Tag Archives: Anderson Silva

Top 5 most disrespectful mid-fight UFC moments

When two men step in the cage to fight, there is usually more than just a win or a loss at stake for both men.

Whether it’s a title, pride or just respect, it’s always more than just the result that’s important. So when a fighter shows a level of disrespect in the cage it’s always a moment to remember.

After Max Holloway’s performance at UFC Fight Island 7 against Calvin Kattar, we took a look back in the time chamber at the top five most disrespectful mid-fight moments in UFC history.


5. Conor McGregor vs Eddie Alvarez (UFC 205)

This was the ultimate Conor McGregor performance. If anyone ever asks you what all the hype was about, don’t bother showing the Jose Aldo knockout just show them this fight.

McGregor stepped up in a quest to become the first double champion in the companies history, after a gruesome double-header with Nate Diaz, to fight Eddie Alvarez in for the 155lbs lightweight title. McGregor turned in a masterful performance, knocking Alvarez down three times in the first round before a stoppage finish in the second.

But mid way through the second round, before the knockout, McGregor showed that he was levels clear of Alvarez on the feet by putting both hands behind his back and leaving his chin exposed as Alvarez stood in front of him. It was the ultimate show of disrespect and went unpunished as he claimed the belt just a few minutes later.


4. Dominick Cruz vs Cody Garbrandt (UFC 207)

Pre-injuries, it wasn’t a crazy opinion to have if you said Dominick Cruz was the greatest bantamweight of all time. So after coming out on top in his legendary rivalry with Urijah Faber, ‘No Love’ Cody Garbrandt emerged to avenge his mentors defeats.

In a bantamweight title fight at UFC 207, Gabrandt turned in a masterful five-round performance to claim the title from Cruz in a unanimous decision win but it was his antics during the fight that caught the eye most.

Garbrandt would slip shots and look in the opposite direction, started breakdancing mid-fight and just generally dominated the man who was considered the best ever in what still stands up as the best performance of his career to date. The fight was personal and ‘No Love’ rubbed salt in the wounds.


3. Max Holloway vs Brian Ortega (UFC 231)

This was supposed to be Max Holloway’s toughest test as UFC featherweight champion, with Brian Ortega the best jiu-jitsu technician he had ever come against.

Instead what we saw was a stand-up clinic from ‘Blessed’ as he beat the living hell out of Ortega for a full four rounds before the doctor stopped the fight. But what took place just minutes before was something never seen before.

Holloway stopped punching Ortega in the face for a few seconds, to help teach him how to block in the middle of the fight. He took his hands and moved them closer to face and threw a soft punch to show him the benefits, before touching gloves and getting back to it. Rude.


2. Anderson Silva vs Nick Diaz (UFC 183)

The Diaz brothers are known as two of the more… outspoken members of the UFC roster over the last 20 years. This is probably the defining moment of either of their careers though when it comes to disrespect.

During a grudge match against the legendary Anderson Silva, Diaz had repeatedly jabbed at him during press conferences and interviews but got no reaction. When they finally stepped into the octagon, he upped the gamesmanship by a level almost immediately after the fight began though.

With Silva not really pressing the action in the opening 90 seconds, Diaz started trying to antagonise him. He literally lay on the ground as if he was sunbathing, he backed himself against the cage and invited Silva to come and fight and then stood still as Silva circled.

It turned into a five round war and as of this writing, was the last time we saw Diaz in the octagon.


1. Max Holloway vs Calvin Kattar (UFC Fight Island 7)

The most recent display of disrespect but for me, the most disrespectful thing ever.

Holloway was paired up against Kattar for his first non-title fight since 2016, with Kattar stating that ‘Blessed’ was just a man in his way en route to a title shot. He claimed to be the best boxer in the UFC and said he’d be able to take Holloway’s record of never being knocked down before away from him.

The Hawaiian clearly took offence to the comments as he slaughtered Kattar to a 50-42, 50-42, 50-43 decision win at UFC Fight Island 7. But in the final round, after already battering Kattar to a pulp, he started talking to the commentators while still in the cage. He commented about the record breaking stats he’d put together, snapped a jab off and then slipped Kattar’s counter punches while walking backwards and not even looking at him.

It was incredible to watch, while being skilful and disrespectful at the same time. Max Holloway, take a bow.

UFC Vegas 12 Fallout: The Spider Gets Squished, Bryce Mitchell The Real Deal

As UFC Vegas 12 came to an end, there were quite a few questions answered for fans and critics alike.

Anderson Silva’s career came to a screeching halt as he was knocked out by Uriah Hall in the fourth round of their main event fight, while the career of Bryce Mitchell took an upturn following his super impressive win over Andre Fili.

The main event was centred around the fact it was going to be Silva’s final fight in the UFC, but the Brazilian was insistent that he had other ideas. It wasn’t a shock though, when after a cagey start Hall turned up the pressure and became too much for him to handle.

A speedy counter right hand from Hall as he evaded a barrage of strikes from Silva ended the fight and left ‘The Spider’ squished on the ground, hugging the leg of referee Herb Dean as he waved the fight off.

