Over the last decade MMA has fought to the very top of sporting events. Although still considered to be in its infancy, MMA has surpassed boxing as one of the most popular spectator sports on Earth. And it is easy to see why. It has everything to attract fans; highlight-reel knockouts, personality feuds, and most importantly awesome comebacks.
In this list are some of the most awesome moments in MMA history.
1. Antonio Silva vs Alistair Overeem
Seeing Silva and Overeem fight at UFC 156 was like watching two land masses collide. Their combined weight was more than 500 lbs; I was actually expecting the cameras to shake. Kidding aside Overeem was heavily favored going into the match. At the onset, it was apparent that Overeem would soon get the victory with his K-1 level striking. But on the 3rd round Overeem came in with his hands down. He had total disrespect for Silva’s striking ability and paid for it dearly. Silva’s K.O ended an eight fight winning streak and delayed another shot at the belt for Overeem. Silva should be awarded the title of “The Dinosaur Slaying Giant”.
2. Scott Smith vs Pete Sell
It was an exciting back and forth fight between Smith and Sell. But things went to another level in Round 2 when Sell’s perfectly executed body shot found its target in Smith’s liver. Smith’s face could be seen grimacing and his whole body curled from the overwhelming pain. And as Sell went in for the kill Smith managed to pull a straight right that hit Sell squarely on the jaw. The punch won him the match as well as Fight of the Night award.
3. Anderson Silva vs Chael Sonnen 1
No one has seen Anderson Silva get dominated like that, ever. For a good part of UFC 117 Chael dribbled Silva’s skull on the mat like a basketball. But on the 5th round Silva, in a last-ditch-effort, shifted his legs and caught Chael in a firm triangle lock. And that was it.
4. Melvin Manhoef vs Robbie Lawler
Manhoef’s striking was nothing short of superb that night at Strikeforce Miami. His kicks were crisp and he followed up with beautiful fluid combos. Lawler was dancing like a rag doll for most of the fight. Until an overconfident Manhoef let his guard down and ate a hard overhand right that carried him over to dreamland. As Manhoef went to the ground Lawler managed to deliver 2 more hard shots to the head. It was awhile before Manhoef stood up.
5. Mike Russow vs Todd Duffee
It was an entertaining, one-sided boxing match between Russow and Duffee at UFC 114. Duffee was dominating the rounds and everyone expected he was going to eventually win in a decision. But no one knew the hyper-athletic Duffee had one big weakness, a glass jaw. So when a straight punch carrying most of Russow’s extra weight hit Duffee he went down so fast you’d think he got shot.
6. Matt Hughes vs Frank Trigg II
Hughes showed how much of a champion he was at UFC 52. Trigg caught Hughes with a few punches that got him to the canvas. Trigg tried to finish him off with more punches but eventually went for a rear naked choke. The Valkyrie was clearing her throat when Hughes suddenly got out of the hold, picked Trigg up and then body slams him on the other end of the Octagon. Hughes then stole the W with a rear naked choke of his own.
7. Minotauro Nogueira vs Mirko Cro Cop
At the height of PRIDE FC’s popularity Mirko Cro Cop was the crème de la crème of the heavy weight division. A world class striker, Cro Cop demolished Nogueira when they met at PRIDE Critical. Nogueira ate so many kicks that night that it was actually a miracle that he could still stand let alone win. And win he did! During the 2nd Rd Cro Cop was dishing out some ground’n’pound when Nog scooted and secured a desperate arm bar. Then just like that Cro Cop tapped.
8.Fedor Emelianenko Vs Kevin Randleman
Pride Critical Countdown 2004
Spectators thought they had seen the first death in MMA. It was in 2004 during Pride Critical Countdown. Early in the first round an Olympic Wrestler that was Randleman secured a position against Fedor Emelianenko’s back. With his powerful legs Randleman lifted the 220 pound Russian into the air and violently slammed his head into the canvas. Then as fast as it happened Fedor reversed Randleman’s side mount and executed a kimura. You could hear Randleman scream in pain right before the referee stopped the fight.
9. Brock Lesnar vs Shane Carwin
Shane Carwin was probably the heaviest hitter in the UFC. A strong wrestler and trained in Olympic weightlifting, Carwin carried knockout power on both hands. On the other hand Lesnar wasn’t a high level striker, he had previously knocked out a much smaller Couture but Carwin was whole different threat. So when they met at UFC 116 Carwin made Lesnar look like a scrawny high schooler rather than the 260 pound beast that he was. But Carwin’s gas tank wasn’t as well-developed as his strength. In the middle of the 2nd round Lesnar took down an exhausted Carwin and sank a deep arm triangle finishing the fight.
10. GSP vs Carlos Condit
The long awaited return of GSP finally happened at UFC 154. He faced the Interim Belt holder Carlos Condit to finally settle the welterweight title contention. Condit was a top class striker who liked mixing his combinations in unusual ways. He displayed his skill when he went from a low weave to a head kick that felled the surprised GSP. Condit immediately capitalized on the turn of events and launched vicious attacks from the mount. But then GSP slowly regained leverage and dominated Condit for the rest of the fight.
The are other great MMA comebacks out there. Which one is your favorite?