Upset that it’s Monday? Well that’s your fault for not realizing that yesterday was Sunday and that this was always going to happen. Nevertheless, with the help of Zombie Prophet, I’m here to start your week off in a good mood by bringing you another collection of MMA GIFs featuring some of the best fighters in the world, past and present.
Last week I showed you some “firsts” in the careers of prominent mixed martial artists. In other words, guys who are notoriously hard to finish either by KO, submission, or both getting KOed or subbed for the first time in their career. It included the likes of Ben Henderson, Jon Fitch, and Urijah Faber all in their early days in the sport before becoming elite fighters in their respective weight classes once they hit Zuffa.
Today we’re going to look at part 2 of “There’s A First Time For Everything”, with even more dramatic finishes, plus partial commentary by our own Dallas Winston for the first few. After the jump you’ll see some great fight endings such as:
- Matt Hughes’ first of two instant submission losses to Dennis Hallman.
- An armbar from hell by Genki Sudo against Strikeforce Welterweight champion Nate Marquardt.
- Jason “Mayhem” Miller getting absolutely put to sleep in a scary fashion.
- Nick Diaz’s only TKO (strikes) loss.
Nate Marquardt vs. Genki Sudo (1999)
Longtime UFC middleweight contender and newly minted Strikeforce welterweight champion Nate Marquardt began his storied career in 1999 as a lightweight. Though not considered prestigious, Marquardt snared lightweight titles in in the World Vale Tudo Federation (in his MMA debut), the Rumble in the Rockies promotion (by winning a same-night tournament in his 2nd and 3rd outings) and the Bas Rutten Invitational (where he won 3 fights in one night). That’s 3 lightweight championships in his first 7 MMA fights and Marquardt submitted every opponent, 6 of which were tapped in the 1st round.
Later that same year, Nate “The Great” made his Pancrase debut with a growing rep as a submission whiz against widely adored entertainer Genki Sudo. Marquardt secured the early takedown and, from inside Sudo’s venomous guard, tried to wrench a can opener. Sudo demonstrated why the can opener is a high-risk/low-reward technique by angling his hips for a tight armbar and notching the 1st-round submission victory.
Eddie Alvarez vs.
Few realize that Eddie Alvarez, the explosive boxer and former Bellator lightweight champion, tried out for TUF 2 but never made it on the show. Beginning his tenure as an under-sized welterweight, he scorched off to a 10-0 start in the sport — tidying up 8 of those matches with 1st-round stoppages — and secured the BodogFight welterweight strap before drawing wily veteran Nick Thompson in BodogFight.
Fans following the juggernaut’s embryonic career were skeptical he could survive against the heftier welterweights he was facing and expected him to be out-muscled — but it was the cold-blooded sniping of Thompson’s tight boxing acumen that stung him. Showing excellent balance, composure and accuracy, “The Goat” capitalized on his reach by boring a stiff left hand down the plate and following up with ground punches to hand Alvarez his first career defeat and overtake the BodogFight title.
Matt Hughes vs. Dennis Hallman I (1998)
Matt Hughes needs no introduction. The dominant UFC welterweight champion relied on his 2-time Division 1 All-American honors to flatten his first 3 opponents in the opening stanza and then pick up a respectable decision over another future UFC welterweight champ in Dave Menne. Hughes then squared off with current UFC lightweight and former Matt Hume catch-wrestler Dennis Hallman in Extreme Challenge 21 in 1998 and was insta-tapped with Hallman’s vice-like guillotine choke in just 17 seconds.
The interesting aspect of this storyline is that Hughes would tear through 18 straight opponents before rematching Hallman at UFC 29 in 2000, where many predicted that his considerably improved experience would relegate their first match as a fluke. Alas, Hallman would entangle him in an armbar, this time just 20 seconds into the fight, and Chute Boxe legend Jose Pele-Landi Jons crushed him with a 1st-round flying knee in his next outing.
Rich Franklin vs. Lyoto Machida (2003)
Lyoto Machida came out of nowhere by thumping a then mostly unknown Stephan Bonnar in Machida’s sophomore effort, but the mystique of “The Dragon” truly ignited in his next (3rd career) fight in 2003. Rich Franklin, who’d recently shellacked the late Evan Tanner by 1st-round TKO in his UFC debut, had accrued a flawless 14-fight record (with one No Contest) and was on his way to becoming a superstar.
After man-handling Edwin Dewees in his 2nd Octagon outing, Franklin traveled overseas to face Machida in the ephemeral Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye fight league. As is the theme with many of these upsets, Franklin was expected to shatter the rapidly building hype and aura of Machida, whose signature straight left and a follow up shin to the chin sparked the 2nd-round TKO.
Randy Couture vs. Enson Inoue (1998)
Randy Couture was a special fighter right out of the gate. Making his UFC and MMA debut in 1997, “The Natural” clenched the UFC 13 Heavyweight Tournament by dusting Tony Halme and Steven Graham in the same night. Couture’s emergence coincided with that of MMA’s original phenom in Vitor Belfort, the 20-year-old Brazilian who’d swallowed up 4-consecutive opponents with his unparalleled boxing whirlwind, including Scott Ferrozzo and Tank Abbott.
Couture and Belfort were matched up to determine UFC heavyweight champion Maurice Smith’s next challenger, and the mesmerized fan base had already stamped Belfort as the next champ. Couture would not only shock the world and upset Belfort with a gritty ground-and-pound clinic in the 1st round, but go on to win the strap with a unanimous decision over Smith. On top of the world, Couture’s venture overseas yielded surprising results, as Japanese-American gamer Enson Inoue would inspire Couture’s dedication to submission defense by latching on an armbar.
Nick Diaz vs. Jeremy Jackson I (2002)
Jason Miller vs. Todd Carney II (2002)
Many thanks to Zombie Prophet, Dallas and everyone else who pitched suggestions for part 2. I’m considering a part 3 of 7-10 more fights at an undetermined date. If you’d like a part 3, and want some more fights all GIFed up, this is the criteria your fights must meet:
1.) The fighter must be prominent and difficult to KO, submit, or both. Jonathan Goulet doesn’t count.
2.) Said fighter’s loss has to be the first KO or SUB of his career.
3.) The fight has to be outside of the UFC, Strikeforce, or PRIDE. Pre-Zuffa WEC is acceptable.
I can’t guarantee any fights you list are available, but I’ll pick the best ones and see what can be done.
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