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2000-09 in MMA: Top 50 Fights Of The Decade

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I remember fucking despising Diaz so was super into this. It was literally my first show I went out my way to watch and it was majestic with the correct result with the baby going over and showing the grizzled vet heel how tough he was. 

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#8 - Diego Sanchez vs Karo Parisyan - UFC Fight Night - Aug 17th 2006 Sanchez was still unbeaten at this time. 15-0 and the UFC hype machine had been fully behind him coming off his TUF win a yea

OK then. I’m FINALLY finishing this thing. Can’t believe how long it’s taken me. Fucking March this started. Here’s numero uno... #1 - Roger Huerta vs Clay Guida - The Ultimate Fighter 6 Fin

#2 - Josh Thomson vs Gilbert Melendez 2 - Strikeforce - Dec 19th 2009 OK then. Wanted to include more Strikeforce in this countdown but a few fights just narrowly didn’t make the cut. This one genu

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It’s funny but the grizzled vet in this case was actually a year younger and had only had one more fight than Diego at the time of this fight. I know what you mean though. Diaz just seemed the older of the two and he’d definitely been mixing at a higher level than Sanchez. 

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2 hours ago, wandshogun09 said:

It’s funny but the grizzled vet in this case was actually a year younger and had only had one more fight than Diego at the time of this fight. I know what you mean though. Diaz just seemed the older of the two and he’d definitely been mixing at a higher level than Sanchez. 

Honestly I had no idea of that. I was tricked by his patter and reputation. 

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#18 - Tyson Griffin vs Frankie Edgar - UFC 67 - Feb 3rd 2007

The UFC’s Lightweight division is looked at as probably the most stacked division in MMA these days and it’s been that way for a while. But back in the mid-2000s, the 155ers weren’t a priority to the UFC. In the very early Zuffa days they had a bit of a division. Basically just these guys...


Caol Uno, Matt Serra, Din Thomas, BJ Penn. With added Jens Pulver and sometimes Dennis Hallman. By 2003 though, they’d sacked the division off. They eventually brought it back in 2006 and this time they really started to put the effort in to give the division some real depth. They had Sean Sherk, Kenny Florian, Hermes Franca, Spencer Fisher, a bunch of fighters to relaunch 155. On top of that they made TUF 5 an all Lightweight season to find more talent. And they brought in a bunch of new young 155ers to really fill up the weight class. Tyson Griffin and Frankie Edgar being two of the more promising new signings.


Griffin was just 22 years old here. Undefeated at 8-0 with 8 finishes. He was training with Randy’s team at Xtreme Couture and had won his UFC debut in September 2006 with a quick submission over David Lee. He also had a first round stoppage of Duane Ludwig on his record from one of the early Strikeforce shows. His big claim to MMA fame at this time though, was that he’d knocked out Urijah Faber on a Gladiator Challenge card in 2005.


That win looked even better with age as Faber had since gone on to become the poster boy for WEC and was their Featherweight champ at this time. This was Faber’s only defeat for fucking ages. He ended up going 21-1 before Mike Brown later ended his reign, and that 1 blemish was this loss to Griffin.


Edgar was 25 and also unbeaten. He was 6-0 with 4 finishes. He was very much just a local prospect early on, with all his fights coming in the New Jersey/New York area. But he’d been a standout wrestler and had already beaten future UFC fighter Jim Miller and future WEC, Bellator and IFL fighter Deividas Taurosevicius. He actually attended the tryouts to get on TUF 5 but he never made the cut. On the surface it seems mental that someone like Frankie Edgar didn’t get on that season yet fucking Andy Wang and Wayne Weems did. But when you think about it, Wang and Weems being so shite made for better reality TV content and Frankie was signed outright to a UFC contract anyway so it didn’t matter. This would be his Octagon debut.