Afterwards, the two embraced emotionally with Uriah Hall flooding with tears and telling Silva that he loves him in a way that fiercely resembled Ric Flair’s retirement match with Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 24.

UFC president Dana White revealed after the event that despite Silva having one more fight on his contract, he would never allow him to fight in the UFC again. He even went as far as to reveal that he regretted letting this fight happen, while Silva continued to insist after the loss that he would take his time to consider his MMA future.

UFC Fight Night: Mitchell v Fili : News Photo

In the co-main event, Bryce Mitchell extended his unbeaten record to 14-0 with a unanimous decision win over Andre Fili.

The 26 year old was dominant in the opening round with his ground game, securing takedowns and dominating the scrambles before coming into some trouble in the second round. Fili was able to defend the takedowns well and then used his superior striking to take the round and make it even going into the final round.

Mitchell then upped the levels once again in the third round, dominating on the ground once again and pushing his way to a big win. The win for ‘Thug Nasty’ pushes him further up the rankings in a stacked featherweight division, where a fight against any of the Top 10 will surely be exciting.

The likes of Edson Barboza or Dan Ige are possible too, but I would personally prefer to see Mitchell take on the likes of Arnold Allen or Jeremy Stephens. With his undefeated record, I believe he deserves a big name on his record once again and a fight against someone like Stephens or Allen could propel him into title contention with a win.

His attitude was excellent after the fight too, admitting he wasn’t happy with his performance because he allowed Fili to defend well against him on the ground which is something he doesn’t want to allow fighters to believe they can do.

2021 is shaping up to be a very fun year for the UFC as they look like they will need to create some new superstars.

UFC Vegas 12: Hall vs Silva – Results (Highlights)

EARLY PRELIMS

Miles Johns def Kevin Natividad via Knockout, Round 3 (2:51)

Competitive start to the fight as both men put out feelers for each other early on. Johns lands a nice low kick and then shoots for a single leg against the cage, but Natividad defends very well to deny. They break and Johns starts landing a long, lead jab to keep Natividad away. Natividad starts letting off combinations against the cage on Johns, but he ducks under and shoots for a takedown once again. He gets it down but Natividad jumps up as he looks to land ground and pound. Round comes to an end but it’s been steady from both. 10-9 Johns for me.

Natividad comes out in the second round more aggressive, throwing hooks over the jab attempt but not landing with anything flush. Johns still looking to land his jab and then shoots for the takedown once again and gets it, but Natividad once again is able to get back to his feet quickly. Johns holds him against the cage for a while but the referee breaks them apart due to inactivity. Natividad coming forward with big punches again as Johns looks like he’s tiring and a flying knee attempt just misses. Natividad goes in for a takedown of his own but Johns sprawls out of it and lands a big spinning back fist as they get back to the feet. Wild hook attempt from Natividad is ducked under and Johns goes for a takedown again as the round ends. 20-18 Johns.

Final round and Natividad comes out very aggressive in this one. Both men exchange big hooks but they eat it well and continue circling. Natividad starts trying to work the body, but Johns fires back with two nice low kicks. Johns shoots for a single leg takedown and pushes Natividad against the cage. Natividad threatens a d’arce choke attempt and as they break Johns lands a huge uppercut that knocks Natividad unconscious! What a knockout!

Dustin Jacoby def Justin Ledet via Knockout, Round 1 (2:38)

Strong start to the round for Jacoby as he comes out and attacks the legs of his opponent. Ledet looks to land a hook but Jacoby avoids and counters with a big straight right hand of his own that wobbles Ledet. Calm pressure from Jacoby but Ledet lands a nice jab and swings an uppercut that just misses. Jacoby lands three more leg kicks and drops Ledet then jumps on the ground and pound. He lets Ledet back up and then knocks him out cold with a huge right hand. What a performance from Dustin Jacoby.

PRELIMS

Jason Witt def Cole Williams via Submission (Head & Arm Choke), Round 2 (2:09)

Witt comes into the centre and immediately shoots for a takedown with the single leg. He gets him down immediately and takes Williams’ back, but against the cage and he defends a precarious position well and gets him into full guard. Witt starts throwing some heavy ground and pound and Williams moves away from the damage but is showing no signs of being able to get back up to his feet. Witt lands a beautiful short elbow that opens up a massive cut above the left eye of Williams and blood is pouring down his face now. Witt continues with the strikes on the ground as the round comes to an end. 10-8 Witt for me.

Quick start to the round again as both men throw some big shots before Witt shoots in for a takedown, picks Williams up above his head, walks him over to the opposite side of the octagon in front of his corner and slams him down. Witt advances to full mount and is searching for the submission, but Williams slips out of the rear-naked choke attempt. Witt switches to a head and arm choke and squeezes, then gets the tap. Hugely impressive win for Jason Witt.

Sean Strickland def Jack Marshman via Unanimous Decision (30-27 x3)

Strickland comes forward immediately and starts walking him down across the cage, throwing out feel punches while Marshman responds with big hooks that hit fresh air. Strickland starts mixing in a leg kick too and lands a huge left straight, right hook combo. Marshman starting to feel the effects of the shots he’s absorbing as Strickland continues to walk him down across the octagon. Strickland backs him up against the cage again and throws a huge one two that lands flush, before a big body shot lands too. Marshman throws a big right hook that lands flush and stings Strickland but the round ends. 10-9 Strickland.

