeat a dog in a battle without using any weapons. Only 39% of the women polled concurred. Similar degrees of confidence was displayed by men and women while facing up against an elephant, grizzly bear, or rhino.

In contrast, 27% of men believe they could win a fistfight against a king cobra. Men and women are about equally unlikely to believe they could defeat grizzlies, lions, gorillas, and crocodiles in combat, according to the survey’s findings, according to Matthew Smith, Chief of Data Journalism at YouGov. “YouGov data has previously emphasized male cockiness, but they are effectively no gender distinctions in terms of this upper league of opponents,” Smith wrote in the survey’s findings. The survey collected data from 1,224 American people between April 12 and 13, 2021.


The Poll Results Were Astonishing

To find out which animal Americans thought would win in a fistfight, YouGov polled a total of 34 distinct animals. Following that, the pollers gave each animal a rating according to its “win percentage”. This represented how frequently the 1,224 respondents predicted one particular species would triumph over another. With a victory score of 70%, rhinoceroses, elephants, tigers, and grizzly bears did well. There are some favorites on this list because lions, hippos, crocodiles, gorillas, alligators, jaguars, polar bears, and leopards were all in the 60% range.

Indeed, 8% of Americans do think they can defeat lions, but they are not the only animals that people think they can outmatch in a fistfight. Rats, geese, house cats, and mid-sized dogs appear to be quite simple to handle, at least in the respondents’ opinion. Though it is absurd to imagine that 6% of Americans think they could defeat a Grizzly bear, 12% of Americans think they could defeat a wolf, 9% of Americans think they could defeat a crocodile, and 15% of Americans think they could defeat a King Cobra.

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  1. 8% Of Americans Say They Think They Could Beat A Lion In A Fistfight.” Bolde. Team Bolde
  2. A Surprising Number of Americans Think They Could Beat Wild Animals in a Fight.” Newsweek. Robyn White. March 25, 2022.
  3. “Rumble in the jungle: what animals would win in a fight?” YouGov. May 13, 2021