Best Fighting Pokemon: Fire Red/Leaf Green

Fighting type Pokemon typically have strong attacks and their moves are super effective against a nice range of other types. Hitmonlee is the best Fighting Pokemon in Fire Red/Leaf Green, but Heracross, Machamp, Poliwrath and Primeape are worth checking out, too.

The best Fighting Pokemon in Fire Red/Leaf Green

It’s fast, it’s strong, and it’s pretty easy to obtain. Those are just a few of the reasons why Hitmonlee is the best Fighting Pokemon in Fire Red/Leaf Green. Read on to find out more about Hitmonlee and the other top Fighting types.


Screenshot of player obtaining Hitmonlee, the best Fighting Pokemon in Fire Red/Leaf Green

Hitmonlee is certainly not the best looking Pokemon I’ve ever seen but, as they say, you shouldn’t always judge a book by its cover. Hitmonlee – the ‘Kicking’ Pokemon – is immune to paralysis thanks to its Limber ability.  

Hitmonlee base stats (Fire Red/Leaf Green)

Hitmonlee’s base stat total is 455:

  • HP: 50
  • Attack: 120
  • Defense: 53
  • Sp. Attack: 35
  • Sp. Defense: 110
  • Speed: 87

With beneficial nature plus EVs and IVs, Hitmonlee’s max base stat total at level 100 is 1736.

Best Hitmonlee Fire Red/Leaf Green moveset

Hitmonlee has access to quite a nice selection of moves through learning, TM, HM, or move tutor. The best Hitmonlee movesets should obviously focus on that chunky attack stat

With 100 accuracy plus same type attack bonus (STAB) I think Brick Break is an obvious choice. Hi Jump Kick with STAB also deals serious damage – enough to be worth the risk of self inflicting some damage if it misses.

Mega Kick is incredibly powerful when it connects, and you could round out a heavy hitting moveset with a big Ground move like Earthquake.

Another option would be to pair Endure with STAB Reversal. With a +3 priority and Hitmonlee’s decent speed stat, you’re likely to be able to move first with Endure. 

That means you’ll definitely survive any attacks in that turn with at least 1 HP, meaning STAB Reversal will be lethal (the weaker the user is, the harder Reversal hits).

What is Hitmonlee strong against?

Hitmonlee is going to be a great option if your style is offensive

Its decent speed and fearsome attack stat means slow Pokemon with natural weaknesses against Fighting type moves (Normal, Ice, Rock, Dark, Steel) will get chewed up. 

What is Hitmonlee weak against?

Don’t go running into a fight against Poison, Flying, Psychic, or Fairy Pokemon with Hitmonlee. Doing so with its low HP and natural weakness to these types is just asking for a one hit KO. 

Fighting moves also have no effect on Ghost type Pokemon, so make sure you have some non-Fighting (and non-Normal) moves in your moveset if you’re planning to use Hitmonlee against Ghost types. 

Hitmonchan or Hitmonlee?

Whether you choose to use Hitmonlee or Hitmonchan in FireRed/LeafGreen depends mostly on your style of play. 

If you like all out attack, then go for Hitmonlee because it is faster and has a considerably higher attack stat. 

Hitmonchan, on the other hand, can learn the elemental punches and might last a little longer in battle than Hitmonlee thanks to a better defense.

Where to find Hitmonlee in Fire Red/Leaf Green

Head to the Fighting Dojo in Saffron City. Make your way through the gym and defeat the Karate Master (a strong Psychic type Pokemon will make light work of the Fighting types you will come up against). 

After defeating the Karate Master, you’ll get to choose whether to take a Hitmonlee or a Hitmonchan as your prize.

Other strong Fighting Pokemon in Fire Red/Leaf Green

There aren’t as many Fighting type Pokemon to pick from in Fire Red/Leaf Green as there are with some of the other types. However, there are definitely some other good Ground options if you don’t like Hitmonlee. Read on below to find out more:


Screenshot of Heracross in Pokemon Fire Red

Heracross is a beast of a Fighting Pokemon but, seeing as you can only obtain one after defeating the Elite 4, it seemed a little unfair to put it top of this list. 

Heracross is the ‘Single Horn’ Pokemon which has a couple of nice abilities including Guts (increases attack if affected by a status problem).