Tyson Griffin vs Frankie Edgar

UFC 67: All or Nothing 

February 3rd 2007

Las Vegas, Nevada

This was a bit of a monster card at the time, to hardcore fans at least. Anderson Silva vs Travis Lutter was an interesting enough main event. But it was the UFC debuts of both Mirko Cro Cop and Rampage Jackson that really set this one apart as must-see. Everyone knew Pride was done at this point and Mirko and Rampage had abandoned the sinking ship before the last couple of shows. So there was a lot of attention on this card. Griffin vs Edgar was just another prelim in the days where prelims weren’t always easy to get to see. Luckily, there were some short fights so they had time to kill on the PPV and this one did actually make the broadcast.

8-0 vs 6-0.

Round 1: A little clinch battle but mostly boxing early. And right away it’s clear that Edgar is more than just a wrestler. Less than a minute in and Rogan’s falling in love with his movement and angles. Griffin is the less technical striker of the two but he’s throwing with bad intentions so he’s always a threat. Takedown by Frankie, they scramble and now Griffin hits a big slam and they go into a great little wrestling exchange.


This is fantastic. Back on the feet and both are throwing down. Rogan’s doing that thing where he focuses so much on what one guy is doing that he totally zones the other guy out. He’s enamoured with Frankie’s movement to the point he’s just ignoring Griffin’s offence. I mean, Frankie does look good and he’s obviously the better boxer of the two but Christ. At one point Griffin lands an uppercut and all Rogan says is “See how he (Edgar) stands in the pocket while the exchanges are going on and lands crisp counters?” And now he’s assuming Griffin is going to gas. We’re 3 minutes in. Anyway, fuck all that, there’s a heck of a fight going on here. Edgar with another takedown and he’s getting busy on top in the last minute. Edgar 10-9.

Round 2: Griffin doing a bit better now. He’s upped the aggression even more and it pays off as he hurts Frankie with a big uppercut that half drops him against the cage.


Gruelling wrestling against the fence with both working their arse off but neither really getting the edge. Both landing punches and now Tyson’s starting to blast Frankie with some hard leg kicks. We found out later in the Bendo and Aldo fights that leg kicks could be a bit of a weakness for Frankie but Griffin is the one who exposed that here. He even drops Frankie with one of them. Back on the ground...


Madness. Dying seconds and Frankie ends the round on top. But it’s too little, too late. 10-9 Griffin.

Round 3: Tyson getting the leg kicks going right away again here. And now Rogan’s stopped banging on about Frankie’s movement. He’s switched his lust to Tyson Griffin...

“Tyson Griffin got some serious leg kicks. If he was a girl you would say he has a badonkadonk. That dude’s got some THICK legs! That dude looks like he’s got some serious squat power.” - Joe Rogan

Alright Joe, put it away you’re at work, for fuck’s sake. Frankie’s upping his attack now, he’s coming forward more. It’s all hinging on this round. Accidental groin shot from Edgar and Steve Mazzagatti just tells Griffin to “fight on”. The callous bastard. Edgar’s all over him now.


Edgar with a takedown and Rogan’s still concerned about Griffin’s junk. Back up and another takedown. Edgar is starting to run away with this round. He’s got Tyson’s back now, but Tyson rolls for a kneebar...


He’s got it locked in! Frankie can’t get out. He’s trying to push out but there’s still about 20 seconds on the clock and Griffin has the kneebar fully extended. Rogan’s going absolutely mental on commentary. He’s screaming and oohing and ahhing. The buzzer goes. Edgar has survived. Tough round to score. I had Edgar winning it up until that kneebar but I think that might’ve swung it in Griffin’s favour. I’ll say Griffin 10-9 so I’ve got him winning but it’s one of them that really could’ve gone either way.

Winner - Frankie Edgar by unanimous decision.


Yep. Frankie gets the nod. Amazing fight. 2007 turned out to be a great year for the Lightweight division. Those guys were stealing the show on pretty much every card at the time. And I look at this fight as kind of the one that kicked all that off.

