Monday, June 15, 2015

The Rejuvinated Heavyweight Title Picture


Since 2010, the Heavyweight division has been rather weak. There are talented guys in the division, but the reason it became boring was you had a champion that was very dominate and the only contender that could seemingly beat him knocked him out once and then took two severe beatings that showed the champions dominance. Thus is the story of Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos.

When I found out that Fabricio Werdum was going to fight for the title, I became excited. He has a solid and creative striking game and outstanding Jiu-Jitsu skills that made him a viable candidate to dethrone the champion. After Velasquez was injured (again), Werdum fought Mark Hunt for the Interim title and put up a blockade to the K1 star's resurgence. However, at the same time, Werdum began to cement his career comeback.

At UFC 188, Werdum, an underdog in his title unification bout, battered Velasquez with strikes and finished him with a submission. This freshened up the once dead division because while Werdum is a force to be reckoned with, he has shown vulnerability in the past, which opens up better stylistic matches with opponents he has either not fought or not fought in a long time. So who should he defend his title against first?


Out of the top 10 Heavyweight fighters in the UFC, three fighters currently hold a win over Werdum. Alistair Overeem beat Werdum in 2009 (Werdum's last loss) and ended his chance at the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix title. However, since beating Werdum, Overeem has gone 4-3 in his MMA career, with the three losses being brutal knockouts, so a title fight or even contender fight is unlikely after a two fight win streak against non-top 10 fighters. With a win against a top 10 fighter, the title picture could be in Overeem's future but not immediately.

Junior dos Santos has been in limbo the past couple of years. He is an elite Heavyweight that can finish anyone at any time. His problem? While he knocked Cain Velasquez out to become the champion, he had two other title fights against him that were both one-sided beat downs that proved that Velasquez is the better fighter. While Cain was champion, it was highly unlikely that Cigano would fight for the title again. With Cain out and Werdum in however, it is more likely to happen. Dos Santos beat Werdum in his UFC debut, knocking him out with an uppercut. Since then, Cigano has beaten some of the best and is currently on a "cold" streak, going 2-2 in his last four fights with the two losses being one sided beatdowns by the same man and one of the wins being a close fight against Stipe Miocic that many believe dos Santos lost. Is his reputation enough to garnish a title fight? Junior will most likely need to beat another top ranked opponent before challenging for the title again.


Stipe Miocic is a fighter that came out of nowhere. He has been in the same realm as Stefan Struve or Gabriel Gonzaga for some time: a good fighter who never seemed to get that "big win". With wins over Gabriel Gonzaga and Roy Nelson, he had a decently impressive resume when it was announced that he would fight Junior dos Santos. This seemed as though Stipe would be murdered but he proved he belongs in the same talk as other great Heavyweights by holding his own to a razor thin decision against the Brazilian. In his next outing, he destroyed the ultra-tough Mark Hunt, finally finishing him in the 5th round. Could this win along with the unconvincing loss to dos Santos be enough to gain a fight against the new champion? Like dos Santos, Stipe may need one more fight to prove himself worthy. Because of the excitement of the previous fight and the unconvincing end, would a contender's fight with Stipe and Junior be an option?

Cain Velasquez just lost his title on Saturday, so why is he already on the list of possible title contenders? Cain has a long history of fighting while injured, due to his vulnerability to injuries. When he was knocked out by dos Santos, he had been injured for quite some time before that and after the rematches, it seemed as though it was the injury that caused the loss. It is possible that the same thing happened against Werdum. And that is precisely why he will not get an immediate rematch. Velasquez has been in the title picture for a long time and is injured entirely too often. It would be a big risk to schedule an immediate rematch only to have Cain end up side lined again and have the other contenders already booked. Let the former champ show he is healthy and show it consistently.

I never thought I would say this, especially in 2015, but Andrei Arvloski may be the most logical pick to challenge for the UFC Heavyweight title. Let's be honest, even when Arvloski was the UFC champion, it was a dark time in the division, even darker than now. He lost to Tim Sylivia twice, then followed up with big wins over Werdum, Roy Nelson, and Ben Rothwell. Then a loss came to Fedor...then Brett Rodgers...then Antonio Silva...then Sergei Kharitonov. Things were not looking great for the former champ. He even lost against Anthony Johnson in a Heavyweight fight. Then when he was brought back to the UFC, he won against Brendan Schaub in a good fight, but not the most convincing decision. Then he knocked out Bigfoot Silva, a decent feat for any fighter. Then, in a fight that was his to lose, Arvloski knocked out Travis Browne. With a five fight win streak that includes some big names and a previous win over the new champion, Andrei Arvloski may be the best bet for the new challenger.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Ultimate UFC Card

It seems that every year, the UFC puts on at least one card that is suppose to be the ultimate fight card of the year. This year, the card that sticks out seems to be UFC 187, although there have been changes that have knocked the hype down slightly. This got me thinking: What would be the ultimate fight card at the moment? Obviously this is a thought that can change along with the rankings and new champions, but it is a thought provoking question regardless. What is a card that not only would be the best of the year, but possibly one of the best events of all time? My criteria is simply to make an event that has 12 fights that make the most sense.


Preliminary Card
John Dodson vs Hendry Cejudo

The card starts with the little guys. The champion Demetrious Johnson has basically cleaned out the entire division at this point. His actual challengers that are worthy are few and far between. This is why this match-up for a number one contender's fight is intriguing. On one hand, you have John Dodson, a fighter who has previously lost to the champion but took him into deeper waters than any other challenger, making a rematch a hopeful shake-up in the division. On the other hand, you have Cejudo, a relatively new fighter, with only eight fights on his record, but also the youngest American wrestler to win a gold medal at the Olympics. His skill set, while inexperienced in the octagon, is definitely something to be reckoned with. This would be a great fight to start the pace of the night.

Carlos Condit vs Matt Brown
Both men are currently competing at the top of the Welterweight division, one of the most exciting divisions in the UFC. Both also have a long history of being hungry fighters that seem as though they are willing to die for a fight rather than simply losing speed and pace. In the current UFC rankings, Condit is rated at 4 and Brown is rated at 5. The two fighters were scheduled to fight each other at UFC on Fox 9, but Brown had to pull out for a back injury. This would be a perfect fight not only to confirm each man's position in the Welterweight rankings, but put on a fight that will be remembered for years to come.

