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Fight of the Day: MMA’s Answer to Rocky Balboa [VIDEO]

(Did you just call my mum a bumbag, you budgie-smuggler wearing dole bludger?) 

Meet “Diamond” Dan Pauling, a nineteen year old undefeated prospect fighting out of the Australian-based Shindo New Breed camp. All of his eight victories have come inside the distance, with all but one of them coming by way of submission. Just four days ago, he stepped into the cage at FightWorld Cup 11 to square off against 4-3 slugger James Vainikolo in the evening’s main event. What transpired will ultimately go down as one of the most gutsy comebacks in the history of MMA.

To be clear, this wasn’t a Cheick Kongo/Pat Barry return-from-the-grave type comeback that will make you recoil in shock and awe. No, until the very end, this fight more closely resembled something out of a Rocky movie, in which our hero absorbed well over one thousand punches and offered little to nothing in return. Now take that and combine it with an attrition level that would make you beg for Ben Rothwell vs. Mark Hunt II, and you’ve pretty much got the picture here.

That being said, Pauling deserves some sort of award for his performance based on pure heart and determination alone. Just check out the video and tell us we’re wrong.

Jeebus. It may not have been the prettiest victory, but “Diamond,” like that of Andy Dufresne, managed to crawl (or perhaps get dragged) through a river of shit and come out clean on the other side. In fact, I’m pretty confident that Pauling’s CompuStrike stats for that performance would read like Dufresne’s first encounter with “The Sisters,” albeit with better results. If the laws in this country weren’t so nonsensical, I’d invite him up to have a beer on behalf of the CP nation, but I digress. A congrats is in order for the young warrior, but we might suggest he hone his standup and cardio a bit before his attic gets jobbed into mushy peas by some bloke’s bunch of fives.

Pauling is already scheduled to face 9-3 Corey Nelson on the main card of CFC 21 on May 18th, which also features Jeff Monson pairing off against Jim York in the main event and a mismatch of the century fight between punching bag Bob Sapp and UFC veteran Soa Palelei.

So where would you rank this fight on your list of all-time greatest comebacks, Potato Nation?

-J. Jones

Cagepotato Comments

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oijfgojfj- April 22, 2012 at 7:18 am
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blaphtome- April 19, 2012 at 8:22 pm
Pretty sure he was out on his feet (yes there is such a thing)at certain points and the ref just failed to recognize it, as well as the fact that he didn't intelligently defend himself at times. As heroic as some might perceive that performance; I see a recipe for a really short career and serious long-term issues. That kid needs a better corner.
Gymdog- April 19, 2012 at 5:20 am
Here is Dan's post fight interview
Langer-Dan- April 19, 2012 at 2:06 am
The 2 guys looked fit, but gassed very early on, probably made too much of a weight cut coming into a fight.
Don’t really rate it as a greatest come back, as neither guy had any power in the strikes and both had poor cardio…more of a Monty Python “Life of Brian” Gladiator scene (where one puny gladiator spends the whole fight running away from his opponent and ends up winning because his opponent has a heart attack trying to chase him).
ytrebil- April 19, 2012 at 1:21 am
The smaller guy is going to have serious nightmares about his pillow hands. It's like a reality of those dreams when you try and run away, your legs are going 10 to the dozen but you are not moving. Or more appropriately, when you finally snap and are swinging for the ‘bad guy’ and your punches either do zero damage like not even a blink from the guy you are trying to hit or you keep missing. Yeah, must suck to put so much effort into those punches, have them land clean and not really do much. Haha.
2Dogs- April 19, 2012 at 12:02 am
Couldve been a differnet outcome if that uppercut landed around the 7:56 mark? Good fight
tysonmcneely- April 18, 2012 at 9:22 pm
I see he trains at Homer Simpson's gym.
Bill Clinton- April 18, 2012 at 9:19 pm
Good show of heart for sure! I would like to know Dan's reach.
lenoz- April 18, 2012 at 4:07 pm
Oh come on, you've used a 6mb (SIX MEGABYTE!!) headline image and just scaled it down, thinking that's going to be ok? That's lazier than Strikeforce's web presence, and even less user friendly.
DangadaDang- April 18, 2012 at 7:53 pm
I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. *scans room to see if he has convinced anyone*
Bill Clinton- April 18, 2012 at 9:15 pm
I see what you did there.
sausagelauncher- April 18, 2012 at 3:39 pm
Good determination,but damn. Time to work on some power punching,or face blocking. Was this in Michigan?
LB_Fargo- April 18, 2012 at 3:31 pm
Body punching anyone? Sad
Fried Taco- April 18, 2012 at 2:56 pm
One of the funniest fights I've seen in awhile. His strategy in the second round was to get hit until his opponent was too tired to even hold his arms up anymore. Then go in for the choke. I bet they shared a Fosters afterwards.
The12ozCurls- April 18, 2012 at 3:08 pm
Fosters? I bet they shared an ambulance. Crazy Aussies.
MKO- April 18, 2012 at 2:24 pm
That might be the shittiest belt I've ever seen.
El Guapo- April 18, 2012 at 1:54 pm
Yeah, that announcer is pretty creepy. Diamond Dan's looking at him like "Seriously... Dude...WTF?"
Also, if he would've thrown in some ground and pound the fight never would've made it out of the first round.
The12ozCurls- April 18, 2012 at 1:42 pm
It would have been ruled a "No Contest" if it were me because I would have splattered that ring announcer's face all over the mat for getting that god damn close to me during introductions. And he would have deserved it too. Freaking weirdo.