Strickland once again comes out and takes the centre, landing his jab with ease. He lands a big double-jab and follows it up immediately with a right cross that lands clean. Marshman starting to look banged up but is holding firm and still throwing strikes of his own. Another strike from Strickland opens up a cut under Marshman’s eye as he stays out of range and counters well. Strickland landing his jab at will and Marshman throwing wild hooks that aren’t even close to landing for the most part. Dominant round again for Strickland. 20-18.

Third and final round and both guys start exchanging words in the centre of the cage as they trade blows. Both guys going back to back with big hooks, crosses and stiff jabs but Strickland has been completely dominant. A nice jab and head kick combination lands and the two start screaming at each other. Strickland asks Marshman “why won’t you fall?!” as they exchange wild hooks until the buzzer goes. 30-27 Strickland.

Adrian Yanez def Victor Rodriguez via Knockout, Round 1 (2:46)

Quick start to the round for Rodriguez who shoots in for an early takedown against the cage, but Yanez defends well after about a one minute clinch and they break back into the centre. Rodriguez throws a big overhand right that lands but Yanez eats it and moves forward. Big combination lands and wobbles Rodriguez! He starts hunting landing big shots and gets a knockdown. Rodriguez gets back to his feet but Yanez lands another big right-left combo that drops him again. Rodriguez gets back to his feet, Yanez throws a right hand followed a head kick that puts Rodriguez’s lights out. Superb performance from Yanez.

Alexander Hernandez def Chris Gruetzmacher via Knockout, Round 1 (1:46)

Gruetzmacher comes out and lands two heavy leg kicks immediately but Hernandez fires back with one of his own. Hernandez landing jabs, hooks and kicks at will and staying out of range perfectly well. He’s really showing his talents here, dominating every exchange and he looks a level above right now. Big one-two lands and a head kick wobbles Gruetzmacher! Hernandez hunts for the knockout and lands a four-piece combo that knocks Gruetzmacher down and out! What a stunning performance!

MAIN CARD

Thiago Moises def Bobby Green via Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)

Strong start to the fight by Thiago Moises in this one as he comes in throwing bombs early including some vicious leg kicks that force Green to switch stance. A head kick lands by Moises but Green eats it and comes forward with a nice right hook of his own. Moises shoots for a takedown and is able to pick up Green and slam him down. Moises moves straight to the back but Green shakes him off and ends up on top himself. Big knee to the body and they break. Lots of feints and small strikes land before Moises lands a big right hand flush to the face that hurts Green, but he takes it and survives. Flurry of punches from Green ends the round. 10-9 Moises.

Fun second round as the two meet in the middle and exchange hooks early on. Green lands a beautiful step back right hand that lands on Moises who is wobbled for a second, before Green shoots in for a takedown. He lifts the single leg and sweeps the standing leg to get the top position. Moises gets back up quickly and takes the back of Green, then rolls through with a reverse heel hook. Green fights it in a panic and eventually escapes. Moises looks tired now and Green is teeing off against the cage while the Brazilian looks to recover. Flying knee attempt by Green just misses and then Moises lands a big right hook as the buzzer goes. Close round but 19-19 for me.

A tense final round as both guys are landing big strikes and swinging big. A wild exchange ends up with Green having a big cut over his right eye but it doesn’t stop him coming forward and looking to land heavy right hooks. Moises pushes Green back against the cage and looks to load up a takedown but Green tries to counter it with a kimura. Moises avoids and takes the back but can’t get Green down on the mat properly. They get back to the feet for one final wild exchange as the fight ends. Great fight, 29-28 Moises for me but super close fight.

Kevin Holland def Charlie Ontiveros via Verbal Submission, Round 1 (2:38)

Interesting start to the round as Holland with a big swing and a miss puts himself on his butt, then when he gets back up Ontiveros lands a big axe-kick to the head of Holland. Holland responds with an immediate takedown and ends up in north-south position landing big elbows to the head. Ontiveros fights for position and tries to get back up against the cage but Holland gets a firm grip and slams him to the mat again. The referee then waves the fight off out of nowhere and Ontiveros is saying he’s injured. The broadcast tell us after the decision that he needs to be stabilised and removed on a stretcher having not moved since the fight ended. Best wishes to Charlie Ontiveros.

Greg Hardy def Maurice Greene via Knockout, Round 2 (1:12)

Aggressive start to the fight by Greg Hardy, who checks a leg kick and marches forward. Greene throws a body kick attempt that Hardy catches and he lands two huge right hands that drop him! He runs for the finish with heavy ground and pound and Greene looks to defend with up-kicks before Hardy scrambles and ends up on top. A huge elbow lands but Greene manages to tie him up enough to frustrate him and Hardy stands the fight back up. Nice one-two lands for Greene but Hardy eats it as the round comes to an end. 10-9 Hardy.

Second round starts slowly, with both fighters tiring already. Lots of feints and jabs, but Hardy throws a big lead left uppercut and drops Greene! He jumps on for the ground and pound again and despite him moving still, Greene is taking unanswered shots and the referee waves it off. Big win for Hardy!

