Most Prolific Knockout Artists in Pride History
Pride was a major MMA organization based in Japan that ran from 1997 to 2007. During those 10 years they had 68 events, six champions—five different champions—and seven tournaments.
Pride was different from most modern MMA organizations because they allowed kicks and knees to grounded opponents. This made fighters such as Shogun Rua especially dangerous.
Other top fighters in Pride were generally knockout artists. There were a few guys who were submission based, but Pride's biggest stars were the ones that could score vicious knockouts.
Let's check out the most prolific knockout artists in the history of Pride Fighting Championships.
- Fedor Emelianenko
- Alexander Emelianenko
- Mark Hunt
- Mark Coleman
- Kevin Randleman
- Kiyoshi Tamura
- Mario Sperry
- Semmy Schilt
There are eight fighters in Pride history that scored three knockouts, including some of Pride's top fighters. Fedor Emelianenko had 15 fights in Pride and won three by knockout, while his brother, Alexander, scored three knockouts in just eight fights.
Semmy Schilt required the least amount of fights for three knockouts, as he got his in just five fights.
Mark Hunt had eight fights in Pride, going 5-3 overall. His two wins that weren't knockouts were decision victories over Wanderlei Silva and Mirko Cro Cop.
- Alistair Overeem
- Kazushi Sakuraba
- Hayato Sakurai
Alistair Overeem had 14 fights in Pride, mostly fighting at Pride middleweight, which was 205 pounds. Overeem scored all of his Pride knockouts at middleweight.
Kazushi Sakuraba was one of the most experienced fighters in Pride, as he had 27 total fights in the organization. Of those 27 he only scored four knockouts.
Hayato Sakurai had 11 fights in Pride and fought against Takanori Gomi for the first Pride lightweight championship.
- Heath Herring
- James Thompson
These are two of the more surprising names on the list.
Herring is mostly known now for his infamous New Years kiss and for getting beaten up by Brock Lesnar. However, during Herring's career, he had 17 total fights with Pride, scoring five knockouts. He suffered TKO losses to Mirko Cro Cop and Fedor Emelianenko, but he earned a unanimous decision over Igor Vovchanchyn.
James Thompson is probably known these days for his fights with Mariusz Pudzianowski and for his brief fight with Bob Sapp. Thompson did score five knockouts during his seven-fight Pride run, including wins over Don Frye and Giant Silva.
- Gary Goodridge
- Takanori Gomi
Takanori Gomi had 15 fights in his Pride career, earning knockouts in nearly half of them. Gomi was the first and only Pride lightweight champion, a title he won by knocking out Hayato Sakurai. Gomi is still fighting in the UFC today.
Gary Goodridge had both a long MMA career and a long kickboxing career. Goodridge had 47 MMA fights and 38 kickboxing matches. Of Goodridge's MMA fights, he had 19 of them with Pride. Goodridge's most notable knockout was a 39-second victory over Don Frye.
- Quinton "Rampage" Jackson
- Dan Henderson
Two of Pride's top fighters of all time have eight knockouts, although it took Hendo quite a few more fights to get them. Henderson had 28 total fights with Pride, and during that time, he won both the Pride welterweight (183 pounds) and middleweight (205 pounds) titles. He won the Pride middleweight title when he knocked out Wanderlei Silva.
Rampage Jackson was a one-time title challenger in Pride, when he faced off against Wanderlei Silva in the final round of the Pride 2003 Middleweight Grand Prix. Wanderlei won that fight, but Rampage had plenty more fights to score knockouts.
In 17 fights with Pride, Rampage scored knockouts over Kevin Randleman, Chuck Liddell, Ricardo Arona and more.
Mauricio "Shogun" Rua scored nine knockouts in his Pride career, an impressive feat considering he only had 13 fights with the organization.
Rua was known for his soccer kicks and stomps, and he ended three fights with those strikes. Some of the most notable names he knocked out include Alistair Overeem (twice) Quinton Jackson and Ricardo Arona.
Shogun is still fighting today and added another knockout to his resume back in December when he knocked out James Te-Huna.
Igor Vovchanchyn is one of the older names to show up on this list, but if you don't know him, you should.
Vovchanchyn had 27 fights with Pride and scored 10 knockouts during his time with the organization. At one point, he held a 37-fight unbeaten streak that ended in the finals of the 2000 Pride Openweight Grand Prix against Mark Coleman.
Vovchanchyn fought some of the top fighters in Pride, including Coleman, Quinton Jackson and Mirko Cro Cop.
Vovchanchyn retired in 2005 after suffering two straight losses for only the second time in his career. His final MMA record was 55-10 with one no contest.
Everybody knew that Mirko Cro Cop just had to show up here. Cro Cop had 24 fights with Pride and scored 13 knockouts. His overall record with Pride was 18-4-2.
Cro Cop twice fought for the Pride heavyweight title—once for the undisputed title and once for the interim title. Unfortunately he lost the first to Minotauro Nogueira and the second to Fedor.
Cro Cop's high point with Pride came in his final night with the organization, September 10, 2006. That night, he beat Josh Barnett by submission to punches in the final round of the 2006 Pride Openweight Grand Prix.
But that's not all.
Before the fight with Barnett, Cro Cop knocked out Wanderlei Silva with a high kick in just over five minutes. And earlier in the tournament, Cro Cop had also knocked out Ikuhisa Minowa and Hidehiko Yoshida.
Cro Cop also scored knockouts over Mark Coleman and Alexander Emelianenko during his time in Pride.
Wanderlei Silva tops this list. Silva had 28 fights with Pride and scored 15 knockouts. His final record with Pride was 22-4-1 with one no contest.
Silva was the longtime Pride middleweight champion. He won the title by beating Kazushi Sakuraba by TKO, and then he defended it four times.
Silva won his first two defenses against Kiyoshi Tamura and Hiromitsu Kanehara by knockout, and then Silva faced Rampage Jackson for the second time. Silva won their first meeting with a TKO from knees, and he won the second with a knockout from knees.
Silva's fourth title defense was a split decision over Ricardo Arona, then he knocked out Kazuyuki Fujita in the quarterfinal of the 2006 Openweight Grand Prix.
In his next fight he was knocked out by Mirko Cro Cop and eliminated from the Grand Prix. In his next fight after that he was knocked out by Dan Henderson and lost his title.
Those were his last two fights in Pride before signing with the UFC.