Most Memorable UFC Images of the Last Decade

Dan Hiergesell@DHiergesellFeatured ColumnistSeptember 12, 2012

Most Memorable UFC Images of the Last Decade

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    Pictures are worth a thousand words.

    They are memories captured to preserve greatness. Images that are etched in our minds forever.

    In sports, pictures are everything. They signify perseverance, courage and the discipline to overcome tragedy.

    This is never more true than in mixed martial arts.

    So without further ado, and in no specific order, here are the most memorable UFC images of the last decade.

A Debut Ruined

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    Brock Lesnar was supposed to be indestructible.

    His reputation leading up to his debut against Frank Mir at UFC 81 was that his strength, physical demeanor and raw animal instincts would break every heavyweight in his way.

    Unfortunately for Lesnar, Mir knows a little something about submissions.

Lesnar Gets His Revenge

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    On the back of two consecutive UFC victories over Heath Herring and Randy Couture, Brock Lesnar set his sights on Frank Mir in a historic rematch at UFC 100.

    This time around Lesnar trained for Mir's world-class submissions and kept away from any sort of dangerous situation.

    After pulverizing Mir for nearly seven minutes, Lesnar let him know he had his number for good.

Cocky but Cool

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    Cockiness sometimes relates to insecurity.

    However, for Nate Diaz, cockiness is just his way of displaying elite talent.

    This image was captured at UFC Fight Night back in 2008 which showcases Diaz holding his hands up in victory even before the referee stepped in and freed Kurt Pellegrino.

David Slays Goliath

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    Randy Couture's five-round spectacle opposite Tim Sylvia at UFC 68 put the entire MMA world on notice.

    Despite age and size, Couture possessed the legendary skills, and heart, to take down any heavyweight giant.

    For Sylvia, the loss was more or less the straw that broke the camel's back.

Twist of Fate

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    People really didn't know what to make of Chan Sung Jung's submission victory over Leonard Garcia at UFC Fight Night 24.

    It was the first time a UFC audience had seen a twister.  It was also the first time a fighter had the precision to pull it off.

    The decisive finish more or less put "The Korean Zombie" on the map and instantly made him the unpredictable finisher that he is today.

The Wheel Kick

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    Unlike anything anybody had seen inside the Octagon before, Edson Barboza's spinning wheel kick KO of Terry Etim at UFC 142 is legendary in its own right.

    The kick was something only seen in movies like The Karate Kid.

    That sort of technique just isn't applied to real life MMA these days, but the Brazilian pulled it off with perfection.

    It's arguably the greatest KO in UFC history.

Snap

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    Before facing Frank Mir at UFC 140 Antonio "Minotauro" Nogueira had never been submitted.

    Quite honestly, he was never supposed to be.  The guy is a legendary Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner who trains some of the baddest submission specialists in the game today.

    But what took place that night in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, will never be forgotten.

    Mir not only tapped "Big Nog", but he broke his arm in the process.  The aftermath was downright gruesome.

You Don't Look so Good

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    Mark Hominick's hematoma at UFC 129 may quite possibly the most disgusting injury ever seen inside the Octagon.

    His head practically exploded, making him look some sort of creature out of Alien.

    For Jose Aldo, the toughest part of this fight was trying not to look at what he had done to his opponent.

Right Back at Ya

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    There's something special about a legend of the sport losing by the very move that had made him famous.

    In Mirko Cro Cop's world, that technique was the head kick.

    Cro Cop had perfected it, but for some reason he never thought it could be used against him.

    Gabriel Gonzaga proved the world wrong when he dropped the MMA great in the first round at UFC 70 with one swift kick.

Even Steven

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    Nothing could prepare the world for the sheer excellence displayed at the hands of Dan Henderson and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 139.

    The action was literally non-stop. 

    For 25 minutes the two legends battled it out like wild banshees.  Punches were slung, punches were landed, both fighters were dropped and both fighters came back for more.

    It was arguably the greatest fight in MMA history and this image captures how even it truly was.

Guida Being Guida

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    For nearly six years the UFC has been lucky enough to employ a fighter like Clay Guida.

    For nearly six years his blood has been spilled on the Octagon canvas as if he was trying to remake a Picasso painting.

