This weekend offered more MMA action than you could shake a stick at, with One FC, UFC, Cage Warriors, WSOF and Invicta FC all putting on shows. However many UFC fans may not have even bothered with the unusually timed Friday night card from Australia, so some of you may have missed some truly spectacular MMA moments and some really good fights. Lucky for you, I’ve collected some of the best moments for you, here now for your enjoyment in GIF form!
Mark Hunt and Bigfoot Silva – the greatest UFC heavyweight fight of all time?
If not, certainly something close to it. These two friends went to war with very little on the line – Hunt proved against Junior Dos Santos in May that he was pretty far away from a title contender, and Silva is the proud owner of two TKO losses to current champion Cain Velasquez. While it did get a big rock em sock em robots later in the fight, the two showed the kind of heart and balls to the wall desire that has categorised some of the UFC’s finest fights ever – Shogun/Hendo, Garcia/Zombie and Sanchez/Melendez come to mind. This for five rounds from two men who have to cut down to 265 pounds was seriously impressive, and all the more so when you realise that Mark Hunt broke his hand in two places very early on. He also, in all likelihood, has a leg injury too. This fight was, at the very least, way better than it had any right being.
Finishes, finishes, finishes
Cage Warriors is, for my mind, the best promotion in Europe today. With more than a dozen shows this year all over the UK, the Middle East and Eastern Europe the company has gone from strength to strength and is becoming a hot bed of talent either newly released from the UFC and looking for a way back, or top prospects on their way up to the big time. Being able to offer 3 or 4 fights in a year is an attractive proposition for fighters who are looking to improve their records. Even though the planned main event of flyweight champion Neil Seery defending against UFC and Taichi Palace Fights veteran Ulysses Gomez fell through due to Gomez’ feinting during his weight cut, the ten fight card still produced seven impressive finishes. Six of those finishes came in the first round, including Ian Entwhistle’s super impressive flying knee-bar in just 24 seconds of the first round over Liam James and two separate knee strike knockouts, one of which is shown above too. If you missed this card, make sure you catch Cage Warriors 63 on New Year’s Eve with two title fights and the debut of former UFC fighter John Maguire. The broadcasts also feature one of the most enjoyable commentary teams in any MMA promotion today, as Brad Wharton and Josh Palmer seriously know their stuff. They broadcast free online in every country – there’s no excuse not to!
Shogun is back!…maybe
After a lackluster decision loss to Alex Gustafsson and being dominated and submitted by Chael Sonnen in his last two fights, many were billing the fight with James Te Huna as do or die for Mauricio Shogun Rua. The former light heavyweight champion silenced many critics with his emphatic victory over Te Huna, showing that he still has some of the deadliest hands in the sport. It took just one perfectly placed punch to end the fight, and have many proclaiming the ‘return’ of Shogun. While this finish was impressive it remains to be seen if this can translate into a prolonged return to form – only time will tell.
Invicta completes their roster of champions
Invicta FC, the largest womens’ MMA promotion out there, put on their seventh show this weekend with three title fights scheduled. Despite the strawweight title fight falling through on the day, Lauren Murphy became the first Invicta 135lb champion due to an injury to muay thai specialist Miriam Nakamoto in the fourth round. Nakamoto had dominated rounds 1 and 2 before Murphy staged an impressive comeback in round three, with the stage set for an intriguing championship round. However Nakamoto injured her knee in a takedown late in the third, and probably should not have attempted to come back out in the fourth. However Nakamoto somehow made it to her feet, and appeared to injure her knee very badly indeed just by stepping on it. The GIF above is not for the faint of heart. Flyweight champion Barb Honchak took an impressive 49-46 victory over heavily favoured Leslie Smith to get many people talking about whether or not the champion could perhaps feature in a UFC strawweight division, while Tecia Torres dominated the experienced Felice Herrig to potentially set up a titleshot in the future.
The UFC and Invicta GIFs are courtesy of the talented Zombie Prophet – follow him on Twitter @ZProphet_MMA. If you are the owner of the Cage Warriors GIFs please get in touch and I will be happy to give you full credit!