Watch MMA long enough and you are bound to experience at least one moment that leaves a lasting memory. Some moments leave you covering your face in a mixture of horror and disgust while others have you jumping out of your seat in amazement. There are far too many of these “mixed martial moments” to list in one blog article so I’ve picked 5 of my favorites.
#5 Cro Cop and Wanderlei size each other up
It may seem strange to think of a staredown as making the list of my top 5 “wow” moments but anyone who followed Pride FC during its heyday wouldn’t disagree. Cro Cop and Silva were both human wrecking machines whose fights tended to end violently. Mirko’s left head kick prematurely ended the nights of many fighters while Wanderlei’s “berserker” style and aggression was often too much for opponents to handle.
Cro Cop and Silva fought in different weight classes and only were able to meet due to Pride’s Open Weight Grand Prix format. The modern day equivalent to this fight would be an Anderson Silva vs Jon Jones scuffle. Click play on the video and see what happens when two ultra-aggressive fighters come face to face.
#4 Nogueira is too tough to tap
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Frank Mir were opposing coaches on The Ultimate Fighter: Season 8 and, like most coaches on the show, the two had a tenuous relationship. Big Nog didn’t appreciate what he felt was a lack of respect shown to him by Mir which added a spark to the first matchup between the two. Mir took the first match by TKO becoming the first man to knock out Nogueira giving the Brazilian further reason to want a rematch.
Nogueira hurt Mir with punches and the fight went to the floor. Mir locked up a kimura and was able to snap Nogueira’s. To his credit, Big Nog never tapped out even while staring at his own broken arm, relying on the referee to save him from further damage. (Note: This video clip is graphic. Watch at your own discretion).
#3 Fedor taps out
If you watch the video below with the sound off and with no awareness when it comes to context, it looks like any other triangle choke victory. The reason this comes in as my #3 moment is because of the previously alluded to context.
Fedor Emelianenko was one of the great enigmas of MMA before he ever signed with Strikeforce. His soft-spoken, casual demeanor and aversion to the spotlight coupled with his incredible skill and undefeated record* created a man who was superseded by his own myth. All that came crashing down, along with several MMA website servers with a simple tap of the leg.
#2 Hendo lands an H-Bomb on Bisping
UFC 100 was a memorable event for several reasons but no single moment was more memorable than the second that Dan Henderson separated Michael Bisping from consciousness. The two had been opposing coaches on The Ultimate Fighter: USA vs UK and frequently voiced their displeasure with one another. When doing an interview during the show Dan famously said, “He likes to open his mouth. That’s ok. I’ll get my chance to shut it.”
And he did.
#1 The Showtime Kick
I could probably create a top 5 list featuring only WEC fights and few would take exception to it. The UFC’s “little brother” packed some of the best punch of any major organizations in recent history. It was always simply a matter of time until the two promotions became one and, when the announcement finally came down, the WEC decided to go out in style.
The final fight card held under the WEC banner was headlined by the 155lb Champion Ben Henderson and challenger Anthony Pettis. The two engaged in a very entertaining fight that was too close to call right up until the end. With 62 seconds to go in the final round of the final fight in WEC history, Anthony Pettis sent the promotion out in style.
That's it! 5 of my favorite moments from MMA. What have I left out? What are your favorite MMA "wow" moments?
Brian Doerfler is the Social Media Manager for TITLE Boxing and TITLE MMA.