Professional athletes are the most physically gifted human beings on this planet. They're paid thousands upon millions of dollars to do a physical activity better than any other person and so you would expect them to always be in peak physical condition. Logic dictates that these athletes would be able to beat anyone in a physical competition because of the condition their body always needs to constantly be in.
But then again, there are professional athletes who, though they are the peak of their game/sport/competition, would be absolutely terrible at defending themselves if you were to engage them in fisticuffs. Whether it be that they're easy to injure, cowards, just really don't have any usable skills in a fight or a completely inconceivable weakness that you could exploit, you wouldn't need to worry about these folks stealing your lunch money or giving you tighty whitey wedgies.
Now we have to assume some certain things about this: I am not going to pick athletes from sports where the athletes aren't exactly the most intimidating of people. Picking golfers, bowlers, jockey riders, or any of that sort won't make it on this list. Also, fighters, rugby players, weight lifters, and most other combat athletes will be excluded from the list unless they have a major exploitable weakness. It's true that most fighters have an exploitable weakness, but only skilled fighters with years of experience would be able to take down such admirable foes.
In the end, most of these people will only be taken down if you play your cards right in a fight with them (targeting their weaknesses) because these are professional athletes after all. However, it's surprising how many weaknesses these athletes do have due to years of physical abuse, or irrational fears, and thus the probability of winning against them increases that much more.
15 Chad Pennington
Chad Pennington is the former quarterback of the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins. He use to be one of the most precise and accurate quarterbacks to ever play the game, until he suffered multiple injuries to both shoulders. After suffering these many injuries to his shoulders, it eventually became so severe that it was career ending. In any fighting capacity, throwing punches, grappling, and any close quarters combat is rendered almost impossible to do effectively if you can't use your shoulders to protect yourself. Pennington would be an easy target to pick off, especially since punching his shoulder may cause even more irreversible damage.
14 Trindon Holliday
Trindon Holliday is one of the fastest players to ever play American football. Clocking in a 10.00 second 100 meter dash and a 4.34 second 40 yard dash, Holliday may indeed be one of the fastest people on this earth. His speed definitely comes at a price, with his body frame only coming in at 5'5 and 166 pounds. With no martial arts training and no other sports that really contribute to him having unbreakable bones or usable skills, he is an extremely easy target to take down in a fight.
13 Fred Smoot
The former Washington Redskin and Minnesota Viking was one of the best corners in all of the NFL during his tenure. Being part of two impressive defenses at the time, Smoot was an impressive football player along with being a sought after free agent when his contracts were up with both teams. Though Smoot was an impressive cornerback, he holds one dubious honor: he is quite possibly the weakest NFL cornerback ever. During the NFL Combine, coaches and trainers have the players go through a myriad of drills and tests. One of the tests is the bench press, set at 225 pounds. Smoot was only able to manage one rep. That is pretty dreadful considering that he was 5'11 and 175-180 pounds.
12 Justin Morneau
The French-Canadian slugger is one of the best pure hitters to ever come out of Canada. Having won both the American League Most Valuable Player Award and National League Batting Title in the MLB, his hitting ability, while healthy, is unmatched in both production and power. The sad thing about the 6'4, 220 pound Morneau is that he hasn't been quite the same player since he received two concussions. The first concussion Morneau received was in July of 2010. The concussion caused Morneau to be out for the remainder of the season. The injuries wouldn't stop as he had a slew of other injuries follow him in the 2011 season, some of which aggravated his concussion symptoms and caused him to only play 69 games of the season. The fact that even the slightest injury can cause him to have post concussion-like symptoms, Morneau can be easily beaten in a fight.
11 Carl Pavano
The former Florida Marlin ace was one of the best sinker ball pitchers when healthy. An integral part of the 2003 World Series Championship team, Pavano made brilliant starts throughout 2003 and 2004, earning himself a major contract from the New York Yankees. Though Pavano was susceptible to injury before his move to the Yankees, the injury bug decided to rear its ugly head even more during this phase in his life. Among the slew of injuries, Pavano even managed to bruise his butt muscle that made him begin the 2006 season on the disabled list. With an athlete that injury prone, it would only take mere seconds to take him down, no matter his dimensions. Elbow, shoulder, hip, ribs, and butt are just a small list of the injuries and potential targets of Pavano and thus, would make him an easy opponent indeed.