I’ve brought this fight up a few times on here but it always amazes me how differently these two guys’ career paths went after this. Edgar went on to become the UFC Lightweight champion, beat BJ Penn three times, had those classics with Gray Maynard, beat Urijah Faber, Sean Sherk, Chad Mendes, Cub Swanson twice, Charles Oliveira, Yair Rodriguez...he’s going down as one of the best lighter weight fighters ever when it’s all said and done. Then you look at Griffin and within a couple of years after this fight he’d completely fizzled out. He had a tremendous run for a bit after this but by 2010, just as Frankie was winning UFC gold, Griffin’s career dropped off a cliff. It’s mad to me because watching them here, they’re about as neck and neck as it gets. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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#17 - Eddie Alvarez vs Joachim Hansen - DREAM 3 - May 11th 2008

Right. Once again, this isn’t on Fight Pass but I’ll add the video at the end of this post. This was part of DREAM’s big Lightweight Grand Prix Tournament. At DREAM 1, Alvarez had beaten Andre Amade and Hansen had beaten Kotetsu Boku to advance to the Quarter-Finals. Not a lot else to say about it. There was no bad blood, no trash talking, it was just a tournament to find out who the best Lightweight in DREAM was.


Eddie Alvarez was 13-1 with the only loss being to Nick Thompson in Bodog in 2007. He was an exciting fighter to watch but at this point his most notable win was his 2006 knockout of Aaron Riley. Aside from that, he hadn’t really done a lot at this stage in his MMA career.


Joachim ‘Hellboy’ Hansen was the more tested and proven of the two at this time. He was 17-6-1, he was the first man to beat Takanori Gomi and he had wins over the likes of Caol Uno, Yves Edwards and Gesias Cavalcante among others. He’d also been in with Shinya Aoki, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Hayato Sakurai and Shaolin Ribeiro. It was clear that Hansen had been mixing with a higher level of opposition overall. So this would be a big test for Alvarez. The toughest of his career to date.


Eddie Alvarez vs Joachim Hansen - Lightweight Grand Prix Quarter-Final 


May 11th 2008

Saitama, Japan

HDNet crew again. Kenny Rice and Bas Rutten on commentary.


Round 1: And we’re off. 10 minute opening round like Pride. Eddie with a hard leg kick right off the bat and...


Jesus. We’re only about 15 seconds in! Eddie’s on top passing the guard but it appears Hellboy has gathered his marbles and he’s working well off his back. Alvarez bringing the pain again on the feet, he’s looking sharp early on here but Hansen is giving it back. But Eddie drops him again!


Hansen comes right back at him but it’s been a bad start to say the least. Alvarez is clearly the better boxer here but Hansen leg attacks are nasty. His kicks were always solid and his knees were lethal. Although I say that and now Hansen’s tagging him with punches. Eddie takes him down again but Hansen is non-stop off his back and smacks him with a hard upkick. Both trading again in the standup and Hansen is getting some nice knees at the end as the bell goes.

Round 2: Grappling more now. Eddie always seems to end up in top position but Hansen is looking great from the bottom here with shit like this...



Who the fuck does that? Eddie works his way out of it and they’re both standing and swinging leather again. Hansen is doing better now. Hansen going for a Kimura, Eddie rolls out, nearly gets armbarred, escapes again. Just great stuff from both. They both throw everything they have as the final seconds tick away.


Winner - Eddie Alvarez by unanimous decision.

Incredible fight. Of course, Eddie went on to the Semis to face Kawajiri, which I covered earlier in the thread. But in a weird twist, he had to pull out of the tournament after that fight due to a cut and Hansen ended up being brought back in as an alternate and won the whole thing. You’d think that backstory would’ve inevitably led to a rematch down the line but it wasn’t to be. This fight really started Eddie’s reputation as a must-see fighter. Following up with the Kawajiri barnburner certainly helped but this was where it started and got him on a lot of radars he wasn’t on previously. Love this fight.

Can only find the English version in parts on YouTube but here it is...

Part 1;

Part 2;


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18 hours ago, wandshogun09 said:

Honestly, between 2004 and 2006, that little series where Diego Sanchez, Nick Diaz and Karo Parisyan were all fighting each other is probably as big a reason I got hooked on MMA as the likes of Wandy, Chuck, Cro Cop, BJ Penn or any of the bigger names at the time.

I forgot about the Sanchez vs Parisyan fight. I was desperate for Parisyan to win that one 😢

Cracking fight though.

