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09-23-2007, 07:45 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Originally Posted by Diegonightmare
We all know 2007 has been the Twilight Zone for MMA, with big to colossal upsets nearly every month.
I've compiled what I think most will agree are the top 10 upsets of 2007, as follows (they are listed chronologically): 2/24/07 - Nick Diaz def. Takanori Gomi - submission (gogoplata) 1:46 into round 2
2/24/07 - Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou def. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira - KO 0:23 into round 1
3/3/07 - Randy Couture def. Tim Sylvia - unanimous 5 round decision
4/7/07 - Matt Serra def. Georges St. Pierre - TKO, 3:25 into round 1
4/8/07 - Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou def. Ricardo Arona - KO 1:59 into round 1
4/21/07 - Gabriel Gonzaga def. Mirko Cro Cop - KO (head kick) 4:51 into round 1
8/25/07 - Randy Couture def. Gabriel Gonzaga - TKO 1:37 into round 3
9/8/07 - Cheick Kongo def. Mirko Cro Cop - unanimous 3 round decision
9/22/07 - Forrest Griffin def. Mauricio Shogun Rua - submission (RNC) 4:45 into round 3
9/22/07 - Keith Jardine def. Chuck Liddell - split 3 round decision
Now, the hard part is to rank them in order of most surprising/most shocking.
Take into account style, relative age (mostly a factor with Couture), method of finishing, how far into the fight it got, how much of a favorite you feel the loser was, the recent history of the winner and loser, whatever else.
I'm finding it very tough to do. Hell, a lot of people disagree with my #1 and have Gonzaga over Cro Cop as their #1. When you can't even reach general consensus at #1, you know #s 2-10 won't be easy
I've tried to rank them in a logical way. I can see arguments for changing just about every one of my picks, although I am relatively comfortable with my top 4.
I'm interested to see how you all have it. Here is my ranking, with #1 being most surprising/shocking/biggest upset.
10 Sokoudjou over Arona
9 Couture over Gonzaga
8 Jardine over Liddell
7 Couture over Sylvia
6 Kongo over Cro Cop
5 Sokoudjou over Little Nog
4 Diaz over Gomi
3 Griffin over Shogun
2 Gonzaga over Cro Cop
1 Serra over GSP
I agree with you number one and two pics: Serra vs GSP was the biggest upset of the yr by far, followed by Gonzaga over Crocop, however, though I did expect Shogun to beat Griffin, I was not as surprised by it as most; Griffin has been steadily improving and fighting smarter fights in his last few performances. I don't think the Shogun Griffin fight should be top five but definitely top ten.
09-23-2007, 08:41 PM
Join Date: May 2007
I'd Give the Griffin submission win over Shogun as the top upset IMO. Nobody gave Griffin a snowball's chance in hell to win that fight, because he was up against (at the time) "arguably" the best LHW in the world, and he DOMINATED Shogun. Sure, the argument of whwther or not the UFC rules affected Shogun, bottom line is the underdog won.
The Serra/GSP fight IMO is easily the runner up, seeing as how Serra had nothing to lose, and GSP had everything TO lose, mainly his belt, but also his pride. I think GSP's mental game wasn't as strong enough as him being champ, and I think the pressure to be the best got to him a little bit. Serra looked like a man who wasn't leaving the Honda Centre without the belt, and GSP looked as if he just wanted to get the fight over with.
09-23-2007, 08:49 PM
Join Date: May 2007
And, btw, how come nobody talks about the Keith Jardine thrashing by Houston Alexander? Jardine was coming into that fight with a wave of momentum after he KTFO'ed Forrest griffin at UFC 66, and Alexander was a newcomer with little to no fan base, and all of a sudden, we see Jardine's eyes in the back of his bald head, up against the fence trying to survive, with a fucking beast just pummelling the holy hell outta him. I would easily say that's an upset, because the way things are looking now, both Alexander and Griffin are on a collision course and the fight will prolly go down at UFC 81, with the winner presumebly either fighting Wanderlei or fighting for the LHW title.
