The Top 5 Ground-and-Pound of 2012 so Far

Andrew MahlmannCorrespondent IMay 9, 2012

The Top 5 Ground-and-Pound of 2012 so Far

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    Mark Coleman is a genius. When he fought fellow combatants in the '90s, he decided to mix his wrestling with a "pound his face into the mat/oblivion" concept and it worked wonders; ground-and-pound was born.

    Fast forward to modern MMA and every fighter has ground-and-pound significantly worked into their repertoire, albeit with varying styles and efficacy.

    We are not even halfway through 2012 and we already have some sterling examples of this fine and brutal art. Whether from inside an opponent's guard or transitioning to mount, back-mount and elsewhere—these are the top five ground-and-pound for 2012 so far.

    So, tell me, fellow Bleacher Reporters, who did I miss?

Stefan Struve

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    Stefan Struve showed his fight-ending ability via ground-and-pound in 2010 against the previously undefeated Sean McCorkle and then did it again against Dave Herman at UFC on FUEL TV: Sanchez vs. Ellenberger this past February.

    In the second round, Struve knocked Herman to the ground with powerful strikes and swarmed. Herman tried to resist, but Struve was able to achieve the full mount and finish the job with his strikes.

    Although Struve also has a formidable submission game on the ground as well, heavyweights better beware that this young heavyweight also has devastating ground-and-pound and he's only getting better.

Brian Stann

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    Brian Stann hurt Alessio Sakara on the feet before finishing him on the ground, but it was the way in which Stann enacted his ground-and-pound that made the performance so special and memorable.

    Known as one of the biggest and strongest fighters at middleweight (185 lbs), Stann landed just a short elbow and a couple of short punches to the temple, which put Sakara beyond cognition and hope.

    Just as impressively, Stann immediately recognized his opponent's eyes rolling back and stopped the assault, indicating to the official that the job was complete.

Rory MacDonald

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    Two years ago, Rory MacDonald succumbed to the ground-and-pound of current interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit. MacDonald clearly learned from the experience and has evolved into one of the scariest ground-and-pound artists in the sport.

    Last year, he devastated veteran Mike Pyle on the ground and then at UFC 145 last month he brutalized durable striker Che Mills with an extended and artful ground-and-pound attack.

    Striking and bloodying Mills from every angle on the ground, MacDonald's relentless attack was simply overwhelming and he earned the technical knockout halfway through the second round.

Alan Belcher

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    Alan Belcher did the unthinkable and engaged ferocious submission specialist Rousimar Palhares on the ground.

    A fellow black belt himself, Belcher expertly grappled back and forth before establishing himself in Palhares' guard. From there, Belcher rained down crushing elbows and punches.

    Palhares could not endure the blows and the referee was forced to save him. With the somewhat surprisingly exceptional ground-and-pound finish, Belcher announced himself as a true contender.

Jonathan Brookins

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    Where has this Jonathan Brookins been? It had been a while since anyone saw Brookins stop an opponent with strikes, and he did so in an impressive and emphatic way against respected Vagner Rocha at UFC on FUEL TV 1.

    Brookins was able to reverse a takedown attempt and plant Rocha on his back. From there, Brookins measured his punches and then ended the show using big blows while essentially standing in Rocha's guard.

    It is not the standard striking position, but Brookins found a way for this ground-and-pound to work for him and scored one of the more brutal knockouts of the year.