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The 10 Greatest Light Heavyweight Title Fights In UFC History


(Photo via Getty)

By Adam Martin

That might be the greatest title fight in the history of the light heavyweight division — and I don’t even know who won! What an incredible fight!

Those are the words UFC color-commentator Joe Rogan uttered last weekend at the end of the five-round epic at UFC 165 between UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and challenger Alexander Gustafsson, a fight Jones won via razor-thin unanimous decision.

Although Rogan is often known for his hyperbole, he might have been dead-on that night. Was “Bones” vs. “The Mauler” really the greatest 205-pound title fight in the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship? To determine the veracity of that statement, I went back and watched the best light heavyweight fights ever held inside the Octagon, and after countless hours of tape study, I feel as though I’ve come up with a very fair list.

Below I’ve listed what in my opinion are the top 10 light heavyweight fights in UFC history based on a mixed criteria of competitiveness, excitement level, hype, how the fight played out in comparison to its expectations, and how it ended. So without any further ado, let’s get started…

10. Lyoto Machida vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua 1, UFC 104

(Photo via Getty)

Kicking off the list is the controversial first fight between Lyoto Machida and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, a fight that still ranks up there with the worst-all time judging decisions in MMA history.

Machida had just knocked out Rashad Evans at UFC 98 and, in the fateful words of Joe Rogan, the “Machida Era” had commenced. However, “Shogun” had a thing or two to say about that as the former PRIDE star was coming off of two TKO wins over Hall of Famers Chuck Liddell and Mark Coleman, and he wanted to prove to everyone it was he, not Machida, who was the best light heavyweight in the world at the time.

For five rounds, Machida and “Shogun” went toe-to-toe in the Octagon and although Machida definitely had his moments in the match, it appeared to most observers that there would be a new light heavyweight champion crowned, as Rua landed a ton of brutal leg kicks to Machida that left the champ’s torso and thighs looking like a bruised peach.

But while “Shogun” arguably won every round of the fight, the judges somehow saw the fight in favor of Machida, with all three scoring the bout 48-47 in favor of “The Dragon” despite the volume of leg kicks thrown by Rua, leading judge Cecil People to idiotically declare that leg kicks don’t finish fights. UFC president Dana White saw things differently, however, and set up an immediate rematch at UFC 113 where Rua KO’d Machida into oblivion — a happy ending to an infamous screwjob.

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On This Day in MMA History: Randy Couture Puts a Literal Spanking On Tito Ortiz, Unifies the LHW Belts and Becomes the Oldest MMA Champion in Ever

It ended up in the last thirty seconds, in a weird situation. He was kinda outta desperation, he rolled to a kneebar and an ankle lock. He had my leg, I’m sitting and have his feet and all I can see is his butt. You know, he was “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” and I can’t really get my leg out, and it just pops into my head, ‘spank him.’

That’s how former two-division UFC champion and UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture described delivering one of the most humiliating beatdowns in MMA History, ten years ago today. The event was UFC 44: Undisputed. Couture’s opponent was then light-heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz, who had successfully defended his title a record five times; a record that would not be broken until last weekend. The date was September 26, 2003 (do you feel old now?).

Believe it or not, there was a time long, long ago when the relationship between the Coutures and the UFC was something other than mutual disdain. It was the early aughts, and after pounding out Chuck Liddell for the interim LHW championship at the previous event, Couture would successfully unify the belts with a five-round drubbing of Ortiz.

While there was no shaming “The Hunting People’s Champ” for losing to a legend like Couture, there was plenty of shame to be seen in the final thirty seconds of the fight, when “The Natural” proceeded to spank his younger foe like he had just found a bag of grass in his sock drawer. For lack of a better word, it was…hilarious.

At 40 years of age, Couture would become the oldest fighter to ever win a UFC title. And he wasn’t even done yet.

