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SUNSTONE

Anything MMA, except thumb wrestling

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Thanks man. He's actually more of a submission/GnP guy IMO, but it seems like his standup is finally catching up to his ground game. He definitely hits hard though and has the best ground and pound I've ever seen in the sport.

Although he is a world class Sambo wrestler, he also has some uncanny strength behind his punches.

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BTW, I was watching the WEC and missed the Strikeforce card but I just saw that Scott Smith got his ass kicked all fight and made another 3rd round KO comeback on Le. I'll have to watch the fights online.

That was a pretty sweet comeback by Cerrone considering he got two point reductions. I thought Ratcliff was acting a little but obviously there's no way to prove it. Even with the point reductions Ratcliff got completely picked apart on the feet.

That was a sweet head kick that dropped Horodecki too.

This card was decent but I'm looking forward to the next one a little more.

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Although he is a world class Sambo wrestler, he also has some uncanny strength behind his punches.

Yeah he has that same sort of power/timing combination that Anderson Silva has that guys just can't prepare for. It's dangerous when a guy not only is good standing up, but also has the power to end the fight in one punch.

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The Thomson-Melendez fight was amazing. Another comeback KO for Scott Smith. King Mo easily dispatched Whitehead. Jacare subs Linlund.

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BTW, I was watching the WEC and missed the Strikeforce card but I just saw that Scott Smith got his ass kicked all fight and made another 3rd round KO comeback on Le. I'll have to watch the fights online.

Yeah, it was pretty unbelievable.

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That was a sweet head kick that dropped Horodecki too.

1zxnt7a.gif

i seriously want to know what the hell Horodecki was thinking. he turned his back and ran. what was he expecting to happen? strong candidate for Dummy Move of the Year

i wouldn't mind seeing Njokuani vs. Cerrone with the winner getting first crack at the winner of Varner/Henderson

Scott Smith is the undisputed king of comebacks

Jacare's hands looked alot better, training with Anderson must be paying off. dude is threat to anyone at MW in strikeforce, the only person i would favor over jacare at this point would be Henderson.

i'm kinda mad King Mo was not accompanied by the Asian beauties he used to roll with overseas :mad:

Edited by StillUnknown

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i seriously want to know what the hell Horodecki was thinking. he turned his back and ran. what was he expecting to happen? strong candidate for Dummy Move of the Year

There was another fight where that exact same thing happened, I can't remember who it was though. I think lovetoaster had it in his sig for a while. The dude was running and turned his head around to receive a nasty head kick loss.

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There was another fight where that exact same thing happened, I can't remember who it was though. I think lovetoaster had it in his sig for a while. The dude was running and turned his head around to receive a nasty head kick loss.

ouwen4.gif

at least Thomson tried some attack while he was running lol

Edited by StillUnknown

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I don't have Versus so I watched Strikforce. All in all very entertaining card.

Never even heard of King Mo until last night, dude is legit, heavy ass hands.

Jacare looked pretty damn good, explosive as hell, quick hands.

Thomson/Melendez was a war, don't know how two guys could go at it that long at that pace, great fight.

So Smith may have gotten the victory but Cung Lee is a bad mo fo. I've never seen anyone in MMA throw kicks the way that dude does. Totally amazing fight.

UFC better watch it's back. Sure they're still the elite company but I think Strikeforce is closing the gap. UFC may have better fighters overall but with Fedor and now Henderson in the stable they're a must watch orginization. I also feel like their cards are much more entertaining and stacked than the watered down UFC cards we've gotten recently.

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UFC better watch it's back. Sure they're still the elite company but I think Strikeforce is closing the gap. UFC may have better fighters overall but with Fedor and now Henderson in the stable they're a must watch orginization. I also feel like their cards are much more entertaining and stacked than the watered down UFC cards we've gotten recently.

Yep. IMO, Strikeforce is the biggest, most legit U.S. competition the UFC has had yet. And the fact that they're co-promoting with Dream makes them even more of a threat because they have a host of guys like Jacare and Aoki that are going to be exposed to American audiences for the first time.

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Yep. IMO, Strikeforce is the biggest, most legit U.S. competition the UFC has had yet. And the fact that they're co-promoting with Dream makes them even more of a threat because they have a host of guys like Jacare and Aoki that are going to be exposed to American audiences for the first time.

