It’s never easy deciding between great fights. Some fights are just absolute jaw dropping,
where you stare mouth agape while fighters do the impossible. Other fights are huge because of the buildup
or hype. I decided to go with the fights
that had me typing “Holy ******* and “Seriously” during them, with a winner
chosen at the end.
Jake Ellenberger vs. Diego
Sanchez (UFC on FUEL TV 1)
These two define intensity and
determination. In a three round war in
which neither man gave an inch, it was an all out battle to the finish. Ellenberger was effective early, but Sanchez
came on late, including a dangerous period of time for Ellenberger when Diego
has his back and had Jake stretched out.
If you missed this fight, it is most definitely worth checking out. If you’ve already seen it, you understand why
it’s on the short list of nominees.
Ben Henderson vs. Frankie
Edgar (UFC 144)
Frankie Edgar is instant offense,
and when he fights, there’s a damn good chance that it’s going to be good. Ben Henderson is a talent that comes around
once in a lifetime, and he can also put on a spirited contest more often than
not. When these two battled for the UFC
Lightweight championship at UFC 144, it was dynamite. For 25 minutes these guys were locked in an
epic clash for the sports’ top prize. It
was an amazing battle of wills that in the end saw the 155 pound title around
the waist of Ben Henderson.
Dustin Poirier vs. Chan Sung
Jung (UFC on FUEL TV 3)
If you’re a fan of MMA and did
not see this fight, stop what you’re doing and find it and watch it. These two featherweights went ******* for
four plus rounds of pure MMA frenzy that left an audience screaming for
more. The first round saw multiple
takedowns, reversals, scrambles and incredible positions. This might be one of the times when the five
round non title fights was most welcomed.
I could watch this fight every day for the rest of my life and be
happy. In the fourth round, Chan Sung
Jung caught Poirier in a D’arce that ended the action, must to the dismay of
fans everywhere. Show this fight along
with Griffin/Bonnar 1 and Shogun/Hendo to newcomers to hook them to MMA.
Jamie Varner vs. Joe Lauzon
(UFC on FOX 4)
I’m a big fan of both Varner and
Lauzon, and this fight could have been replaced with Jim Miller/Joe Lauzon, but
something about Varner/Lauzon was cleaner to me. This was an absolute gem of a fight between
two guys who are finding their range as top level Lightweights in the UFC. The grappling in the first round alone, is
worth the price of admission, but in the second, they go at it again, and just
when you think Varner is fading, he comes back and hurts Joe Lauzon. The third round in ended when Lauzon sinks a
triangle choke as Varner scrambled.
Lauzon locked it down and got the tap, ending a fight for the ages.
Shogun Rua vs. Brandon Vera
(UFC on Fox 4)
Another great fight from the same
card, I think this clash was made better by the fact that Vera willed his way
back and how he and Shogun Rua battered each other. Name the last time Shogun fought, and it wasn’t
a gut check war of attrition. I’ll
wait. This guy is just money when he
fights. When Shogun is on the card, you
know you’re going to get something special.
When he went toe to toe (literally) with Brandon Vera, it was no
different. I will remember this fight as
much as the moment where Brandon Vera became a legitimate threat at Light Heavyweight
as much as I will for the right hand that planted Vera in the fourth
round. I’m a sucker for a great Shogun
war, and this was pure joy.
Chan Sung Jung and Dustin Poirier going HAM!
I almost threw in Jon Fitch vs.
Erick Silva among others, but in the end, I had all I needed to make up my
mind. In a year that saw some tremendous
fights both inside and outside of the Octagon, the 2012 MMA Fight of the Year goes to, Chan Sung Jung and Dustin Poirier
for their clash at UFC on Fuel 3. It was
a back and forth affair with outstanding grappling, striking and a fantastic
finish. It has everything a Fight of the
Year needs. Look at this epic exchange from the fight.