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Easter Sunday Video Tribute: ‘Back From the Dead’ Fights

(Leg kicks, why have you forsaken me? / Photo courtesy of

Today, as you know, is Easter — a day in which Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, three days after his crucifixion. To commemorate the holiday, we’d like to take this time to remember notable resurrections in the sport of mixed martial arts. (Because we’re respectful like that.) There’s nothing more incredible than watching a dude get the living crap beaten out of him for minutes at a time, and then somehow, miraculously, finding the strength to knock his opponent dead before the last bell. So without further ado, here are 11 of our favorite “Back From the Dead” MMA fights of all time…

Scott Smith vs. Cung Le 1, Strikeforce: Evolution, 12/19/09
See also: Smith vs. Pete Sell

Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Kestutis Smirnovas, K-1 Hero’s 6, 8/5/06
See also: Sakuraba vs. Zelg Galesic

Joe Warren vs. Joe Soto, Bellator 27, 9/2/10

Marcus Davis vs. Paul Taylor, UFC 75, 9/8/07; click image to watch the video.

Robbie Lawler vs. Melvin Manhoef, Strikeforce: Miami, 1/30/10

Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen, UFC 117, 8/7/10
See also: Silva vs. Ryo Chonan

War Machine Koppenhaver Jared J-Roc Rollins” src=”” alt=”" width=”500″ height=”334″ />
Jon “War Machine” Koppenhaver vs. Jared “J-Roc” Rollins, TUF 6 Finale, 12/8/07; click image to watch the video

Mike Russow vs. Todd Duffee, UFC 114, 5/29/10; click image to watch the video.

Chris Leben vs. Terry Martin, UFC Fight Night 11, 9/19/07
See also: Leben vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Bob Sapp, PRIDE Shockwave, 8/28/02
See also: Nogueira vs. Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic

Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin, UFC 116, 7/3/10; click image to watch the video

Cagepotato Comments

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Username- April 25, 2011 at 12:36 am
Tahnks for the entertaning article!
fozzie- April 24, 2011 at 7:49 pm
Long time reader, first time commenter. (I just joined now so i could comment.)

Pete Sell vs. Scott Smith deserves being added to the list with it's own video, even if just by popular acclaim.

It may not have been the best fight, but it was dammed enjoyable and nobody saw that KO coming after the liver shot. Where I was, everybody was on their feet in disbelief...
Tai-Pan- April 24, 2011 at 6:03 pm
On a similar note, I heard Martinez vs Zimmer II was finally going down.
Tai-Pan- April 24, 2011 at 6:02 pm
WTF!?!?!?! Where is Scott Smith Pete Sell fight? RETARDS!!!!
ReX13- April 24, 2011 at 4:43 pm
Can't believe you bastards left Scott Smith out of this compilation.
Turd Furgeson- April 24, 2011 at 4:24 pm
What about Chris Leben v. Terry Martin?
DangadaDang- April 24, 2011 at 4:15 pm
If there is one area of his career Scott Smith deserves credit in, it is thee comeback. Head movement and game planning not so much.
GistoftheFist- April 24, 2011 at 4:07 pm
How about for the next video tribute, someone makes a compilation of fights where a much smaller fighter KOs a bigger one.
the silver hawaiian- April 24, 2011 at 3:53 pm
Hell yeah, "even I" figured that out, duh.

Although, in fairness, my aide did help me. She caught it while she was buckling my helmet on for me.
Romanhelmut- April 24, 2011 at 2:53 pm
Ok I know I am a douche. Now I feel bad....sorry if I offended any Christians.
Romanhelmut- April 24, 2011 at 2:52 pm
Our saviour Jesus Christ should always be top pick...He was nailed one day but keeps coming back year after year kicking the dark demons out of our hearts.
KINGMADE- April 24, 2011 at 2:04 pm
The hughes/trigg 2 fight comeback was even more epic because of the ball shot trigg gave hughes that set up his rear naked attempt.
macreadysshack- April 24, 2011 at 1:25 pm
Dammit, I get SO tired of seeing Brock Lesnar getting his ass kicked. Oh wait, no, I don't.
Something cartoonish about a man his size getting knocked on queer street - one of the best lines ever written at CP (sorry it's not an exact quote but hell, I figure if you got a line stuck in my head, even tarnished by my own imperfect memory, it's gotta feel good).
Knee Deep- April 24, 2011 at 12:34 pm
Lawler vs Mahoef never gets old to me. I wish he fought with that killer instinct every time he was in there. Disinterested Lawler is less fun to watch.
bgoldstein- April 24, 2011 at 12:28 pm
@ Thunder Bay: I wanted to include Hughes/Trigg 2, but I couldn't find a good video of it.

@ Ascerendant: True...and Struve vs. Morecraft might have even been more worthy of inclusion, now that you remind me.

@ RWilsonR, Molson: Yeah, yeah, but Frankie didn't win that fight. Shields vs. Hendo on the other hand...

@ SnallTrippin, MMAINMYBLOOD: Y'all really can't see the link to the Smith/Sell fight under the Smith/Le video? Even the silver hawaiian was able to figure that out.
Snitches_get_stitches- April 24, 2011 at 11:26 am
Fedor being slammed by Randleman, coming back and winning by kimura... I almost thought Fedor was a goner' after that slam..
edhedicus- April 24, 2011 at 11:07 am
I think crucification is more of a process then a definitive moment.
Thunder Bay Native- April 24, 2011 at 11:00 am
I can't believe they missed Matt Hughes vs Frank Trigg 2. That was the best comeback ever. Matt was almost knocked out and almost rear naked choked, then he picks Trigg up and carries him across the ring before slamming him and winning by rear naked choke.
Ascerendant- April 24, 2011 at 10:34 am
So, what you're saying here is that Stefan Struve left half of his blood in the octagon for a comback victory from hell against Stojnic at UFC 99 only for you to ignore that shit? Is that, what you're sayin'?!
PERPATRAITOR- April 24, 2011 at 10:24 am
Smith vs sell wasn't as good as these others.
molson- April 24, 2011 at 10:14 am
Yeah, where is Frankie? As soon as I saw this article (which is a hilariously great idea), I thought of frankie v maynard
MMAINMYBLOOD- April 24, 2011 at 10:13 am
Count me in on the wtf to the Pete Sell Scott Smith Omission...
RwilsonR- April 24, 2011 at 10:06 am
I know it didn't end in a KO, but Frankie Edgar's comeback after the first round against Gray Maynard was pretty miraculous.
SnallTrippin- April 24, 2011 at 9:53 am
SnallTrippin- April 24, 2011 at 9:53 am
"Are you serious? No Pete Sell v Scott Smith?"

I thought the same damn thing. Wtf? WTF?!