The Gonzaga knock out of Cro Cop was definitely unexpected, but when you think about it, what did Gonzaga do after that? He got busted open at the hands of Couture, which is why I'm saying it should be maybe #4 or 5. The Alexander knockout was followed by the pounding of Alessio Sakara at UFC 75, so I think that one should be in the top 3 as far as surprises go.
12-31-2007, 03:43 PM
Status: I love MMA
Join Date: Dec 2006
Gerbasi weighs in on the topic in the year of huge upsets:
Ten Best – The Biggest Upsets of 2007
By Thomas Gerbasi
If there was one sure thing in the UFC in 2007, it was that a favorite was never safe once the bell rang. From Chuck Liddell and Georges St-Pierre to Mirko Cro Cop and ‘Shogun’ Rua, the upset bug bit hard and often in the past 12 months, so what better way to kick off the unofficial awards of 2007 than with the biggest upsets of the year?
10 (tie) - UFC 69 – April 7 - Yushin Okami W3 Mike Swick
In hindsight, this doesn’t seem as that big of an upset, but at the time, Swick was running through the middleweight division with extreme prejudice and Okami only had wins over up and comers Alan Belcher, Kalib Starnes, and Rory Singer in the UFC to brag about. But Okami spoiled Swick’s Texas homecoming with a clear-cut win that was so physically dominant that Swick dropped to 170 pounds after the fight.
10 (tie) – UFC 69 – April 7 - Josh Koscheck W3 Diego Sanchez
With Sanchez unbeaten and fresh off a 2006 that saw him beat Karo Parisyan, John Alessio, and Joe Riggs, a title shot was going to be a formality if he got by the man he beat on season one of The Ultimate Fighter, Koscheck. But Koscheck was burning for redemption and he had the gameplan to win, which he did by executing perfectly and surprisingly standing throughout much of the fight, befuddling the now 19-1 Sanchez.
9 – UFC 68 – March 3 - Randy Couture W5 Tim Sylvia
Sure, it was Randy Couture, but after the former heavyweight and light heavyweight champion’s yearlong layoff, finding someone to pick ‘The Natural’ to beat the 6 foot 8 Sylvia was near impossible. But he pulled off yet another miracle in winning a shutout five round decision, delighting a packed house at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, in the process.
8 – UFC 75 – September 8 - Cheick Kongo W3 Mirko Cro Cop
By this time in 2007, Cro Cop was expected to be spending his nights polishing his new championship belt, not fighting Kongo on the comeback trail. But that was the case in London and Kongo surprised many with his ground game in nullifying a listless Cro Cop en route to a three round decision win.
7 – UFC 76 – September 22 - Keith Jardine W3 Chuck Liddell
Before UFC 71, Liddell was the most dominant light heavyweight in the world, and Jardine was coming off a stoppage of Forrest Griffin and apparently a couple of wins away from a title shot. What a difference a night makes, but even after Liddell lost to Quinton Jackson, he was still expected to make short work of Jardine, who was annihilated by Houston Alexander. But with a disciplined game plan and some hellacious kicks, Jardine put Liddell’s career on ice for the moment with a three round split decision win.
6 - UFC 71 - May 26 – Quinton Jackson TKO1 Chuck Liddell
Maybe this isn’t the best pick, considering Jackson’s pedigree as a fighter and his previous victory over Liddell in PRIDE. But to the casual fan or the person drawn to UFC 71 because of all the pre-fight hoopla - which included a Sports Illustrated cover and Liddell on the cover of ESPN magazine and in HBO’s Entourage – Jackson’s first round stoppage of Liddell may very well have been the upset of the century. To my eyes, the upset here has to do with the way Rampage ended the fight – with a single right to the jaw in the first round followed up by a couple of ground strikes. We’ve never seen Liddell go out like that, and it shocked many in the fight game. But what it also did was excite the MMA fanbase for the reign of the new king, Quinton Jackson.
