5 Best One-Round Fights in MMA History

Dustin FilloyFeatured ColumnistSeptember 12, 2013

5 Best One-Round Fights in MMA History

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    Some of the best clashes in MMA history ended after unforgettable one-round affairs.

    While the masses typically tune in to see Rocky-like wars take place in the Octagon or ring, MMA fans revel equally in watching short and sweet battles ensue.

    A few of these classics concluded with knockouts while others ended with submissions. Regardless, in these particular bouts, fighters had no intentions of letting judges decide their fates.

    Here are the five best one-round scraps in MMA history.

Honorable Mentions

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    UFC 157: Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche

    Strikeforce Miami: Robbie Lawler vs. Melvin Manhoef

    Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson: Dan Henderson vs. Fedor Emelianenko

5. PRIDE Critical Countdown 2004: Fedor Emelianenko vs. Kevin Randleman

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    Carrying a heavy heart at the recent death of his father, Kevin Randleman intended to end his bout at PRIDE Shockwave 2004 with heavyweight legend Fedor Emelianenko quickly.

    But Emelianenko not only endured the brutal suplex, he also regained his bearings and then turned the tables on the former two-time NCAA Division I wrestling champ.

    The 5'10" Randleman launched Emelianenko high above the ropes, brutally slamming the Russian on his head and neck. Emelianenko, however, displayed impressive resilience and calmly regrouped on the ground to score a reversal.

    The Last Emperor wasted little time in the top position and slapped on a tight kimura to pull off one of the most memorable comebacks in his unblemished PRIDE career. 

4. Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley

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    In his last bout before rejoining the UFC, Nick Diaz defended his welterweight strap one last time in a back-and-forth one-round war at Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley.

    Diaz held a clear advantage in the grappling department, but the Californian stubbornly decided to go blow for blow with one of the sport's most feared strikers.

    Daley swarmed Diaz early, dropping the Cesar Gracie pupil and roughing him up a bit on the ground. But roughly 1:30 into the fight, a fired up Diaz turned the tides and began finding his rhythm with dirty boxing up against the cage.

    Daley, however, continued to sting Diaz back and eventually caught the champ and dropped him with a vicious left hook with 1:25 left in the round.

    He got rocked and hammered on the ground, but Diaz ultimately recovered and bounced back to his feet with 35 seconds to go.

    Fifteen seconds later, a pissed off Diaz began assaulting Daley up against the fence. An uppercut and a looping hook from Diaz then wobbled Daley and sent him crashing to the canvas.

    Diaz pounced on the Englishman and dropped enough ground-and-pound for referee "Big" John McCarthy to call the momentous bout with three seconds left in the first round.

3. PRIDE 21: Demolition: Don Frye vs. Yoshihiro Takayama

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    Defensive techniques seemed foreign to Don Frye and Yoshihiro Takayama in their legendary brawl at PRIDE 21: Demolition.

    The fight's opening bell rang and Frye and Takayama instantly began slugging it out in reckless fashion. 

    Takayama backed Frye into the corner of the ropes, where the duo banged it out in a rock 'em sock 'em affair that more resembled a hockey fight than an MMA bout.

    The action slowed momentarily in a clinch before Takayama attempted a takedown and started another wild exchange of blows.

    Frye eventually backed Takayama into a corner and landed a series of right hands that closed the Japanese heavyweight's left eye.

    The former NCAA Division I wrestler was getting the better of the exchanges when he landed a takedown and then went straight to mount on an exhausted Takayama. About 40 seconds later, Frye delivered enough ground-and-pound to prompt a stoppage, ending a bout that many considered the most thrilling in PRIDE history.

2. UFC on Versus 4: Pat Barry vs. Cheick Kongo

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    Fans at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh couldn't believe their eyes as a dazed and wobbled Cheick Kongo pulled off one of the most remarkable comebacks in company history at UFC on Versus 4.

    Just 2:13 into the fight, Barry uncorked a right hook from hell that flattened Kongo. Barry mauled a stunned Kongo in front of referee Dan Miragliotta as commentator Joe Rogan screamed, "It's over."

    Kongo scrambled back to his feet and ate another thunderous right hook at the 2:35 mark of the first round.

    Kongo again bounced back to the standing position and then backed himself up against the cage as Barry continued to swarm. Then, just as everyone in attendance expected Barry to score a knockout, Kongo unleashed a pair of right hands that shockingly ended Barry's night.

    Barry made the mistake of stalking a hurt Kongo with his hands down, a miscue that left him folded up on the canvas unconscious. 

1. UFC 52: Matt Hughes vs. Frank Trigg II

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    The drama that ensued at UFC 52 between Frank Trigg and Matt Hughes ignited with an illegal blow to the former welterweight champ's groin.

    Trigg kneed Hughes in the groin, a blow that referee Mario Yamasaki apparently didn't see. But the former University of Oklahoma wrestler showed no sportsmanship and assaulted Hughes, who was trying to nurse his groin.

    Trigg landed a barrage of punches and dropped a still reeling Hughes along the fence just  a minute into the fight. Trigg mounted Hughes and then floated to his back, locking on a rear-naked choke that nearly finished the fight with 2:20 left in the round.

    But Hughes squirmed free from the choke and instantly lifted Trigg, ran him across the Octagon and slammed him to the mat. 

    Trigg took some punishment from the mount before giving up his back. Then with 55 seconds left in the round, Hughes cinched up a rear-naked choke and forced a tap to end a bout that UFC president Dana White has referred to as his favorite in company history.


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