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?