MMA: The Top 5 Most Surprising Falls from Grace in MMA

Andrew MahlmannCorrespondent IApril 13, 2011

MMA: The Top 5 Most Surprising Falls from Grace in MMA

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    The unpredictability in mixed martial arts is one of the things that draws us most to the sport. No one is perfect, and thus no one performs perfectly forever.

    Even granted these facts, some falls from grace still catch us off guard.

    When a top fighter loses in an upset, we at least expect them to bounce back relatively soon.

    Even that does not always happen.

    These are the top 5 most surprising falls from grace.

Honorable Mention

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    Karo Parisyan

    Martin Kampmann

    Dan Hardy

    Brandon Vera

    Andrei Arlovski

    Matt Serra

Todd Duffee

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    Todd Duffee looked like he was going to be the next big thing when he broke the UFC record for "fastest knockout" in his UFC debut.

    Although he looked fine for most of his next bout, Mike Russow knocked him out in the third round in a fantastic come from behind victory.

    Citing a poor attitude, the UFC then unceremoniously dropped Duffee from the organization.

    In his next bout, Duffee decided to take on powerhouse Alistair Overeem who outclassed him and knocked him out in just 19 seconds.

    Duffee went from media darling to outside prospect in less than a year and a half.

Joe Stevenson

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    After losing his UFC lightweight championship bout with BJ Penn, Stevenson was still regarded as one of the top lightweights in the world, and rebounded nicely with a second round guillotine over Gleison Tibau.

    Since then, however, Stevenson has gone earned just two more wins, compared to five losses.

    The last three, of which, are consecutive losses against competition he was favored to beat.

    Stevenson's recent lack of fortunes has been surprising to say the least.

    In an effort to turn his fortunes back around, Stevenson is dropping to featherweight for his next bout and will be taking on Javier Vazquez.

Lyoto Machida

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    When Lyoto Machida knocked out Rashad Evans to win the UFC light heavyweight championship, many proclaimed a new era of dominance had come to rule over the division.

    That notion was dispelled in Machida's first title defense.

    Although Machida won the decision, it was highly controversial and warranted an immediate rematch.

    Machida lost for the first time in his career in the rematch as he was brutally knocked out in the first round.

    Failing to rebound, Machida lost a split-decision to fellow former champion Quinton Jackson in his next bout.

Mike Thomas Brown

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    Mike Thomas Brown TKO'd longtime featherweight champion Urijah Faber, and then looked like he would remain one of the sport's elite with two consecutive title defenses.

    Then Jose Aldo came along and beat down Brown.

    Since that loss Brown has picked up two dominating victories, but also three losses that have knocked him out of the picture at featherweight.

    For a while Mike Brown was ruling with an iron fist, but now he struggles to find relevance coming off of consecutive losses.

Fedor Emelianenko

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    Although marked as huge favorites against Fabricio Werdum and Antonio Silva in his last two bouts, Fedor Emelianenko has fallen to both men.

    After going nearly a decade without suffering a single defeat, Emelianenko was stopped not just once, but twice in a row.

    What made the shock of seeing Fedor's fall from grace even more drastic was the silly claims by a few provocateurs that Emelianenko was overrated.

    Fedor's time as a dominant heavyweight has indeed come to an end, but as anyone knows who has paid attention, he is still the greatest heavyweight fighter to have graced the sport.