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Guest Tzar Lysergic

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Guest Tzar Lysergic

Here's the idea:


A thread solely devoted to discussion and links to video/pictures of the best matches in any fighting sport. Sure, this is the MMA folder, but boxing, kickboxing, et al each have their place, and I'm sure people's tastes vary here from style to style, so I'm for including everything. I want this to differ from "Matches for a newbie to check out" in the respect that the fights included here aren't totally immediate.


To pick a really obvious example that's been dissected like crazy, look at Ali/Foreman. Yes it's an incredibly great fight, but there was so much leading up to it that it's not really something to present to someone who's never watched a fight, dig?


Thread rule: Each post must include another fight/fighter to canonize.


My inspiration to start this is the fact that today is the 22nd anniversary of arguably the best fight I've ever seen, Marvin Hagler vs. Thomas Hearns.


Part 1-The best round of boxing you'll ever see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlLYyKy3Kpg

Part 2-Brutal warfare follows its natural course: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsMgR0bg4Q8


As far as boxing goes, one of my favorite eras was the middleweights of the early-mid 80's. So many great fighters such as these two, Duran, Leonard, and Mugabi all beating the piss out of each other.


So yeah, lets see the most classic examples we can find of two men destroying each other.

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Cool idea but try and work on us getting away from the wrestling folder and back in the sports folder. I'll think of something and post it up in a bit.


EDIT (Tzar Lysergic): Two steps ahead of you.

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I did some Fighter Of The Weeks on another site, I'll post some here. Nothing definitive, just fighters presented in the way I see em and as many of their fights I could find.


Name: Matt Hughes

Nickname: -

Record: 40-5-0

Style: MMA

Association: MFS Elite

Height: 5'9

Weight: 169

DOB: 10/13/1973


A lot of hype surrounds Randy Couture, and deservingly so, of being the UFC's greatest champion. With holding both Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight titles (twice) to his name, and doing so well-past his thirties and into his forties, Randy Couture has earned his spot in history. But if anyone actually looks at that history, certain question marks come up. A 14-8 record, for instance, is a good record, but not one that screams greatness. 22 fights, also, is another stat, that, for someone who has been in the sport for 10 years is a bit on the low side (especially in a sport where you have guys like Travis Fulton and Jeremy Horn exceed the 100 mark, and where someone like Cro Cop can win 20 fights in half that time).


But the biggest negative stat of all, the biggest question mark on Randy Coutures career, goes along with his most positive stat: 4 title wins.


On December 21st, 1997, Randy beat Maurice Smith for the UFC Heavyweight title. On November 17th, 2000, he beat Kevin Randleman to hold that title for the second time. The grand total of successful title defenses of his Heavyweight title? Two. The grand total of guys he defended successfully against? One.


That's right, Randy Couture only defended his title successfully against one guy, Pedro Rizzo. His first reign was ended due to a contract dispute, and the second person he fought to defend his title he lost to.


On September 26th, 2003, Randy Couture beat Tito Ortiz to become the undisputed Light Heavyweight champion. On August 21st, 2004, he beat Vitor Belfort to hold that title again. Total number of successful title defenses of his Light Heavyweight title? 0. He lost the belt in his first defense to Vitor Belfort. His second reign was ended by Chuck Liddell on Randys first defense as well.


So here we have Randy Couture, 4 time champion who only defended it successfully against one guy.


Now, Randy is one of my favourite all-time fighters. I hope he gets to be a 5 time champion this Saturday. I am not doing this to run-down Randy Couture.


It's just to put into perspective what Matt Hughes has done in his career.



2 time Welterweight champion.

8 title defenses.


Matt Hughes has one of the best records in history. And more importantly, if you take a deeper look, there are no question marks, only exclamation points.


Leading up to becoming UFC champion, Hughes had a nice record. Wins over Joe Doerkson, Akihiro Gono, Dave Menne. Those are good wins. Where greatness comes in is after he became champion. Carlos Newton, Hayato Sakurai, Gil Gastillo, Sean Sherk, Frank Trigg in his first reign. Georges St. Pierre, Frank Trigg, Joe Riggs, Royce Gracie, BJ Penn in his second. Where Randy Couture found greatness in winning the title, in essentially being the challenger, Matt Hughes found it in defending the title, in being the champion.


Matt Hughes' career actually began one year later than Randy's, in 1998. A 2-time state champion, 2-time All American Division I wrestler, Hughes had the base to become a successful fighter in MMA's early years. Having fought in every promotion under the sun, from Extreme Challenge to RINGS, Hughes slammed his way into the UFC during it's "dark age". This is important, because not many people had seen or known who Matt Hughes was, on a national level, going into his title challenge with Carlos Newton at UFC 34.


It was supposed to be a successful title defense for Carlos Newton, who had just won it from Hughes' mentor and long-time champ Pat Miletich some 6 months earlier. After all, Hughes got tapped by Dennis Hallman TWICE in under 20 seconds both times. Dennis Hallman. Carlos Newton was a UFC poster-boy (literally, they had him up on all their posters as the Zuffa-run, remodeled, and newly returned to PPV UFC was investing millions in advertising) and came down to the ring accompanied by Angie Everhart, big fro, and Bootylicious music. As has been a trademark of Hughes nicknameless career, the 8 time defending champ came down with little pomp (though much circumstance). Carlos Newton was one of my favourite fighters at the time (still is as an all-time fave), so needless to say I was a bit upset at the outcome.


I didn't know who Matt Hughes was, nor did I know what he would become, so I pretty much hated the man from the first time I saw him.


