Fedor Vs. Silva Results: Antonio Silva and The 10 Biggest Giant Killers in MMA
You may have heard a little something about last night's Strikeforce fight card, during which Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva upended MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko after a doctor's stoppage.
The win certainly recommends the giant killer title for the giant Silva.
But who else is on the list? Here are my suggestions, submitted for your consideration.
10. Keith Hackney
No better way to start off the list than with "The Giant Killer" himself.
The mulleted martial artist gained fleeting fame in 1994 after landing approximately 70 million unanswered strikes on Emmanuel Yarborough for a TKO victory at UFC 3.
In Yarborough's defense, though, he was a little sluggish after having eaten Jabba the Hut the previous evening.
9. Keith Jardine
People were willing to overlook Chuck Liddell's 2006 loss to Quinton Jackson, but when The Iceman dropped a split decision to The Dean of Mean in 2007, it was an unequivocal shocker.
Jardine also stopped the runaway Forrest Griffin hype train the previous year with a first-round TKO, and narrowly missed upsetting Jackson in 2009. It was never the big fights that bothered Jardine; rather, it was the winnable fights that he frittered away.
8. Frank Mir
Maybe the fighter on this list who comes closest to fulfilling its literal definition, Mir tamed the beast that is Brock Lesnar when Lesnar was a raw but extremely imposing force.
In addition, he pulled upsets on Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in 2008 and Tim Sylvia in 2004 to win the UFC heavyweight title. (Who could forget the Arm Snap Heard Round The World?)
7. Antonio Silva
The win over Fedor was not the first time Big Foot toppled a more decorated foe. Less than a year ago, he upended a fading but still dangerous Andrei Arlovski in St. Louis.
If the 16-2 Silva keeps going at this pace, though, before too long he'll become the giant in this equation, figuratively as well as literally.
6. Kazuyuki Fujita
Fujita made a name for himself in 2000 by handing Mark Kerr, one of the most highly regarded fighters of that era, his first loss in MMA. Also in 2000, Fujita upset Ken Shamrock, and that was back when The World's Most Dangerous Man was still at least a somewhat non-whimsical nickname.
5. Matt Serra
To my mind, a giant killer is generally defined as one who repeatedly fells more highly regarded opponents, as opposed to someone who pulls a fluky upset win.
Nevertheless, Serra cracks the top 10 as an exception due to the sheer overwhelming nature of his underdogness.
His 2007 upset of welterweight kingpin Georges St. Pierre still ranks as one of the biggest of all time, and he earned the shot only after grinding out a win on a season of The Ultimate Fighter that was dedicated, in essence, to washed-up guys looking for one last shot at the big time.
Given this and his long journeyman's career, in some respects Serra's giant is the sport itself.
4. Forrest Griffin
Griffin makes the list for parlaying his shocking upset of Shogun Rua into another stunner--outpointing Rampage Jackson for the light heavyweight belt.
3. Fabricio Werdum
His submission win over Emelianenko last year set the MMA world on fire. But it wasn't his first time turning the tables on a favored opponent.
A 2008 win over then-phenom Brandon Vera and a 2006 takedown of Alistair Overeem also make good line items on Werdum's giant-killer's resume.
2. Randy Couture
Despite Couture's undeniable track record, no one gave him a chance against the more powerful Chuck Liddell or the more, uh, girthful Tim Sylvia.
Just take a look at who is still in the UFC today -- at age 46 -- for the proof of who ultimately won the clash among those titans.
1. B.J. Penn
Like Mir earlier on this list, The Prodigy has literally conquered some giants in his time. He moved up two weight classes to take on and defeat Rodrigo and Renzo Gracie in 2004 and 2005, respectively. Penn also went the distance with, though ultimately lost to, Lyoto Machida, who outweighed him in their fight by about 30 pounds.
Penn tops the list for his ability to take on and defeat larger opponents, but more so for his ability to chop down the largest trees in his own neck of the woods.
When they fought in 2004, welterweight champion Matt Hughes was seen as unbeatable. That didn't stop a relatively green and unproven Penn from choking Hughes out in the first round. He also pulverized Hughes in their rubber match just a few months ago.
And this is to say nothing of his long runs atop the UFC's lightweight division. Then again, B.J. typically has to venture outside his own weight class to find himself in an underdog situation. But that role seems to suit The Prodigy just fine.