Diego Sanchez vs Clay Guida II/Joe Lauzon
 
Diego Sanchez, along with becoming a magnet for controversial decisions, has participated in some of the most exciting fights in the history of the company and has a reputation as a fan-favorite scrapper. One of his most famous fights was a war against Clay Guida. Guida has since moved down to Featherweight, where he has had a mix of success and defeat. Sanchez has been hot and cold at both Lightweight and Welterweight. He has recently tossed around the idea of moving down to 145 as a way to get a new start. What better way to get a new start than against an old rival? The fight makes sense and would be entertaining and fast paced enough that it would need to be filmed at a slower speed than the rest of the fights. What could be better?
The answer is a fight between an exciting fighter like Sanchez and a man who holds a record for the most post-fight bonuses: Joe Lauzon. Both fighters are notorious for wars that result in a bloodbath where both give it their all and refuse to be finished. This fight would have fight of the year written all over it.
Mauricio Rua vs Rashad Evans

Both are former Light-Heavyweight champions and have been in the top of their division for years. Shogun has been going downhill over the course of his past few fights while Evans has been out for a year and a half. This fight could be great for both of them. Neither fighter has beaten a current UFC top 10 Light-Heavyweight. This could be an opportunity for Shogun, currently ranked #9, to show that he can still handle the best in the world. Likewise, this is a chance for Rashad to show that he can handle a top 10 fighter without showing ring rust. This is a fight that was suppose to happen in 2011 and could still be an exciting bout today.

Luke Rockhold vs Ronaldo Souza II



These two warriors have fought each other before. Their previous bout was for the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship, where Rockhold bested Jacare in a decision victory. Both fighters are very different from where their skill sets were in their previous fight. Jacare has not lost since that night while Rockhold, who was knocked out by Vitor Belfort, has gone up against four top Middlweights since his last defeat, finishing every one of them, including being one of only two people to submit Lyoto Machida. Rockhold has shown he deserves to fight for the title while Souza, who was supposed to fight Yoel Romero but had to settle for Chris Cammozi, has shown he can defeat the best of the best. Why not have these two duke it out for the number one contender's spot?


Dominick Cruz vs Urijah Faber III
Grudge matches are big business for the UFC. Some of the biggest, most hyped fights in history were fights where the fighters legitimately do not help each other, such as Lesnar vs Mir II, Jones vs Cormier, Evans vs Jackson. Another fight that was a grudge match brought to life was Dominick Cruz vs Urijah Faber. The two do not like each other, leading back to their first fight in the WEC. Faber beat Cruz in their first fight while Cruz edged Faber in their second outing. A third fight was scheduled at one point but Cruz' constant injuries caused the end of the bout. This fight would be needed for Cruz to show that he can still take on a top fighter before fighting for the title that he was stripped of while Faber can use this as a stepping stone to show that, despite losing when fighting for a title each time, he is still champion caliber.
Junior dos Santos vs Travis Browne


 

An obvious choice would be to pick dos Santos vs Alistair Overeem, but this match up makes more sense. Dos Santos and Browne are both top 5 Heavyweights with a strong stand-up game and very tough chin. This fight works for dos Santos because it allows him to remain active among top fighters while Cain Velasquez is still champion, since while Cain is the champ Junior will not be receiving another title fight anytime soon after taking two extremely brutal beatings from the champion. Browne has had big wins at Heavyweight but needs to prove himself against a top Heavyweight since losing a decision to Fabricio Werdum. The big strikers would most likely set off fireworks in the main event of the preliminaries of this fight card.


Main Card
Dan Henderson vs Nick Diaz

 

Dan Henderson is at the end of his career and everyone knows it. After dropping fights to actual contenders such as Daniel Cormier at Light-Heavyweight and Gegard Mousasi at Middleweight, he needs to either hang up the gloves or simply take novelty fights. This is where Nick Diaz comes in. Diaz has already shown that he is willing to fight at Middleweight against an opponent that is simply for the novelty of the fight when he fought Anderson Silva earlier this year. The two have very strong chins, striking, and a ground game. Diaz has criticized fighters in the past who wrestle their opponents to a decision and has expressed his desire to fight "real hitters". Dan Henderson, despite being an Olympic wrestler, could be just that striker. Diaz toyed with Silva during their fight since Silva is a counter striker. Henderson is as aggressive as possible, giving Diaz the war that he has been asking for.
  Anthony Pettis vs Conor McGregor
 








Whether it is at Lightweight or Featherweight, this fight makes sense. Pettis recently lost his Lightweight crown to Rafael dos Anjos and lost it very convincingly. The idea of him getting a rematch soon does not seem like the best idea, especially with a division so deep in talent. Pettis has toyed with the idea of moving down in weight previously when he had the chance to fight Jose Aldo for the title. With McGregor fighting for the title, Pettis could possibly fight him for the title should the Irishman beat the current champion. If not for the title, the two should still fight. McGregor has shown very crisp and stylistic striking, as has Pettis with his famous Showtime kick. This fight could be Pettis testing the waters in Featherweight or McGregor doing the same in Lightweight. Either way, someone is going to sleep.

Anderson Silva vs Georges St-Pierre

Now the big guns come out. Sure, this fight would have made more sense in 2012, before Silva was made minced meat by Weidman and before St-Pierre was beaten down like never before in his "win" against Johny Hendricks. Sure Silva will most likely not fight for a title again and GSP is contemplating whether or not he will ever even return. So why does this fight cause so much excitement among fans? Despite recent events with both fighters, they are both considered by most, if not everyone, to be the top two fighters of all time. One is currently still an active fighter and the other is taking a hiatus and could easily return. It doesn't matter if the idea of the fight is slightly outdated. This is the Mayweather vs Pacquiao of MMA (but hopefully much, much, much more exciting than that fight). People will pay and pay greatly for the chance to watch the two G.O.A.Ts fight each other. Obviously this could headline any pay-per-view but for this card, this works as the top non-title fight.

Co-Main Event: Women's Bantamweight Title
Ronda Rousey vs Christiane Justino (Cyborg)
I believe that there is no fight currently that makes more sense than this fight in the Women's Bantamweight division. Ronda Rousey is an amazing athlete. In fact, she is too good. The rest of her division is light-years behind her in regards to skill set, resulting in her last two fights totaling only 30 seconds. Her toughest challenger was Miesha Tate, who is the only fighter to go past the first round against the champion. There is only one other woman fighter that seems to be at Rousey's skill level: Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino (Santos). Cyborg is the former Strikeforce Women's Featherweight champion and the current Invicita FC Featherweight champion. She has shown her dominance in the Featherweight division for years now. She is currently planning on moving down to Bantamweight. After a test bout, she will be eligible to fight Rousey and set up the biggest women's fight ever and one of the biggest MMA fights of all time.

