At UFC 140 Tito Ortiz lost to Antonio “Little Nog” Nogueira in a fashion that some would say he had part ownership in, or more to the point was his signature move—the ground-and-pound game.
That said, GNP has been one aspect of MMA that has been known to get a crowd into a frenzy like trance—the raining down of blows and elbows towards a sometimes defenseless opponent is violence at its most picturesque.
Execution of said skill is by no means an easy feat. Sure, most fighters have GNP in their arsenal, but only a few select can deliver it with the maximum devastating effect required to nullify an opponent or better yet end proceedings.
Let’s take a look.
The Japanese mixed martial artist made history by recording the fastest knockout in MMA history courtesy of a fly knee. The time: four seconds.
Nevertheless, “Kid” Yamamoto was also famed for his aggressive style of ground-and-pound, which he executed with great efficacy.
First came the strikes and the takedowns, and then, he would wreak havoc on the ground.
In his prime, Tito was an animal in the cage—once he took his opponent to the ground, the crowd knew what was coming next—a series of strikes combining hammer fists, flush punches and lethal elbows.
Elvis Sinosic, Forrest Griffin and Ken Shamrock were just a few of those who were unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of “The Peoples Champs” trademark ground-and-pound onslaught.
The former UFC light heavyweight champion is one of the most formidable GNP exponents of his era.
The former UFC welterweight champion was a monster on the ground and even more remarkable from side control.
One of Hughes’ most memorable GNP’s was on a defenceless Carlos Newton whom he trapped in a modified crucifix position before rendering an array of strikes which resulted in a TKO win.
Still, in a rematch with Frank Trigg at UFC 52, Hughes found himself on the receiving end of a GNP assault before escaping and delivering an awesome beatdown on the grounded Trigg, winning via rear naked choke.
“The Hammer” was the Godfather of the ground-and-pound game.
Still, it was his accomplishment as a freestyle wrestle that served him well in taking the fight to the ground, where he could administer his own brand of punishment.
Win or lose, it was evident that he possessed some of the best ground-and-pound strategy ever to be witnessed both inside the ring and the Octagon.
“The Emperor,” fallen though he might be of late, takes the No. 1 spot as the greatest ground-and-pound artist in MMA history.
If there was one fight that cemented his place amongst the greatest ground-and-pound specialists, it has to be his first match with Antonio “Minotauro” Nogueira at Pride 25.
The fight was for Nogueira’s Pride heavyweight title.
Nogueira, at the time, was known for his legendary guard and prior to the bout had submitted four opponents via triangle choke.
Needless to say, Fedor entered Minotauro’s guard an unleashed one of the most relentless and brutal ground-and-pounds ever.
Minotauro survived the full three rounds, but lost the bout via unanimous decision and his title in the process.
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