Bryce Mitchell def Andre Fili via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27 x2)

Quick start from Mitchell in this one as he comes out with jabs and then goes for an early takedown. Fili gets back up quickly but Mitchell drives him back down again and wraps up the legs as he looks to pass but Fili escapes. Mitchell latches on again though and takes the fight back down immediately, stacking Fili against the cage and landing some ground and pound. Mitchell eventually passes into full mount but not doing much damage, just taking his time and looking for openings. Fili escapes full mount but Mitchell once again is able to step into it before Fili reverses the position and gets back to his feet. Mitchell throws a huge overhand right and catches a kick at the same time to get the fight back down once again as the opening round comes to an end. 10-9 Bryce.

Second round starts with Mitchell landing a big overhand left twice, before shooting for a takedown. Fili sprawls expertly well and defends against it, before landing a big right-hand of his own. Fili throws a flying knee that lands well and Mitchell starting to look uncomfortable on the feet. Both men throw a right hook and Mitchell changes levels to shoot for a takedown, but Fili defends superbly against the cage. Fili coming forward now on the feet and is teeing off on Mitchell, who shoots for another takedown and this time lifts Fili and slams him down to complete it. Fili threatens with a guillotine but Mitchell stays calm and moves away from the position. Fili kicks off the cage and rolls through to get back to his feet and both men land big strikes as the round ends with Mitchell attempting a takedown and failing. 19-19.

Final round begins with Fili swinging big and looking to apply pressure, but Mitchell changes levels and gets an early takedown in the centre of the octagon. Mitchell looking to advance but Fili defending really well and manages to kick back up, but Mitchell holds onto a leg and takes him back down. Fili switches the position and ends up on top, lands a couple of shots but Mitchell gets back to his feet. Mitchell throws a big right hook that lands then goes straight back to the takedown and now starts landing short elbows and punches. Final minute of the fight and Mitchell is still on top forcing Fili to defend strikes. More ground and pound for Mitchell as he manages to stay on top for the remainder of the round and likely take the win. 29-28 Mitchell.

Uriah Hall def Anderson Silva via Knockout, Round 4 (1:24)

A very, very slow start to this fight. In the first two minutes we get a leg kick each before Silva opens up a bit more with a head kick. Silva has a leg kick checked by Hall and then decides to come forward with some punches and apply that infamous pressure against the cage. Some decent shots land but nothing that effects Hall before a stalemate in the centre of the octagon again. Two nice jabs from Hall land before Silva charges forward with a three punch combo. Big jab from Hall again keeps Silva away as the round ends. 10-9 Silva.

Another slow round from both fighters as they continue to feel each other out. Silva bouncing around on the outside while Hall is snapping his jab. Both fighters are exchanging leg kicks too but neither man doing any damage whatsoever. Hall seems hesitant to fire anything powerful and Silva seems content to just touch him. Spinning body kick from Hall connects and the two exchange jabs as the round ends. 19-19.

Silva’s footwork is moving him out of Hall’s range constantly, but he isn’t throwing nearly enough to really trouble ‘The Spider’ so far. Still lots of feeling each other out with neither fighter seeming willing to throw hands with any real venom just yet. Hall throws a right hand followed by a spinning body kick but both miss, as Silva misses with an axe kick. Left overhand lands for Silva but Hall is the one moving away on the outside now. Both guys exchange a body kick and then Silva lands a right hand that catches the eye of Hall. He comes forward with pressure now as Hall shows he’s struggling but nothing heavy lands and he recovers. Hall lands a big right hand that drops Silva! He follows up with big ground and pound but Silva grabs a leg and the round ends! Saved by the bell. 29-28 Hall.

Hall comes out more aggressive in the fourth round after the end of the previous round. Silva charged forward with a rushing one-two that completely misses and Hall lands a counter right hand that drops Silva again! He lands some huge ground and pound and the referee waves it off! Big knockout win for Uriah Hall!

UFC Vegas 12: Hall vs Silva – Main Card Predictions

The first ever Halloween card in UFC history will see the end of the career of one of the greatest fighters of all-time when Anderson Silva fights Uriah Hall in the main event.

After the fun of Fight Island, the UFC returns to the Apex in Las Vegas for a 12 fight card with some interesting fights including a featherweight clash between Bryce Mitchell and Andre ‘Touchy’ Fili in the co-main event.

I will break down each fighters skills and style and give my prediction for each fight. I have already done the prelims of the card here, so lets move on to the main card.

Last weekend at UFC 254, I got 9/12 picks correct with five perfect picks. Since starting my predictions back in June, my current record stands at 145/222 total picks, with 67 perfect picks in that time. I will look to improve that this week with these picks.