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#16 - Nate Quarry vs Tim Credeur - UFC Fight Night - Sep 16th 2009

This was a fight that saw both men kind of on the way out of the sport. Quarry was 37 and had been battling a serious back injury in the latter part of his career. And Credeur had already been thinking of packing it in before he got on TUF in 2008. I can’t recall what the expectation was going into this fight at the time. I think everyone probably expected a decent fight but it was kind of just there.


Nate Quarry was 37 like I said, with a record of 11-3. He trained at Team Quest and could often be seen cornering Randy Couture in the UFC and Dan Henderson in Pride, long before he got in the big leagues himself. So they must’ve thought highly of him. He was an original TUFer having appeared on the first season and was considered one of the favourites on the Middleweight side before a leg injury in training put him out of the tournament. But the thing I remember most about Quarry on TUF 1 is when he stole Roddy Piper’s “I’m here to kick ass and chew bubble gum” line and didn’t credit Hot Rod with it. Not on, that.

If ever you want an example of how much Zuffa bummed that original TUF crew, look no further than Quarry post-TUF. He beat Lodune Sincaid, Shonie Carter and got a dodgy stoppage over Pete Sell and was granted a title shot. Off that. It ended badly though as Rich Franklin absolutely ironed him out, stone cold, inside a round. After that, Quarry was out for a couple of years with the back injury. He returned in 2007 and won a really entertaining brawl with Pete Sell in their rematch. Then he had his infamous ‘non-fight’ with Kalib Starnes in April 2008. A big opportunity for Quarry as it was on the main card underneath the big Serra vs St Pierre 2 fight in Montreal.


But they stunk the place out. Quarry taking the piss there was the highlight of the thing. Starnes must’ve been watching The Running Man backstage or something because it’s all he did. He later said he had a broken foot but that’s more baffling as he ran on it for 15 minutes straight. Something was up though because Starnes wasn’t the back-pedalling type in his previous UFC outings. Bizarre fight. Quarry then got submitted by Demian Maia next time out, then got a TKO over Jason MacDonald.


‘Crazy’ Tim Credeur was a BJJ black-belt with a 12-2 MMA record. He was on a nice run too and came into this fight off the back of 6 wins, all finishes. He’d won 11 of his previous 12 fights with the only defeat being to Chael Sonnen in Bodog in 2006. He’d come up short on TUF but even then I recall his loss in the Semis to CB Dollaway being razor close and a really good fight. So he was coming in on better form than Nate here, and was also 5 years younger.


Nate Quarry vs Tim Credeur

UFC Fight Night: Diaz vs Guillard

September 16th 2009

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

From the same card as the Condit vs Ellenberger fight earlier in this thread. Honestly, that’s a show worth watching whole if you get time. May just be the best UFC Fight Night ever. A four fight main card with no fat on it.

Round 1: Unsurprisingly, Quarry’s gameplan seems to be to strike it out. But BJJ artist Credeur is happily obliging him early on here and he’s doing alright for himself. Credeur drops him with one of those weird glancing punches around the ear that fuck your balance up. Quarry’s down and now Credeur will use his BJJ.


Quarry fights the choke with everything he’s got and survives but it was looking bad for a minute there. Credeur with more punches as the round ends. Credeur 10-9.

Round 2: Both trading immediately and Credeur’s not pissing about. He’s really going for the kill. But he gets too aggressive and pays the price...


Nate drops him twice with one flurry and now Credeur’s eating ground and pound like it’s a tube of Pringles. Becomes a bit of a slower round once everything calms down but it’s a strong comeback from Quarry and he takes the round clearly. Probably 10-8 for me but most likely wasn’t scored as such.

Round 3: Crazy Tim hasn’t been put off by getting decked last time. He’s coming right at Quarry right away again here with an all out assault against the fence. But his chin might as well be on a flagpole and...


Fucking hell!

He got blasted big time there. It’s amazing he’s still in the fight after that. Back on the feet again and now Quarry seems to be landing that right hand every time he throws it. Credeur is constantly trying to fire back, to his credit. Can’t fault the bollocks on him but his defence goes out the window every time he starts attacking.


