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The 14 Greatest MMA Photos of 2009

Let’s just hope nothing amazing happens in the next two weeks. Major props to AllElbows, Sherdog, and The Las Vegas Sun.

#14. Frank Shamrock and Nick Diaz display their vastly different personal styles at a Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz press conference.

#13: The final resting place of BJJ godfather Helio Gracie.

#12: "Stop trying to hit me and hit me!" Anderson Silva stays juuuuust out of reach against Forrest Griffin at UFC 101.

#11. Lyoto Machida and his father Yoshizo prove that the rumors are true.

#10: Brock Lesnar invites the battered Frank Mir to talk some more shit after their fight at UFC 100.

#9: Edgar Garcia gives Brad Blackburn the second-most-epic punch-face of the year at the TUF 9 Finale.

#8: The high-flying Eddie Alvarez celebrates his sweep of Bellator’s first lightweight torunament.

#7. The aftermath of Diego Sanchez‘s tragically failed run at a lightweight title at UFC 107.

#6: Anderson Silva pretends to be an MMA journalist before UFC 101, quickly learns that it’s not as fun as it looks.

#5: BJ Penn searches for a way out during his UFC 94 beating at the hands of Georges St. Pierre.

#4: Fedor Emelianenko calmly strolls away from another victim at Affliction: Day of Reckoning.

#3: Gina Carano drops jaws at the Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg weigh-ins.

#2. Dan Henderson loads up one last bomb to shut Michael Bisping up a little bit at UFC 100.

#1. Sorry, Rashad. You’ll never live this one down.

Cagepotato Comments

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Clyde- December 19, 2009 at 12:46 pm
I love the rashad punch face, but I can't see how it beats Brad Blackburn's. If his mouth got any wider his skull might fall out.
831 Son- December 17, 2009 at 1:34 pm
Get the fuck out then bleve. You damn pussy.
ProfessorMMA- December 17, 2009 at 12:13 pm
carano = me jackin it
CapitalQ- December 17, 2009 at 11:27 am
as far as the BJ Penn picture....There was a much better one posted when that fight happened. It consisted of BJ falling down against that cage with this huge baby crying face on. The caption said"Waaaaah!!". I remember this because it is the first time I realized that the bens have a very good eye for humor. I think I coughed into the bong when i saw it. Not cool.
RickyRobbie- December 17, 2009 at 11:11 am
Great list but at number 5 the info is wrong....GSP clearly tries to make out with BJ but he wants no part of that Gay shit.
Sgt. 606- December 17, 2009 at 10:45 am
Thanks Bens. That was awesome and entertaining.
bleve- December 17, 2009 at 10:33 am
4 out of those 14 qualify.

Should have had people vote, who's quantifying these as "The 14 Greatest..."?

There's a better one of Hendo where he's actually more airborne.

With all the great photos of athletes actually fighting and competing, a lot of these are weak. Just looking at the front page of All Elbows and you'll see a bloody florian/guida shot that is amazing. Must be a slow mma day.
macreadysshack- December 17, 2009 at 10:25 am
Oh, another thing, Harry . . . I wouldn't consider the Nog/Couture fight a pure slugfest. I think that grossly minimizes the ground game that took place. How often do you see Randy on his back, doing the 'call home' defense and just trying to survive? I can't remember seeing Randy in trouble on the ground for a long long time (somebody remind me here . . .) yet there he was, just trying to keep from getting choked out by that arm triangle, unable to escape. That fight was a lot more dynamic and skillful than a slugfest.
macreadysshack- December 17, 2009 at 10:19 am
@ Harry Sack

Your humility is indeed staggering but I'm put down the crack pipe just long enough to set you straight. No, just kidding, I'm not going to set you straight because you make some good points. Still, I have to disagree with your assessment of Nog. I actually think he may be getting better. He's getting his UFC legs under him, which often takes these Pride dudes some time (if they can do it at all - I'm looking at you, Mirko, and you, Heath), getting used to the level of competition there and I think he may be the actual top contender. People were saying that Shogun was done, his best days behind him, and though that may still prove to be true, once he's gotten healthy and used to the Octagon, he's a fucking terror again. Maybe Nog won't ever put it all together again, maybe he's got too much ring wear, nobody knows for sure. I just happen to think he's a fair bit better than Frank Mir.

My ready espousal was sincere but absolutely not to be confused with common sense.
steampunk22- December 17, 2009 at 9:57 am
Stockton Hey Buddy! That's gangster.

I guess the Corey Hill wrap-a-around leg action was in Dec. 2008, so close. That picture still gives me nightmares anyways.

Good collection CP. I love that Rex13 phrased his critique of the pictures as if you guys took them yourselves. ;P

Anyways, cool!
meanfinger- December 17, 2009 at 9:24 am
yeah if nick shook that fag boy's hand theres no way he would be the same fighter! thats part of what makes the diaz brothers who they are.

on another note a little off topic.. i was super stoned and i pulled out a totino's pizza and burned my damn hand.. it didnt hurt. then i realized wtf armando garcia's dumb ass was talkin about. what a fuckin idiot!!