10 Brian Westbrook
Two time Pro Bowler and cornerstone of the Philadelphia Eagles offense during the early to mid 2000's, Brian Westbrook was one of the most dynamic offensive weapons to ever play in the NFL. With a skill set of being a between the tackles runner, enough speed to bend the edges, and amazing receiving ability out of the backfield, he was a fabulous running back that started a renaissance of dual threat running backs within professional American football. With these skills came a price. Similar to Holliday, Westbrook suffered from having a small frame (5'8) and less than ideal weight (200 pounds) and suffered from numerous injuries. Starting back in his college days, he missed an entire year of football due to a knee injury. During his playing career in the NFL, he would continue to suffer from this knee injury along with injuries to the foot, ribs, ankle, and finally a concussion to boot. In any fight, being unable to hold your own by not being able to move at a crisp pace, along with a concussion hindering body function, Westbrook's injuries have made him suspect to a common foe taking him down.
9 David Wright
One of the cornerstones of the New York Mets for a long time, David Wright is one of the best third basemen, dare I say, in history. The captain of the Mets has been one of the most consistent offensive players within the past two decades. He's also known to be one of the most consistent defensive presences in the diamond, having earned two Gold Gloves through his illustrious career. As does with a lengthy career of excellence, so comes injuries as well. There was even an injury clause placed within his $138 million contract that allows the Mets to recover up to 75% of his salary should he miss 60 days or more due to injury. A concussion, stress fractures to the back, recurring shoulder injuries, hamstring injuries, and spinal stenosis have put Wright on the disabled list many a time. With the amount of injuries that have occurred to Captain America, his superhero days of being one of the best players in the game have come and gone. With it would be his ability to provide a good match within a fight. With shoulder injuries barring good offense or defense, a concussed head proving to be a huge target, and hamstring injuries that prove to limit mobility, Wright would be easy to take down in a fight.
8 Ben Roethlisberger
Big Ben is one of the most fearless and toughest players in all of the NFL. With his ability to extend plays using his big body, and being able to withstand all sorts of punishment due to a lack of a protective offensive line, Roethlisberger is indeed an iron man at the quarterback position for the Pittsburgh Steelers. All those years of physical abuse, running around, and getting pummeled by gigantic defensive lineman have proven to be a detriment onto his body though. Injuries to his shoulder, hand, spinal cord, foot, entire leg, ankle, jaw, and nose and some of these injuries occurred off the football field as well. Considering that his entire body can be seen as a weak point due to all the years of impact, Big Ben would not survive very long in a fight against most people. A quick shot to the face or sweeping leg kick and Roethlisberger is down for the count.
7 DeSean Jackson
DeSean Jackson is one of the best receivers in the NFL right now for his amazing speed. One of the most amazing moments in his career is known as the New Miracle in the Meadowlands in which he returned a punt, 65 yards in the closing seconds of a Philadelphia Eagles-New York Giants matchup. D-Jax suffers from the same problems as Trindon Holliday because though he is taller and stronger than Holliday, he is still not that strong. And the fact that he is a gangly receiver at 5'11 and 178 pounds, he isn't exactly the most well put together person to have with you in a fight and so defeating him in said fight would be easy as well.
6 Kevin Durant
The Durantula. Besides having a silly nickname, he is an incredible scorer and amazing defender for his Oklahoma City Thunder. Winning Most Valuable Player honors and leading his team to multiple NBA Finals berths, Durant is one of the most incredible athletes on this earth. With that being said, his leg injuries to his foot, ankle, and big toe provide a wildly huge opportunity for people to be able to take him down. Now normally, one injury plagued season wouldn't really provide too much of a weakness, but this is coupled with the fact that Durant is actually not that strong. During the 2007 NBA Draft workout, Durant was only able to put up 185 pounds. Now, that is absolutely terrible from a person of his size. I also realize that there is a video of Durant putting up 315 pounds on bench press, but the video was shot weirdly and I have my own reservations as to whether or not it was real. So with a man that can only maybe bench 200 pounds and has leg issues, taking out his legs and playing the tree chopping game will lead you to victory against the former MVP.