And he’s down again. But somehow not out. Mike Goldberg says he’s pulling guard. LOL.

“I don’t know how Tim Credeur’s awake right now. That is amazing!” - Kenny Florian

Credeur comes back from the dead and tries a leglock but Quarry shuts it down and continues to drop punches. Herb Dean stands them up with about 30 seconds left and they continue trying to behead one another until the buzzer goes. Quarry 10-9.

Winner - Nate Quarry by unanimous decision.


Wild one. One of those fights that surpassed all expectations. Went from ‘this could be decent’ before the fight to ‘Jesus Christ what’s up with these two?’ in the span of 15 minutes. Tremendous. Quarry’s eye looks gross...


“The gameplan was simple so I wouldn’t forget it. Go and fight. I actually forgot that and was taking punches. I’ve had three round wars and first round knockouts. Don’t let anybody tell you different, first round knockouts are way better. They’re not as painful. I knew this was going to be a war. Tim is a family man, he’s fighting for his family. Everyone was asking about my next fight but I knew I couldn’t look past Tim. It was a great fight.” - Nate Quarry 

Both men only fought once more after this. Quarry fought Jorge Rivera in March 2010 and got TKO’d. Credeur didn’t fight again until June 2011 and got done in 48 seconds by Ed Herman. 

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40 minutes ago, wandshogun09 said:

Nate Quarry was 37 like I said, with a record of 11-3. He trained at Team Quest and could often be seen cornering Randy Couture in the UFC and Dan Henderson in Pride, long before he got in the big leagues himself. So they must’ve thought highly of him.

Aye, he also played the role of Randy's bitch in this training instructional from 2002:


40 minutes ago, wandshogun09 said:

If ever you want an example of how much Zuffa bummed that original TUF crew, look no further than Quarry post-TUF. He beat Lodune Sincaid, Shonie Carter and got a dodgy stoppage over Pete Sell and was granted a title shot. Off that. It ended badly though as Rich Franklin absolutely ironed him out, stone cold, inside a round.

Quarry should have never received that title shot. Yet, numerous events in the summer of 2005 benefited his cause. 

- The UFC fired Matt Lindland in August of 2005. Lindland had been next in line for a shot at Franklin's title. 

- Franklin beat Evan Tanner at UFC 53 to win the vacated middleweight title. The original plan was for the winner of the Franklin/Tanner fight to face Welterweight Champion Matt Hughes in the Winter of 2005. However, Hughes and Franklin were friends and refused to fight one another. 

- Nate Marquardt, the UFC's latest middleweight signing, had tested positive for nandrolone following his debut for the promotion in August of 2005. 

- Loiseau was already pencilled in to fight Tanner in October of 2005. Loiseau had also fought in England in August of 2005. The fight does not show up on his record, but I have good reason to believe it happened (Paulo Filho possibly fought on the same show). 

With few other contenders available, in stepped Quarry. 

Edited by jimufctna24
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I figured there must’ve been other factors why Quarry got the shot, so thanks for connecting the dots.

Of all the things you’ve listed there, the real pisser is Lindland’s UFC exit for me. Franklin vs Lindland for the title would’ve been great at that time. Just that little detail being different could’ve changed the whole course of the Middleweight division. Like how would things have played out if it was Lindland who was the champion when Anderson Silva burst through the Octagon doors in 2006? Would’ve been a more interesting fight style-wise than Franklin getting mauled by the Spider, I reckon. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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Quarry comes across as a top bloke btw. His Twitter page is worth a follow if you are interested in politics. Some of his political views are the polar opposite of those you would expect from a former Team Quest fighter. 

Edited by jimufctna24
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6 minutes ago, jimufctna24 said:

Quarry comes across as a top bloke btw. His Twitter page is worth a follow if you are interested in politics. Some of his political views are the polar opposite of those you would expect from a former Team Quest MMA fighter. 


I've just followed him. Good man.