His win over Newton was much disputed, though glorified and remembered by HL reels ever since, as he was clearly out from Newtons triangle, but Newton was seen as being KO'd first from the powerbomb. What is forgotten is that the fight itself was great (as was the standard at the time for The Ronin). Still, I hated the man. My hatred increased during and after the Sakurai fight. I had no idea who Sakurai was, but he was Japanese and Ricco Rodriguez was loving him up on commentary, so I was siding with him during this fight (plus, his 20+ wins and only 1 loss record was very impressive, and Mach was considered one of the best P4P fighters at the time). Hughes obliterated him for 3 rounds before putting him away with GnP at the 3rd minute mark of the fourth. Then came the Newton-rematch, which Hughes ended in spectacular fashion for another 4th round GnP win.


It was clear in his fights that Hughes was very strong and very talented, but rough around the edges. He powered out of moves, rather than using technique. He out-muscled his opponents and was very successful in doing so. However, there are only so many times strength beats technique, which has lead to the Hallman-effect, for Hughes.


Dennis Hallman is known in MMA for two things, having tapped out Matt Hughes. Twice. Dennis Hallman. And for getting kicked in the balls by Frank Trigg. Other than that, his career is unremarkable. But this has led to probably the only question mark on Matt Hughes record - ability to be submitted. In 45 fights, he has only been submitted 3 times. 42 other guys have been unable to tap him, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu blackbelts like Carlos Newton, Renato Verissimo, and Royce freakin Gracie have been unable to submit him, but that doesn't matter because he was tapped out by Dennis Hallman. This unbalance in rationality, this Hallman-effect, has and will dog Hughes for the rest of his career. Because Hughes primarily relied on strength to win fights, eventually strength is just not enough and you have to go somewhere else to win.


As shown against GSP, Joe Riggs, and Frank Trigg, Hughes has rounded out his game and has become quite the offensive submission artist. In fact, most of his wins have come by submission. Which is often forgotten when describing Hughes. As a strategy, Hughes out-muscles his opponents and takes them to the mat, uses his strength and positioning ability, as well as his GnP, to either stop the fight or set himself up to submit his opponent. Hughes stand up is not nearly as developed, as evidenced by his most recent loss to Georges St. Pierre.


The lowest point in Hughes career would have to be the Sean Sherk fight. Sherk was known on the underground scene for some time, racking up some 20 wins that amounted to a nice undefeated streak. But everyone else aboveground? Not so much with the knowledge. The fight between the two at UFC 43, coming off two big shows headlined by Shamrock and Abbott respectively, did one of the worst numbers in the companies history in front of a Florida crowd that the UFC didn't bother coming back to until 2006. Needless to say, despite his impressive record and career, Matt Hughes was unpopular with the masses, and myself.


This started to change around the second Frank Trigg fight. For both me and the audience. You see, it's hard to get behind a guy who always wins. It is. We are an underdog culture. We like to see people get knocked down and then get back up. We can relate to that, it gives us hope and inspires us when we fall. It's why we love Randy Couture. He is this old dude who is facing guys who are bigger, stronger, and younger, but he rises above it and manages to win. It doesn't matter how many times he defends the title, it matters how many times he wins it (and loses it, and wins it back).


With Matt Hughes, he was usually the guy doing the knocking down. A bully. What the Frank Trigg fight did was put Hughes down, literally, and in the face of a sure loss, force him to get to his feet (again, literally) and take the fight back. It was a huge moment, not only for Hughes, but for MMA as that was the first big show Zuffa had put on, in a post-TUF world, in front of their largest PPV audience. A great match, and one that Dana White refers to as one of the best he has ever seen.


After that, Hughes popularity began to rise, but it wasn't until he beat Royce Gracie that he became one of the UFC's biggest stars. The win over Gracie put to bed the past and recognized what MMA is today, and in the process, Hughes scored a dominant win over one of the biggest names in the game - if not the biggest. As big as that fight was, I would argue that the second BJ Penn fight did a lot more for Hughes than anything else. Again, it's the underdog syndrome. Hughes lost big time to BJ the first time around tapping out to a RNC and people were Hallman-effected. And it damn near happened again, too, as in the second round BJ had a tight triangle choke where Hughes strength couldn't save him, but the bell did. Hughes was down, losing both rounds to Penn, but he rose in the third and dominated the Hawaiian like no other had done, putting BJ on his back and grinding him out for the finish - the only time Penn had been finished in his career.


It is perhaps that will to win that best defines Matt Hughes. You can have him down, you can have him out, but he will find a way to win. And in those key fights, against Penn and Trigg, we saw that the strongest muscle Hughes has is his heart.


Matt Hughes vs. Robbie Newman

RINGS USA, 9/20/2000



Matt Hughes vs. Pele

Warriors War 1, 2/8/2001



Matt Hughes vs. Brett Al-azzawi

RINGS USA, 3/17/2001



Matt Hughes vs. Jorge Pereira

WEF 8, 1/15/2000



Matt Hughes vs. GSP

UFC 65, 11/18/2006



Matt Hughes vs. Joe Stern

EC 23, 4/2/1999



Matt Hughes vs. Hiromitsu Kanehara

RINGS, 8/11/2001



Matt Hughes vs. Joe Guist

EC 35, 6/29/2000



Matt Hughes vs. LaVerne Clark

EC 29, 11/13/1999



Matt Hughes vs. BJ Penn I

UFC 49, 1/31/2004



Matt Hughes vs. Royce Gracie

UFC 60, 5/27.2006



Matt Hughes vs GSP I

UFC 50, 10/22/2004



Matt Hughes vs. Frank Trigg II

UFC 52, 4/16/2005


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