But Couture vs. Ortiz wasn’t the only historic beatdown to happen at UFC 44. Not by a long shot…

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Rampage Jackson and Tito Ortiz Are Giant Monsters in Bellator’s New Pay-Per-View Ad [VIDEO]


(Props: BellatorMMA via Reddit/MMA)

To promote their first pay-per-view show on November 2nd, Bellator has released a 30-second ad in which headliners Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Tito Ortiz are depicted as what the Japanese would call kaiju. Think King Kong vs. Godzilla, if King Kong and Godzilla were longtime friends who constantly complained about being disrespected by their former boss.

It’s a none-too-subtle reference to how BIG this fight is, at least for Bellator, whose long-term health as a promotion could be strengthened by a respectable buyrate in their first PPV outing. But as a cynical observer, I’m not expecting an epic clash of monsters in the main event. I’m expecting guys like Michael Chandler, Eddie Alvarez, and Pat Curran to steal the show as usual, while two old relics smush up against each other for 15 minutes before slithering back into the dark and mysterious waters of the Pacific Ocean.

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[VIDEO] Cristiane Cyborg Put on a Muay Thai Clinic Against Jennifer Colomb Last Friday Because of Course She Did

If any of you are like me, you probably can’t watch a video of Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino savaging some hapless opponent without running through a list of “What Ifs” and “Reasons to Hate Tito Ortiz.” What if Cyborg hadn’t asked to be released from the UFC? What if she somehow managed to secure a fight with Ronda Rousey? What if Ortiz hadn’t nuked her career with a series of awkward non sequiturs? (Author’s note: Hopefully the latter can be answered when Ortiz and his besties crash Dana White’s quinceanera or whatever it is they plan on doing.)

It’s a moot issue at this point, but we triple dog dare you to watch Cyborg’s victory over the previously undefeated (and late replacement opponent) Jennifer Colomb at Lion Fight 11 without asking the same questions. Although the fight went down last Friday, a full video of their two round Muay Thai bout has only recently been made available, likely because it was being used as evidence in an assault case filed against Justino that has since been dropped.

As for the fight itself…what would you expect? Cyborg swarms Colomb with a Tasmanian Devil-esque flurry of punches, kicks, knees, spinning backfists/elbows, haidukens, ice freeze attacks, Falcon punches and Bob-ombs at every conceivable opportunity until Colomb just sort of wilts from the sheer magnitude of it all. I’m telling you, have Cyborg strap on (HOLD IT) a face mask and some skates and she would have Milan Lucic shitting out his own eyeballs within the first period.

This is normally where I’d ask an obvious question — something like “Are there any intriguing non-UFC fights left for Cyborg?” — but we all know that answer.

In conclusion: Down with Primetime 360, up with Entertainment 720.

*drops mic*

-J. Jones

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Tito Ortiz Attempts to Unite Fellow Disgraced UFC Fighters for Event-Crashing


(Tito Ortiz makes another stop on his global goodwill tour | Photo via @TitoOrtiz)

Tito Ortiz, Ken Shamrock, Randy Couture, Quinton Jackson and Frank Shamrock are all former UFC champions that are currently personas non grata to the organization and its President Dana White. (Not coincidentally, four of those five guys currently have some role in the Bellator organization.) For that reason, Ortiz seems to think it would be pretty funny if they all went to the UFC’s 20th anniversary show November 16th in Las Vegas.

@ShamrockKen @frankshamrock @Randy_Couture @Rampage4real maybe we should crash the show. I will buy the tickets.” Ortiz recently tweeted.

Apparently, some of the other guys liked the idea. Tito’s former mortal enemy, Ken Shamrock, tweeted back, “I like TITO’s idea,” and then, “I will stand beside you Tito. – frank lets go!!!!!,” encouraging his brother to join them.

So we guess to Ken, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Or something. Ken told Tito to send him a direct message through twitter so they could totally discuss deets, and then sent out a “hi randy” shout out to Couture.

Couture, who is probably smarting more than anyone else about not being allowed at UFC events ever since Dana banned the two-division UFC champion from cornering his son Ryan, then weighed in. “feel sorry for the security guys dana sends to have us removed :) hope they have guns !,” he tweeted, apparently still in character as Toll Road from The Expendables.