I think the UFC is screwing up by having a freaking UFC ### every other month. Have some "qualifying" cards that sets the stage for guys to earn their way onto a UFC ### card. To keep charging people $45/$50 for these watered down cards is ridiculous.

There wasn't one bad fight on that card last night IMO, I can't remember the last time the UFC had a card where I could say that.

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I think the UFC is screwing up by having a freaking UFC ### every other month. Have some "qualifying" cards that sets the stage for guys to earn their way onto a UFC ### card. To keep charging people $45/$50 for these watered down cards is ridiculous.

There wasn't one bad fight on that card last night IMO, I can't remember the last time the UFC had a card where I could say that.

The UFC has "Fight Night" on Spike to serve that very purpose. Also, the last UFC card was pretty exciting.

The frequency with which they hold events lends itself to more fights that don't thrill but I generally think UFC has built a pretty strong model that's setting the mark for anyone else in fighting sports.

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The UFC has "Fight Night" on Spike to serve that very purpose. Also, the last UFC card was pretty exciting.

The frequency with which they hold events lends itself to more fights that don't thrill but I generally think UFC has built a pretty strong model that's setting the mark for anyone else in fighting sports.

Fight Night, really? Might as well be watching TUF. Few if any of those fights entertain.

Dude, I'm not going to argue with you about the UFC being the cats meow. Of course it is, it should be. However, a PPV every other freaking month would be great if every card you dropped the $$ on is worth the price. ACCEPT for the most recent card they've been putting out some pretty weak cards. I'm not talking about weak fights but the card as a whole. When you're paying $50 for five fights you'd expect to get at least $30 worth of fights but they've been giving about $10-$20 tops.

Strikeforce has been putting on some really solid cards, that's all I'm saying. UFC better recognize that and start stacking their cards a little a better if they want to keep their PPV number up. As far as UFC setting the mark for anyone else, I dunno about that. I think most MMA fans would argue that pride set that mark long ago. The UFC has a good thing going but they need to continue to give the fans what they paid for or they're going to lose credibility.

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with only 1 more event left in the year (dream's nye event), time to drop the best of the best of the year:

Fighter of the Year: Jose Aldo

he went 4-0, all finishes, including an 8 second flying double knee knockout. he followed that up by dominating Mike Brown. Aldo has burst on the scene with an immense level talent at such a young age, reminiscent of Shogun when he won the grand prix in pride.

honorable mentions:

GSP

Mousasi

Fedor

Best fight:

Nogueira vs. Couture: this fight would be a perfect example of all elements of MMA in one fight. 2 legends, meeting about 5-7 years too late, still managed to show why everybody wanted to see them fight each other for so long. it had great standup exchanges, great sweeps from the ground, & near finish submission attempts. close race though, 2009 had alot of great fights.

honorable mentions:

Diego Sanchez vs. Clay Guida

Miguel Torres vs. Takeya Mizugaki

Ben Henderson vs. Donald Cerrone

Gilbert Melendez vs. Josh Thomson II

Best KO:

2iu24cp.gif

this was the hardest to come up with, this category really comes down to personal preference. 2009 had some brutal KO's all year long. i'm going with Aldo because i've seen a flying knee before, but never a flying double knee that caused two separate cuts to one eye

honorable mention:

Dan Henderson killing Bisping

Nate Marquardt's videogame combo to beat Gouveia

Dan Hornbuckle detaching Akihiro Ghono from consciousness

Machida's zombiefication of Rashad Evans

Zaromski kicking Jason High back to America

Fedor catching Arlovski being greedy

Anderson Silva embarrassing Forrest

Andre Winner is not impressed by Roli Delgado's beard

Best Submission:

119rvxe.gif

Toby Imada's submission over Jorge Masvidal could be the greatest submission in MMA history. i have never seen anything like it in MMA, probably never will again. this was the easiest category to pick.

honorable mention:

Rafael Freitas inverted omoplata

Seth Dikun's flying triangle

Demian Maia's clinic against Chael Sonnen

Aoki armbars Hellboy in the final 5 seconds to win a match he would have lost

Marlon Sandro's standing arm-triangle

Edited by StillUnknown

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with only 1 more event left in the year (dream's nye event), time to drop the best of the best of the year:

Superb post, SU.

