Greatest Upsets In Sports History
Holly Holm defeats Ronda Rousey (2015)
Prior to UFC 193, Ronda Rousey seemed unstoppable. Her past three fights lasted 34, 16, and 14 seconds and she became a superstar outside the Octagon. But she was no match for former champion boxer and underdog Holly Holm, who knocked her out in the second round after a vicious kick to the neck.
Roberta Vinci defeats Serena Williams (2015)
Serena Williams was attempting to become the first player since Steffi Graf in 1988 to complete the calendar Grand Slam. The No. 1 ranked player in the world lost to unseeded Roberta Vinci in the U.S. Open semifinals 2–6, 6–4, 6–4. It was the first Grand Slam in her last five appearances that Williams had lost.
Robin Soderling defeats Rafael Nadal (2009)
For 31 matches, dating to his debut on May 23, 2005, Nadal never truly was challenged, much less defeated, at the French Open, allowing him to win four consecutive titles and close in on becoming the first player in history with five in a row. Until the fourth round of the 2009 French Open, when the 23rd-seeded Soderling, a 24-year-old from Sweden who never had won so much as a third-round match at any major tournament before this one, defeated Nadal 6-2, 6-7 (2-7), 6-4, 7-6 (7-2). Soderling finished with 61 winners, 28 more than Nadal.
New York Giants defeat New England Patriots (2008)
One of the biggest underdogs in Super Bowl history, the New York Giants made some history of their own in Super Bowl 42, upsetting the previously undefeated New England Patriots with a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter, the clincher with 35 seconds left in the game. The victory capped an improbable run of 11 straight road victories by the Giants, including four straight in the playoffs.
Appalachian State defeats Michigan (2007)
Ranked No. 5 entering the season, Michigan had national-championship aspirations. But Appalachian State had different plans. Led by dynamic QB Armanti Edwards and speedy WR Dexter Jackson, the Mountaineers became the first Division I-AA team to beat a ranked Division I-A team, defeating the Wolverines 34-32.
Golden State Warriors defeat Dallas Mavericks (2007)
Pick a storyline, this series had it all. Golden State becoming the first No. 8 seed to beat a No. 1 in a seven-game series. Coach Don Nelson getting revenge on his former team and bitter enemy, Mavs owner Mark Cuban. The Warriors winning their first playoff series in 16 seasons. Baron Davis, on a gimpy hamstring, pulling a Willis Reed to score 20 points in the Game 6 clincher.
New England Patriots defeat St. Louis Rams (2002)
While St. Louis piled up 427 yards of offense, the 14-point favorites held only one lead (3-0) and the Patriots' dynasty was born as Tom Brady set up Adam Vinatieri's 48-yard, game-winning field goal in Super Bowl 36.
Rulon Gardner defeats Alexander Karelin (2000)
Karelin, the three-time defending champion in Greco-Roman wrestling, had never lost in international competition and was on a 13-year winning streak. Gardner, an Olympic novice, wasn't even expected to contend for a medal. But the 29-year-old from Wyoming stunned the Russian 1-0 in overtime of the 286-pound final.
Denver Nuggets defeat Seattle Supersonics (1994)
Though they barely finished over .500 (42-40), the Nuggets, fueled by Dikembe Mutombo, defeated top-seeded Seattle in overtime of Game 5 to win the series. It was the first time in history that an eighth seed defeated a No. 1. Seattle, led by Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp, was plagued by Mutombo, whose 31 blocks set a record for a five-game series.
Cincinnati Reds sweep Oakland A's (1990)
Talk of a dynasty followed the Athletics into the 1990 World Series. The Reds ended that notion by sweeping Oakland and outscoring the A's 22-8.
Buster Douglas KO's Mike Tyson (1990)
A 42-1 underdog against unbeaten ''Iron Mike," Buster Douglas scored a knockout in the 10th round and the undisputed heavyweight title.
Villanova defeats Georgetown (1985)
In the upset of all upsets, No. 8-seeded Villanova shot an astonishing 78.6 percent for the game to shock the top-seeded Hoyas, 66-64, and end Georgetown's hopes of a repeat.
N.C. State defeats Houston (1983)
Houston's Phi Slamma Jamma hit a defensive wall against N.C. State. The Cougars converted just one dunk in the game, while the Wolfpack had two — the most famous coming when Lorenzo Charles tossed in a Dereck Whittenburg air ball at the buzzer to beat Houston 54-52.
Chaminade defeats Virginia (1982)
Tiny Chaminade (enrollment: 800) pulled off what's considered the most stunning upset in college basketball history with a 77-72 victory over Ralph Sampson's top-ranked Virginia team in the Maui Invitational.
U.S. hockey team defeats USSR (1980)
In the Miracle on Ice, a scrappy bunch of U.S. amateur and collegiate players knocked off the favored Soviets 4-3 in Lake Placid, N.Y.
New York Mets defeat Baltimore Orioles (1969)
The Orioles led Game 5 of the '69 World Series 3-0 when Mets manager Gil Hodges proved that a pitch thrown by Baltimore's Dave McNally had hit Cleon Jones in the foot. Hodges showed the umpire that there was shoe polish on the ball. Donn Clendenon, pictured left, followed with a crucial two-run home run in the Mets' 5-3 victory that clinched the Series.
New York Jets defeat Baltimore Colts (1969)
It was the first game to officially carry the ''Super Bowl'' moniker, but it will forever be remembered for ''The Guarantee'' as Joe Namath, QB of the heavy underdog Jets said, ''We're gonna win the game. I guarantee it.'' The Jets won 16-7.
Pittsburgh Pirates defeat New York Yankees (1960)
The Yankees outscored the Pirates 55-27 in the 1960 World Series but lost on Bill Mazeroski's one-out homer off Ralph Terry in the ninth inning of Game 7 at Forbes Field.
U.S. soccer team defeats England (1950)
The United States' improbable 1-0 victory over England in the World Cup — thanks to Joe Gaetjens' 37th-minute header — has become known as the "Miracle on Grass." That may be an understatement, considering the English were considered the "Kings of Football" and the Americans had lost their previous seven international matches by the combined score of 45-2.
Upset defeats Man o' War (1919)
Man o' War started 21 races in his illustrious career but lost just once — to 100-to-1 longshot Upset in the Sanford Memorial at Saratoga.