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Bellator’s Nine Hottest New Prospects for Season Nine


(Hey, if BJ Penn can be the UFC’s first three-title champion, then a middle-aged kickboxer can be the future of the heavyweight division. / Photo via crucifixusa.com)

By Adam Martin

Bellator’s ninth season recently commenced, and if last week’s opener is any indication, it’s going to be a fun and action-packed couple of months in the world of “Viacom MMA.”

During the summer, Bellator signed a number of new fighters that will make their promotional debuts during season nine, and we wanted to highlight a few of these hungry young prospects that fans should keep an eye on starting with tonight’s event in Temecula, California.

So, without further ado, here are nine Bellator prospects to watch out for during this coming season of fights.

9. John Alessio

(Photo via Getty)

The first fighter to keep an eye on this season is veteran John Alessio, who has been fighting professionally since 1998. After making his name as a top prospect fighting for SuperBrawl in Hawaii, the UFC fed Alessio to the sharks when, at just 20 years of age, he fought Pat Miletich for the UFC welterweight title. And while Alessio would get tapped out in just 1:43 and leave the UFC immediately afterwards, he returned in 2006 and fought both Diego Sanchez and Thiago Alves, losing to both and losing his spot on the roster again. Never perturbed, Alessio then carved out a solid run in the WEC, MFC, Dream, and a few other promotions to get yet another crack in the Octagon in 2012, but after losing to Mark Bocek and Shane Roller — becoming the only fighter in UFC history to go 0-5 — he was cut for good. Bellator then picked him up and he’s been installed as a participant in the season nine lightweight tournament. Winning it, he says, is his destiny.

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Obvious Statement of the Day: Dana White Thinks Tito Ortiz is “One of the Dumbest Motherfuckers You Will Ever Meet”


(For reference.)

It looks like there’s once again trouble a’ brewing between UFC president Dana White and UFC HOFer/lughead Tito Ortiz. If you recall, the beef between these two got to such a boiling point back in 2007 that Spike TV aired a special hyping up a boxing match between the two (one which never came to fruition, of course). And while it seemed that White and Ortiz had repaired their relationship for long enough to have Tito get beat into retirement, Ortiz’s recent signing with Bellator has reopened the trash-talking floodgates.

Things really kicked off when Ortiz compared DW to a slave master during a recent interview with Sportscenter:

I thought slavery was over a long time ago. It’s just one of those things where you can’t trust a word the man says. And when you can’t do that, how can you work for him? When you work for a person and they’re badmouthing you no matter what, how can you work for them? When you apologize for the things that did happen and he still goes behind your back and says things about you, for no reason at all. Dana’s thing now is bullying and he is one of the biggest bullies in the business. He’s a big bully. One of these days, karma, it always come back around. 

It’s hard to argue with Tito’s comparison when looking at the facts. As we all know, slaves regularly received compensation packages totalling upwards of $250,000 for their work in the fields, as well as top notch medical care whenever they came down with a bad case of “cracked skull.” In addition, it is a well known fact that all slaves drove Rolls Royces to and from their million dollar summer homes.

Being that White is slightly more aware of what gets said about him in the media than the average President of a billion dollar corporation, he responded with the vitriol of a “Ben Affleck is the new Batman” Reddit thread at the Fight Night 27 media scrum on Wednesday.

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OK, We’ll Admit It: This Bellator Pay-Per-View Card Is Getting Pretty Stacked

Although it’s being headlined by a matchup that is equal parts garbage and ass, the rest of Bellator’s first ever pay-per-view card is really starting to come together. Not only does it feature two title-fight rematches in Eddie Alvarez vs. Michael Chandler (lightweight) and King Mo Lawal vs. Emanuel Newton (interim LHW), but Bellator officials announced earlier today that the much delayed featherweight title fight between Pat Curran and Daniel Straus will be joining the main card as well.