MAIN CARD

Bobby Green (27-10-1) vs Thiago Moises (13-4) – (Lightweight/155lbs)

Bobby Green comes into this fight on his first three-fight win streak since 2014 to take on Thiago Moises who has alternated wins and losses since his win on Dana White’s Contender Series in August 2018. Green beat Clay Guida in June, then defeated Lando Vannata in August and Alan Patrick in September while Moises’ last fight was a win over Michael Johnson back in May via submission. It’s a true veteran vs up-and-comer fight and in this instance the advantages are with the experienced fighter. On the feet, Green has more power and so long as he keeps up his rejuvenation when it comes to volume he should win those exchanges. His wrestling is excellent too and he is notoriously hard to take down, meaning Moises will find it hard to use his superb jiu-jitsu. I think Green will be able to keep the fight standing and use his superior striking to get another decision win.
PICK – Bobby Green via Decision

Greg Hardy (6-2 1NC) vs Maurice Greene (9-4) – (Heavyweight/220-265lbs)

Greg Hardy has the MMA world in the palm of his hand because of his reputation rather than his talent. The former NFL star has done reasonably well in MMA since turning professional a few years ago and losing his UFC debut via disqualification. His only fight this calendar year got him back in the win column, when he outlasted Yorgan De Castro for a decision. Maurice Greene however is 1-1 in 2020, losing via submission to Aleksei Oleynik before defeating Gian Villante via submission in June. Both these fighters have similar issues with either not being able to last three rounds when trying to KO someone, or not being able to KO someone when trying to last three rounds. Since that’s the case, Hardy will need to avoid Greene’s submission game by keeping the fight standing and trying to just out-strike him which I think he should be able to do.
PICK – Greg Hardy via Decision

Kevin Holland (19-5) vs Charlie Ontiveros (11-6) – (Middleweight/185lbs)

This is a fight that has been put together on very short notice and due to that is a complete mismatch. Kevin Holland is 4-0 in 2020 and was looking to blast his way into the Top 15 with a short-notice win over Makhmud Muradov. The Uzbekistan fighter pulled out due to a positive COVID-19 test on Wednesday though and Charlie Ontiveros has stepped up on three day’s notice to make his UFC debut. ‘The American Bad Boy’ has won his last two fights via first round knockout but hasn’t fought yet in 2020. Holland is on a hot-streak and I expect his showmanship will be on full display once again. He’s bigger, better on the feet and good enough not to be taken down to find out if he’s better on the mat or not. Holland blasts his way through his new opponent in one round with a flurry of punches after a knockdown.
PICK – Kevin Holland via Knockout, Round 1

Bryce Mitchell (13-0) vs Andre Fili (21-7) – (Featherweight/145lbs)

This fight has got fight of the night written all over it as the undefeated Bryce Mitchell takes on UFC veteran Andre ‘Touchy’ Fili in the co-main event. Mitchell has won all four of his fights in the octagon, including winning via twister submission against Matt Sayles back in December last year. He followed that up with a convincing decision win over Charles Rosa in May too. Fili is a super well rounded fighter, who is 3-2 in his last five fights in the octagon, including a win in his last fight against Charles Jourdain. It’s a typical fight where both guys strengths are the other fighter’s weakness. Bryce Mitchell is a demon on the ground, with all his wins inside the distance coming via submission while Fili has a huge advantage on the feet with his jab and boxing skills. The likelihood all-in-all though is that Mitchell can get this fight to the ground eventually and he will take over. Fili has a habit of being comfortable working off his back and if he does that then Mitchell will have a field day.
PICK – Bryce Mitchell via Decision

Uriah Hall (15-9) vs Anderson Silva (34-10 1NC) – (Middleweight/185lbs)

The end of the career of greatest middleweight of all time is upon us and Uriah Hall is the man chosen to put the final nail in the coffin of Anderson Silva. After going 16-0 in the UFC, his loss to Chris Weidman was the start of a bad downward spiral. Since then, Silva has one win in his last eight fights and even that was incredibly controversial against Derek Brunson. Both men are dynamic and exciting strikers but Silva is also a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt of over a decade. His best chance to win this fight is via submission, something he hasn’t done since he forced Chael Sonnen to tap out way back in 2010. Hall is the more powerful striker at this point but Silva hasn’t lost his chin yet. His knockout against Weidman was a complete fluke and his other two TKO losses on his record were due to leg injuries. Despite that, Hall hits really hard and will likely head hunt to some extent. He had enough power to knock down Paulo Costa (unofficially) in their fight two years ago so I can’t imagine he won’t be able to do the same to Silva.
PICK – Uriah Hall via Knockout, Round 3

Anderson Silva: The Spider’s Top 3 Performances

As UFC Vegas 12 approaches this weekend, the main event serves to put an end to the final chapter of Anderson Silva’s career.

The consensus greatest middleweight of all time is set to have his illustrious career’s curtain call when he takes on Uriah Hall this Saturday, knowing it will be his final fight.

After one of the greatest primes in mixed martial arts history, Silva has slipped into mediocrity as age and injury has caught up to him. That however hasn’t stopped us from remembering him for putting in some of the most memorable performances ever.

In this, I’m going to break down his three best for me to make people understand why I fell in love with MMA because of ‘The Spider’ Anderson Silva.


NO.3
Anderson Silva vs Rich Franklin
UFC 64, Oct 2006

UFC 64: Unstoppable : News Photo

The fight where it all started. Anderson Silva’s first UFC middleweight title fight was against Rich Franklin, who at that point was 22-1 and undefeated in the UFC. On an eight-fight win streak, Franklin was seen as Silva’s first real test since signing with the company. He dismantled Chris Leben in just 49 seconds of his debut and was then placed into this bout.