strikeforce needs to get diaz some t.v time, maybe give the kid some extra cash so he can smoke salvia or somethin.. shit idk.. maybe even a "no ganja" inscentive

i know if i had a lil extra cash, and was throwin a nice event in san jose, which is pretty damn close to stockton.. i'd put diaz on the muh fucka, he sells tickets and puts feets in front of chairs.. cuz when he fights, theres nobody sittin down... unless your gay or blind.. or ufc fan
meanfinger- December 17, 2009 at 9:19 am
is that loyoto machida's new gatorade flavor??
Harry Sack- December 17, 2009 at 9:16 am
Lay off the three day meth bender for a sec and reconsider if you will the "Big Nog for #1 contender" position you so readily espouse as if it were common sense. I humbly offer you the following perspective -
1. Nog should avoid Lesnar if he wants the twilight of his career to be productive, profitable, or lengthy in any way, shape, or form.
2. Mir got a cheap win against him for sure, but Nog beating Couture in a slugfest merely means he is getting hit alot these days and that he can beat the HW division's most beatable former champ.
3. One slightly glancing shot from Mir, Lesnar, Carwin, Velasquez, shit even Kongo (not that he'd land it, but still) or Rothwell (dito) would wobble Nog these days - he doesnt want it like he (or you) thinks he does.
Nog is not enjoying contender status these days - he is a great gate keeper and DW knows this. Lets keep the HW division's most likeable guy in the rotation for a few more years by not sending him through the meat grinder. Maybe DW actually learned a lesson from the Chuck Liddel saga to know better than to send his older guys in there against upper-eschelon competition that will simply get them KTFO and accelerate their dementia. Use him for what he is inteneded for by the MMA gods ... to dispatch of the annoying fighters that crop up from time to time that sorely need an ass whipping (Coleman, Nelson, Toney lol, Buenetello) or to test an up and comer.
skeletor- December 17, 2009 at 8:57 am
Diaz is the man I don't give a fuck what any of you guys say. If he didn't have that attitude he wouldn't have the same great fighting style that brings to the ring every time. If I had a chance to meet Frank Shamrock in person that would probably be my first reaction as well.

Gina makes my pants tight. And I would have to say that is the most epic punch face of all time, like one of those racist 1950's warner bros. aunt jemimah cartoons. I bet Blackburn's 18 kids would never let him live that down if they knew who he was.
Goat- December 17, 2009 at 8:50 am
I laughed.
I cried.
I cheered.
I sneered.
I got angry.
I got cold.
I hooped.
I hollered.
I sympathized.
I realized.
I turned away.
I turned around.

And I can't wait to do it again in 2010

shitbag- December 17, 2009 at 8:42 am
Fanfuckintastic. Shows the beauty and brutality of MMA in every way.
Shane Darwin- December 17, 2009 at 8:40 am
What's behind the "Gina is a ho" rumors?

And God I hate the Diaz brothers. Completely classless.
hotsaucemonster- December 17, 2009 at 8:22 am
haha i have the bisping hendo photo engraved on my coffee mug, and shit im gonna deposit that gina carano pic in the spank bank right now
macreadysshack- December 17, 2009 at 7:57 am
I think Big Nog should get another shot at Mir before Mir gets a shot at Lesnar. Big Nog wasn't healthy when Mir beat him up. Mir was perfectly healthy and ready when Lesnar hammerfisted his face into surgery.

I think healthy Nog is the #1 contender, not, as JRR Tolkien would have called him, Douchemir.
ReX13- December 17, 2009 at 7:52 am
Awesome awesome list, fellas. Some feedback:

Really nice photography overall. Helio's casket is a fantastic shot--too bad it's a Sherdog screen capture, because that shot is art.

Hot fight girl pics are always a cheap and easy way to win approval. I, for one, am not complaining about the "cheap and easy" part.

Not sure i understand why the BJ Penn shot is here. Not much emotion in that one--i would prefer tears. Lots of them. This is my only complaint. On the other hand, there is a connection between this photo and the Frank Mir photo. We are seeing the moment when a talented but unmotivated fighter decides it's time to start putting in overtime at the gym and really start beating some ass.

The Diaz/Shamrock pic is great, but the video is better. Diaz is just keeping it real, motherfucker, and Shamrock doesn't know how to react. He finally tries the Italian crotch-pull, but it's pretty lame compared to the emphatic Stockton Heybuddy.

Who had the #1 most epic punchface? 'Cause #2 is effin TITS.
macreadysshack- December 17, 2009 at 7:50 am
@Organ Donor

Yes. She should've been a half pound overweight and I should've been one of the ring dudes standing behind her towel. Or I'd hold the towel up. Whatever. I would've been BEHIND the towel. You know, with her while she reweighs and takes more off and reweighs again. It would be a brutally long process of stripping down and weighing and holding up that fucking towel. Brutal, but I would do it. For the sport.
nicey- December 17, 2009 at 7:47 am
I completely believe Mir should get another shot at Brock if he beats the Engineer of Pain. Just because he got battered doesnt mean he doesnt deserve another chance. He's bulked up quite a bit and is 1-1 vs Lesnar. Arguing that a picture is reason enough to deny a rubber match between the two is asinine.

oh, and altho Carano may not be a great fighter, and possibly a ho3bag, those shorts make me want to get r@pehappy.
macreadysshack- December 17, 2009 at 7:43 am
I'm with you, Defender. Mir doesn't need another shot at Brock. Not for a long while, anyway. That was a fucking car wreck.

Ooooh, he 'wobbled' Brock . . . When it's considered AMAZING to ring somebody's bell a little bit, it's time to look for new competition (unless the person you wobbled is A. Silva - then you should get some kind of Wobble of the Night bonus).
ksgbobo- December 17, 2009 at 7:39 am
I didn't see that last one coming. Freaking hilarious! rofl
Organ Donor- December 17, 2009 at 7:36 am
too bad Gina wasn't a half-pound over weight