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I love your picks for "of the year" winners. The only change I would make is the Dan Henderson KO of Bisping as the best of the year. I actually jumped off my couch for that one. I love that standing reverse triangle.

It's been a while since I posted, I've had a lot going on but I've caught up with everything MMA wise other than the Strikeforce event from this past weekend, but it's on my DVR. Loved the Cerrone fight, I just hope he has enough to take out the winner of Varner/Henderson when they fight again. He needs to start off a bit faster, he always seems to start too slow but brings the pain late in the fight.

Edited by Opiate-Zeo

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For shame. This thread fell all the way to page three. :nono:

Although there isn't a ton of news, I found this on Sherdog:

http://www.sherdog.com/news/articles/1/The-Top-10-Stories-of-the-Past-10-Years-21710

It's hard to believe that this sport has evolved so much in a decade.

The Top 10 Stories of the Past 10 Years

Financially and functionally, the mixed martial arts scene of the 1990s had the organization of an upended wastebasket. There are moments valued with nostalgia -- if you need a remedial course on Royce Gracie’s influence or the proliferation of opposing styles, grab a book -- but on the whole, it was just one big experimental phase, with everyone searching for the sense in a superficially disgusting sport. To stage a show without being chased out of town or arrested was considered an achievement. This is not an environment that thrives on survival, not invention.

Beginning in 2000, the changes were very nearly immediate. (And for the purposes of this article, convenient.) Fighters began to understand layered training, and policymakers were finally clued in to the idea that an uptick in cage fights was never referenced in Revelation. Distanced from the label of ruining civilization, the sport was free to make its own kind of history. More than just being a key decade in mixed-fighting, it’s really been the only decade.

There’s really no viable way of boiling down 10 years of stories -- life, death, trends, competition -- into a single list. It would almost be preferable to throw out 100 events and let readers prioritize them. But it’s the holidays, and time is short, so what follows are the 10 stories that kept coming to the surface in examining what really shook the fight industry from 2000-2009. (And by examining, I mean to say, “Staring at a giant toy Octagon until the Chinese food came.”)

The 10 stories that mattered most:

10. The New Year’s Eve Wars in Japan (2001-Present)

It’s easy to be the only bakery on the block. You set your own hours, pick your own weddings and charge whatever you like. There’s no nudge from competition.

Give a customer options, though, and that’s when things get hot. In MMA, that was the arrival of the end-of-year spectaculars in Japan, when promotions from Dream Stage (which housed Pride), K-1, Inoki and others began to angle for a slice of the staggering television market. (In Japan, New Year’s Eve is big for television.) Top fighters were booked, and sometimes stolen wholesale, from under the noses of competing promotions; actors and other ill-equipped celebrities became grappling dummies. While some matches made little sense to Western audiences, it was a mega-budget, mega-high risk game of chicken that forced multiple companies into promoting some absolutely terrific fights.

Although Pride’s demise and waning interest in fighting overseas has largely dimmed the competition, Fedor Emelianenko continues to talk of the night in spirited, reverential terms. As well he should: He’s a five-time veteran.

9. Gina Carano (2007-Present)

Not women’s MMA, but Gina Carano. An important distinction.

Prior to Carano’s EliteXC debut in 2007, the idea of hosting female fighters was seen as too absurdly progressive for a sport that still nauseated a good portion of mass media. If they couldn’t accept men exchanging blood, observers figured, seeing a woman mounted and pummeled might be cause for a defibrillator.

“Conviction” -- the daughter of football great Glen Carano -- rejected that sexist attitude not by challenging it, but by ignoring it. She conducted herself as a fighter, displaying sharp skills in the ring and presenting herself as an articulate personality outside of it. Her looks? Absolutely a factor, but curiosity would’ve quickly given way to disgust if she had nothing to offer as an athlete.

It’s rare for any sports figure to have the weight of an entire genre on their shoulders. Even Ali, in rewriting boxing’s history, was still toiling in an institution that had a past before him and would have a future after him. But try to find even one piece about the females of the sport without a mention of Carano. She didn’t just define a division: She was the division.

