18 Dec Best MMA Fights of 2014
This year, 2014, isn’t exactly a banner year for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). No Cain Velasquez, no Anderson Silva, no Daniel Cormier vs Jon Jones, no Georges St. Pierre.
However top-thin the UFC roster got, I say there wasn’t a shortage of exciting fights in any way. What was lacking in star power was made up with competitive bouts from top to bottom, and as you might have guessed, I am not the one to say anything without proof. (Of course, we also included one fight from Bellator.)
Yoel Romero versus Tim Kennedy, UFC 178
A see-saw fight as any that we have ever seen, these two guys put on a show that would have made Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo proud. Romero put his big boy pants on in Round 1 but Kennedy almost stopped “Soldier of God” at the end of round 2. The Cuban’s corner stole half of a minute of stool time in between the second and third rounds and that proved to be very costly for Kennedy’s part, succumbing to a TKO 38 seconds into Round 3.
But boy was that fun.
Pat Curran versus Daniel Straus, Bellator 112
“Paddy Mike” somehow earned an immediate rematch after convincingly losing the Bellator lightweight title to Straus in late 2013. It was more of the same for the third go-around but Curran reversed his fortunes by securing a takedown in the fifth round, grinding out a superior position, taking Straus’ back, sinking two underhooks, and slapping a rear-naked choke 14 seconds before the fight ended.
You have got to love the show of sportsmanship at the end, though.
Abel Trujillo versus Jamie Varner, UFC 169
Jamie Varner has a habit of collecting post-fight bonuses and he did at UFC 169 but on a sour note. The veteran and former WEC lightweight champion showed his wiles early on but apparently got tired of his work rate and ate a huge right hand from Trujillo that ended his night.
I don’t know if the $50,000 bonus iced the sting a little bit but Varner’s heavy-punching ways will be missed in the Octagon, now that he is officially retired.
Tarec Saffiedine versus Hyun Gyu Lim, UFC Fight Night 34
There’s something about these Koreans.
“The Ace” was repeatedly bludgeoned with massive leg kicks by Saffiedine but there was no quit in him. He was sent to the canvas repeatedly because of the brutal kicks but Lim pressed on and even landed some big shots in the fifth round. Anyway, the $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus should buy him a truckload of ice for the nasty bruises.
Robbie Lawler versus Johny Hendricks, UFC 171 and UFC 181
Robbie Lawler + Johny Hendricks= awesome fights. Nobody could argue that equation with two Fight of the Year frontrunners came from essentially the same pair. “Ruthless” and “Bigg Rigg” split the first two outings and expect a third offering sometime next year. So it follows you will see these same faces in the 2015 list.
Chris Weidman versus Lyoto Machida, UFC 175
Physically, Weidman is the bigger, taller fighter while Machida looks like he can make welterweight with a couple hours more in the sauna.
The pattern was very similar to Hendricks-Lawler 1 with the All-American starting strong and ending it right with a takedown. “The Dragon” let his hands and feet go in the fourth with a flurry to punctuate the fifth. If Machida started out a little more offensive-minded, who knew what could have happened, but there should be no doubt who the better fighter was that night.
Junior Dos Santos versus Stipe Miocic, UFC on Fox 13
I don’t like Junior dos Santos‘ face getting messed up and looking like Joker with a blood lipstick. That scares the living hell out of me.
The latest fight in the list featuring two premiere heavyweights, “Cigano” outpointed the Croatian-American in what would be a controversial decision. Many experts thought Miocic did enough to win. Bottom line: This is one of those fights you hate seeing somebody lose.
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