glassjawsh's top 10 fights ev's (WITH LINKS!) second part!
October 7, 2013 at 2:28 am #531990
BACK TO THE GOOD GOOD!!
5. Miesha Tate def Julie Kedzie via Armbar at 3:28 RD 3 – Strikeforce: Rousey vs Kauffman, August 18, 2012.
The Background: I know everyone has teh bonerz for the rumblebooty (a gif which cannot be linked to enough) but I have to admit I’ve had a ridiculous high school obsession with Julie Kedzie since her fight with Gina Carano back in EliteXC. Something about her over-the-top hyper aggressiveness when she’s in the cage or behind the mic for Invicta that just makes it seem like she’s the kind of lady that would watch you sleep all night, collect your dead skin after you left for work and then talk to it all day long until you came back because she couldn’t stand being away from you (totally irresistible, I know). This was Kedzie’s 2nd fight in Strikeforce (coming off a close loss to the criminally underrated Alexis Davis) and other than being a “pioneer” in WMMA she’d mostly only been known for the Carano fight (because beating Jan Finney 3 times doesn’t count for shit). We all know Miesha Tate. This was her first fight back after getting her arm snapped by Ronda Rousey and considering most she was only out 5 months from one of the more gruesome arm related injuries in recent memory, most observers were interested to see how she would hold up against Kedzie’s relentless style.
Why this Fight is Awesome: If their has ever been a better WMMA fight (in a major promotion at least) I’ve yet to see it. Think Diego Brandao vs Dennis Bermudez except spread out over 3 rounds. This fight was amazing on the feet, during scrambles and on the ground. It had a little bit of every reason why we love to watch MMA. Within the first exchange of the fight it became apparent that Kedzie’s stand-up is on a completely different level than Tate’s. Julie used this advantage to crack Miesha with a brutal head kick about 30 seconds that immediately sent her reeling and set the tone for the rest of the fight. The issue for Tate is that Kedzie uses actual timing, footwork and head movement to set up her strikes, as opposed to just rushing in throwing windmill punches with her chin up in the air. This gap in ability led to a first round where Kedzie easily defended Tate’s telegraphed takedowns and then mauled her from pillar to post on the feet. The second round was were “Cupcake” showed us why she is a top 3 fighter. After a Kedzie attempted an advised triangle following a scramble early in the round, Tate pulled off a nifty transition to Kedzie’s back and then proceeded to spend the rest of the 2nd round threatening with the RNC (and later a guillotine) and pounding the crap out Julie’s face with right hands. The 3rd and final round is what really makes this fight a classic. After getting her legs kicked out from under her Jose Aldo style, Miesha Tate was noticeably limping. At about the 1 minute mark Kedzie delivered a shin to the face that just about knocked Tate’s head into Scott Coker’s lap. She leaned into the kick so hard that to this day I still have no idea how she survived (especially when you remember that she was the victim of the eerily similar “World’s Most Adorable Head Kick KO” 5 years earlier). But again, to Tate’s credit, she battled back from the brink of unconsciousness and pull off and hail mary arm bar from her back to finish the fight.
WATCH THIS SHIT! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ia-IJmmqN6Q (fight starts at about 4:10)
4. Frankie Edgar def Gray Maynard via KO at 3:54 RD 4 – UFC 136, October 8, 2011
The Backstory: In order to understand why this fight is top 5 level awesome, you have to first understand the two guys that participated in it. Frankie Edgar had up until then used footwork and boring to win almost all of his fights and then got a title shot at BJ Penn after a win of Matt “???” Veach. I still don’t know who that guy is and you can bet BJ Penn sure as shit didn’t know either. So it was a bit of a surprise when the UFC announced that Edgar and Penn would fight for the lightweight strap in Abu Dhabi, and it was even more of a surprise when Edgar was announced the winner of a fight that anyone who isn’t a stupid Guido thought Penn won. Yes, the Answer decisively won the rematch, but that doesn’t discount that their shouldn’t have even been a rematch because the original decision was total bullshit. The reason I had to add the “almost all” part a few sentences ago is because in 2008, Edgar and Gray Maynard fought a stupid and boring fight that no one cared about and Maynard won because wrestling. Even though Maynard was technically undefeated when he received his title shot, he was still mostly known for wrestle fucking and that time he knocked himself taking down Rob Ermergerderson. Their 2nd fight was on the New Year’s Day card in 2011 and everyone expected it to be tepid as fuck.