Main Event: Heavyweight Championship
Cain Velasquez vs Jon Jones
This is possibly the most intriguing fight on the card. Rousey vs Cyborg makes the most sense but most likely, Rousey would win. This would be a toss-up. Cain Velasquez, when he is healthy, is one of the most dominate champions we have. He has only lost one fight, a quick knockout at the hands of Junior dos Santos, and has VERY convincingly shown that his only loss was simple luck from his opponent. Other than his lone loss, he has not lost a single round. He battered dos Santos to a bloody pulp twice, with the second resulting in a 5th round finish. He brutally knocked Minotauro Nogueira out. He beat Bigfoot Silva so badly that it looked like a murder scene. But his big name opponents are few and far between along with his fight schedule due to injuries. Jon Jones is well on his way to becoming the greatest of all time. He has only truly been tested once, by Alexander Gustufsson, and has dominated the rest of his opponents. He uses his size, length, and strength to batter opponents. This brings up a good question: how would he fare at Heavyweight? Jones' frame is massive for the 205 pound cut off for Light-Heavyweight. He could easily make Heavyweight and still beat his opponents. Comebine this with the lack of depth in both divisions and you have a major fight that could go down as one of the biggest fights of all time


Thursday, April 30, 2015

The On-Going Tale of Jon "Bones" Jones


There have been many controversial fighters in the history of MMA due to different reasons such as drugs (Chris Leben) and general dishish nature (Chael Sonnen and Michael Bisping). However, these have all wrapped into one entity: Jon Jones, FORMER Light-Heavyweight Champion. Jones has had a troubling past few years that saw him being on the receiving end of a DUI, being blamed for the first ever cancellation of a UFC event, a brawl in the middle of the MGM Grand that resulted in a $50,000 fine, testing positive for cocaine, and, most recently, a felony charge for a hit-and-run accident that resulted in the injury of a pregnant woman. Combine this with a personality that rubs many the wrong way due to him being perceived as arrogant, fake, and a dirty fighter, and you have one of the most controversial fighters in history.

The UFC higher-ups seemingly have been protecting Jones with all of his controversies, possibly due to him being one of the company's biggest draws. However, with his most recent events, the UFC finally took action by placing the Light-Heavyweight on indefinite suspension as well as stripping him of his UFC belt. This leads to a big question being thrown around at the moment: What should be done with Jon Jones?

Stripping the champion of his belt was the first step the UFC took to deal with the problem, and it was a positive step. Jones needs to know that he has an example to set outside of the octagon as well as inside, and if he cannot live up to that expectation, then taking away his belt is a logical choice. The next question is when should Jones come back? He is officially suspended indefinitely and Dana White has recently said that the UFC will choose when he comes back. A full investigation will happen regarding Jones' criminal behavior so his comeback date is in the air. He will most likely be out until after his trial is over and, if he is sentenced, after he does a stint in jail.

Should Jones come back after he is released? Most likely, the UFC will be hesitant to take Jones back immediately. He has been a source of bad press as of late and will want confidence that he has figured out his private life before returning to the octagon. If drugs were involved in his most recent offense, as some have speculated, a rehab stint will most likely occur, with the UFC deciding the length so that Jones will not decide he has had enough of rehab after only one day.

Lastly, as a champion who had his title stripped from him, should Jones receive an immediate title fight when he returns? This is a topic that will be of interest for fans. There have been a handful of instances where the UFC has stripped a champion of their title and each case has had different results when the fighter returned. For example, Randy Couture and BJ Penn were both stripped of their title for the same reason: contract disputes. Couture received an immediate title shot when he returned. Penn did not and instead fought against GSP for a title shot, which he did not win. Even fighters who were stripped of their title for serious offenses, such as Tim Sylvia and Sean Sherk both being stripped of their titles for testing positive for steriods, received an immediate title shot upon their return while Dominick Cruz, who had his title stripped due to inactivity because of injuries, did not receive a title shot when he finally returned.

So what should the UFC do? I believe that if a fighter has done something severe enough that is in their control to have their title stripped, they should not receive a title shot upon their return. Not only will Jones most likely have had a long lay off from fighting when he returns, he needs to show that he is indeed the champion that he believes he is and that his performance will not be impacted by his personal life. Possibly give Jones a title contender fight so that he can prove himself and then let him fight the new champion.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Ten Greatest MMA Upsets of All-Time

Ten Greatest MMA Upsets of All-Time

It has been a long time since I have made a post on this blog. I thought I would return with a topic that sports fans in general can connect with: underdogs. Every sport has teams or athletes that are so good that they are expected to win. Whether it is the New York Yankees or the LA Lakers, fans at times become bored of watching the same people win time after time. But every once in great time, there comes an opponent that is expected to lose only to shock the entire world and beat their "superior" counterpart. Mixed Martial Arts is a sport that thrives on the underdog story. As this list will prove, even the greatest fighters of all time can have a bad night or simply have an opponent that has yet to prove their self worthy. My criteria for this list is not only a shocking win, but a win that was either extremely dominate or a finish that is so shocking, nobody could have seen it coming.

Honorable Mentions
Rameau Sokoudjou vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

Rameau Sokoudjou was only three fights into his career and making his Pride FC debut when he fought Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (Lil Nog). Nogueira had proven himself a viable asset to the company with notable wins over Sakuraba, Nakamura (x2), Alistair Overeem (x2), and Dan Henderson. He had also recently been in one of the most exciting fights in the promotion's history against Mauricio Rua. It was very clear on paper who would win considering Nogueira's experience, wins over notable competition, and the fact that he was a Brazilian national boxing champion. It only took Sokoudjou 23 seconds to prove everyone in the world wrong. The reason this only receives an honorable mention is the fact that despite this win and Sokoudjou's next win (a knockout of another Pride star Ricardo Arona), the African failed to gain anymore big wins throughout his career, showing that his biggest win was simple luck.

Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen I
Ahh the upset that almost was. Anderson Silva was undefeated in his first 11 UFC fights (7 of them title fights) and seemed completely unstoppable. He had dominated every opponent convincingly up until his fight against Sonnen. The level of intensity going into the fight was high due to Sonnen's impeccable trash-talking and threats to shock the world.