He started slowly in the fight, but after about 90 seconds of putting out feelers and getting his range he turned up the pressure. Silva began exchanging with full freedom and zero worries, before reaching for the Muay-Thai clinch. As soon as he got it, he started throwing heavy knees to the body and Franklin had no answer for the grip. He tried to throw a few knees of his own and come over the top with some hooks but it wasn’t enough to prevent ‘The Spider’ from breaking his spirit.

After throwing around 20 knees to the body, Franklin could no long fight the hands and dropped his guard to prevent the body attack as much as possible. This meant that Silva threw a knee to the head that hurt him instantly. Silva followed up with strikes and two head kicks before throwing two more knees to the head, which was enough to force Franklin to the ground and for the referee to end the fight there and then.

The greatest title reign in UFC history had begun.

What to do with Conor McGregor?

It seems a week can’t go by without Conor McGregor having his name in the news for the wrong reasons.

If reports are to be believed, Conor has caught the eye of the French authorities for some less than classy behaviour. After an odd cryptic post on social media left us bemused, many including myself want to see Conor back to expressing himself in the octagon with crisp left-handed precision.

The COVID-19 pandemic couldn’t have come at a worse time for fans of the Notorious one. He’d made it well known that he planned to fight three times in 2020. With 2021 only three-and-a-half months away, the question remains what next for MMA’s biggest star?

Dana White in a recent interview came out and said the UFC was working on a 2021 return for McGregor. Without a clear indication on who he’d match up against, I thought it’d be fun to play UFC matchmaker with three potential opponents.

The obvious one, is Jorge Masvidal. The UFC’s reluctance to make this fight has been pretty surprising with Jorge Masvidal being arguably the biggest MMA draw after Cono. This fight, especially with a BMF title on the line, would bank the UFC millions. It would likely be a safe bet to do over 2 million PPV buys and would pit 2 striking specialists up against one another. Sometimes the obvious option is the smart choice.

Another option would be El-Cucuy, Tony Ferguson. This would be a high risk-high reward fight for McGregor. A win against one of the lightweight division’s toughest competitors, is one that would lend automatic credibility to Conor’s case for a rematch against Khabib. In Ferguson’s last showing, a stoppage loss to Justin Gaethje, we saw the damage that a refined and precise striking approach could have. Conor possesses the skillset to do damage and with negotiations between Ferguson, the UFC and potential opponent Dustin Poirier hitting a wall, McGregor could swoop in and give MMA fans a treat.

When the UFC decide to make fun fights, the world often sits up to pay attention. Earlier this year McGregor proposed a super-fight at 170lbs with the greatest middleweight in UFC history, Anderson Silva. To the surprise of many however, the powers that be at the UFC were quick to turn it down. Considering that both Silva and McGregor were keen it was strange but the UFC moved to schedule Silva in a matchup against Uriah Hall and are now labelling it as a retirement fight. It’s unlikely to happen but it would be ‘fun’, which is what Dana White suggested.

All in all, I’d love to see how Conor would fare in any one of these three matchups. All three would likely be contested on the feet, would bank the UFC millions in terms of PPV buys and would be exciting.

Pull your finger out UFC, there’s a man on a yacht of the coast of France still in the USADA testing pool who needs a fight!

Top 10 P4P Fighters Ever

Conor McGregor, pre his third retirement in four years, started up a very interesting debate recently.

The Notorious one headed to Twitter to vocalise his thoughts on the ‘GOAT’ arguments that have been taking over social media recently. Conor, the first ever simultaneous two-weight World Champion in UFC history, ranked himself as “2nd if not joint first” behind the legendary Anderson Silva and ahead of the likes of Jon Jones and Georges St-Pierre.

Many laughed at the notion of McGregor being so high up on his own list, myself included. So I, inspired by the tweets and my friends at 8 Sides Podcast decided to do a Top 10 and see where I actually ranked him.

#10 Jose Aldo (28-6*)

UFC 245: Moraes v Aldo : News Photo
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Jose Aldo until recently was regarded as the greatest Featherweight that ever lived. The Brazilian native was handed the inaugural belt in the UFC after the organisation’s purchase of WEC and defended it an unprecedented 7 times in 4 years before his devastating KO loss to Conor McGregor.

Wins against guys like Chad Mendes (twice), Frankie Edgar (twice), Kenny Florian, Urijah Faber, Ricardo Lamas, Korean Zombie and Jeremy Stephens mean his CV holds up against anyone else on this list. That said, the loss to Conor came as he entered his prime years in the game and have seen him go on somewhat of a downward spiral since. Defeats to Max Holloway (twice), Alex Volkanovski and Marlon Moraes (135lbs) have seen him go 3-5 in his last 8.

Despite this, Dana White has said recently that the UFC is looking to have Aldo compete for the newly-vacant 135lbs belt soon so a win in that fight could see him stake a claim for a higher place on this list.

