In the realm of fighting, battles are usually won in the ring or in the cage. However, throughout history, there have been fighters so intimidating, they claim victory even before the real fight starts. These are the real-life Goliaths of their time. With their size, power and reputation, they instill fear in the hearts of their opponents. And sometimes, even their fans.
Today, Evolve Daily takes a look at 12 Of The Most Intimidating Fighters Of All Time:
1) Mike Tyson
Ferocity, brute strength, intimidation; these are just some of the words associated with the beast that is Mike Tyson. The boxing great and former heavyweight champion of the world might very well be the pound-for-pound scariest fighter to have ever lived.
At just 18-years old, “The Baddest Man on the Planet” was already knocking everyone they put in front of him out cold. Even the great Muhammad Ali once admitted, “I’m scared of him; I wouldn’t know what would happen if he hit me.” If that isn’t enough to make Tyson the most intimidating fighter of all time, we don’t know what will.
2) Fedor Emelianenko
The heavyweights in the MMA world have every reason to be shaking in their seats right now with the recent news that Fedor Emelianenko is strapping on his gloves again for a comeback. “The Last Emperor” was at one point the most dominant heavyweight in the history of the sport, going undefeated for almost 10 years.
Going up against Emelianenko is certainly not for the faint-hearted, even the toughest of men have been broken just by looking at the cold, calm expression on his face. Emelianenko’s achievements only adds to his level of intimidation; the Russian legend isn’t just an MMA world champion, he’s also a multiple time Sambo +100kg world champion. This means that slamming his opponents into oblivion before beating them up is his most preferred way to go about a fight – yikes!
3) Dieselnoi Chor Thanasukarn
Click on any list of the top 10 Muay Thai fighters of all time on the Internet and you’ll find Dieselnoi Chor Thanasukarn in every one of them. As one of the largest Thai fighters in history, Dieselnoi was feared primarily for his knees. He had knee strikes so deadly that he was given the nickname “The Sky Piercing Knee Kicker”.
Fellow Muay Thai legend, Sagat Petchyindee even named Dieselnoi as the scariest fighter he had to face – quite a statement considering how Sagat himself was one of the most intimidating fighters around at that time.
4) Anderson Silva
Anderson Silva is without a doubt one of the most intimidating MMA fighters in history. His sometimes almost god-like abilities as a fighter have created an aura of invincibility around him that has sent many of his opponents to the loser’s chair even before stepping into the cage. And it’s not hard to see why; Silva has inhuman speed, confidence, and the ability to knockout his opponents with any strike!
It’s no wonder why the longest reigning UFC Middleweight World Champion history is also considered the greatest mixed martial artist to ever live.
5) George Foreman
A list of the most intimidating fighters of all time can never be complete without having the man dubbed as “the most devastating puncher in heavyweight history”. Standing over 6 feet 4 inches tall, Big George Foreman was a mountain of a man. The former two-time boxing world champion and Olympic gold medalist has a whopping 68 knockouts under his belt.
In his prime, Foreman ran through everyone like a freight train, including legends like Joe Frazier, Ken Norton, and Ron Lyle. The effect of his dominance even left Muhammad Ali’s entire team terrified in their locker room before The Rumble in the Jungle, as they were afraid that Foreman would give Ali the worst beating of his life.
6) Apidej Sit Hirun
Apidej Sit Hirun is truly one of the most decorated Muay Thai legends in history. Awarded the fighter of the century by the King of Thailand, he was considered one of, if not the hardest hitter in the sport’s history.
However, it was more specifically his bone-crushing kicks that have made him one of the most feared fighters in the world. Apidej once broke both of his opponent’s arms, forcing him to retire from fighting.
7) Shinya Aoki
Shinya Aoki is undoubtedly the greatest mixed martial artist to have ever emerged from Asia. Here, he makes the list for being one of the scariest fighters on the ground; and we’re pretty sure most of his previous opponents would not hesitate to agree. Being taken down and controlled on the ground by Aoki will push any fighter into survival mode.
Amassing a total of 25 incredible submission wins, Aoki is one of the greatest and most revered submission artists in MMA. He also holds a black belt in Judo – which means it’s only going to be a matter of time before his opponents are on the ground, desperately defending those inevitable submissions.
8) Mauricio “Shogun” Rua
At his prime, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua was one of the scariest fighters alive. Even the fans would be afraid to see what he might do to his opponents.
During his days in PRIDE, the former UFC Lightheavyweight Champion would seem like a man possessed with hurting his opponent at times; ravaging them with soccer kicks and face stomps whenever it was possible. The image of opponents covering up in horror or lying unconscious is a common sight in a “Shogun” fight.
9) Sonny Liston
Known respectfully during his time in boxing as “The Big Bear”, the late great Sonny Liston was a fighter known for his toughness, punching power and intimidating appearance. Famed sportswriter and boxing expert Bob Boyle once said facing Liston “was like learning the other country had the atom bomb and they were coming after you.”
If that wasn’t enough, Liston was also known to have heavy connections with the underworld, and was in and out of prison for crimes usually related to assault and violence. This added to the public’s perception of him as a nightmarish “monster” outside of the ring, and a violent brute inside the ring.
10) Wanderlei Silva
When your nickname makes you sound like a character ripped right out of a horror movie, you’re definitely going scare a whole lot of people. No other fighter in MMA today possesses a menacing a look as Wanderlei Silva. “The Axe Murderer” is an MMA legend and a former PRIDE Middleweight Champion known mainly for his violent fighting style.
He holds an impressive total of 27 knockouts, and those knockouts usually come by way of him raining down fist and foot stomps on his opponents. You also definitely would not want to be standing across the MMA cage from a man who stares you down while he’s doing wrist rotations and looking like he’s actually crafting out a foolproof plan to hurt you.
11) Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke
You have to be mentally unsound not to fear a three-time Lumpinee Muay Thai World Champion. Especially one as aggressive and skilled as ONE Championship Strawweight World Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke.
Dejdamrong has over 300 Muay Thai fights. And when he brought his fighting abilities into the world of MMA, he demolished every single one of his opponents, becoming the first Thai MMA World Champion in just 5 fights. And if that isn’t enough, the man nicknamed “Fierce Eyes” is able to break the will of any fighter with just his stare alone!
12) Yodsanklai Fairtex
Dubbed recently by the Thai media as “Mr. Knockout”, Yodsanklai Fairtex is not only one of the most intimidating fighters of all time, he is also one of the most famous and revered Thai fighters in the world today.
The multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion and Contender Asia Champion is known for incredibly evasive defense, deadly precision, and undeniable power.
Yodsanklai’s fighting style is simple, he stalks his opponents, corners them, and beats them up till they crumble in pain or get knocked out. It’s no wonder why he has more 70 knockouts.
These fighters are living proof that fighting is as much mental as it is physical. But even if there’s no fear involved, we can all agree that anyone taking on any of the fighters on this list is in for a tough night.