- Tiger Woods beats Anderson Silva

 The 25 Toughest Athletes

1 Tiger Woods

What makes him tough: Otherworldly talent, determination and focus that enables him to dominate his sport at 64 PGA wins and counting, including a recent streak of seven in a row. No one is better at sealing the deal when the heat is highest.

Defining moment: Winning by 11 strokes at Bay Hill in 2003 despite the ravages of food poisoning that made him greener than the winner's jacket at August and blowing chunks in the bushes between shots. He finished at 19 under. A mortal golfer would have been six under - as in feet.

Old school match: Jack Nicklaus, who had the same quiet intensity. closing kick and laser-like focus.

SI VAULT:The Chosen One (12.23.96)


3 Anderson Silva

What makes him tough: You automatically qualify when people tab you as the world's best pound-for-pound mixed martial arts fighter. Silva is 6-0 in the UFC, and ranked No. 1 in pound-for-pound polls by Fight Magazine.

Defining moment: Knocking out Cincinnati's hometown hero Rich Franklin last October in Ultimate Fighting Championship 77.

Old school match: None. He's an original.

8 Fedor Emelianenko

What makes him tough: Well, he's the toughest heavyweight in the world, and maybe the greatest heavyweight in mixed martial arts. Emelianenko, 31, is 27-1-1 in MMA and is a 10-time Sambo tournament champion, including four World Combat Sambo Championships. Ruthless Russian strongman Vladimir Putin shows up on occasion to watch him.

Defining moment: After a left hook tore a gash above his eye, the bloody Darth Fedor still needed only one round to beat Matt Lindland, the 2000 Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling silver medalist, in the much-hyped "Clash of the Nations" last year in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Old school match: Joe Frazier, who also scared the bejesus out of opponents with his appetite for destruction.


I'm sorry, but I just can't call a pro-golfer "tough".


"Beating Lindland is Fedor's defining moment?!?"

Well, it was probably written by someone without much of an MMA background, and Lindland's Olympic credentials are something everyone can relate to...

Wow, I didnt know Tiger Woods did MMA......JK.

wow thats kinda lame. I bet that pool player on steroids cracks the top 10 also

Hey I'm just glad SI is even considering MMAers, 10 years ago it was practically unthinkable.

But if it makes anybody feel any better we all know Anderson would finish Tiger in the first round.

But then again have you fuggin seen Tiger's old lady? And Tiger might have as much money as the Ferttittias by now...

 "Hey I'm just glad SI is even considering MMAers, 10 years ago it was practically unthinkable."

- very true. Great for the sport.

LOL at this crap. Golf isnt even a sport. It's a game.

I agree with SI. No way any MMA fighter has the sort of dominant and constantly tested career at Woods.

This list is awesome. I completely agree, I've wrestled and golfed my whole life, done bjj for the last 7 years and golf is just as mentally demanding, if not more so. Those saying golf is not a sport have never played seriously.

Didn't these clowns see Kobe throwing those girl punches a few years back? Girl punchers should not be allowed on a "tough" list!

 thx for the gif, card... it clearly illustrates how fedor did NOT grab the ropes

 Almost as good as a Rolling Stones list.  Eddie Van Halen does indeed belong 58 spots behind Kurt Cobain as best guitar player ever

"LOL at this crap. Golf isnt even a sport. It's a game."

golf is not a sport yes...but Tiger Woods is one of the greatest athletic figures of all time.

lol at a golfer being the "toughest" anything.

LOL @ Joey fucking Chestnut appearing on that list - what a joke!

I would put the fujita/nog fights as more of defining moments for fedor. what do you expect tiger only loses when he wants to and made more money last year than most people make in a lifetime.

If golf makes it for being "mentally tough", then you may as well put Gary Kasparov as the toughest athlete. Being a difficult activity does not make something athletic or a sport. Besides, i find it hard to believe that you can compare the activity of trying to knock a ball into a hole, with no one trying to stop you, and given unlimited time and total silence, to any form of activity where you risk life and limb while injured and exhausted. A double bogey for a fighter lands him in the hospital.


Gomi is tougher than all of them. Best chin in the business.