Why this Fight was Awesome: Most assholes will tell you that Edgar-Maynard 2 was the best fight of the trilogy between these guys, but their all stupid and wrong. Yes, it was crazy that two guys known for being boring put on a show and Yes it was also awesome that Edgar survived getting knocked on his ass like a billion times only to turn the fight around in the later rounds. The fight still ended in an unsatisfying split draw. That draw set the internet on fire, made Frankie Edgar a star and set the stage for the best 3rd fight in a trilogy in the history of the sport. Halfway through the first round, Maynard tagged Frankie with an uppercut that put him on roller skates. But since the Answer has Phoenix Down and Adamantium flowing through his veins he recovered just well enough to get completely floored by a Maynard left hand a minute later. This story can only be properly told in the context of their rivalry as whole, so it is important to remember that this is EXACTLY THE SAME SEQUENCE OF EVENTS that took place in their last fight. It was essentially a complete redux of things from 9 months prior and completely mind-blowing to watch live. After 1 round of fighting, the champ had been wobbled or knocked down 3 times and his nose was completely mangled, it was the 10ist-8 round I have ever seen (other than the first round of their last fight…). After a second round that was basically the same as first (only without the KD’s), Frankie Edgar decided it was time to go to work. He spent the entire 5 minutes using his superior speed and footwork to box the ever living fuck out of an exhausted and distraught Gray Maynard (you have to feel for the guy, in 2 fights he’d nearly decapitated his opponent 6 fucking times and still couldn’t put him away). By the end of the 3rd, this was Frankie Edgar’s fight to win. Now, it is also important to note the kind of fighter Edgar has always been. In 16 career fights up to that point, he’d only ever knocked out 3 opponents (and only one that wasn’t a B leaguer from Jersey). So when the 4th round happened and Edgar stunned and then put away a red faced Maynard against the fence, the roof came off the Toyota Center in Houston. In one sequence Frankie Edgar not only defended his title, but also put to bed the notion that he was a boring fighter and won over almost all of the doubters he’d had up to that point in his career.
WATCH THIS SHIT! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cC0CP4xCLiI (EN ESPANOL! fight starts at about 9:30)
OK, this is the part of the list where I get shitty because of how impossible it is to find working links to fights like Benson Henderson vs Clay Guida, Chan Sung Jung vs Dustin Porier, and (my first choice for #3) Joe Stevenson vs George Sotiropoulos. So I had to get a little creative to finish this list.
3. Eddie Alvarez def Tatsuya Kawajiri via TKO at 7:35 RD 1 – Dream 5, July 21, 2008
The Backstory: Tatsuya Kawajiri is my favorite fighter not named BJ Penn. He is probably the 2nd best wrestler to ever come out of Japan, and unlike the best wrestler (the luckless Yushin Okami) he also possesses the ability to hold his own when his grinding style doesn’t work out. The Crusher was also involved in a legendary Pride Bushido fight with Takanori Gomi in 2005 (which barely missed this list) and has made a career out of either grinding his opponents into dust with top control and then submitting them or, failing that, going out on his shield and turning in fight of the year style performances in crazy brawls. Enter Eddie Alvarez and the Dream Lightweight Grand Prix. Dream was the lumbering husk of incompetence and corruption that was left over after Pride died. But for a few years, they still managed to keep their shit together long enough to put on some pretty amazing fights. They were smart enough to know that people love them some Grand Prix’s (and also 10 minute first rounds and knees to a downed opponent). So in 2008, they decided to put on a bunch of tournaments that involved guys like Shinya Aoki, Joachim Hansen, Geisas Calvacante, Gegard Mousasim, Melvin Manhoef, Mayhem Miller and Jacare Souza. Not the best line-up on the planet, but good enough that a lot of people gave enough of a shit to stay up and watch them at 2 in the morning. Now, in 2008, nobody knew who the fuck Eddie Alvarez was. Up to that point he was best “known” for getting smashed by Nick “The GOAT” Thompson while fighting for BODOG. This, and the fact that Japanese promoters love to stack the deck in homegrown fighters favor meant that Alvarez had to navigate his way through Andre Amado (6-1 at that point with impressive wins over Caol Uno and Hiroyuki Takaya) and the aforementioned Hansen, just to reach Kawajiri in the semis (The Crusher, ironically, had beaten two cans). People pretty much expected Tatsuya to easily impose his will and work from the top on his to victory.