MMAJunkie passes along Bjorn Rebney’s statement on what is quickly becoming one of the most stacked cards of the year. Yup, I just wrote that:

Pat Curran’s one of the best mixed martial artists we have in the game today. Before breaking his hand, Straus was a fixture in the top 10 rankings with a huge amount of talent. Curran vs. Straus is a fight I’ve wanted to see since Daniel won the tournament a year ago last May. This should be an epic world title fight and our pay-per-view provides the perfect stage.

As Rebney stated, Straus was expected to face Curran a little over a year ago after capturing the season 6 featherweight tournament, but was replaced by season 7 tourney winner Shahbulat Shamhalaev following a broken hand he suffered in training. Curran would go on to defeat the Russian replacement at Bellator 95 via first round guillotine choke.

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MMA Fighters Transitioning to Pro-Wrestling: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly


(Let me guess, it’ll sound something like “Tito Ortiz, The Huntington Bad Beach Boy: Future NTA world TNA heavyweight champion of the world.” Capture via ProWresBlog.Blogspot.Com.)

For some MMA fighters, professional wrestling was just a one-time cash grab. For others, it became a second career. Inspired by yet another week of TNA Impact Wrestling’s efforts to get anyone to care about the professional wrestling experiments of two broken-down MMA legends, we’ll be examining fighters who took up professional wrestling after they made their names in MMA in our newest installment of The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly.

Bear in mind that this article is focusing on mixed martial artists who transitioned to professional wrestling careers, and not fighters who started off as professional wrestlers. So that means fighters like Brock Lesnar, Ken Shamrock, Bobby Lashley, Giant Silva, Bob Sapp, Dos Caras Jr. (aka Alberto Del Rio), Dan Severn (Google it) and Sakuraba will not be covered here — although a few of these men will make appearances in this article. Let’s start off on a positive note…

The Good

The Professional Wrestling Career of Josh Barnett.

When you’re thinking of good instances of an MMA fighter turning to professional wrestling as a second career choice, Josh Barnett should immediately come to mind. There have been other fighters who dabbled in professional wrestling, but Barnett is one of the only ones to be just as popular and successful in it as he was in MMA.

Before his transition, Barnett became the youngest heavyweight champion in UFC history by defeating Randy Couture at UFC 36. After being stripped of his title due to a positive drug test, Barnett set his sights on the Japanese professional wrestling scene, where the fans value legitimacy and toughness from their wrestlers more than mic skills and charisma (although Barnett has both in spades). He immediately challenged for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, and although he came up short, he went on to enjoy the most relevant crossover career of any fighter on this list before his return to the UFC earlier this year put a halt to the wrasslin’ for the time being.

It’d be easy to call his work with the incredibly underrated Perry Saturn or the technical wrestling clinic that he put on against Hideki Suzuki his most impressive stuff, but it’s probably not. Honest to God, Barnett’s biggest accomplishment may be the fact that he managed to pull Bob Sapp — who has the same cardio and technique in wrestling as he does in MMA — through a watchable match. How many people can claim that?

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MMA Impressions With Jade Bryce, Part 2: The Thrill of Victory [VIDEO]


(Watch the video in HD for the best experience, and subscribe to our YouTube channel here!)

Well, we warned you. Bellator ring girl Jade Bryce has returned for another installment of “MMA Impressions” for CagePotato.com, in which she gives her own unique take on these classic victory celebrations:

- BJ Penn‘s blood-licking
- Stephan Bonnar‘s thousand-yard stare
- Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza‘s gator-crawl
- Anderson Silva‘s guitar-strum
- Phil Baroni‘s “I’M THE MAN!” speech
- Roy Nelson‘s belly-rub
- Tito Ortiz‘s grave-digger
- The Rampage howl
- Jamie Varner‘s chicken/naptime/worm routine
- King Mo‘s energy-drink shower

Epic upon epic. If you dug this video, let Jade know on Twitter @TheJadeBryce, and get to know her even better at OfficialJadeBryce.com!

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