And shock the world he did.

Not only was Sonnen beating Silva, but he was dominating the champion. It seemed that there would finally be a new Middleweight champion for the first time in nearly four years. Had it not been for Silva's extreme heart and jiu-jitsu skills, Sonnen would have succeeded. As history goes however, this was not the case. Silva threw a hail-mary triangle choke and finished the would-be champion. The fight, in this fan's mind, is the best example of the unpredictability that MMA brings to its fans. Had Sonnen won the fight, this would have easily been the number one pick.

Ryo Chonan vs. Anderson Silva
Where Chael Sonnen failed, Ryo Chonan succeeded years before. Before Silva fought and dominated in the UFC, he fought for various organizations, including Pride. Silva was showing some of the dominance that he would later show in the UFC in the Japanese organization. He knocked out former UFC champion Carlos Newton with a flying knee and beat journeyman Jeremy Horn by a hard fought decision. Silva picked Chonan apart for most of the fight. Chonan, who had not been in the fight at all, went for a flying scissor heel hook, a move that very few have actually succeeded in. He caught Silva by surprise and submitted him. Like Sokoudjou, Chonan missed the list due to his lack of other big wins and the fact that Silva was still young into his career when the submission occurred, indicating that Chonan got lucky.

10. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Bob Sapp
This entry is not to imply that Nogueira is a lesser fighter. The man is an absolute legend and was even the Pride Heavyweight champion going into his fight against Sapp. The thing that made him an underdog was the pure size and strength of his opponent. Sapp, although only a couple of fights into his career, ran through the competition with his gigantic 350 pound frame. Compared to Nogueira's 235 pound frame, it seemed that the Brazilian did not have a chance. Only seven seconds into the fight, it seemed that everyone's fears for the champion were confirmed.

 

Nogueira was spiked onto his head by the behemoth and seemed as though he could have been dead. Past the first seven seconds did not seem much better for the decorated champion. Sapp used his size advantage to control the champion. However, never one to be out of a fight, Nogueira fought his way back from adversity and eventually locked in an armbar, submitting the Goliath to his David. This fight continues to show that even when faced with adversity, the smaller underdog can always prevail.

9. Randy Couture vs. Tim Sylvia
This fits into the same category as the latter entry. Randy Couture is a legend of the sport, being the only person to hold the UFC Light-Heavyweight and Heavyweight championship. After a hard streak in the Light-Heavyweight division that involved him being knocked out twice by Chuck Liddell, Couture retired from the sport for over a year. However, he decided to return to the sport and return to the weight class that initially made him famous: the Heavyweight division. He was given an immediate title shot against the 6'8" Tim Sylvia. We as fans obviously view Sylvia as a joke by today's terms but Sylvia was the UFC champion, on a six fight win streak, and had beaten notable names such as Andrei Arlovski and Jeff Monson. Combine this with the fact that Couture was a natural Light-Heavyweight, had not competed at Heavyweight in nearly five years, and the fact that he was going into the fight at the age of 43, it seemed as though it would be a bad day for the Hall of Fame fighter.

Then Couture threw the first punch, dropping the champion.

It seemed as though Couture got lucky and knocked the champion out, but Sylvia refused to be finished. Instead, Couture showed that it was more than luck that had him drop the champion. He used his immaculate skill set to control Sylvia in the stand-up and controlled him on the ground. At no point was the massive champion in the fight. Couture showed that age is simply a number and won the UFC Heavyweight championship at the age of 43, making him the oldest champion to date. Not only did he win the championship, which he would defend before losing it to the ultra-massive Brock Lesnar, Couture went on to have some of the best fights of his career when he was even older, showing that it is never too late to get a second chance.

8. Frankie Edgar vs. BJ Penn I
When this fight was made, it made a lot of people scratch their heads. As the champion of the Lightweight division, Penn had been on a terror, showing his dominance and that he deserved to be the champion. He beat down Joe Stevenson to win the title in one of the bloodiest fights in history, knocked out Sean Sherk with a flying knee, submitted Kenny Florian, and dominated Diego Sanchez to a doctor's stoppage, the only stoppage in Sanchez's career. Edgar had also defeated Sherk, but in a forgettable decision, and received his title shot by defeating Matt Veach (if you ask yourself who that is, you are proving the point). Many people felt that Penn had cleared out the division and that he was taking title fights against lesser competition. Edgar, however, was out to show that he had simply not came into his own yet.

Although the fight had a controversial decision, with many feeling that Penn slightly edged out the challenger, the level that Edgar pushed the champion was something that nobody saw coming. Penn received an immediate rematch to quiet the skeptics, only to be met with an unquestionable decision with for Edgar. While we today realize the talent that Edgar has, his heart truly showed when facing arguably the greatest Lightweight champion of all time.

7. Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Mirko Cro Cop


Right leg hospital, left leg cemetery. That is the story of Mirko Cro Cop. The Pride legend was arguably the biggest asset when the Japanese organization merged with the UFC roster, considering he had recently won their Open-weight Grand Prix and beat three different former UFC champions while with the organization (Kevin Randleman, Mark Coleman, and Josh Barnett a total of three times). His devastating head-kicks dominated the likes of Igor Vovchanchyn, Alexander Emelianenko, and the ultra-tough Wanderlei Silva. Cro Cop dominated Eddie Sanchez in his initial UFC fight, showing that he was a viable asset to the company. His fight against Gonzaga would yield the next challenger for the UFC Heavyweight title. Experts and fans saw Gonzaga as a sacrifice for Cro Cop to receive his highly anticipated title fight against Randy Couture. Gonzaga, who was primarily a Jiu-Jitsu fighter, had only fought one big name before when he was knocked out by Fabricio Werdum. There was almost guaranteed to be a vicious knockout. And there was.

The fight started out tentatively, with both fighters picking their shots carefully. When Cro Cop went for a high kick, Gonzaga took advantage and took him down. On the ground, Gonzaga surprised people by beating the Croatian down with elbows. The referee eventually stood them up, a huge disadvantage for Gonzaga in the eyes of the fans. Then, with nine seconds left in the first round, Gonzaga threw a head kick, one that will be burned in the minds of fans for years to come. Gonzaga Cro Cop'ed Cro Cop. The knockout was so brutal that Cro Cop's foot twisted under his leg. Not only did nobody see Gonzaga winning the fight in any form, nobody could have possibly seen him take out the kickboxer with his own signature move. Gonzaga went on to fight for the title, for which he was unsuccessful, and fought some other bigger names. Because of the Cro Cop fight, he was catapulted into a whole different level in the Heavyweight division. Cro Cop never again achieved the momentum he had going into this fight. It seemed that this underdog destroyed Cro Cop's psyche.

