With Christmas only a few days away, which would signal we are nearing this years end. I thought it would be a great idea to reflect on the years biggest upsets in MMA. I spent a bit of time researching and gathering certain details while compile my personal picks for a top 10 list of the most shocking and upsetting moments of the 2009 MMA season.

Starting from bottom and working my way up to the number one most upsetting:

10. Karo Parysian: Nov 19, 2009 UFC 106

Karo Parysian earns himself a permanent ban from the UFC, for pulling out of a scheduled fight the day of the actual fight. It was not his first time doing it, in fact he has a short track record of coming up lame on very short notice for scheduled fights. However this last one takes the cake as he had no real legitimate reason for backing out. You can read our article here for more details.

9. Joe Warren Vs Kid Yamamoto: May 26, 2009 Dream 9

Joe Warren was definitely not the favorite going into this fight, yet somehow he was able to mix it up well with popular fighter Kid Yamamoto and eek out a victory via split decision.

8. Brett Rogers Vs Andrei Arlovski: June 6, 2009 Strikeforce

Brett Rogers now famous for his crushing loss to the dominating Fedor, was not given any credit going into a fight with the “Pitbull” and former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski. Many, like myself, predicted Arlovski would be knocking out Rogers at some point early in the fight. Rogers shocked the world when it was his hands raised when he KO’d the former UFC champ.

7. Shogun Rua Vs Lyoto Machida: Oct 24, 2009 UFC 104

This one here has a few different levels of upsetting. Shogun in my opinion was not the favorite going into the fight, Lyoto was on a warpath leaving behind mega destruction in his wake – coming off a shattering KO victory over Rashad Evans and gaining the light heavyweight UFC belt. Machida appeared to be unstoppable.

However Shogun put on an amazing display of strikes most importantly leg kicks that definitely took a toll on the champion. Rua was doing what no other has done to Lyoto before, he was catching him. I watched the fight in a living room full of people that were already concluding that Rua had won that belt, before they announced the decision. Which shockingly was a unanimous decision for Machida. This was hugely upsetting because clearly Shogun had out classed Lyoto, and the judging in UFC came under heavy fire after this bout.

6. Anderson Silva Vs Forrest Griffin: Aug 8, 2009 UFC 101

Before you all start going HUH?! this pick is not upsetting because I suspected Forrest to win, quite the contrary. It was definitely a landslide fact that Silva was the favored fighter in this match up. I however picked this as an upsetting moment due to how easily and very quickly Silva dismantled Griffin in the very early moments of the first round. I, and possibly many others, were expecting not Griffin to win, but to definitely push Silva to a point he has not been seen before, with any other fighter – because Griffin has been in some friggin wars and is not afraid of standing in front of an opponent and bang!

If anyone was going to be able to weather the striking onslaught of Silva, and really test his limits, it was definitely expected to be Griffin. This particular moment was upsetting due to the fact it was over before it ever truly got to begin, and we witnessed a crushed and heart broken Griffin flee from the cage in self disappointment.

5. Mark Coleman Vs Stephan Bonnar: July 11, 2009 UFC 100

This match had a very surprising outcome. Mark “The Hammer” Coleman in a previous fight leading up to this bout with Stephan did not look like he belonged in the cage when he and Shogun were going at it. In fact both Shogun and Coleman, seemed to be completely gassed in the later moments of the first round. Shogun eventually won that very slow and uneventful fight via decision.

So when it was announced that Bonner and Coleman were going to fight I thought why? Why are they going to put him in there he’s gunna get killed? Make him retire. Well to every-one’s surprise, not only did Coleman win by unanimous decision, he dominated Stephan like the Mark Coleman of old. Making all of us doubters, including me, eat our words.

4. MMA Movie, Death Warrior: 2009

The absolute worst thing I have ever seen. Death Warrior is a MMA movie starring; Rashad Evans as El Croco, Rampage Jackson as Wolf, and Georges St. Pierre as Shaman, also main star is martial artist, Hector Echavarria. The movie is the same tired old plot of bad guy holds evil martial arts tournament, blackmails fighter into fighting when he doesn’t want to, by kidnapping their kid. Death Warrior is full of horrendous acting and even worse MMA action. I can not believe that these top level, real life fighters agreed to partake in such fake over the top crap.