Why this Fight was Awesome: Sometimes, for whatever reason, Tatsuya Kawajiri just decides that he wants to throw out the gameplan and swing for the fences. I am still convinced that if he’d attempted more than one takedown, he’d have been the one with his hand raised. But hindsight is 20/20 and as a result we got an absolute WAR of a fight. After easily defending a first minute takedown attempt from Alvarez, Kawajiri attempted a guillotine choke and then went to work with knees to the head. After some clinch work, the fight was reset in the middle of the ring just in time for pandemonium to ensue. At about the 2 minute mark Kawajiri tagged Alvarez with a beautiful left hand counter that opened a deep cut under Eddie’s right eye. A minute later Eddie returned the favor by backing Tatsuya up against the ropes and flooring him with a hard right hook. After following him to the ground, Alvarez let Kawajiri off the hook long enough for him to get back to his feet, only to send him right back to the canvas with a perfectly placed knee. After recovering from being stunned a second time, The Crusher then spends the next 30 seconds holding on for dear life and absorbing BRUTAL liver shots from the clinch. Then, because a Japanese fighter is losing a fight in Japan, referee Yuji Shimada halts the action so the ringside doctors can take a look at Eddie’s cut. Immediately after the restart, the Crusher takes advantage of the situation by buckling Alvarez with another clean left directly to the chin. The crazy thing about that left is that it was thrown while Kawajiri was literally sliding backwards on the slippery FEG logo that was printed on the canvas. Alvarez must have never seen it coming because he was caught rushing in face first and was lucky the fight wasn’t stopped right there. The next two minutes were spent with Kawajiri slowly passing Eddie’s guard and transitioning to mount while Eddie tried to recover. A nifty sweep by Alvarez at the 6:30 mark brought on a scramble that led to one of the craziest exchanges I have ever seen. While in the corner of the ring and Eddie backing Tatsuya up Alvarez is AGAIN cracked by a stiff left on the button and dropped to his knees. Then, through means of which I am still uncertain, Alvarez somehow managed to stagger and drop a standing Kawajiri FROM HIS GODDAMN KNEES WHILE STILL DAZED. For the next minute and a half, both fighters are on queer street, wobbling around the ring and throwing haymakers at each others’ face, until finally Kawajiri succumbs to a thunderous series of rights from Alvarez (though, again, because Japan, Kawajiri was allowed to absorb about 15 follow up blows to the ground after he was clearly done). The fight took so much out of the winner that he was ultimately pulled from the Final of the tournament that was held later that night.
WATCH THIS SHIT! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLFW16d2oi0
2. Michael Chandler def Eddie Alvarez via RNC at 3:06 RD 4, Bellator 58, November 19, 2011
The Backstory: After the Dream Tournament wrapped up, Eddie Alvarez went on to fight like an idiot at DYNAMITE!!! 2008 against Shinya Aoki and got heel hooked within 90 seconds. In shame, he returned home and signed a contract with Bellator back when they were still only being broadcast on the Spanish version of ESPN. Against mostly inferior competition (a fat Josh Neer, a disinterested Roger Huerta and FW Pat Curran in a fight at 155) Alvarez not only ran the table and won the promotion’s LW belt, but was completely murking fools in the process. With the exception of the Curran fight, Alvarez had finished all of his opponents during the streak. Plus, the guy was reportedly making 6 figures a fight to the be the face of an organization. In other words, he was doing about as well as a fighter could outside of the UFC. On the other hand, up until this fight I had never heard of Michael Chandler. To be honest, I was only watching this scrap because it was on and other than the last 3 fights (Faber – Bowles, Silva – Le, Rua – Henderson), I didn’t enough of a give a shit about UFC 139 enough to pirate it until the last minute. Apparently, I was supposed to care because Chandler had beaten one of the flying Friere brothers and some dude with the unfortunate distinction of having the same name as the lead singer of Creed. I had to find this out on sherdog’s fightfinder because, at the time, Chandler’s wikipedia page redirected you here (not even a Catholic priest, the asshole’s anglican…) So my enthusiasm for that fight being anything other than another squash match was somewhere between “meh” and “I wonder if there is any new lesbian fisting porn on RebTube?”
