ANSWER: While we would much prefer that people focus their thoughts on saving these magnificent animals than on who would win if a lion and tiger fight, the power of these two largest cats seems to raise this question in people’s minds. While it would depend on the size, age and aggressiveness of the specific animals involved, generally tigers have a significant advantage. On average tigers are larger, but more importantly they are more capable of fighting standing on their hind legs. Some people have argued that the male lion’s mane offers some advantage in protecting his neck, but this is disputed. Some reports claim that when lions and tigers were pitted against each other in the Coliseum in ancient Rome, the tigers always won. In recent centuries there are almost no opportunities for tigers and lions to cross paths in the wild because tigers are found in Asia while Lions are found in Africa except for a very small population in one area in Asia.
Our white tiger Zabu lives with her male lion companion Cameron at Big Cat Rescue. They get along well, but part of their play simulates fighting. These two were saved from being bred to create ligers.