Heracross base stats (Fire Red/Leaf Green)

Heracross’s base stat total is 500:

  • HP: 80
  • Attack: 125
  • Defense: 75
  • Sp. Attack: 40
  • Sp. Defense: 95
  • Speed: 85

With beneficial nature plus EVs and IVs, Heracross’s max base stat total at level 100 is 1828.

Best Heracross Fire Red/Leaf Green moveset

The combination of Endure and (STAB) Reversal would work well with Heracross. It’s a fast, strong Pokemon so will be able to get in the high priority Endure first and then lash out with a high damage Reversal if low on health.

Earthquake is a handy move as always, but if you want some added flexibility against Flying type Pokemon you might consider dropping it for Rock Slide

Megahorn is a super powerful move that also gets a STAB bonus with Heracross. It should definitely be in your moveset.

What is Heracross strong against?

Heracross can deal some scary damage against Normal, Ice, Rock, Dark, and Steel Pokemon that are naturally weak against Fighting type moves. 

Heracross is also Bug type and that gives it an advantage over Dark and Grass type Pokemon, as well as access to moves that are effective against Psychic.

What is Heracross weak against?

Heracross’ biggest drawback is its x4 weakness against Flying Pokemon.

It will also struggle against Fire, Fairy and Psychic types (although as mentioned above, Bug moves like Megahorn will at least be some help against Psychic).

Where to find Heracross in Fire Red/Leaf Green

You can only get a Heracross after you have beaten the Elite 4

Doing that (and owning 60 Pokemon and getting the Sapphire for Celio to get a Rainbow Pass) will give you access to the rest of the Sevii Islands, where you can find Heracross in the wild on Island 6


Screenshot of Machoke evolving into Machamp Pokemon Fire Red Leaf Green

Another Fighting Pokemon that may well have been higher up this list if it was a little easier to obtain. Its 130 attack stat makes it more powerful than the other four options on this list.

Machamp base stats (Fire Red/Leaf Green)

Machamp’s base stat total is 505:

  • HP: 90
  • Attack: 130
  • Defense: 80
  • Sp. Attack: 65
  • Sp. Defense: 85
  • Speed: 55

With beneficial nature plus EVs and IVs, Machamp’s max base stat total at level 100 is 1837.

Best Machamp Fire Red/Leaf Green moveset

Machamp has reasonable HP for a Fighting Pokemon, so Bulk Up is a worthwhile selection. You’ll probably have to absorb a hit when you use it, but the upside is an increased attack and defense. 

Brick Break with STAB is a go to for Machamp and Rock Slide or Earthquake would both be good choices for another high power physical move.

For the final spot in the moveset, consider something like Counter. Counter enables Machamp to strike an opponent back with x2 power and is a viable choice thanks to Machamp’s decent HP.

What is Machamp strong against?

Machamp has a big attack stat so look to target any opponents with poor physical defense

Machamp will have a party against any Dark Pokemon you might come across in the post-game – it’s super effective against Dark (and Dark is also only x0.5 effective against Fighting).

Its Fighting type moves are also super effective against Normal, Ice, Rock and Steel Pokemon.

What is Machamp weak against?

Machamp is slow and so is unlikely to move first as often as others. It does have decent HP and OK defense, but the 55 speed stat does leave it vulnerable

Flying types, which are generally much faster, will cause particular problems for Machamp, and Psychic and Fairy are also x2 effective. 

Where to find Machamp in Fire Red/Leaf Green

Machamp would be higher up this list, and arguably in the top spot, if it weren’t for the fact that the only way you can get one in Fire Red/Leaf Green is by trading a Machoke.

If you’re able to trade with a link cable or an emulator that supports this, great. Just catch a Machop in Rock Tunnel early on in the game and level that little dude up until it evolves into a Machoke (level 28) which you can then trade.


Screenshot of Poliwhirl evolving intol Poliwrath in Pokemon Fire Red Leaf Green

What cute little Pokemons Poliwag and Poliwhirl are! And what a mean looking thing Poliwrath is! It’s known as the ‘Tadpole’ Pokemon but I’ve never seen a tadpole with fists that big. 

Poliwrath is a good all rounder in comparison to the more specialized Fighting Pokemon above it on this list.

Poliwrath base stats (Fire Red/Leaf Green)

Poliwrath’s base stat total is 500:

  • HP: 90
  • Attack: 85
  • Defense: 95
  • Sp. Attack: 70
  • Sp. Defense: 90
  • Speed: 70

With beneficial nature plus EVs and IVs, Poliwrath’s max base stat total at level 100 is 1848.

