What makes a fighter vicious? In my opinion, being vicious has to do with your fighting style; it’s a combination of how much pain you cause and how much fear you inspire in others.
Here at SciFighting, we’ve compiled a list of ten of the most vicious fighters in mixed martial arts history. Vicious can have slightly different meanings. For the sake of simplicity, in this context, we mean unpleasantly severe.
10) Ronda Rousey
UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey currently has an undefeated professional mixed martial arts record of 7-0. All of her fights have ended in the first round by submission via armbar. She is one of the most aggressive fighters in the sport and her judo throws are just plain scary (which shouldn’t surprise anyone, she’s an Olympic medalist in judo). There’s only one word that accurately describes the deadliness of her armbar: Ouch. Moreover, her armbar is only half as vicious as her attitude.
9) Alistair Overeem
Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion, Dream Heavyweight Champion, and K-1 World Grand Prix Champion are all titles held by Alistair Overeem. With fifteen KO/TKO’s and nineteen submissions under his belt, the “Demolition Man” is without a doubt one of the most vicious fighters on the planet. An offensive fighting style comprised of long range punches, brutal knee strikes, and a guillotine choke that would be admirable even to a Boa Constrictor, give Overeem the privilege of being on our Most Vicious list.
8) Jose Aldo
UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo makes No. 8 on our list due to his uncanny striking skills. Of his twenty three wins, fourteen have been achieved by some form of knockout. When Aldo lands punches, kicks, and knees on his opponents, it’s painful even for the spectator.
7) Fedor Emelianenko
Fedor Emelianenko was without a doubt the greatest heavyweight mixed martial artist of all time. When it came to being well-rounded, he was second to none. Fedor was known to be a nice guy outside of the ring, but his brutal fighting style inside the ring made him one of the most feared fighters in the world. He was arguably the most devastating ground and pounder in mixed martial arts history.
6) Gilber Yvel
Having been moved through numerous foster homes throughout his youth, and even being reportedly beaten with metal pipes by some of his foster parents, Gilbert Yvel grew up to be a very vicious man. A brutal muay thai striker, Yvel was most famous for his flying knee technique, which he was able to pull off due to being an exceptionally explosive athlete.
5) Melvin Manhoef
Coming from a professional kickboxing background, Manhoef is famous for his devastating knockout power. So far in his professional mixed martial arts career, Manhoef has achieved a daunting twenty five wins by some form of knockout; that’s more than Brazilian MMA legend Anderson Silva. He also has twenty seven wins by KO/TKO from his professional kickboxing career.
4) Vitor Belfort
I could give a long description of why you should be scared of getting tangled up in a fight with Vitor Belfort, his unparalleled striking speed, his power, his precision… but there is only one thing you really need to know: so far, Vitor Belfort is the only man on the planet who can say that he has knocked out Dan Henderson.
3) Igor Vovchanchyn
If you’re one of our readers who is too young to know who Igor Vovchanchyn is, please take the time to watch his highlights on YouTube. Igor started fighting in professional mixed martial arts after being a professional kickboxer. He had the perfect striking style to transition into MMA. He was only 5’8, small for a heavyweight, but anything he lacked in size he surely compensated for in almost every other department. Upon his retirement from MMA, he had a staggering twenty nine KO/TKO’s. The man had jackhammers for hands, and he knew how to use them with great efficacy.
2) Rousimar Palhares
Rousimar Palhares is the runner up on our list not because he is the scariest fighter, but because he frequently causes very serious injuries to others, and he does them in a very dishonorable way. Palhares has injured three other fighters during his MMA career by torquing his leglocks too far, even after the referee has signaled for him to let go. He was released from the UFC and banned for life after his submission victory over Mike Pierce at UFC Fight Night 29. He also had an ill-famed reputation for behaving the same way in submission grappling tournaments.
1) Wanderlei Silva
They don’t call him “The Axe Murder” for nothing. Although Wanderlei Silva has fallen on hard times recently, he is still the all time, hands down, scariest, most vicious fighter in mixed martial arts history. With the exception of a unanimous decision loss to Ricardo Arona in 2005, Wanderlei Silva ruled with an iron fist in his division of Pride Fighting Championships for almost six years until being nearly decapitated by Mirko Cro Cop in late 2006. Some of our readers are too young to have seen Silva absolutely demolish people when he was in his prime. Wanderlei punched, kneed, and foot stomped his way to legendary status during his heyday. His stare down alone was enough to make most fighters unwilling to face him.
Who do you guys think are the most vicious fighters in MMA history?