UFC on Versus 4: Kongo vs Barry and the Top 12 Kickboxer Matchups in MMA History
There is a reason that the UFC has a propensity for matching up high level kickboxers up against each other.
Actually, there are two reasons.
One, it helps make sure that the more well rounded mixed martial artists rise to the top of the division.
Secondly, but more importantly, they put on freaking awesome fights.
Who does not want to see two world-class strikers go toe to toe with tiny little gloves on?
Cheick Kongo vs Antoni Hardonk
Antoni Hardonk is an excellent kickboxer and started off looking very strong against Kongo.
Kongo would eventually take over, finishing Hardonk off in the second round with strikes on the ground.
Mirko Filipovic vs Alistair Overeem
A decidedly unsatisfying fight between the two biggest torchbearers of K-1 kickboxing in MMA.
Overeem showed that he was the younger stronger athlete by staying one step ahead of Cro Cop the entire fight.
Eventually the fight was stopped as Cro Cop suffered an injury from multiple illegal knees delivered to his groin.
Edson Barboza vs Anthony Njokuani
One of the best back and forth striking wars that you will ever see.
Dynamic lightweight kickboxers Njokuani and Barboza both took as well as they could give with Barboza taking home the close decision victory that was maybe due to a beautiful spinning wheel kick that slightly rocked Njokuani and ended the fight with some exclamation.
Mirko Filipovic vs Mark Hunt
These two kickboxing standouts met once before in K-1 with Filipovic picking up the victory, but after their encounter in MMA, Hunt walked away with the split-decision victory.
Gilbert Yvel vs Junior Dos Santos
Gilberty Yvel is a handful for anyone in the striking department, but Dos Santos proved to be more than a handful as he landed the first big shot.
Yvel nearly regained his composure, but as Dos Santos swarmed Yvel on the ground, the referee had no choice but to call off the fight.
Junior Dos Santos vs Mirko Filipovic
Mirko Filipovic is hands down one of the greatest strikers to ever compete in MMA.
Still, nothing could stop Junior Dos Santos on his path to a UFC heavyweight title shot.
After backing Filipovic down for the better part of two rounds, Filipovic eventually surrendered as we was unable to maintain his defenses.
Mikro Filipovic vs Pat Barry
There are those that felt this fight had a little too much "high-fiving" and "hugging", but those people are letting themselves get distracted from what was really some great action.
They may have a lot of respect for each other, but that did not stop Pat Barry and Mirko Cro Cop from going to war.
Barry hurt Filipovic early, rocking him with two big punches, but Filipovic would storm back to wear Barry down and earn the rear-naked choke victory.
Barry was hitting Cro Cop so hard, he broke his hand and foot kickboxing with the legend.
Pat Barry vs Antoni Hardonk
Two well respected kickboxers who had formerly trained together and came into this fight with a little bit of bad blood.
The first round was an exciting showcase of skill but Barry started finding his openings consistently in the second round.
Barry earned the dramatic finish, "knockout of the night", and both fighters walked away with "fight of the night" honors.
Cheick Kongo vs Mirko Filipovic
Looking to rebound from his devastating loss to Gabriel Gonzaga, Filipovic found out the hard way there are other top strikers in MMA....like Cheick Kongo.
Although Filipovic won the first round, Kongo took the next two rounds to walk away with the decision victory.
Gilbert Yvel vs Gary Goodridge
This is one of my favorite knock outs of all-time.
The two kick-boxers circle each other for nearly 15 seconds before Yvel ends the fight with a single strike.
You have to watch.
Melvin Manhoef vs Mark Hunt
Mark Hunt literally has one of the best chins in the history of combat sports.
When he chased after Melvin Manhoef, however, he was knocked out in just 18 seconds.
Pat Barry vs Cheick Kongo
As has been shown before- it does not get much better than two heavyweights strikers fighting each other. And these are two of the best.
Whatever happens, we expect fireworks.