We’re less than a full three months into the calendar year and the UFC has already hosted six shows. Not every card has produced countless barn burners, but we’ve seen some amazing action from each event all the same.
Check out a quick recap of the most impressive fights from each event. We’re talking about the fights that fans will still remember years from now.
These guys deserve some serious respect!
Khabib Nurmagomedov sports a staggering 19-0 record as a professional mixed martial artist. Pundits believed the Russian prospect would suffer a quick blemish once making his way to the world’s largest fight promotion, the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
That didn’t happen. Instead he’s rattled off a trio of victories inside the octagon.
His last outing came at UFC on FX 7, where he battled the seasoned but sometimes unpredictable Thiago Tavares.
It was his finest showing to date. He absolutely steamrolled the Brazilian en route to a two-minute stoppage. The win sent a big message to the rest of the division: The Russian is a killer!
This fight was over before it began, or so it seems.
The bout between Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone was supposed to be a long, violent affair with plenty of fancy strikes and buckets of blood. Instead Pettis turned it into a lightning-fast one-sided beatdown that fans will remember for years.
My liver still hurts, and it wasn’t even me who got kicked! Poor, poor Cerrone!
I thought the fight between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar was amazing. Competitive as they come, non-stop action and two truly elite fighters going at it.
That sounds like a success in my book. And it was.
The only problem came earlier in the night when Antonio Silva and Alistair Overeem took to the cage to settle their differences.
This was an unbelievable bout that veered in a direction no one anticipated and shook up the heavyweight division like you wouldn’t believe.
After cruising through two rounds of comfortable dominance, Overeem allowed his confidence to get the best of him. Silva landed a flush shot early in the final frame, backed the former Strikeforce champion up and uncorked a mystifying combination that left the Dutchman unconscious in an early candidate for comeback of the year.
UFC on Fuel TV 7 offered up a great main event on paper. It just so happened to live up to all the hype.
Young challenger Michael McDonald came out and gave interim champion Renan Barao all he could handle for three rounds. He hurt the champion on more than one occasion, pressed the action, refused to back down and fought until a simple mistake opened up a finish for the reigning champion.
It’s a shame this one took place on Fuel TV. Millions deserved to watch this amazing back-and-forth brawl between two born and bred fighters.
The last fight I expected to emerge as the show-stealer at UFC 157 was the featherweight tilt between Dennis Bermudez and Matt Grice.
Don’t get me wrong, these guys are good, but with names like Ronda Rousey, Lyoto Machida, Dan Henderson, Robbie Lawler, Urijah Faber and Josh Koscheck on the card, Bermudez and Grice are about the last you’d expect to emerge as the shining stars.
But it happened.
These two went to war for 15 minutes. Each man beat the demons out of one another, knees buckled, bodies hit the floor, astonishing flurries landed, adversity was overcome. It was a wildly exciting affair, and definitely a Fight of the Year candidate.
Wanderlei Silva returned to Japan to headline UFC on Fuel TV 8 against another highly respected combatant, Brian Stann.
Heading into the fight experts expected a slugfest, with Silva finding himself on the wrong end of the violence.
It didn’t quite unfold like that.
Silva and Stan teed off on each other for a near full 10 minutes. Each man hit the deck, each man absorbed an unbelievable amount of punishment and each earned a whole new batch of fans in the process.
Silva turned in a vintage Pride-like performance, eventually knocking Stann out cold at 4:08 of the second round.
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