Best Moments from UFC 120-130
Bleacher Report's "Best Moments" series continues with a look at some of the biggest moments in UFC history.
The UFC's continued expansion into the mainstream continued during this period, as did its growth in population. New champions were being crowned and new stars were making their marks in the company.
Here are the best moments from UFC 120-130.
Here are the previous installments in the series.
Velasquez Makes Lesnar Dance, Takes Title at UFC 121
UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar came into his fight with up-and-coming star Cain Velasquez a big favorite in many people's minds. Within one round, those feelings were reversed.
Velasquez peppered Lesnar with some pretty combinations with his hands and staggered Lesnar across the cage. He then followed up with more brutal punches before the fight was called.
Velasquez was the new champion, and Lesnar was on the outside looking in.
Edson Barboza Cuts Down Mike Lullo with Leg Kicks at UFC 123
A young Brazilian named Edson Barboza made his debut at UFC 123 against late replacement Mike Lullo. What followed can only be described as brutal.
Barboza used his vicious leg kicks to chop down Lullo for three rounds. Eventually, the leg kicks amounted so much damage that Lullo could no longer stand, thus earning the Brazilian his victorious UFC debut.
G-Sot Outgrapples J-Lau, Finishes Him with Kimura at UFC 123
Two masterful grapplers met at UFC 123, when Joe Lauzon and George Sotiropolous squared off in the cage. Both are incredible submission fighters with nifty ground technique that wowed the audience for a good portion of their bout.
Eventually, Sotiropolous gained an edge on Lauzon and slapped on a tight kimura. With no choices left, Lauzon was forced to tap to the dangerous hold.
UFC 123: Phil Davis Kimuras Tim Boetsch...with One Hand
When Phil Davis and Tim Boetsch met in the Octagon, not too many people gave a second thought to the wrestler vs. wrestler matchup.
That was a mistake.
Showing off his dominance and superior abilities, Davis tapped out Tim Boetsch to a one-armed kimura. Yes, folks, a maneuver that takes a lot of strength to pull off only required one hand for Davis.
He would go on to name the submission "The Mr. Wonderful" in homage to his nickname.
Penn KOs Hughes to Take Rubber Match at UFC 123
At UFC 123, BJ Penn and Matt Hughes squared off at 170 pounds in a rubber match to settle their rivalry. Unfortunately for Hughes, this one would be very quick.
In under 20 seconds, Penn popped Hughes with some vicious punches and had him unconscious on the mat. It was a big win for Penn and a devastating loss for Hughes.
Garza Murders Paixao with Flying Knee at TUF 12 Finale
In the first ever featherweight bout in the UFC, Pablo Garza and Fredson Paixao met at The Ultimate Fighter 12 finale. This fight did not take long, but it did end violently.
Garza came at Paixao with as devastating of a flying knee as I can remember in my life. Paixao was unconscious immediately and took a bit of time to get out of the Octagon under his own power.
'Jab Jab' St-Pierre Literally Breaks Koscheck's Face at UFC 124
Josh Koscheck tormented Georges St-Pierre in the lead-up to their UFC 124 fight and during their tenure as coaches on TUF 12.
GSP would get the last laugh.
Using an airtight game plan, GSP jabbed and wrestled his way to a dominant victory over the brash American. Early in the fight, GSP jabbed Koscheck's eye so powerfully that he actually broke his orbital horribly.
Stephens Lands Home Run Punch on Davis at UFC 125
All was going well for Marcus Davis in his bout against Jeremy Stephens at UFC 125. He was outboxing the younger fighter and tagging him left and right.
Then the third round came.
Stephens knew the only way he could win was finishing the fight. One huge punch later, and Davis was completely out cold on the mat.
It was a great comeback and an even greater knockout.
Stann Blows Through Leben at UFC 125
The co-main event of UFC 125 saw fan favorite and re-emerging middleweight Chris Leben take on tough but untested Brian Stann.
The American Marine found himself the biggest win in his career at this point.
Using power strikes and relentless attack, Stann chiseled through the always-sturdy jaw of Leben, earning a knockout in the process. It was an impressive performance for Stann.
The Split Draw for the Ages at UFC 125
It is one of the craziest draws in the history of MMA, and it happened at UFC 125.
To this day, Maynard claims he won, and Edgar says otherwise. Either way, it was an amazing fight that gave the fans one helluva contest.