    For nearly six years the UFC lightweight division has been badgered by this caveman lunatic and for nearly six years fans have watched his every movement.

    Lets hope Guida fights for another six.

Upset for the Ages

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    When Matt Serra dropped Georges St-Pierre at UFC 69 to capture the welterweight title nobody could believe it.

    It was so astonishing that Serra himself was lost for words.

    St-Pierre had looked downright untouchable in his previous fights and boasted significant size, speed, technique and discipline advantages over his opponent.

    Unfortunately for "Rush", punching power is something you can't truly train for.

Calling It Quits

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    There's not one UFC fan out there that wanted to see Chuck Liddell's career come to an end.

    He's quite possibly the most beloved fighter of all time and easily commands a spot on UFC's Mt. Rushmore.

    When Rich Franklin dropped "The Iceman" at the very end of the first round at UFC 115 it was like reading the last chapter of your favorite book.

    The fact that Franklin ended the legend's career with a broken arm was simply icing on the cake.

The Dragon Strikes Back

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    Fighters get knocked out all the time.

    It happens so often that fans simply chalk it up as another KO.

    But what happened to Rashad Evans at UFC 98 was no ordinary loss.  Lyoto Machida literally punched him into another dimension.

    This image displays the brutality of Machida's striking and how quickly a UFC champion can be left slumped over with his eyes rolled back into his head.

Couture Doubles Up

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    Randy Couture's dominant victory over Chuck Liddell at UFC 43 was historic for two reasons.

    It sparked a rivalry that would carry the UFC for three years and it was the first time in UFC history that a fighter had won a title in two different weight classes.

    If there was ever one warrior to accomplish all of this in a matter of three rounds, it's "The Natural".

A Slice of Heaven

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    Whether you respected his game or not, seeing the Youtube street brawling sensation Kimbo Slice compete in the UFC was extremely entertaining.

    Slice had the power to essentially KO any heavyweight in the division.  The problem was his condition, weak legs and inability to get off his back after being taken down.

    His UFC career may have been quick and unsatisfactory, but every minute he fought was watched closely.

Aldo Goes Crowd Surfing

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    Rarely do fans get the chance to party with their favorite fighter right after he secures a championship KO victory.

    For the people of Brazil that were lucky enough to sit cageside at UFC 142, watching Jose Aldo run out of the Octagon into the crowd was probably mind blowing.

    I wonder what the fans in Rio would have done if it was Chael Sonnen who celebrated alongside them.

Knocked Out Cold

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    Rashad Evans' KO of Chuck Liddell at UFC 88 speaks for itself.

    Its by far the biggest finish in Evans' career and was the first time Liddell's exchanges had looked slow.

    "The Iceman" wouldn't be the same after this fight and Evans would move on to capture the light heavyweight title from Forrest Griffin.

The Follow Up

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    Has there ever been a bigger follow-up punch in the UFC?

    It's unlikely.

    Has a fighter ever had a flying fist drilled into his face after already being unconscious?

    Maybe so, but Dan Henderson's vicious KO of Michael Bisping at UFC 100 trumps them all.

    The insurance punch was just Henderson's way of telling the Brit to shut up for just a little bit.

A Legendary Meeting

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    Sparks definitely flew when Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva finally danced at UFC 79.

    It was a historic bout between two of the most vicious finishers in MMA history.

    And even though the fight lasted all three rounds, its Fight of the Year honors was good enough to satisfy any expectations.

The Suplex

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    WWE moves are rarely seen in the UFC.

    Fighters simply aren't trained to do some of these things.

    Luckily for UFC fans, light heavyweight champion Jon Jones knows what it takes to pull off very special techniques.

    Now while his suplex of Stephan Bonnar wasn't a chokeslam, it was still picture perfect.

Chest Hair Don't Care

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    Nothing to explain.

    Brian Ebersole's chest hair is awesome.

Heart Goes a Long Way

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    In what can be considered the biggest one-sided first round in UFC history, Frankie Edgar stood his ground against Gray Maynard and his near-100 strikes at UFC 125.

    It seemed as if Maynard could have ended the lightweight championship fight 10 times in the first five minutes, but heart goes a long way and Edgar has a lot of it.