8. The Death of Evan Tanner (2008)

Heath Herring once told me that, while mired in the Texas circuit, he came out for a fight with Evan Tanner in a ring set up over a dirt-encrusted rodeo floor. A year later, Tanner was in Japan and Pancrase. A year after that, he was in the UFC. For a man who started learning the intricacies of submission fighting through videotapes, eventually achieving a winning stretch in the UFC that culminated with a middleweight title in 2005, he was a better fighter than he probably had any right to be.

As he got older and fell in and out of shape, Tanner took to posting bizarre confessionals online, writing candidly about his issues with alcohol and diluting motivation. Seeing him in a Grizzly Adams beard, pickaxe slung over his shoulder, you got the sense that he wanted out of his own skin.

Tanner was found dead in September 2008, victim of extraordinary heat conditions during an ill-planned trek through Southern California desert territory. His sport had never really known tragedy in a face so familiar to them; the morbid nature of his death brought up issues about whether athletes were being as psychologically battered as they were physically -- whether some hike so far away from their sense of self-preservation that they never find their way back home.

7. Lee Murray (2002-Present)

If you can’t get enough of prizefighting and crime stories, the idea of a talented puncher wrapped up in one of the biggest money heists in history should be enough to completely arrest your attention. And it did: Lee Murray’s hop from mid-card attraction to antihero seized headlines from ESPN, Sports Illustrated and a full-length book, “Heist,” which documents Murray’s (alleged) master plan to walk away with over $92 million in bank robbery winnings. He fled to Morocco; he was thrown in prison; he walked out of prison; he bought tacky, gold-plated furnishings; he inspired a kind of perverse reverence among observers who had to admire his audacity. Murray is not the sport’s only personality, but he’s perhaps the only one worth making a movie about. And that’s coming soon.

6. The Irony of ‘Rampage’ (2008)

What really breaks your neck in fighting: Saturday, you’re somebody. Sunday, you’re just another body. Quinton Jackson, a man who had come from neighborhoods more dangerous than cages, learned that lesson the hard way when he lost a five-round decision to heavy underdog Forrest Griffin in a summer 2008 UFC title match.

After knocking out Chuck Liddell and knocking back Dan Henderson, Jackson looked to be settling in for a lengthy run: Griffin countered those expectations by pulling Jackson into a dog fight, scoring with kicks and frustrating Jackson with sheer persistence. Ten days later, Jackson was careening down a California roadway, evading police and risking the lives of pedestrians in an attempt to cure his ill feelings.

It nearly left him with another title: the first UFC fighter to suffer death by misadventure. TMZ hasn’t missed a step since.

5. The Death of Sam Vasquez (2007)

For all the macho boasting about killing, being ready to die and training like the devil was chasing you, athletes can’t really take enough punishment from four-ounce gloves to actually expire. (They’ll bleed or go to sleep first.) The two that did -- Douglas Dedge in 1998 and a Korean fighter known to stateside press as “Lee” in 2005 -- received little attention beyond some borderline-selfish fretting over what the incidents would “do” to the sport’s reputation. And besides, supporters reasoned, Dedge and his other trivia partner were halfway around the world. Who knows what precautions were taken?

The death of Sam Vasquez was different: It transpired in Houston under the eye of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, and at a time when mixed martial arts was finally entering its adolescence. Vasquez was said to have had a blood clot going into the bout; his opponent, Vince Libardi, inadvertently aggravated it, and a comatose Vasquez died in the hospital 42 days later.

The predicted hysteria over the gorehound nature of the sport never came; even bullying journalists had to acknowledge one death in North America after 14 years of regular competition was statistically insignificant. That’s little consolation to Vasquez’s family.

4. Mark Kerr (2001)

Sports from basketball to boxing have had the benefit of provocative documentaries made about their personalities: it's impossible to view collegiate athletics -- and the passing smoke of NBA potential -- quite the same after "Hoop Dreams," and it's difficult to fully understand Ali's cultural imprint without a viewing of "When We Were Kings."