5 Derrick Rose
One of the most promising athletes and savior to the Chicago Bulls since #23, Derrick Rose is one of the most premier athletes in the entire globe. Putting an entire city on his back, he came to win an Most Valuable Player award, returning a city back to its winning basketball ways. But then the injury bug hit. Torn ACLs and torn meniscus derailed Rose's career and he lost many years on those hurt legs of his. An orbital bone fracture during the preseason of this current season has left him in even worst sorts, but he is finally able to play. Like with a common few of these athletes, injuries place them at an extremely vulnerable position when in a fight. Hitting Rose on the side of the knees will most certainly cause him to become less than stellar in a fight. And therein lies his weakness.
4 Yao Ming
Most of you would understand why Yao Ming would make this list. During his first three seasons within the NBA, Ming only missed three games due to injury. Within those three years, he became one of the premier forces in the paint. Kind of helps when you're 7'6 and over 300 pounds. After those first three seasons, Ming became as injury prone as it gets. After several injuries to his legs that plagued him for over six years, the severity of the injuries finally caught up to him and forced him to retire early from the game. With injuries attacking all parts of his legs, and we all know that chopping down a giant begins at the legs. Simply kicking at his legs and forcing down to a knee will only make fighting Yao Ming that much easier.
3 Rafael Nadal
One of the most famous and prolific tennis players, most of you know that Rafael Nadal is the King of Clay Courts, being one of the most difficult people to ever play on that type of court. Along with being one of the living legends, Nadal has a crippling weakness: too many things. Nadal is afraid of dogs, thunder, spiders, helicopters, bicycles and probably the biggest one, darkness. A part of fighting is attacking your opponent when they're at their most vulnerable. Now most situations won't have lightning storms in the middle of zoo/hangar at night time, but the night time weakness is one of the oldest tricks in a battle notebook. Waiting to fight at night will most assuredly help you take down Nadal if you were wanting to take him down in a scrap...oh yeah, he's also experiencing career threatening knee injuries at the moment. You can basically pick your target when it comes to Rafa!
2 David Beckham
David Beckham is one of the easiest targets within a fight and the fact that he is the legendary footballer makes him one of the most prolific entries. Beckham can be seen as incredibly dangerous, being a soccer player and his ability to keep with incredible amounts of force. But what takes away from Beckham is his intriguing phobia: fear of disorder. With his obsessive compulsive disorder cranked up to one hundred, Beckham's inability to pay attention within a fight if he is distracted by the most minute of details can be easily taken advantage of by a normal person. A torn shirt there, different socks there, shoes on the wrong foot, any distraction would be too much for Beckham. I can see some of you saying now: "But he was a soccer player where activity was happening all around him all the time!" There is a huge marked difference between someone trying to steal a ball from you versus someone trying to beat your head in. And any weakness that delays your attention for even a second can provide the opening one would need to win in a fight. We also must note that while Beckham was a fantastic footballer, he also missed some pretty big penalty kicks in his day, coincidence?
1 The Undertaker
Quite possibly the most baffling entry on this list, the Undertaker is the most surprising entry on this list. Mark Calaway is quite possibly one of the most dangerous people on this earth. Having tangled (even if it is in professional wrestling) with some of the strongest people on this blue marble, Calaway has trained in different fighting disciplines (black belt in Brazilian Ju-Jitsu) as well to strengthen not only himself, but his move set as well. An example of this is Hell's Gate (his submission finisher). The move was something he developed as early as 2008, 24 years after the start of his career. So why would I think that one of the biggest and most dangerous wrestlers in this world would be someone you could take down in a fight? Simple: Calaway has one gigantic weakness that was proven by Paul Bearer. This weakness is different from the others because it requires a little preparation. The Undertaker is absolutely afraid of....cucumbers and pickles. Bearer once played a trick on The Undertaker in which he put cucumbers on a salad of The Undertaker and when the food was revealed to him, he jumped up in fear and absolutely refused to go near it. Like in any battle, if a weakness is exploited properly, any opponent can be taken down.
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