Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
The back half of 2013 was easily the best six-month run in the history of the UFC, but the crown jewel came at the end of August with the sneakily good UFC 164.
Anthony Pettis rematched Benson Henderson in front of his home fans, and he didn't disappoint. It took him only four-and-a-half minutes to erase Henderson's largely uninspiring 553-day reign with an armbar.
On the undercard, people were getting finished. Josh Barnett returned to the UFC and bulldozed Frank Mir. Chad Mendes flattened Clay Guida. Ben Rothwell went full-blown crazy in the seconds before he mauled Brandon Vera. Young guns Dustin Poirier and Erik Koch also put on a great tilt to open the pay-per-view part of the night, with Poirier getting the nod in hostile territory.
The prelims included underrated bouts between lightweights Gleison Tibau and Jamie Varner, and flyweights Tim Elliott and Louis Gaudinot. It also marked the end of the line for the Coutures in the UFC, with Ryan Couture's loss to Al Iaquinta. In addition, the night saw a couple of big-time stoppages from Hyun Gyu Lim and Soa Paleilei.
In a year where nearly everything the UFC did in the cage was worthy of praise, UFC 164 was the best of the best, and that's saying something.
Honorable Mentions: UFC 156, UFC on Fuel TV: Silva vs. Stann, Invicta FC 5, Bellator 98
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