    "The Answer" would go on to win three of the next four rounds en route to a draw and eventually a TKO victory over Maynard in their rematch at UFC 136.

Old School vs. New School

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    Not all fighters stand the test of time.

    Regardless of their historic legacies and overall impression on the sport of MMA, old school guys don't always match up well against new school guys.

    Royce Gracie found this out the hard way when he was pummeled by Matt Hughes at UFC 60.

    His Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was no match for some good old-fashioned ground-and-pound.

The Knockout

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    Vitor Belfort is so good that it seemed unworldly when Anderson Silva made him look like an amateur after front-heel kicking him into oblivion at UFC 126.

    The KO pretty much answered the question of who's the greatest fighter of all time.

    It's also one of the most enjoyable moves to imitate.

Two Men Enter, One Man Leaves

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    Alistair Overeem vs. Brock Lesnar at UFC 141 may have been meant to last longer, but it still marked the physically biggest fight in UFC history.

    Combined the two combatants looked like a military tank set out to destroy an entire army.

    When they met Lesnar found out the hard way that kickboxing is no joke and that a return to the WWE was his best career move.

The Epitome of Epic

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    The word "epic" is defined as majestic and impressively great.

    It's the perfect description of Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar's battle at TUF Finale 1.

    The bout may not stand the test of time as the greatest fight ever, but it surely takes the cake when mentioning the most important UFC fights of all time.

    It put the organization on the map and displayed to future fans the heart, dedication and courage it took to compete in the UFC.

"Big Foot" Left Bloody

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    Most likely the bloodiest fight in UFC history, Antonio "Big Foot" Silva was left battered and bruised at the hands of a relentless Cain Velasquez at UFC 146.

    The images captured during and after the fight were almost too barbaric even for the most diehard UFC fans.

    The outcome consequently rendered backlash against UFC referees and their inability to stop fights on time.

G.O.A.T.

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    Anderson Silva's fifth-round submission victory over Chael Sonnen at UFC 117 is easily the biggest comeback win in UFC history.

    Silva had been walloped by Sonnen for 24 straight minutes.  He had finally looked human and Sonnen seemed ready to hold the middleweight championship belt high above his head.

    But like the true champion he is, Silva never panicked.  He waited for the opportune time and struck with precision.

The Slam

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    After getting kneed in the groin and nearly submitted at UFC 52, Matt Hughes put on one of the most historic 60 seconds ever witnessed in the UFC.

    He put Frank Trigg over his shoulders, ran him into the cage on the other side of the Octagon and proceeded to choke him out from behind.

    It was quite possibly the most memorable finish in UFC history and deserves to mentioned on this list.

The Punch Heard Around the World

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    Many people don't consider the UFC's debut on FOX worthwhile.

    They feel as if a first-round KO in a televised heavyweight championship fight doesn't do the sport justice.

    On the contrary.

    Junior dos Santos' KO of Cain Velasquez back in 2011 marked the beginning of an era.  It put the sports world on notice.

    The UFC was a contender in America and dos Santos was one of their biggest sluggers.

The Walk Away

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    Like something you'd see in a Sylvester Stallone action movie, Jon Jones walked away from a choked out Lyoto Machida at UFC 140 like he had just set off a time bomb.

    Ironically, he may have.

    Jones' standing guillotine over one of the most elusive fighters in the sport gave people the notion that he'll one day be the greatest of all time.

    In hindsight, it was the perfect scene in his action movie.

Everytime This Happened

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    Has there ever been a better post-victory celebration than this?

    Maybe in the smallest of worlds it's Tito Ortiz's grave dig, but on this planet it's Chuck Liddell's open-arm hulk-out.

    Every time "The Iceman" pulled this trick out of his pocket you knew the after-party was going to last all night.

The Rematch

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    Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen II is the biggest rematch of all time.

    From Sonnen's trashtalking to Silva's inability to stop the wrestler for four rounds in their first bout, their second meeting meant everything.

    Would Silva put an end to all the questions or would Sonnen make good on his promise to dismantle a "fraud"?

    It was soap opera meets cage fighting.  It was downright spectacular and nothing sums up Silva's budding frustrating before ending Sonnen at UFC 148 than his shoulder jab at the weigh ins.

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