6. Forrest Griffin vs. Shogun Rua I
This is almost the same story as the previous entry. Shogun destroyed all the competition that he faced in Pride, only losing to Mark Coleman because of an injury he suffered during a takedown. In his reign, he dispatched of Rampage Jackson, Alistair Overeem (x2), and Ricardo Arona, all by knockout. He also had a fight of the year against Lil Nog. His knockout of Arona earned him the 2005 Pride Middleweight Grand Prix title. A rematch against Jackson seemed to be in Shogun's future. The only thing in his path was Forrest Griffin. Griffin was a fan favorite that was famous for winning The Ultimate Fighter against Stephan Bonnar in a fight that most consider to be the greatest fight of all time. Besides this and two losses to higher level competition (Tito Ortiz and Keith Jardine), Griffin had no experience that could compare to Shogun's accomplishments. According to Dana White, he actually received messages from fans asking why they would put Griffin against Shogun.

Griffin shocked the world not just by getting lucky with a knockout or submission (as some people thought Gonzaga had against Cro Cop) but rather by genuinely beating the Brazilian over the course of the entire fight. With only 30 seconds left in the fight, Griffin had Rua controlled on the ground and could have easily waited the clock out to earn a decision win. Instead, Griffin showed extreme heart by sinking in a rear-naked choke and submitting Rua with only 15 seconds left in the fight. Griffin earned his title fight and, in another upset, beat Jackson to become the champion. This fight shows that even a fighter who most people count out right away can make a career with enough heart.

5. Rafael dos Anjos vs Anthony Pettis
This one is still very recent but I think it will leave a lasting impression on the fans. Critics believed that Pettis was well on his way to being the best Lightweight champion of all time. He had won the championship by being the first person in the UFC to finish Benson Henderson and being the first person ever to finish Gilbert Melendez. He is also the only person to finish Donald Cerrone, delivering a body kick that floored the notoriously tough kickboxer. I even had my doubts about the legitimacy of Pettis, but after his finish of Melendez, he had me convinced. Dos Anjos' UFC career has had high points and low points. The man who was previously finished by Clay Guida and Jeremy Stephens was riding a wave of success. He had beaten fellow Lightweight contender Donald Cerrone (although not convincingly), knocked out Benson Henderson (in a somewhat controversial referee call), and had only been beaten by Russian superstar Khabib Nurmagomedov. Dos Anjos went into his fight against Pettis with a dominate win over Nate Diaz. Having been the underdog in four in his past five fights, it seemed that dos Anjos would be going in as a sacrifice to a man Dana White called the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

When I heard about the fight, I was very sure that Pettis would win. He had superior striking to the Brazilian and had a slight edge in submissions, having submitted two people who are notoriously difficult to submit. I wanted dos Anjos to win and succeed his career comeback, but it did not seem possible. The variable I did not consider was pressure. Pettis' lone UFC loss was to Clay Guida, a man known for pressuring fighters with a barrage of of strikes and takedowns. As soon as the fight against dos Anjos started, it was clear that it would not be an easy night for Pettis, as many people predicted. The Brazilian challenger pressured the champion in every way possible. He controlled the stand-up. He dominated the champion on the ground. He looked for submissions. I remember texting my friend during the 5th round and told him Pettis' only way to win would be to pull an Anderson Silva and finish dos Anjos in the 5th. The champion could not muster the Brazilian's heart and by the end of the night, there was no doubt in anyone's mind that there was a new champion. This fight holds a special place in my heart. Everyone loves an underdog story, with many simply being fighters who have yet to prove themselves, but this one was different. Dos Anjos had attempted to prove himself throughout his career and had previously failed. He had lost his first two UFC fights, a streak that could send other fighters to different organizations. But he stuck with his career and improved himself with every fight. Sure, it is great to see a fighter finally prove their self worthy early in their career, but seeing a career make a massive comeback is a heart-warming experience.

4. Fabricio Werdum vs Fedor Emelianenko

If you are not familiar with Fedor Emelianenko, then I am not sure why you are reading this blog. Fedor is a legend in the sport of MMA, having accomplished things that other fighters could only dream about. Some of these accomplishments include winning the Pride Heavyweight belt, the 2004 Pride Heavyweight Grand Prix, beating some of the best fighters of all time that includes Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Mirko Cro Cop, and going nearly a decade without a loss. After the closing of the Affliction organization, it was announced that Fedor was coming to Strikeforce, an organization that was famous for having a list of famous Heavyweight fighters. His first fight for the organization was against Brett Rodgers, a fight that saw the Russian knockout the powerhouse. His next fight was against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu champion Fabricio Werdum. Werdum was a decent Heavyweight, having picked up wins against big names like Alistair Overeem and Fedor's brother Alexander while with Pride, but was nowhere near the level that Fedor was at during his reign. Emelianenko's lone loss in his career was due to a doctor's stoppage due to an illegal elbow, which was almost a decade before his fight against Werdum.

The fight started and Fedor showed the fans why his aura was on Chuck Norris level by dropping Werdum with a punch. Werdum was rushed by the Russian with a flurry of ground-and-pound. However, the Brazilian stayed calm and looked for a hole he could exploit, which he found by locking in a triangle choke. Fans were shocked but still thought Fedor would pull through the adversity, as he did when he was slammed on his head by Kevin Randleman and still pulled off a submission win. The more Fedor fought, the tighter Werdum locked in the hold. Then the unthinkable happened: FedUFCor tapped. Werdum had accomplished what some of the greatest of all time could not do in just over a minute. This was the MMA equivalent of Superman being beaten by one of the reporters he worked with, it just didn't seem like something that could happen. Werdum set up a path for Fedor that had him losing three fights in a row. The Brazilian lost his next fight, but transitioned back to the UFC, where he is the current Interim Heavyweight champion, showing that it takes one big win from a "lesser" fighter to catapult them into being the best.