It's far from perfect, but John Hyams' "Smashing Machine," which premiered on HBO in January 2001, was the first sternly critical look of what men do in order to compete at the highest levels of violent spectacle. Mark Kerr, who had been feared in Brazil, the U.S. and Japan for years, trusted Hyams enough to bare his soul for cameras. He shot in painkillers, collapsed in emotional agony after losses and eventually found himself near-comatose in a hospital bed, sobbing as friends begged him to stop polluting his body with under-the-counter courage. “Machine” was the first real proof this sport would make its share of monsters.

3. Bob Sapp (2002-2009)

Both Kimbo Slice and Brock Lesnar proved to have appeal far outside the normal fan circles, bringing in millions in revenue that might otherwise be lost to other outlets. (That UFC 100 pay-per-view just happened to be the cost of a video game -- and yes, some consumers need to make that choice.) And there is danger in omitting them from a list like this one. But in crunching hard numbers, no one -- not Lesnar, not Slice, not even the mighty Jose Canseco -- can compare to the elevation of Bob Sapp in Japan.

Sapp, who spun a well-worn story about being an NFL benchwarmer who once blacked out his windows out of depression, played to that country's bare instincts: They were absolutely in awe of a 375-pound giant who snarled at cameras, had shoulders like bowling balls, forearms like pins and an affected laugh -- Hah, Hah, HAH!" -- that tickled everyone in diapers to dorms.

Sapp's celebrity became exaggerated to the point that he couldn't cross the street without congesting traffic. He recorded albums. Hundreds of products bared his image: You could lose your paycheck on a Sapp slot machine, cry into your Sapp pillow, then take a Sapp multivitamin to snap out of it. Accounting for size and cultural context, it is not much of an exaggeration to call him the fifth, sixth and seventh Beatle.

At his height, 54 million viewers tuned in to watch Sapp exchange with the top-heavy Akebono in 2003. But that level of audience euphoria had a price: Publicity demands siphoned from Sapp training time, and later encounters with real, hungry professionals frequently ended with him getting hurt. Today, the sun is setting on that insane appeal. He's down to a few dozen people following him on the street.

2. The Death of Pride (2007)

There is something strictly mercenary about the absorption of the competition. Driving a rival company into bankruptcy is fine, but to seize their assets and control their future -- however short -- is a different kind of achievement.

In a war fought primarily on message boards, Zuffa’s UFC product in the first half of the decade was largely found lacking against the talent pool and spectacle of Dream Stage Entertainment’s Pride brand. 10,000-seat arenas in Vegas? Pride could pull 20,000 or 30,000. The best fighters in the world? Chuck Liddell was squashed by Quinton Jackson in an attempt at synergy. Observers delighted in painting a picture of the UFC as the hayseed product to Pride’s polished chrome.

While a good bit of Pride’s legacy has been lost to excessive nostalgia -- the promotion had its share of brutally boring, brutally stupid fights -- there was no mistaking it for anything other than a big-budget celebration of martial arts at the highest levels. But when newspapers began beating drums over alleged Yakuza involvement in the promotion, TV contracts evaporated; Zuffa, on solid financial footing thanks to “The Ultimate Fighter,” digested it whole.

No one is likely to miss some of Pride’s silliness -- I’m reminded of Wanderlei Silva fighting a 0-0 Kyokushin karate stylist -- but the demise of the foreign attraction was really the last gasp of MMA as a well-kept secret. The UFC was becoming as ubiquitous as the NFL, and if you didn’t like it, you were officially out of options.

1. Nevada (2001)

Zuffa’s purchase of the UFC in January 2001 removed one of the biggest obstacles to the sport’s survival: Bob Meyrowitz.

The former owner, who had spent years and millions bailing water from the franchise, was out of money and patience. He exited just as MMA had received crucial sanctioning in New Jersey, which had adopted a form of the Unified Rules in a major-league concession to the sport’s safety record. Zuffa would go on to put on good shows, awful shows, great shows, a reality show and an endless stream of strategic moves that put the company on steady ground.

None of it would’ve been possible without Nevada’s consent on July 23, 2001, to sanction mixed martial arts, a unanimous vote that ended eight years of social and political rejection. Other commissions who had previously reacted with disgust had little recourse: Nevada, the most respected athletic body in the world, had set the standard.

