8 Memorable MMA Moments from the Month of March
March has been a busy month in MMA, with the UFC, Bellator and World Series of Fighting all hosting at least one event. Between wolf tickets, dazzling debuts and great finishes, March was not short of memorable moments.
The UFC visited Japan with a lackluster card, but the main attractions saved the entire event. However, it came back with its card in Canada and put on some interesting affairs.
As for Bellator, their eighth season continued to play out with weekly installments. Top contenders like Dave Jansen were sorted out, as he is next in line to challenge Michael Chandler for the lightweight strap.
Lastly, the up-and-coming World Series of Fighting promotion put on their second show headlined by former UFC champ Andrei Arlovski and Anthony Johnson. It was an interesting show scattered with UFC veterans and potential top prospects.
Here are the eight-best moments from the month of March.
Hunt Clobbers Struve, Breaks His Jaw
Japan saw a giant fight a short, pudgy powerhouse when Stefan Struve took on Mark Hunt in the heavyweight division.
The fight was interesting in itself, but the finish is what provided the memorable moment of the night. Hunt's power was on display, as was Struve's knocked-out tooth.
With one massive punch, Hunt knocked out the Dutch giant and walked off like he hit a game-winning home run. That knockout punch broke Struve's jaw, attesting to the stopping power Hunt's fists have.
It could be one of the greatest knockouts in heavyweight history.
The Axe Murderer Silences Critics in War with Stann
The critics continued to call for Wanderlei Silva's retirement. The damage he has accumulated over his long, storied career has taken its toll toward the tail end of his MMA run and may cause health repercussions.
With the swinging of his fists, Silva silenced those voices for now.
In a barnburner of a main event, Silva popped Brian Stann with haymakers and Stann smashed Silva with some of his own. Finally, "The Axe Murderer" clipped the former Marine with some punches that put the war hero into a slumber.
That knockout was a big "shut up" to everyone who doubted him (yes, including myself).
Mein Becomes First Man to Finish Miller in Debut
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Dan Miller is one of the toughest dudes in MMA; nobody can dispute that.
However, Jordan Mein is one of the hottest up-and-coming fighters in the welterweight division and a force to be reckoned with. He proved this claim by knocking out Miller in brutal fashion.
Almost as impressive as the knockout was Mein's escape from a deep armbar that Miller slapped on him. Most men may have surrendered from the attempt, but Mein kept his wits about him and escaped.
That escape allowed Mein to smash Miller and put him away for good. That finish dazzled his fellow countrymen in attendance.
Ellenberger Gets Back in Title Hunt with KO of Marquardt
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
It's sad to think that one loss following a string of victories over top welterweight opposition would push somebody out of title talks and negate momentum. That's exactly what happened to Jake Ellenberger.
Coming into UFC 158, Ellenberger didn't even come up in top welterweight talks just because of a recent loss to Martin Kampmann. Even Nate Marquardt came up in title talks more often than Ellenberger and he was coming off a loss to Tarec Saffiedine in Strikeforce.
A little over three minutes into their fun affair, Ellenberger showcased his refined boxing ability and power by absolutely trashing Marquardt. "The Great" was out cold and Ellenberger was catapulted back into the top five in the division.
Page Makes Quick Debut with Bellator
Michael Page has been compared to Anderson Silva in his young MMA career. That is pretty tall talk for a guy as unproven as Page is (by the way, remember when Phillipe Nover was compared to Silva and Georges St-Pierre?).
Page made his official Bellator debut at Bellator 94 against the unknown scrapper Ryan Sanders. Fans only got 10 seconds to preview the potential phenom, but they witnessed his unorthodox yet effective striking.
In a shot that looked as if it just clipped Sanders, Page earned the stoppage after his opponent took the punch and turtled on the ground. That was the quickest money Page has made to this date.
Martinez Downs Wiuff
It was not a heavily hyped fight, nor did many fans think twice about it but Ryan Martinez's performance against Travis Wiuff may have launched him into the heavyweight spotlight of Bellator.
At Bellator 93, 18 seconds was all it took for Martinez to upset the tournament veteran who has performed in 86 MMA bouts. The punches were devastating and could put him on the road to a future Bellator tournament and a possible title bout with Alexander Volkov.
Moraes Upends Nam to Steal Spotlight
Tyson Nam had all of the momentum coming into World Series of Fighting 2. He had defeated Bellator champion Eduardo Dantas via shocking knockout and jumped right into the spotlight.
He was a big signing for the World Series of Fighting, which hyped his debut many months in advance.
Marlon Moraes was coming off a huge victory over Miguel Torres, which was seen as a huge upset. This made the fight even more intriguing.
In under three minutes, the highly touted prospect ate a devastating head kick by Moraes that floored him in a flash. After a few follow-up punches, Nam was unconscious, and Moraes had his second upset in as many fights.
Johnson Fights in Fourth Different Weight Class, Wins
Less than two years ago, Anthony Johnson was wrecking people at welterweight and carving out a nice little resume for himself. He cut so much weight that he would missed weight at some of his fights.
So, he moved up to middleweight. Shockingly, that didn't work out for him either, so he decided a move to light heavyweight would be best for him.
That is the weight class he resides in currently, but at World Series of Fighting 2, Johnson moved up to heavyweight to take on the streaking Andrei Arlovski. The fight did not mean much in terms of divisional rankings, but it had the drawing power to attract viewers.
In an entertaining bout, Johnson took a unanimous decision over the big Belarusian. It was Johnson's fourth different weight class, and he showed he could be successful in them all.