3. TJ Dillashaw vs Renan Barao
UFC 173 was set to be one of the biggest cards of the year. The card was set to have Chris Weidman vs Vitor Belfort (and later Lyoto Machida after Belfort withdrew), Chael Sonnen vs Wanderlei Silva in a grudge match, and Junior Dos Santos vs Stipe Miocic. However, the pay-per-view had it's share of problems and many of the fights were cancelled or rescheduled. The event was left with Robbie Lawler vs Jake Ellenberger, Daniel Cormier vs an undersized Dan Henderson, and a title fight between Renan Barao and TJ Dillashaw. The first two fights peaked some interest but the title fight left people scratching their heads. Barao, like Fedor before him, had been unbeaten in almost a decade, only losing his first fight and undefeated in his next 33 fights, including the domination of the UFC Bantamweight divsion such as Urijah Faber twice, Michael Mcdonald, and Eddie Wineland. Dillawshaw lost the Ultimate Fighter, was one for two in his previous two fights, and his biggest win came against Mike Easton. The perception was that Barao had cleaned out the division and was just keeping himself busy until the former champion Dominick Cruz came back from his injury. Some sources gave Dillashaw only a 6% chance of winning his fight against the Brazilian.
  
Dillashaw went on to prove to everyone what the heart of a champion is truly made of. He dominated the previously dominate champion over the course of five rounds, securing a guaranteed decision win over the champion by dropping him with multiple strikes and dominating the fight in every aspect. Then, in the 5th and final round, Dillashaw hit Barao with a head kick that dropped the champion again, allowing Dillashaw to finish the champion with strikes. This fight was special because not only was Dillashaw given no chance of winning only to dominate and finish the champion, but he also saved the card from fading into obscurity. He took a boring concept of a fight and turned it into something that people will remember for years to come.

2. Chris Weidman vs Anderson Silva I
This was the fight that made my neighbors hate me due to the screaming that ensured. Anderson Silva is easily the greatest fighter that ever lived, having dominated the Middleweight division for years, beating the best of the best. His striking and Jiu-Jitsu skills stumped even the best fighters in the world to the point of obscurity. With every fight came a new contender who claimed that they would be the next to beat the unstoppable champion, but each one failed to keep their promise. When Chris Weidman came up as the next contender, he made a similar promise. He did have the tools to beat the champion, but it did not seem like he would be able to. His only way to win would be to take the Chael Sonnen route and out wrestle Silva. His last fight saw him brutally knock out Mark Munoz, but Silva's chin has been tested by some of the best strikers in the world.

The fight was rather strange. The first round saw Weidman taking the previously mentioned route to success, taking the champion down and landing several hard punches on the ground. It seemed like he could shock the world by taking the champion to a dominate decision. In the second round however, the champion stuffed the challenger's takedowns, preferring to keep the fight standing. He then began to toy with the challenger, taunting him by dropping his hands and inviting the challenger to attempt to punch him. When Weidman did make a connection, Silva toyed with him more, pretending to be stunned by the punch, while dodging the challenger's incoming punches. Then Weidman connected...hard. Silva dropped to the ground in a heap, only to be pounced upon by Weidman in an attempt to finish the fight. But the fight was already finished. The arena erupted with a collective gasp. And just like that, we had a new Middleweight champion for the first time in nearly seven years. Weidman is obviously a great fighter, but the likelihood that he would defeat the greatest fighter of all time, especially by knockout, seemed unlikely. We were very very wrong.

1. Matt Serra vs Georges St-Pierre I
 
When the fourth season of The Ultimate Fighter was announced, it was an interesting concept. The show brought back former UFC fighters to give them another shot at the world's most famous MMA organization. Not only would they receive a contract with the UFC, they would also receive an immediate title shot. This was a cheap gimmick as most of the fighters on the show were mediocre fighters that didn't fare well in the early days of the UFC and would likely not fare well against the two champions at the time: Anderson Silva at Middleweight and Georges St-Pierre at Welterweight. The Middleweight winner, Travis Lutter, did not even receive a title shot against Silva as he did not make weight for their fight, one he eventually lost. The Welterweight winner was Matt Serra. Serra was a stepping stone of sorts for up-and-coming fighters to go through before making it big, such as BJ Penn and Karo Parisyan. His most famous fight was against Shonie Carter, where Serra was knocked out with the first spinning-back fist that was seen in the UFC. When you are most famous for being knocked out by a fellow mediocre fighter and you are fighting Georges St-Pierre, things are not looking good for you. The betting odds agreed, giving St-Pierre a -1100 to Serra's +700.

The fight started out as a decent back and forth between the two, with St-Pierre using his reach well against the shorter, stockier Serra. Then Serra connected with a strong punch that rocked the champion slightly. Serra smelled the blood and went in for the kill. He overwhelmed the champion with strong punches that dropped St-Pierre multiple times. Before St-Pierre could recover, the referee called the fight. Jaws hit the floor worldwide. The man who was literally given a title shot rather than earning it had just knocked out the greatest Welterweight of all time. Serra would only gain one more win before retiring from MMA, but one win cemented his legacy in the sport. With the other fighters on this list, their legacy started with their underdog win, but with Matt Serra, his legacy is his win in the biggest upset of all time.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Anderson Silva's Win Streak: 2006-2013

Anderson Silva...and that is all I really need to say. He is without a doubt the greatest fighter of all time. He has fought the best of the best and dominated everyone in convincing fashion. My friends and I joke about his abilities in the same way people talk about The Most Interesting Man In The World: He knocked a guy out with an uppercut...with his elbow. He danced in the middle of the octagon...while dodging punches. He knocked a guy out with one punch...while running backwards. How could anyone beat him? Well...it just happened. Anderson Silva was defeated inside the octagon. People have had many mixed feelings about the long time champion considering his long time unbeaten streak combined with his somewhat arrogant attitude when fighting. What is undeniable is his legacy inside the octagon. He has accomplished more than most fighters could ever dream of doing and has done it with relative ease. I have always been a supporter of Silva, through the highs and lows in his career, because while he does come off as arrogant, he was the best and deserved the right to be arrogant. But where do we go from here? Silva has now said he does not want an immediate rematch, which I find respectable. Does he go the route of the space filler by filling in whenever a fighter is unable to compete? Does he take the route his former opponent Rich Franklin took by accepting fights the fans would like to see, whether they have title implications or not? Or does he eventually retire with his legacy minus a loss on his UFC record? Only time can truly tell what will happen to the...and it pains me to say this as a long time fan....former Middleweight champion will do with his UFC tenure and what will happen to the sport of MMA in general, but I can only hope great things from the now new, and surprising, champion Chris Weidman.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Greatest MMA Knockouts

It's been a while since I have made a post on this blog because of things such as graduating college, moving, and starting a new job. I thought I would bring back the blog with a topic that people often argue about when talking about MMA: What is the greatest knockout?