#9 Conor McGregor (22-4)

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Well, that was quick. The former Featherweight and Lightweight World champion, as well as two victories at 170lbs, McGregor is most definitely worthy of being on this list. A phenomenal record that includes wins over fighter like Jose Aldo, Chad Mendes, Dustin Poirier, Max Holloway, Nate Diaz, Eddie Alvarez and Cowboy Cerrone, McGregor constantly backs up his trash talk with big performances inside the Octagon.

The reason he’s so low down is that despite both of those title wins coming in emphatic fashion, he never actually defended those belts. After KO’ing Jose Aldo in 13 seconds, McGregor went on a voyage through the divisions. He was originally scheduled to fight Rafael Dos Anjos for the lightweight title immediately after, but RDA withdrew injured. That led to Nate Diaz stepping in on late notice and we all know what happened after that. By the time he’d defeated Alvarez to become a duel-weight champion, the Featherweight division was held up. The UFC stripped him of the belt and awarded it back to Aldo. McGregor then transitioned to boxing to fight Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather. He didn’t fight in the UFC following the Alvarez fight until his return to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov over three years later. The UFC moved on.

McGregor’s CV is undeniable but with all the gaps and questions left unanswered about his career, it’s hard to rank him any higher.

#8 Demetrious Johnson (30-3*)

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Arguably the most complete fighter in Flyweight history, DJ’s record speaks volumes about his ability. Wins over Joseph Benavidez (twice), Henry Cejudo, John Dodson (twice), Ray Borg, Wilson Reis, Kyoji Horiguchi, Ian McCall and others saw ‘Mighty Mouse’ go on a 13-fight win streak including 11 successful title defences.

He would win fights in all ways too, with his iconic flying armbar against Ray Borg a particular highlight. Only 5 TKO/KO wins to his name is surprising considering how crisp his striking was throughout his tenure. Often dismissed by UFC management for his lack of draw, it didn’t help that Johnson literally cleaned out his entire division. He was so dominant, there was talk of a super-fight between he and TJ Dillashaw to spice the division up. That fell apart however when he suffered a controversial defeat to Henry Cejudo and lost the belt.

He left shortly the UFC shortly after that in a trade for Ben Askren to ONE Championship, but his skillset often has people wishing he was bigger physically so he could have fought more top level fighters in different divisions.

#7 Henry Cejudo (16-2)

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An Olympic Gold medalist in freestyle wrestling, Cejudo’s legacy extends far beyond the sport of MMA. His legacy in this sport stands up with the best ever though. He has wins over Demetrious Johnson, TJ Dillashaw, Marlon Moraes, Dominick Cruz, Sergio Pettis, Wilson Reis and Jussier Formiga across two weight divisions and held both the Flyweight and Bantamweight titles simultaneously.

After losing to Mighty Mouse by KO and then to Joseph Benavidez by decision in 2016, ‘The Chosen One’ never lost again. He avenged his defeat to Johnson in a controversial decision win, before KO’ing TJ Dillashaw in a champion vs champion bout in just 32 seconds. At that point he moved up to Dillashaw’s Bantamweight division and took his belt, beating Marlon Moraes by KO for the vacant title following Dillashaw’s suspension. To top it off, he defeated the consensus greatest Bantamweight of all-time in Dominick Cruz via second-round knockout in May, handing Cruz only his 3rd defeat ever.

Cejudo retired following that win and vacated his belts, meaning he retired from the sport having held two titles in two different weight classes and having beaten the consensus G.O.A.T in both those divisions too. Not bad for the ‘King of Cringe’, eh?

#6 Khabib Nurmagomedov (28-0*)

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Undefeated, untroubled and unchallenged. Khabib Nurmagomedov is the greatest lightweight of all time and has defeated all comers, including Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, Al Iaquinta, Edson Barboza, Rafael Dos Anjos and Michael Johnson.

An unblemished record at this level of MMA is an unheard of accomplishment, so when Khabib continues to take on all challengers without complaint and beats them (usually convincingly) it’s hard not to have him high up on this list. His style of completely overwhelming an opponent to the point where they just completely lose hope is a sight that fans enjoy watching despite it’s dominance. ‘The Eagle’ is also a massive draw commercially, having been a part of the biggest PPV in UFC history when he main-evented UFC 229 with Conor McGregor, while he was also the headline attraction for the organisation’s first card in Abu Dhabi against Dustin Poirier.

He’s expected to defend the title against Justin Gaethje later this year, while other challengers like Tony Ferguson still wait in the wings. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that he beats both Gaethje and ‘El Cucoy’ and then retires with an unflappable 30-0 record as the undisputed best lightweight of all time.

#5 Daniel Cormier (22-2*)

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The baddest man on the planet for a long time, but also one of the greatest minds in MMA. Cormier was the reigning champion in both the Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight divisions, defending both belts successfully. He has wins over Stipe Miocic, Derrick Lewis, Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson, Alexander Gustafsson, Anderson Silva, Dan Henderson, Roy Nelson, Frank Mir and Volkan Oezdemir during his career, proving he knows how to come out on top on the big occasion.

Cormier, a teammate of Khabib, ranks at No.5 mainly due to the double title wins. He held both belts simultaneously after moving up from 205lbs to defeat Stipe Miocic by 1st round KO, before the UFC forced him to vacate the Light Heavyweight belt. He defended that belt too before losing to Stipe, and a rubber match is slated for this year before he retires.