If you’ve seen it you know exactly what I mean, if not don’t see it and  you will save yourself the embarrassment of knowing your favorite MMA fighters had anything to do with it. If your curious however to see what I mean, just search Youtube for some clips or if your really adventurous you can find the movie for free streaming online because they can’t even give it away that’s how bad it is.

3. Paulo Thiago Vs Josh Koscheck: Feb 21, 2009 UFC 95

Josh Koscheck still considered to be in the top 5 of his weight division suffered the shock of his career at the hands of the lesser known Paulo Thiago. Koscheck suffered a very upsetting KO loss in the first round! No one saw that one coming. Koscheck had been completely controlling the first round until Thiago suddenly connected with a brutal left uppercut to Koscheck’s chin, followed by a left hook to Koscheck’s ear, which sent Koscheck to the mat, and although he appeared to be sticking his hands up to defend himself, the referee quickly stepped in and stopped the fight. It was the first career knockout win for Thiago, a Brazilian jiu jitsu specialist.

2. Cung Le Vs Scott Smith: Dec 19, 2009 Strikeforce: Evolution

It was the very hyped return of the former Strikeforce champion, the undefeated Cung Le. Le had walked away from Strikeforce nearly 2 years ago leaving behind the title belt and a 6-0 undefeated record. He returned to Strikeforce, December 19th to square off with Scott “Hands of Steel” Smith. Le was absolutely dominating Smith with ease, and in Cung Le style with flashy spinning, and surgically accurate, kicks. Smith in the early parts of round 3 was looking very frustrated as he had pretty much not landed a single thing all night – and it looked as if Le was about to walk away with the win.

Just as the closing minute was at hand to the 3rd and final round, Smith fakes a right, Le ducks in anticipation, only to catch a quick left hook that staggers him bad. Smith fires off several more punches before the ref has to stop the fight. Smith had just pulled off a miracle TKO win, from the jaws of what appeared to be an embarrassing defeat.

1. Brian Bowles Vs Miguel Torres: July 9, 2009 WEC 42

Miguel Torres in my opinion one of the most under rated fighters in MMA. Torres is the full package fighter – great standup, and amazing ground game. Entering the match with Bowles, Torres had a most impressive record at 37-1 and he was the current WEC Bantamweight champion. The lesser known Bowles was undefeated at the time coming into the fight at 7-0.

Bowles was patient in the early going, not really looking to push the action just feeling Torres out. After about 2 minutes of that, Bowles landed a hard right that rocked Torres, knocking him down, Torres looked wobbly. Bowles later took Torres to the ground and landed some strikes, and when they stood back up, Bowles knocked Torres to the ground once again, this time landing several more punches to Torres’ face while the two were on the ground, eventually knocking Torres out cold.

This was a very unexpected outcome – with this shocking victory for Bowles, that ended Torres’ 17 – fight winning streak. Nobody expected Bowles was going to be the one to stop Miguel, and definitely not in that fashion. This fight in my opinion was the biggest upset in MMA for the 2009 year.

Well that covers it, these are my personal picks of the Top Ten MMA Upsets of 2009. I hope this list fits your liking well, but if not. I would love to hear your thoughts. What should have made the list? Whats on the list, that shouldn’t be? This is your chance to sound off and be heard so comment below. Thanks for reading.

Other honorable mentions that didn’t make the list:

  • Rampage Jackson announcing he was leaving UFC for an acting career.
  • Dana White threatening fighters to not participate in EA’s MMA video game unless they want to be banned from UFC, thats current roster and any future hopeful’s.
  • Jon “Bones” Jones DQ over Matt Hamill via 12 to 6 top mount elbows.
  • UFC Undisputed 2009 game, Online match quitters that pull the network cable when they lose so that there online record doesn’t get damaged, and yours doesn’t improve.
  • Fedor Emilienanko signing with Strikeforce & M-1 Global trying to bully there way into a partnership with UFC because they were offering one fighter (Fedor).

-Steve Wade