It is difficult to write the 2008 most memorable moments of MMA when there is a phenomenal fight card still to come. UFC 92-The Ultimate on December 27th will close out 2008. It is sure to have some great fights. The night is a triple threat with Forrest Griffin defending his Light Heavyweight title for the first time against “Sugar” Rashad Evans. Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva takes on Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. And the Interim Heavyweight battle will take place with Ultimate Fighter coaches Antonio “Minotauro” Noguiera fighting Frank Mir. The winner will fight new Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesner to unite the belts.
Memorable MMA moments thus far in 2008:
The Laugh Out Loud fight of the year is awarded to Kalib Starnes for his aerobic match against Nate “The Rock” Quarry. This jogging event took place April 19th at UFC 83. Catch him if you can!
Most Amazing Knock-out goes to Anderson “The Spider” Silva. UFC Fight Night at The Pearl in Las Vegas on July 19th was a sleeper for James Irvin. I think his corner woke him up at 1:01 in the first round. Silva made his Light Heavyweight debut and his walk out took longer than it did to knock out James Irvin.
Runner Up Knock-out: UFC 88 Breakthrough; September 6th, 2008.
Rashad Evans gave The Iceman a taste of his own medicine. Evans knocked Liddell out cold at 1:51 in the 2nd round.
Greatest Upset: UFC 86 Jackson vs. Griffin; July 5th, 2008
A title bout with The Ultimate Fighter season one winner Forrest Griffin taking on the Light heavyweight champion Rampage Jackson. After 5 grueling rounds Griffin’s hand was raised in front of thousands of screaming fans. The look on his face was priceless.
Anderson Silva also gets the Most Frustrating Fight award. His bout against Patrick Cote at UFC 90 on October 25th looked more like a dance contest. He backed off after every exchange. Will we ever really know where the real Anderson Silva was that night? If his tactic was to dance the guy to defeat it worked. Cote blew a knee in the 3rd and the fight was called.
Greatest Comeback: After lawsuits and contract disputes, the long awaited comeback of Randy “The Natural” Couture finally came to be on the night of November 15th. The 45 year old Captain America lost his title to former WWE Superstar Brock Lesnar after a heavy handed shot behind the ear. Though UFC 91 didn’t pan out the way Couture fans had hoped, we are all thrilled to see his return to the fighting world.
The final month of 2008 is yet to come, this list of memorable moments is sure to grow with it!