DC’s only fault is that he could never beat Jon Jones. He lost a decision to Jones in their first bout before being head-kick KO’d in their second (later overturned to a NC). Other than those results, Cormier would without be the greatest big-man the sport has ever seen, having dominated the Light Heavyweight division in Jones’ absence while also only ever losing once at heavyweight.

#4 Amanda Nunes (20-4*)

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The undisputed, greatest female fighter of all-time. The Lioness extended her winning record at UFC250 with a win over Felicia Spencer, adding another former champion to her resumé. Nunes has beaten Germaine De Randamie (twice), Valentina Shevchenko (twice), Miesha Tate, Holly Holm, Raquel Pennington, Cris Cyborg and Ronda Rousey in her career, with the latter two taking her just a combined 1:39 to KO.

She’s a two-weight World Champion, holding both the Bantamweight and Featherweight titles at the same time. She has beaten every single woman to have held a title in the UFC in her two weight divisions, all while improving and growing as an all-round mixed martial artist in the process. She is the hardest hitting female in history, and yet ironically won her first belt by tapping-out Miesha Tate via RNC. She’s currently on a 11-fight win streak, having not tasted defeat since 2014.

While nobody is truly sure what’s next for Nunes, her legacy is cemented as the first fighter (male or female) to defend two titles in two weight divisions successfully while simultaneously holding both belts. A true GOAT.

#3 Anderson Silva (34-10*)

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The Spider is one of the most charismatic and dominant champions in UFC history. A legendary figure among MMA fighters and fans, Silva has wins over Chris Leben, Rich Franklin, Dan Henderson, Forest Griffin, Demian Maia, Chael Sonnen (twice), Vitor Belfort, Yushin Okami and Stephan Bonnar on his CV.

The Brazilian dominated the middleweight division in his prime, defending the Middleweight title 10 times after unifying the division with the Pride title. He fought in both middleweight and light-heavyweight divisions throughout his career and until his career began to wind down he was unbeaten in both. His first loss in middleweight came after he was mocking Chris Weidman and got KO’d with a grazing right hand, before breaking his leg famously in the rematch. The leg break was a defining moment in his career that he never really recovered from. He lost at light-heavyweight to champion Daniel Cormier at UFC 200 as a late replacement. He’s suffered with several positive drug tests since USADA came in which has somewhat damaged his reputation too.

Since his broken leg Silva’s record reads 1-5-1NC, showing just how much it really affected him. He continues to fight even at 45 years old. Despite the recent damage his record has taken, his legacy remains untouched and he will go down as one of the greatest fighters of all-time.

#2 Georges St-Pierre (26-2)

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The consensus greatest welterweight of all time, and it’s hard to argue. GSP’s record is phenomenal, having lost just twice in his entire career across two weight divisions. At welterweight, ‘Rush’ has wins over legends such as Frank Trigg, Matt Serra, BJ Penn (twice), Matt Hughes (twice), Dan Hardy, Jon Fitch, Josh Koshcheck, Jake Shields, Carlos Condit, Nick Diaz and Johny Hendricks, while he won the middleweight title by submitting Michael Bisping following a four-year hiatus from the sport.

At his peak, GSP was one of the most complete fights around. Of his 26 wins, he has 8 KO/TKO’s, 6 submissions and 12 decisions proving he can beat you in a variety of ways and was always dangerous. He improved his wrestling skills following defeat to Matt Hughes and never looked back. His two defeats were avenged and he went on a hot streak of 12 successive wins. That 12th win however came against Johny Hendricks, who many believe won the fight. Dana White famously said in the post-fight press conference, “I’m blown away that Georges St-Pierre won that fight.” He retired from the sport immediately following that fight before returning to beat Bisping and retire again.

Had it not been for the several year hiatus plus the controversy surrounding his win over Hendricks, he might well have been top of this list.

#1 Jon Jones (26-1*)

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The consensus greatest of all time, Jonny ‘Bones’ Jones comes in at No.1 of this list too. The reigning Light Heavyweight champion’s only blemish on an incredible record is a dodgy disqualification he suffered against Matt Hamill for 12-6 elbows. With wins over Daniel Cormier, Shogun Rua, Rashad Evans, Lyoto Machida, Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, Rampage Jackson, Glover Teixeira, Alexander Gustafsson (twice) and Ryan Bader he has beaten 6 former UFC champions.

A career littered with controversy, including failed drugs tests and run-ins with the law, Jones has never let any of it affect his in-cage performances. He’s dominated everyone he’s stepped in a cage with and has rarely looked troubled. His most recent fight against Dominick Reyes was the first time people had seen a fight look like it may get away from him.

Despite missing several years through suspensions, Jones is still only 32 years old. He is the youngest champion in UFC history after winning the Light Heavyweight title for the first time in 2011 and has never lost the belt (although Cormier held the title while Jones was suspended and stripped of the belt). He has knockouts and submissions. Wrestling, striking and grappling are all trademarks of his style and he’s publicly stated that he trains in his opponents style “to beat them at their own game”. He is the best ever and if he ever loses it will be a monumental moment in the history of sport, not just MMA.