Mixed Martial Arts is a sport that is based on technique and heart. It is based on who can use their technique to out class their opponent and use their incredible heart to continue to push the pace. If you look at some of the greatest fights ever, they are often battles that go to a decision because both fighters do not give up. However, and let's be honest, most people when they watch a fight are looking for the epic knockout. These are my personal favorites for various reasons that I will mention. I was going to do a top 10 list but while compiling a list, I came up with a list of 11 knockouts and could simply not justify cutting any of them. Before I get to the top 11, here are some honorable mentions.


Honorable Mentions

Double Knockout by...Does it really matter?
Couldn't help but put this somewhere on the list. I am not fully aware of who the fighters are but the wide spread of this video on the internet has opened some people to the sport because of how entertaining and humorous the video is. It is almost too perfect of timing to be true.

Lyoto Machida vs. Rashad Evans

This is possibly one of the best rag doll moments in MMA. Rashad Evans, who had just won the Light-Heavyweight championship by knocking out Forrest Griffin, was on a hot streak and was undefeated. However, it was the same boat for Lyoto Machida, who had been going through the Light-Heavyweight division by demonstrating an elusiveness that nobody had seen before. In the end, the cocky attitude of Rashad combined with the elusive striking of Machida resulted in Rashad lying in a heap on the octagon floor.
Admit it, you just laughed

11. Igor Vovchanchyn vs. Francisco Bueno
This is a fight that most fans are probably not very familiar with. Few except hardcore fans even know who Igor Vovchanchyn was but do not let his unknown name fool you because Igor was a beast in his day. To this day, he holds the record for longest unbeaten streak against quality opponents (Travis Fulton actually has a longer unbeaten streak but against virtual unknown fighters). During this unbeaten streak, he defeated Gary Goodridge twice, a No-Contest against Mark Kerr that was originally a win but overturned due to illegal strikes (Kerr was undefeated at the time btw), and a stoppage of Kazushi Sakuraba in the 2000 Pride Grand Prix that he was on his way to win before his unbeaten streak was stopped by Mark Coleman.

After the No-Contest against Kerr, Vovchanchyn fought Fransisco Bueno at Pride 8. It was a typical fight until Vovchanchyn cornered Bueno and landed a devastating punch that knocked out Bueno...and then another...and another. He managed to to hit Bueno with four punches that each would be considered knockout punches while his unconscious opponent fell straight down to the mat like a tree that was just cut down. In the documentary Pride Decade, which goes over the history of Pride FC from Pride 1 to 34 and is a wonderful documentary that is worth a viewing, Josh Barnett talks about the knockout and mentions it as being the best knockout in Pride history.

10. Rashad Evans vs. Chuck Liddell
While Chuck Liddell ended his fighting career by being knocked out by Rich Franklin, it was really the knockout at the hands of Rashad Evans that sent his career into a downward spiral. He had previously lost his Light-Heavyweight Championship by being knocked out by Rampage but that was a series of punches. With Rashad Evans, it was very apparent that Liddell was not the fighter he use to be as well as not having the chin he use to have. The hard punch left Liddell completely out in a pile on the mat along with his career.

9. Scott Smith vs. Pete Sell
In my first list on this blog, the best fights in UFC history, I forgot to add this fight. This fight demonstrates what is so wonderful about the sport. The two fighters were good friends on The Ultimate Fighter and it showed during the fight. The two would embrace at the beginning of the rounds, end of the rounds, and even during the rounds if one fighter landed a good punch. In the second round, Sell landed a body shot that had Smith hunched over in pain. Sell smelled the blood and went in for the kill. Smith, who has since said it was over and he only had one punch left in him, used that punch as Sell ran towards him and knocked him out in one punch. This goes to show you that no matter how over it seems, it is never over until the ref calls it.
8. Mirko Cro Cop vs. Wanderlei Silva/Igor Vovchanchyn
Both of these fights are tied for the same reason: Right leg hospital, left leg cemetery. The first fight is Cro Cop vs. Wanderlei Silva. The two had previously fought and the fight ended in a draw. In the second fight, the stakes were higher. The two were fighting for a spot in the finals of the Pride 2006 Openweight Grand Prix. Silva, being much smaller than Cro Cop, was being picked apart and the fight was almost stopped due to the damage to Silva's face. After the fight continued, Cro Cop landed one of his patented left head kicks that brutally knocked Wanderlei out. Cro Cop won his place in the finals of the tournament and eventually won the tournament.


While the Silva knockout was devastating and earned Cro Cop a chance at the finest moment in his career, it was his knockout of Igor Vovchanchyn that was probably Cro Cop's biggest knockout. As I previously mentioned, Vovchanchyn was widely considered one of the best Heavyweight fighters and one of the best Heavyweight strikers. When Cro Cop entered the picture, the two fighters matched up perfectly. Of course, Cro Cop being Cro Cop, he landed a head kick that seemed as though it would have decapitated Vovchanchyn. That was the moment that Mirko Filipovic became simply Cro Cop.
7. Anderson Silva vs. Chris Leben
Now while the ending knee was impressive, I am not talking about that specific knee. I am talking about the entire fight being one big knockout. At this point, Anderson Silva was somewhat unknown. He had picked up impressive wins in Pride but had also lost during his stint in the organization. Silva's previous win was a very impressive knockout over Tony Fryklund, which almost made this list, where he knocked him out by uppercutting him with an elbow. Chris Leben was a well-known UFC veteran known for his durable chin and hard-hitting power. Silva came in and made Leben look like a rookie. Silva managed to land 100% of his punches while rocking Leben in the first few seconds of the fight that lead him towards a deadly clinch that knocked out Leben for good. Silva has many impressive knockouts, such as his two against Rich Franklin and his humiliation of Forrest Griffin, but it was his UFC debut that showed the world that The Spider had arrived and was there to stay.