Best Poliwrath Fire Red/Leaf Green moveset

All of Poliwrath’s base stats are within 20 points of each other – it’s a well rounded option that can be molded quite nicely to your desired tactic.

Poliwrath is a dual Water/Fighting type Pokemon so we can use both Brick Break and Waterfall with STAB goodness.

However, as Brick Break can be learned by a lot of other Pokemon, it might make more sense to save it for something else and fill the space with something less common: STAB Submission would be my choice. 

Surf is a no brainer and you could do worse than including Blizzard for more powerful coverage.

What is Poliwrath strong against?

Poliwrath has quite broad natural defenses, with the following move types all only dealing x0.5 damage: Fire, Water, Ice, Bug, Rock, Dark, Steel.

Its water moves are also super effective against Fire and Rock as well as Ground type Pokemon, while Fighting moves do the business against Ice, Rock, Dark, and Steel as well as Normal

What is Poliwrath weak against?

Don’t even bother trying to use Poliwhirl against Electric type Pokemon, or Grass, Flying, Psychic or Fairy

Where to find Poliwrath in Fire Red/Leaf Green

Poliwrath evolves from Poliwhirl, which itself evolves from Poliwag. A Good Rod is good enough to hook a Poliwag in various different locations.

To evolve a Poliwhirl into a Poliwrath, you need to use a Water Stone on Poliwhirl.

You can buy the Water Stone in Celadon City on the 4th floor of the Celadon Department Store. 

Poliwrath also made the cut in my article on the best Water Pokemon in Fire Red/Leaf Green.


Screenshot of Primeape Pokedex entry on Pokemon Fire Red Leaf Green

I’m not actually the world’s biggest Primeape fan but, well, there aren’t that many really good Fighting Pokemon in FireRed/LeafGreen so I’m giving it a chance to prove me wrong. 

Primeape is known as the ‘Pig Monkey’ Pokemon and won’t be winning beauty pageants any time soon (but it could win you a Pokemon battle or two). 

Primeape base stats (Fire Red/Leaf Green)

Primeape’s base stat total is 455:

  • HP: 65
  • Attack: 105
  • Defense: 60
  • Sp. Attack: 60
  • Sp. Defense: 70
  • Speed: 95

With beneficial nature plus EVs and IVs, Primeape’s max base stat total at level 100 is 1732.

Best Primeape Fire Red/Leaf Green moveset

Primeape’s biggest advantages are its speed and attack and its less than stellar HP means an aggressive strategy is probably best.

Primeape learns Seismic Toss at level 36. This move’s power is equal to the Pokemon’s level, so while it’s not great at lower levels, it’s a very strong STAB move (with 100 accuracy) for a high level Primeape.

Brick Break is another STAB move option and you can always go for old faithful, Earthquake, for a little broader impact.

Head to the move tutor on Four Island and you can teach Body Slam to Primeape: A great post game option.

It’s probably worth having Bulk Up in your moveset to further enhance that attack stat and give some padding to Primeape’s defense. 

What is Primeape strong against?

Primeape can pack a mean punch with the right moveset and its STAB Fighting moves are particularly effective against Normal, Ice, Rock, Dark and Steel Pokemon.

Pokemon with low defense stats will struggle, especially as Primeape’s speed means it is more likely to move first than some other strong Fighting Pokemon.

What is Primeape weak against?

Flying, Psychic and Fairy are super effective against Fighting type and are themselves only x0.5 affected by Fighting moves.

If you rely too heavily on Fighting moves then Ghost types will also cause you problems with Primeape as Fighting moves have no effect on Ghost. 

Where to find Primeape in Fire Red/Leaf Green

You’ll need at least six badges to get to the area on Victory Road where Primeape is found in the wild. 

To get Primeape earlier in the game, catch a Mankey in the long grass on Route 22 if you head west from Viridian City. You can then evolve it into Primeape. 

Best Fighting Pokemon: Fire Red/Leaf Green – Conclusion

Fighting Pokemon are useful in certain situations and in those situations you’ll want to use Hitmonlee if possible. Otherwise, the best options are:

  • Heracross
  • Machamp
  • Poliwrath
  • Primeape

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