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Takanori Gomi didn't quite make the list, but is still one of the lightweight division's greatest figures.
Whenever we do a “Top 10” list here at Bleacher/Report, we obviously have to make some agonizing cuts. What's more, when you're looking over things as individually unique as fights, you sometimes have to tailor your picks to avoid repetitiveness (for example, this list could very easily have been made up entirely of submissions), or to pay homage to specific fighters (for example, the BJ Penn vs. Diego Sanchez was partly included simply because it'd be wrong to have Penn's only appearance on the list be his loss to Jens Pulver).
So what're some great fights that slipped through the cracks? What are some of the best things we've seen in lightweight title history?
The biggest upsets we've ever seen were probably the two bouts between BJ Penn and Frankie Edgar. The original bout was, honestly, a horrible job by the judges (seriously, one of them actually scored it 50-45) and the second bout was just terribly lopsided. Having Edgar appear three other times, I feel, makes up for it.
Probably the single most savage knockout is a relatively obscure one, a Sengoku bout between Mizuto Hirota and Satoru Kitaoka. Hirota actually ended up getting a front headlock in the fourth round after a trying ground battle. Kitaoka went to the ground...but unfortunately for him, most Japanese promotions don't have rules against knees to the heads of grounded opponents.
With that, Hirota jarred Kitaoka around the cage with knee after knee and did so much damage, Kitaoka couldn't even stand after the fight. English commentator Michael Schiavello actually said that Kitaoka “got pwned”. What a n00b, amirite?
Sweetest submission would probably be...well...anything from Shinya Aoki. His arm-snapping hammerlock on Mizuto Hirota (yeah, the same Mizuto Hirota), though not actually a title fight (it was a Dynamite!! super-fight between the lightweight champs from Sengoku and Dream), is one of the scariest things we've ever seen in the cage. His middle-finger afterward was one of the un-classiest things we've ever seen in the cage.
Also, just have to give general shout-outs to Eddie Alvarez and Jamie Varner. They have some big wins but they only show up here as losers. Also, general commendations to Takanori Gomi. Sorry, guys!
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