Maynard nearly finished Edgar several times in the first round. However, like the true warrior Edgar is, he came back later in the fight and showed the tremendous heart he possesses, taking rounds.
The end result was a split draw. It would set up a later meeting, as these two brought the best out of each other in this affair.
Barry Pelts Beltran's Legs, Beltran Dances After at Fight for the Troops 2
There are few things more powerful than a Pat Barry leg kick. So, when Joey Beltran ate dozens of these kicks and still had the power to go out after fight night and dance at the club, one has to applaud the absolute toughness of "The Mexicutioner."
Beltran may have lost the fight, but he won at life.
UFC 126: Jones Chokes out Bader, Takes Evans' Title Shot
Two of the UFC's hottest commodities at light heavyweight squared off at UFC 126 with one mission: win and move one step closer to the UFC title.
Jones absolutely dominated Bader from the opening bell. He would eventually choke out the high-level wrestler with a guillotine choke for the win.
After the fight, Jones' teammate, Rashad Evans, was announced as out of his upcoming title fight against Mauricio Rua. Jones was given the shot; he accepted, and thus, a huge feud was on the horizon.
Silva Hits Kick Heard 'round the World at UFC 126
It was the kick that had jaws dropping, fans raging and Steven Segal running toward the post-fight press conference.
Anderson Silva's front kick of Vitor Belfort at UFC 126 remains one of the greatest moments in UFC history. It came out of nowhere and now lives as a highlight among highlights.
Kampmann and Sanchez Engage in Bloody Brawl at UFC Live 3
The end result of Martin Kampmann and Diego Sanchez's bloody bout at UFC Live 3 left more to be desired, but the fight itself was of epic proportions.
Kampmann battered a relentless Sanchez for three rounds of pure violence. Sanchez was getting tagged left and right, but continued to move forward as if Kampmann's punches were the natural wind.
The judges made a huge mistake in giving Sanchez the win, but the fight was memorable to fans.
Jones Destroys Shogun, Becomes Youngest UFC Champ Ever at UFC 128
Jon Jones' destiny came full circle at UFC 128 when he became the youngest champion in UFC history. His absolute manhandling of a legend like Mauricio Rua turned more than a few heads to say the least.
Using unique striking, impressive wrestling and brutal ground-and-pound, Jones withered away at a flustered Rua. He ended it with the ref stepping in to save Rua from anymore damage.
Postfight, Rashad Evans stepped in the cage with Jones, thus setting off their rivalry further.
UFC Fight Night 24: Twister!
Fun Fact: Chan Sung Jung's favorite Helen Hunt movie is in fact Twister.
In all seriousness, UFC Fight Night 24 made UFC history when Chan Sung Jung became the first person to ever successfully use a twister to submit Leonard Garcia.
Just looking at that picture makes me grateful that my spine is in perfect form right now.
UFC 129: Garza Kicks off Card with Flying Triangle Choke
Pablo Garza makes his second appearance on this list with his beautiful flying triangle choke of Yves Jabouin at UFC 129.
In only his second UFC appearance, Garza had used a highlight reel finish to put away an opponent. This time, he jumped into the choke and tapped out Jabouin, earning a Submission of the Night check.
Makdessi Spinning Back Fists Watson out Cold at UFC 129
John Makdessi's striking is on another level than most fighters in the UFC. Just ask Kyle Watson.
Makdessi used flashy striking the entire time he fought Watson. Then, out of nowhere, Makdessi scored with a huge spinning back fist that put Watson to bed faster than 10 shots of Nyquil.
Devastating and beautiful at the same time.
Machida Goes Karate Kid on Couture, Sends Him into Retirement at UFC 129
Lyoto "Daniel-son" Machida must have watched The Karate Kid the night before his bout with Randy Couture because he used the crane kick to send Couture into retirement at UFC 129.
Like a strike of lightning, Machida struck in devastating fashion.
Maybe that fight was an audition to become an NFL punter, because a lesser man than Couture may have had his head kicked 50 yards into the audience.
Browne Goes Superman on Struve at UFC 130
When it comes to Stefan Struve getting knocked out, big tree fall hard almost doesn't do the action justice.
Meeting Travis Browne at UFC 130, Struve came in foolishly with a flimsy flying knee and was countered by one of the most destructive superman punches I have ever witnessed.
He was out cold, and Browne stood over him like a boss.