6. Wanderlei Silva vs. Quinton Jackson II

This is possibly the biggest rivalry in MMA history. The two fighters were at the top of the Light-Heavyweight totem pole in Pride at a time when the organization had all the best 205 pounders not named Chuck Liddell. Their first fight ended with Silva knocking Jackson out but not in too brutal of fashion leading Silva to win the 2003 Middleweight Grand Prix. The second fight was for Silva's Middleweight championship and it went somehow less successfully for Rampage than the first fight. Silva's clinch work proved to be too much for Rampage and Silva brutally knocked him out leaving him dangling between the ropes while everyone was in awe over the power that Wanderlei possessed.
Rampage planking before it was even popular.
 5. Quinton Jackson vs. Ricardo Arona
Ask most people what their favorite knockout is in MMA and they would probably look at you very strangely since the sport is not as popular as some people would hope. However, mention the fight where a guy picks his opponent over his head and slams him hard enough to knock him out, then they can tell you all about it thanks to the power of Youtube.

Rampage Jackson has had many fantastic knockouts in his career that started in 1999 and is still going such as his two knockout victories over Chuck Liddell and his revenge knockout of Wanderlei Silva, but it is his knockout over fellow Pride star Ricardo Arona that is the focal point of his career. The two were fighting for a chance to fight Wanderlei Silva for the Pride Middleweight championship. Arona acquired three wins in Pride against three dangerous opponents: Guy Mezger, Dan Henderson, and Ninja Rua. Rampage had previously been knocked out by Silva and wanted revenge. While Rampage won the chance, see the post above to see how it went. But in the Arona fight, Rampage was in his opponent's guard, an especially dangerous guard at that. When Arona went for a triangle choke, Rampage countered by picking Arona up over his head and slamming him hard enough to knock him out. While the actual knockout is controversial since it appears that there was an accidental headbutt during the slam, the knockout still stands and is considered the greatest knockout in Pride history.

 4. Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Mirko Filipovic
In order to truly think about the placement of this entry, watch the video above and think about the beast that Mirko Filipovic (AKA Mirko Cro Cop) was before he entered the UFC.

In his second fight in the UFC, he was given the opportunity to fight for the chance at a title shot. He was put up against Gabriel Gonzaga, a decent Heavyweight fighter specializing in Jiu-Jitsu. While Gonzaga had compiled a five fight win streak that included three wins in the UFC, most experts were saying that Gonzaga was the sacrificial lamb to Cro Cop's eventual title fight. Early in the fight, Gonzaga took Cro Cop down and started to ground-and-pound the great kickboxer. When the fight was stood back up, everyone thought that it was only a matter of time before Cro Cop landed one of his famous head kicks. Then this happened...
Gonzaga Cro Cop'ed Cro Cop. In a highlight that nobody saw coming, Gonzaga landed a right high kick that knocked Cro Cop clean out to the point where his ankle twisted underneath him. Gonzaga earned a title shot that he lost and his career fizzled while Cro Cop's great potential in the UFC fell flat. However, in that one kick, the two cemented one of the best moments that happened in the octagon.
3. Edson Barboza vs. Terry Etim
This is the only knockout on this list that I saw happen live. Honestly, UFC 142 was a card that I did not have the highest hopes for and only watched it because my friend got a live feed of it. It turned out to be one of the best cards I have ever seen. The main event was a great fight that cemented my faith in Jose Aldo and featured two wonderful submissions. However, the lasting effect of the event was the first fight on the main card. Edson Barboza was an up and coming lightweight while Terry Etim was a popular British fighter that had nine fights in his UFC career. The fight was a decent fight with no particular build up to it. Then in the last round, Barboza landed a spinning wheel kick that knocked out Etim and left him falling straight back. The knockout was amazing and the first of its kind. Since then, fighters have been trying to emulate Barboza with spinning wheel kicks. It was the focal point of one of the best cards of all time.

2. Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort
How could this not be on anyone's greatest knockout list? The fight had build-up that made it a huge grudge match. The two fighters use to be training partners when both were members of the Chute Box academy but had negative things to say about each other. Not only was this a grudge match, but there was also a lot of doubt about Anderson Silva as a fighter. Early in his career, Silva had dominated everyone he faced so much that he seemed indestructible. After his lack-luster fight against Thales Leites, people began to question Silva. After embarrassing himself and his company in his fight against Demian Maia, everyone began to question Silva. Then came the fight against Chael Sonnen where Silva was dominated very convincingly for four and a half rounds, only keeping his title because of a Hail Mary triangle choke in the fifth round. Silva was obviously not the fighter he use to be. So combine all this with the fact that Silva had not faced an opponent with the striking credentials that Belfort had, and an upset was in the midst. 
  
The fight did show us something: Anderson Silva is back. Belfort, who usually barrages his opponents in the first round, was unable to get into the range to connect with Silva. Silva, with his typical elusiveness, surprised Belfort with a front kick...to the face. Front kicks are typically used to connect to the body in order to create distance. Silva used his technique and power to kick him in the face and simultaneously handed Belfort his first knockout loss and the first front kick knockout in a major MMA organization. It was between this and Lyoto Machida's front kick knockout over Randy Couture, but the original was more shocking and spectacular. Besides, they were essentially the same kick since both learned it from Steven Seagal. (Tries to hold back the laughter)
I also invented gloves and the jab.
 
1. Dan Henderson vs. Michael Bisping
UFC 100 was one of the biggest events of all time. It was an important milestone in the sports history that featured legends of the sport, an up-and-coming future champion rising even further, a star from Japan making his UFC debut, two title fights, and a coach fight from The Ultimate Fighter, all in one event. The latter fight is the one of interest right now. Dan Henderson, the coach for the USA team on the show, is an absolute legend with Olympic credentials, a UFC tournament title, and being the only person to hold a belt in two different weight classes at the same time in a major MMA promotion. Michael Bisping had collected a series of wins and was a TUF winner himself, making his position as the UK coach on the show warranted. During the course of the show, Bisping, as usual, had many insulting things to say about Dan Henderson as well as anyone that would listen to a word he had to say. Henderson, being the calm and collected type, waited for his opportunity to show Bisping up in the Octagon. The fight was decent back and forth fight with each fighter picking their shots wisely. Then, when the time came, Henderson set up a devastating right hand that put Bisping out for good. While the right hand put him out, Henderson then performed what I like to refer to as a "flying Hendo Bomb" on Bisping by jumping onto his seemingly lifeless body with an even more powerful right hand. Hendo, in his post-fight interview, said that he knew Bisping was out with the first punch, but landed the second to "shut him up". The glorious knockout can be added to the impressive career of one of the greatest fighters of all time. It only makes sense that one of the greatest fighters of all time landed one of the greatest knockouts of all time at one of the greatest events of all time.
 HEENNNDOOOO SMAAASHH!!!