It’s possible that with the support of both iNDemand -- the pay-per-view provider who reinstated the UFC after a years-long blackout the month prior to the approval -- and New Jersey, the UFC could have found its way without Nevada. But without the financial support, status and profits of working in the major strip hotels and casinos, it would’ve been difficult. (Meyrowitz, after all, couldn’t survive without the state.) To find a bigger jolt to the fight industry, you’d have to go back to Farnsworth and the invention of television. It was that important.

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This is a great post.

with only 1 more event left in the year (dream's nye event), time to drop the best of the best of the year:

Fighter of the Year: Jose Aldo

he went 4-0, all finishes, including an 8 second flying double knee knockout. he followed that up by dominating Mike Brown. Aldo has burst on the scene with an immense level talent at such a young age, reminiscent of Shogun when he won the grand prix in pride.

honorable mentions:

GSP

Mousasi

Fedor

I have to agree here. Aldo took on more fights in 2009 than the other guys and burst onto the scene and straight into the P4P rankings.

Mousasi is making a name for himself too but he had a bigger 2008 IMO, fighting six times and beating some dangerous guys like Jacare and Melvin Manhoef.

GSP only fight twice but both were convincingly dominant and against two of his toughest opponents yet. I was genuinely worried that he would get KO'd by Thiago Alves and that Alves' takedown defense would be too much for him, but GSP took him to the mat at will and pounded him back to ATT to train some more. His stoppage of BJ Penn was equally impressive.

Fedor had a good year too, but he only fought twice as well. Both were finishes by KO, and his KO of Arlovski was especially sweet. That's a memorable KO because Arlovski is flying in the air one second and then next thing you know he's facedown, staring at the mat. That KO generated some of the best photoshops I've ever seen too. :D

Best fight:

Nogueira vs. Couture: this fight would be a perfect example of all elements of MMA in one fight. 2 legends, meeting about 5-7 years too late, still managed to show why everybody wanted to see them fight each other for so long. it had great standup exchanges, great sweeps from the ground, & near finish submission attempts. close race though, 2009 had alot of great fights.

honorable mentions:

Diego Sanchez vs. Clay Guida

Miguel Torres vs. Takeya Mizugaki

Ben Henderson vs. Donald Cerrone

Gilbert Melendez vs. Josh Thomson II

I want to say it's a tie between Torres/Mizugaki and Nog/Couture. The Torres bout had all of the momentum changes and ridiculous pace that I've come to expect when Miguel fights, but the Nog/Couture fight was legendary even a few years late. It's similar to the Chuck/Wandy fight, both were so good a few years too late that it makes you wonder what they would've been like had the UFC and Pride came to agreements in the mid-2000s.

Best KO:

2iu24cp.gif

this was the hardest to come up with, this category really comes down to personal preference. 2009 had some brutal KO's all year long. i'm going with Aldo because i've seen a flying knee before, but never a flying double knee that caused two separate cuts to one eye

honorable mention:

Dan Henderson killing Bisping

Nate Marquardt's videogame combo to beat Gouveia

Dan Hornbuckle detaching Akihiro Ghono from consciousness

Machida's zombiefication of Rashad Evans

Zaromski kicking Jason High back to America

Fedor catching Arlovski being greedy

Anderson Silva embarrassing Forrest

I gotta go with Hendo shutting Bisping's mouth with a baseball-pitch windup of a right hand.

That KO was just so satisfying it's hard to describe.

Also, I forget about Rashad the Zombie...it gives the Arlovski KO a run for its money on photoshops lol.

:rotflmao::rotflmao::rotflmao:

Best Submission:

119rvxe.gif

Toby Imada's submission over Jorge Masvidal could be the greatest submission in MMA history. i have never seen anything like it in MMA, probably never will again. this was the easiest category to pick.

honorable mention:

Rafael Freitas inverted omoplata

Seth Dikun's flying triangle

Demian Maia's clinic against Chael Sonnen

Aoki armbars Hellboy in the final 5 seconds to win a match he would have lost

Marlon Sandro's standing arm-triangle

I don't think there's even a question about this one. I've only seen gifs of that sub but I've can't think of a better sub finish ever. Although I think I'd give Aoki the #2 spot because he showed why this sport is so exciting: the fight can end at any moment no matter who's winning. I'm pretty sure he was on his way to a loss until he pulled that armbar. Very good stuff.

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