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#15 - Mark Hunt vs Yosuke Nishijima - Pride 31 - Feb 26th 2006

Again, this was early into Mark Hunt’s MMA career. He’d obviously made a name for himself in Japan through his Kickboxing career. His classics with Jerome Le Banner and Ray Sefo especially were some of the most memorable in K-1 history. He’d made the switch to MMA in 2004 after Pride made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. But typical of Pride matchmakers, they threw him straight in with just about the worst style for his debut. Here’s a pure striker with very minimal grappling training, and they chucked him in with Olympic gold medal winning Judoka, Hidehiko Yoshida. Aside from Big Nog, I can’t think of another debut opponent they could’ve given him that would’ve been worse for him stylistically. It was no surprise when Hunt got armbarred in the first round. But he didn’t embarrass himself in his performance and showed there was clearly some scope for improvement in his overall MMA game. From there he stopped NCAA wrestler Dan Bobish and scored back-to-back decision wins over Wanderlei Silva and Mirko Cro Cop in just his third and fourth MMA fights. Not bad going, eh?

So with Hunt at 3-1 and coming off wins over two of the biggest stars they had, they decided to match him up with a guy with a 0-0 MMA record, in the main event of Pride 31. Yeah. Absolutely zero rhyme or reason when it came to Pride. But it’s part of what I loved about the promotion.

The guy Hunt would be facing...


Yosuke Nishijima. A 32 year old professional boxer with a record of 24-2-1. He won a few titles at Cruiserweight but never beat anyone of note and was done by 2003. I don’t know how the deal with Pride came about. Who cares? The fuckers tried to get everyone at one point or another, didn’t they? Over the years I’ve heard everything from Mike Tyson to Vader being made offers to grace the Pride ring. I’m guessing Nishijima was a lot cheaper to get than those two. The mad thing was, like with Hunt’s fight with Wanderlei, there was a big weight difference here. Yet not only did Nishijima agree to the fight despite the size difference, he also agreed to allow kicks, stomps and knees on the ground. That’s one fearless/stupid man. When you consider he had no ground game, agreeing to that shit against a much bigger man who was as dangerous as Hunt just seems fucking mental. He’d actually trained at the Takada Dojo a bit with Sakuraba for this fight but how much can you learn in one camp?


Mark Hunt vs Yosuke Nishijima

Pride 31: Dreamers 

February 26th 2006

Saitama, Japan

Intros first. And we learn that Nishijima weighed in at 211lbs for this fight. Hunt was 292! So 81 bastard lbs difference. What the fuck, Pride?!


Round 1: Hunt bullying him around a bit early on. Nishijima trying to rely on his speed and movement but Hunt catches him with a few shots and hits a big takedown. Not really what anyone expected in a Kickboxer vs Boxer matchup but it’s smart from Hunt as, not only is he much bigger, for once he’s the more experienced grappler in there too. Hunt punching from the mount but somehow Nishijima squirms out of it and stands up. Nishijima getting a really nice jab going now. You know a jab is effective when it’s snapping Mark Hunt’s head back. Hunt keeps going to the body with vicious knees. He’s busting him up now.


Christ. Now Hunt’s going for submissions! He’s trying everything but it’s become crystal clear that there’s no quit in Nishijima here. Hunt chipping away at him with punches from side control now. What a miserable experience this must be for Nishijima. This didn’t help...


A motherfucking double knee drop from a 292lb Samoan!

“HOW COOL IS THIS?!” - Bas Rutten

Hunt just throwing the kitchen sink at him now. And the worktops. And the washing machine. You can hear the sickening club of his fists bouncing off Nishijima’s dome. But somehow he’s still firing back and narrowly misses on a big left hook. That would’ve been a problem, even for Hunt, if it connected. Slugging it out against the ropes now and Nishijima actually shrugs his shoulders at Hunt. Mad cunt. Nishijima looking good in the last seconds of the round and Hunt appears to be slowing down. Round’s over and despite the one sidedness, that 10 minutes bloody flew by. Nishijima’s toughness is astounding.

Round 2: Nishijima jabbing nicely again but Hunt’s whipping in those big tree trunk leg kicks. You can tell Nishijima is feeling it now. He’s putting his punches together and is looking the much fresher man.

