There’s nothing more thrilling in the sport of MMA than a come-from-behind finish that no one is expecting. Every year there are multiple fights where a fighter who has been rocked or is clearly behind on the scorecards goes for broke and scores a highlight-reel victory.

In 2013, the biggest of these exciting comebacks belonged to Brazilian heavyweight Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva. At UFC 156 in February, Silva was thoroughly dominated for two rounds by former Strikeforce champion Alistair Overeem. But, in round three, Bigfoot unleashed a huge flurry along the fence that knocked out the imposing Dutchman just 25 seconds into the frame. The knockout win propelled Silva—not Overeem, like most expected—to a UFC 160 title fight against Cain Velasquez.

Ultimately, the win was the brightest moment for either Silva or Overeem in 2013.

Silva was flat-out demolished by Velasquez in their May title bout. And his thrilling war with Mark Hunt in December was tainted by a failed post-fight drug test for elevated testosterone levels.

Overeem had a chance to bounce back from the Silva loss in August against Travis Browne. He appeared to be heading toward a first-round stoppage, only to again fall victim to another unexpected comeback, as Browne turned out his lights with a vicious front kick.

Although the fortunes of both men involved at UFC 156 may have gone south later in the year, there’s no denying that Silva’s knockout was one of the most exciting moments in 2013. And one thing’s for certain: there will be plenty more just like it in 2014.

Honorable Mention: Travis Browne over Alistair Overeem (UFC Fight Night 26), Cat Zingano over Miesha Tate (TUF 17 Finale)
The MMA Corner’s 2013 Awards were selected by our staff of writers and photographers. Unless noted otherwise, the nominations were open to all fighters, promotions and events that took place during 2013.

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