Why this Fight was Awesome: Like so, so many things in life, I was wrong as shit about this because it turned out to be the defining fight of Bellator’s short history. Something we all learned in the first 15 seconds after the bell is that Michael Chandler does not fuck about. Not even a little. He charged right at the champion from the word go and had him up against the fence and completely buckled within the first 15 seconds. It was almost breath taking to watch how little respect the challenger had for the guy whom his bosses had enough faith in to basically build a promotion around. Luckily for Alvarez, his cardio and chin are at such a level that he not only recovered almost immediately but slowly began taking the initiative over the next few minutes. Consistently beating Chandler to punch with quick hands and decent footwork (though, duh, his head movement and defense was and is still terrible). Not wanted to let the momentum completely swing back into the champions favor, Chandler floored Alvarez for a second time right before the end of the round in a sequence that easily could have ended the fight had there been more time. The 2nd frame began with Chandler dominating from the clinch and dragging Alvarez to the ground. After Alvarez escaped back to his feet he spent most of the rest of the round picking the challenger apart from the feet. The 3rd round went much the same until Alvarez caught Chandler with a nifty over hand right and swarmed him against the cage with punches. During the sequence that followed Alvarez landed no less than 40 shots directly to Michael’s dome. To Chandler’s credit, he survived the onslaught and the rest of the round played out with Alvarez trying desperately to finish the still visibly hurt Chandler. I honestly think that at this point Eddie Alvarez had spent so much energy trying to finish his opponent over the previous two rounds that he was as gassed as a guy with an amazing gas tank is going to get. I say that because, even though he had just endured a substantial beating over the past 10 minutes, Chandler appeared to be the fresher of the two fighters coming into the 4th. This became readily apparent when, after a failed takedown and scramble, Chandler caught Alvarez with his hands down and popped him with a right hand that sent the champion reeling against the fence. After the fighters got turned around, a big left and follow up right sent Alvarez sprinting across the length of the cage until he was ultimately dropped by a nuclear bomb of a right that landed him face first on the mat. Chandler used this opportunity to go full on rape choke, transition to Alvarez’ back and stop the fight with a RNC.
1. Nick Diaz def Paul Daley via TKO at 4:57 RD 1 – Strikeforce: Diaz vs Daly, April 9, 2011.
The Backstory: Nick fucking Diaz, ladies and gentleman, is somehow the best and worst thing that ever happened to my MMA fandom. Equal parts crazy as shit and amazing as fuck, he is simultaneously the most fascinating and the most base individual currently involved in fight sport. Much like The Last of Us was such an amazing game that all others hence-to-forth seem like cheap rip offs, Nick Diaz fights can turn out so ridiculous and enthralling that anything but the most edge of your seat level bouts seem uninspired by comparison. When he’s at his best, he can makes elite level, top of their game, masters of their craft seem ordinary and boring. The dude is THAT fun to watch. (note: this is not an indictment of others skill level or ability to defeat Nick Diaz in an MMA fight, it is merely stating that Nick Diaz is, bar none, the most entertaining fighter to watch). Paul Daley is a bit of thug (yes, even though Josh Koscheck is a reprehensible person, no one deserves to be hit after the bell) but the guy can throw some bungalows. He was riding a 4 fight win streak that included a victory over future SF title challenger Jorge Masvidal, and in his previous bout with the promotion, he’d nearly killed Scott Smith. At the time, this was the best fight Strikeforce could offer outside of the HW division. Also, it was for the SF WW title (or whatever).
Why this Fight was Awesome: This is the fight that I show people when they ask me about this MMA thing. There is nothing about this that is, at any point in time, anything less than completely ridiculous. I’d like to call it the fastest five minutes I’ve ever experienced, but I have blurry memories of quite a few ladies that would probably disagree…
I tried to write a play-by-play of this fight but it ended up being so long that it was impossible to read it all the way through. So let’s just end this by saying that the most boring part of a fight that only lasted less than a round was the first 30 seconds when Diaz (with his hands at his side) called Daley a bitch no less than 6 times and then Daley nearly decapitated him with a bunch DIRECTLY to the cerebellum. Now imagine all of the histrionics and hyperbole that Mauro Renallo and Gus Johnson barfed at you through your TV sets every time they got on the mic being COMPLETELY apt in almost every instance during a fight. I have probably watched this fight over 50 times and it is without any shred of a doubt the greatest piece of violence I have ever witnessed
Again —- don’t get shitty because of the lack of UFC events, uncle dana and the zuffa automatons make it almost impossible to find anything they own after a month or so.October 7, 2013 at 12:35 pm #531996
Solid list. Eddie Alvarez has entertaining fights. Damn I wish he was in the UFC but the Chandler rematch should be good.October 7, 2013 at 1:38 pm #531999
There are a few good’uns in there. What about Huerta vs Guida? Such a sick fight. And I did mean this fight about Edgar/Guida on your Pt. 1. My memory just suxx.
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