“Unbelievable. The unheralded Yosuke Nishijima. Pundits, fans alike, not giving him much of a chance to even escape the first round. It’s turning into an epic encounter between the former Cruiserweight champion and the former Kickboxing champion Mark Hunt.” - Mauro Ranallo

Nishijima mixing in body attacks and then coming up high. But...Oh fuck. Hunt’s had enough and he’s bringing the pain.


And it was all starting to go so well for Nishijima. He weathers it again though and Nishijima is on the ropes firing off combinations. Hunt comes back at him with bombs. Both trading heavy leather but Hunt’s obviously got more power behind his shots and Nishijima is coming off worse. Hunt gets him in the corner and absolutely sets about him with thudding right and left hooks.


It’s getting rough to watch. Nishijima is still fighting his heart out but it’s moments like this where Pride’s matchmaking could’ve backfired terribly. Nishijima could’ve been badly hurt here. He’s getting fucked up. Seconds remaining in the round and Hunt drops his hands and lets Nishijima tee off on him a few times. Then springs back into action and clobbers Nishijima down to his knees. The bell saves Nishijima but there’s a closeup of him as he wobbles back to his corner and he’s clearly away with the fairies. Glassy eyed, swaying about and all sorts. Should’ve been stopped right there really. Either by the referee or the corner. Especially given the weight difference and the extra danger that brings.

Round 3: Touch of gloves to start the round. If for some reason Nishijima didn’t have Hunt’s respect before, he clearly has it now. Hunt’s trying to close the show immediately now. He’s got Nishijima backed up on the ropes and is going to town on him. Nishijima is STILL trying to win though. He’s landing some nice shots in close here. But Hunt starts connecting again. He corners Nishijima and throws that big right again...


And it’s the final straw. Nishijima’s legs give out and the ref finally jumps in.

Winner - Mark Hunt by knockout. Round 3 - 1:18.

Hell of a scrap. Even though it’s a one sided hammering for the bulk of the fight, it’s bags of fun.

Of course, Hunt went on to have quite an eventful MMA career. Not the best in terms of win/loss ratio (13-14-1-1) but fuck me it’s been some ride. From that awful slump and 6 fight losing streak from 2006 to 2010. Then the UFC didn’t even want him initially. And Dana gave him a chance just because he was owed some fights from his Pride contact. But Hunt turned that run into something pretty cool. The fight with Bigfoot in 2013 remains my favourite Heavyweight MMA fight of all time. The number one for me. It’s a shame it all ended on a sour note. Regardless of the crappy record, I think he’d have been a shoe-in for the HOF if he wasn’t calling Dana White a “thieving grubby cunt” and stuff like that. But I like that because, well, it’s not far off the mark is it? I don’t know if Hunt is officially done fighting. Probably not sadly. But he’s always going to be a fighter I have a soft spot for.

As for Nishijima, things went from bad to worse. He fought 4 more times in MMA and never won once. 0-5 and got finished all 5 times. You know it’s going badly when Phil Baroni is submitting you. His last MMA fight was on New Year’s Eve in 2007, and Melvin Manhoef blitzed him in under 2 minutes. He fought a few times in Kickboxing later and went 1-2. His last ever fight appears to be a quick TKO over Bob Sapp in 2013. At least he went out on a win, I guess. It’s a shame it never went well for him after Boxing. He clearly wasn’t elite level but there could’ve been some fun to be had with him if he’d got a few wins. Nishijima vs Cro Cop would’ve been exciting. Most likely another Mirko headkick victory but it wasn’t like Mirko wasn’t hittable and at least Nishijima wouldn’t have been so outmatched in size. Oh well. This is a fight you need to see if you haven’t before. Even if you have, it’s always worth a revisit. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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3 hours ago, wandshogun09 said:

You know it’s going badly when Phil Baroni is submitting you.


Baroni asked Hammerhouse to teach him a submission hold on the morning of the fight. They showed him how to perform a kimura.

That evening, Baroni submitted Nishijima via kimura in less than 2 minutes. 

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