Humans are severely underestimated in terms of how powerful we are unarmed. We may not have fur to protect against scratches and bites or claws to slash our enemies, but we are still big powerful apes. One of the most common myths about Gorillas is that they are several times stronger than humans. This is false. No strength tests have ever been done on gorillas. Some people say that gorillas are stronger than chimps and chimps are 4-6 times stronger than humans, therefore gorillas are much stronger than humans. This is also false, Chimpanzees are not 4 to 6 times stronger than humans. The study which lead people to believe that chimps possess superhuman strength was proven wrong in 1943 and again in the 1960s. There is a difference between pound for pound and absolute strength. A chimp's absolute pulling strength is equal to a human's absolute pulling strength.
However, the pushing strength of a human is probably much stronger than the pushing strength of any other primate due to our lifestyles. So, gorillas are probably stronger than humans at pulling but weaker than humans at pushing. Because of this and the Gorillas anatomy, Gorillas (and other primates except for humans) are incapable of hitting hard. Gorillas and other primates mainly fight by pulling and biting, whereas humans have literally evolved to punch. The human fist has evolved for bludgeoning. In fact, the human fist is an extremely underrated weapon. Trained fighters can hit with over a ton of force. Our punches are strong enough to break slabs of concrete, which require 306kg of force to break. There is no doubt that a human punch can injure a gorilla. https://youtu.be/JGyMefPGYrk https://youtu.be/JGyMefPGYrk On top of that, humans have opposable thumbs. A problem when fighting a gorilla is the gorilla's enormous canines. A gorilla's bite force is estimated to be 91kg per cm². If the Gorilla does manage to bite Shaquille O'Neal's arm, it won't break instantly. The human bone can take a remarkable amount of punishment before breaking. But he must act quick because a gorillas bite would eventually snap the bones in Shaquille O'Neal's forearm. As soon as the gorilla bites the Shaquille O'Neal's arm, Shaquille O'Neal must dig his opposable thumbs into the gorillas eyes, making it back off. Another big problem when fighting a gorilla, is the gorillas bodyweight. Most gorillas weigh around 180kg while the heaviest can weigh up to 210kg. Most of them are around 1,40m tall, they rarely reach 1,60m. In incredibly rare cases, gorillas can reach 1,80m. When gorillas fight, they tend to thrust their bodyweight at each other. A gorilla was able to crack the glass at a zoo enclosure by doing this. Shaquille O'Neal must quickly move back and around in circles to prevent getting charged at directly while throwing powerful blows at the same time. This would eventually tire out the gorilla, and one powerful blow could potentially put the gorilla to sleep. Shaquille O'Neal would be moving in circles so he might be exposed to some of the thrusting force but not all of it. Maybe Shaquille O'Neal who are in the same weight class as gorillas is strong enough to stand directly in front of a gorilla and resist the full force of its bodyweight being thrusted forward. Conclusion: Shaquille O'Neal with some MMA skill can beat a fully grown gorilla in a fight without weapons.
A more interesting question is what Shaq would do with the gorilla once he caught it.
Or it caught him.
Shaq is a big fellow and looks friendly. He’s taller than the average gorilla, and almost half as heavy. The problem with fighting a gorilla is where do you hit him? No chin, just really mean teeth. That ripped chest and abdomen aren’t gonna be easy to punch. Tiny ears you can’t tear off, and a bony crest on the top of the head that could withstand a serious pounding by a baseball bat. If you could get close enough. The gorilla’s arms are longer than Shaq’ s legs, and just as strong.
I like Shaq a lot. He’s my favorite pro athlete. But I’d put my money on the gorilla.