5 - UFC 71 - May 26 – Houston Alexander TKO1 Keith Jardine
Practically no one knew who Houston Alexander was when he stepped into the Octagon against Jardine at UFC 71 other than the fact that he was a radio DJ on the side, and a father of six. But everyone knew who he was after his 48 second blitz of the highly-regarded Jardine, who was bludgeoned into defeat with a high-impact assault that electrified the packed house at the MGM Grand. And after that fight, everyone wanted to see ‘The Assassin’ fight again.
4- UFC Fight Night – January 25 – Jake O’Brien W3 Heath Herring
/>No, it wasn’t the most compelling fight you’ll ever see, but in terms of having a gameplan, sticking to it, and executing it flawlessly, Jake O’Brien was spectacular in defusing the attack of PRIDE and K-1 star Heath Herring, who came to the Octagon with plenty of fanfare, but who instead was soundly outpointed by O’Brien, a veteran of only 10 pro fights.
3 - UFC 70 – April 21 – Gabriel Gonzaga KO1 Mirko ‘Cro Cop’
Sure, Gonzaga was an underdog against the feared Croatian striker, but there were more than a few people (including UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture) who figured the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt had the right stuff to beat Cro Cop – on the ground. Beating Cro Cop with a single kick to the head? Those are the kinds of odds that wouldn’t even show up in Vegas. But Gonzaga pulled it off, earning himself a shot at Couture’s crown and a permanent spot in UFC highlight reels.
2 – UFC 76 – September 22 - Forrest Griffin WSub3 Mauricio Rua
No one thought Griffin was going to lie down and take a beating from the high-profile PRIDE import when they met in Anaheim. Griffin was going to show up, be competitive, swing for the fences, and eventually get put away by ‘Shogun’ – at least that’s what the Hollywood script called for. Griffin didn’t get the memo though, and he not only beat Rua, he dominated him, putting the icing on the cake with a submission in the final minute to cap the upset victory.
1 - UFC 69 – April 7 - Matt Serra TKO1 Georges St-Pierre
2007 was the year of the upset, but when it came to a fighter who was given virtually no chance to take down a champion expected to reign atop his division for as long as he chose to, Serra’s stoppage of GSP took the cake. And in the great scheme of things, it was nice to see a longtime vet like Serra finally get his just due and for the rest of the world to see the personality of someone we’ve been covering here on the east coast for years. Will he get by St-Pierre in their 2008 rematch? Who knows, but one thing’s for sure, we won’t be counting him out.
Source: UFC® : Ultimate Fighting Championship®
As with any good sports list, there's enough there to agree with and enough to disagree with.
First of all, obviously this is only UFC upsets, so Diaz over Gomi (even though it was later ruled an NC) and Sokoudjou over Arona or Nog (or any fight in any other major org) are not in the running.
By and large Gerbasi's list conforms to mine; not identically but similarly. But two points on which I disagree with him are the inclusion of Rampage over Chuck and Koscheck over Diego.
Rampage had already beaten Chuck's ass in PRIDE and, while I believed prior to the fight that Chuck would come back better prepared and more focused and take his revenge, I don't see how any educated MMA fan would consider Rampage over Chuck an upset, much less #6 of the year
Also, much as I hate to admit it, Koscheck was evenly matched with Diego and had solid chances to win, although I will say I was surprised in the way it went down, with Koscheck choosing to keep it on the feet and just outboxing Diego. I thought Koscheck would take Diego down routinely and LnP. At least Gerbasi had the sense to have that fight as tied for 10th, which, since this is only UFC fights, is not really out of hand.
He has Houston Alexander over Jardine on this list (and at #5!), which differs from the lists of most. Houston certainly came out of nowhere and obliterated Jardine in the most electrifying fight this side of PRIDE-debut Sokoudjou, but it's not like Jardine was such a ranked or titled figure that the result was a headline-making upset. Houston's was one of the most evocative stories of 2007, but the fights themselves were not sufficiently "upsetting" to rank highly against the backdrop of spectacular results that comprised the Year of the Upset.
Jackson's Submission Fighting (est. 2000)
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