They come without warning, shocking the world of MMA. Proving not to just the fans, but to themself, that they deserve to be recognized. Moments like these only last a brief moment in history, but stays in the heart and mind of MMA fans forever.
5. Forrest Griffin vs. Mauricio Rua UFC 76
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua made his stardom in the Pride Fighting championships by defeating future UFC light heavyweight, Quinto “rampage” Jackson, little Nog, and future UFC heavyweight number-one contender Alistair Overeem, that won him the 2005 Pride middleweight Grand Prix.
after his success in Pride, Rua moved to the UFC to debut against the TUF season 1 winner Forrest Griffin. This was a match that Griffin wanted and received, but was considered a huge underdog. With Rua being recognized as a top five p4p fighter,most believed Rua would gain a title shot with a win over Forrest Griffin.
Rua engaged the fight on the ground, turning into a very competitive first round with both fighters gaining top positions. Round two offered the same style, but Rua was starting to tire out near the end. In the third round, Rua was exhausted but managed to complete a takedown and stall for most of the round, until Griffin locked in a Omaplata that he used to take the back of Rua and locked in a rear-naked choke with fifteen seconds left in round three.
Griffin went on to fight Quinton “rampage” Jackson for the title, winning another upset by unanimous decision.
4. Jon Fitch vs. Johny Hendricks UFC 141
Jon Fitch compiled a record of (13-1-1) in the UFC, with his only octagon loss to the current UFC welterweight champion and a draw to BJ Penn. Fitch was considered the number-two welterweight and nineth in p4p rankings, also riding a six fight win streak, putting him one fight away from another title shot.
The former two-time division one wrestling champion from Oklahoma State, Johny Hendricks, is a southpaw that has knockout power in both hands and a great MMA wrestling game. Hendricks received very little spotlight in his UFC career before his fight with Fitch, making him an extreme underdog.
At the start of the fight, Fitch tried to land a few punches, but nothing landed. Seconds later, Fitch plants his feet and Hendricks throws a brutal left-hand that put Fitch to sleep in only twelve seconds.
Hendricks appeared at the post-fight press conference saying quote “Everyone kept telling me that i didn’t stand a chance. I told them that i atleast have a punchers chance”.
3. Hughes vs. Penn UFC 46
Matt Hughes defeated Carlos Newton to win the UFC welterweight title. after defended his title five times, Hughes was considered the p4p greatest fighter in MMA.
BJ Penn previously failed at claiming the lightweight title twice before moving up a weight class, facing Matt Hughes for the welterweight title at UFC 46
The first few moments of the fight, both fighters stay on there feet. Penn lands a punch that drops Hughes, but slowly recovers in full guard, until Penn lands a solid left hook that rocks Hughes. Penn takes the his back and sinks in the rear-naked choke, submitting Hughes in four minutes and thirty-nine seconds of round one.
This was just the beginning of an amazing and historic trilogy.
2. Randy Couture vs. Tim Sylvia UFC 68
Randy Couture retired almost two years before he faced Tim Sylvia at UFC 68. Couture told Dana White (UFC President) that the heavyweight division is becoming weak and believed he see’s major holes in the champion Tim Sylvia. Dana gave Couture the fight he wanted, making Couture one of the biggest underdogs in a championship bout.
Tim Sylvia is a powerful kickboxer with a good takedown defense. Sylvia had previously defended his title twice, and believed that the fourty-three year old Couture had nothing to offer him.
The beginning moments of round one, Couture lands a straight right-hand that drops Sylvia. Couture tries to finish the fight, but realizing that Sylvia is recovering, Couture takes his back and attempts to get the rear-naked choke. Couture was unable to submit Sylvia, but kept his back the entire round. the next few rounds presented more stand-up, that was dominated by Couture, using lots of head movement. the big surprise was Sylvia’s inability to defend the takedowns and to get back to his feet. In the final rounds, Couture used his wrestling to solidify the victory. An absolute flawless performance by Couture, making him a two-time UFC heavyweight champion.
Couture said, quote “Not bad for an old man”.
1. Georges St-Pierre vs. Matt Serra UFC 69
Georges “Rush” St-Pierre destroyed everyone in his path to claim the UFC welterweight championship, defeating names like BJ Penn, Matt Hughes, Sean Sherk and Frank Trigg. Many believed St-Pierre would one day be the greatest welterweight champion in UFC history. St-Pierre’s first title defense would be against the TUF 4 winner, Matt “The Terror” Serra.
The entire fight would take place on the feet, controlled by St-Pierre early. Serra throws a left hook that just barely clipped the back of St-Pierre’s head, but put St-Pierre on wobbly legs. Serra pushes forward conservatively with more punches to the head of St-Pierre, finally dropping him and finished with a few flurries of punches that ended the fight in three minutes and twenty-five seconds of round one.
Serra’s dream finally came true with the belt around his waist, withstanding the odds and making it clear to everyone watching that no fighter is invincible.
Please comment if you have any questions or thoughts.