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The 10 Greatest MMA Videos I’ve Ever Seen

In the year I’ve been writing this site, I’ve watched millions, perhaps billions of MMA videos — everything from fights to highlight reels to documentaries to Chuck Liddell wasted on a morning show. Most of them I’ve forgotten as soon as they were over. Some of them may stay with me forever. The ten videos below represent the best overview of this crazy sport that I can possibly present. And I won’t degrade their brilliance by ranking them. Think of this as my personal mixtape to you…

Aleksander Emelianenko vs. James Thompson, PRIDE 28, 10/31/04

Thompson’s unbridled rage and Aleks’s sleepy stoicism combine for my favorite face-off ever — and the 11-second knockout ain’t bad either. Seriously, this never gets old.

“Sakuraba: Beautiful Day”

Maybe the most inspiring single-fighter highlight video of all time. Though Kazushi Sakuraba‘s gory losses to guys like Wanderlei Silva, Ricardo Arona, and Antonio Schembri are just as memorable as his wins, Saku at his best was MMA at its best — inventive, thrilling, and joyous.

Absolute Fighting Championship 1 Highlights

Moscow, 1995. A 32-man one-day bareknuckle tournament. A 6’8″ Brazilian beast named Ricardo Morais. Four submissions via strikes (all in under two minutes) and one rear-naked choke after a ten-minute battle with Mikhail Illoukhine. Even if the rest of Morais’s career didn’t quite live up to the promise of his fearsome debut, he was legendary that night.

“Don’t Fear Me, Fear the Consequences”

The gold standard for MMA blooper reels. This is the video that introduced many people to the lovable insanity of Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett. Also, 1:58-2:12 = classic.

“Genki Sudo Documentary Pt. 1″

While many fighters say that entertaining the fans is their top priority, nobody lived it quite like Genki Sudo. The Neo-Samurai’s ring entrances for K-1 Hero’s stole every show with their wild costumes and choreography, to the point where the fights became mere afterthoughts. Four minutes of over-the-top spectacle begins at the 0:36 mark of this video, followed by an introspective interview with Sudo, who’s now retired from the fight game. “Combat in the 3rd dimension is done, so it can begin in the 4th dimension,” he says. You have no idea what he’s talking about, I’m sure. But don’t worry…you will someday.

“Bas Rutten Street Defense”

The inspiration for countless parodies, tributes, and catchphrases (“dangada-dangada!”), El Guapo’s sadistic bar-fight primer is one of the pillars of MMA’s video canon. The lesson? Never cross a man who can deliver head-butt out of nothing.

“Grand Theft Title: Saitama City”

They’re not highlight videos — they’re films. It’s hard to pick a favorite from Genghis Con’s body of work, but his GTA-themed “Grand Theft Title” trilogy is a creative high point, and “Saitama City” is the coolest of all three, with a great subject (Mauricio Rua‘s run in the 2005 PRIDE Grand Prix) and a killer soundtrack.

The Hammer House/Chute Boxe Brawl

Speaking of Mauricio Rua, his match against Mark Coleman at PRIDE 31 — and the brawl that erupted between their two camps afterwards — is one of the most unforgettable moments in MMA history. This 10-minute clip summarizes the entire incident, from the fight, to the mini-riot, to the botched apology backstage, to the Schick commercial that saw Coleman and Wanderlei Silva put their differences aside in the name of a nice paycheck.

Don Frye vs. Yoshihiro Takayama, PRIDE 21, 6/23/02

It was the brawl to end all brawls — Frye and Takayama hockey-punching the shit out of each-other in front of an ecstatic audience. No, it’s not exactly high-level MMA, but they can’t all be Shinya Aoki grappling compilations. Sometimes you just want to see two guys fighting to the death.

PRIDE Knockout Megamix

In retrospect, maybe I am a PRIDE nuthugger.

Honorable mentions
Keith Hackney vs. Emmanuel Yarborough (If I remember correctly, the leadoff match at UFC 3 was the first MMA fight I ever saw, back in September 1994, at my friend Josh’s house.)
Tim Sylvia on Blind Date
Bas Rutten vs. Frank Shamrock (Pancrase)
Kimbo Slice knocks a dude’s eye out the side of his damn head
“Furious Angels” by Boondock
Arianny Celeste nipple slip at Throwdown shoot

*** Oh, hey: If you dug this list, Digg it.

Cagepotato Comments

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Agonistes- October 22, 2008 at 9:23 pm
@ Mannyray
the band is Cradle of Filth, i'm not sure about the name of the song though

and @ BG and BF... you rick roll'd us? seriously, low blow dudes
ruthless1- October 22, 2008 at 12:57 pm
That made my day!

Bookgrub- October 22, 2008 at 11:10 am
I just lost the game.
Zee German- October 22, 2008 at 10:30 am
I love Aleks so much for always looking like he just woke up in the corner of the ring thinking, what's going on now? Where am I? Who's that guy? Whatever, let's go knock him out and back to booze. My hero.
Damian- October 22, 2008 at 7:35 am
Genki Sudo is a good fighter but spends way too much time on flashy entrances. I HATE "KRAZY HORSE", And I will never get tired of seeing Hendo knockout Wanderlei!
Anonymous- October 22, 2008 at 5:41 am
Ray- October 22, 2008 at 4:39 am
No 3rd man.... common now.
Scott Whitt- October 22, 2008 at 4:01 am
The big guy with curly hair is Giant Silva. I think he fought once or twice in Pride. He was mainly known for being a horrible pro wrestler in Mexico and in the WWF as a member of the Oddities.
The Sudo vid is great. He probably made 0 dollars when he fought since he spent everything on costumes and extras.
The Frye-Takayama vid will be played endlessly on my gravestone.
Mannyray- October 22, 2008 at 3:55 am
Someone please tell me whose music in playing during Absolute Fighting Championship 1 Highlights?
dan- October 22, 2008 at 3:13 am
nice rick roll hahaha
aqualung- October 22, 2008 at 2:27 am
Hands down furious angels deserves to be on the main list. Sad as it may be it literally got me watching mma after seeing it. It will always be the best HL. Boondocks HL's are fantastic
Beqwith- October 22, 2008 at 2:09 am
You have the nerve to fucking Rick Roll me on a tribute page? With a Celeste tease? I'm freebasing Stevia all night, getting on the next bus south, and I'll see you at your car tomorrow morning. October 22, 2008 at 1:21 am
Someone needs to make an Al Stankie video.
MKXii- October 22, 2008 at 1:16 am
Learn 2 check the link before checkin for tits.
Sean- October 22, 2008 at 12:17 am
Does anyone know where to find AFC 1 on DVD? I want to see that whole thing! I love the fact that there is no UFC crap in it just me or has DREAM actually surpassed the UFC recently with the level of the fights they've been having? I miss Pride!
shutupandfight- October 21, 2008 at 11:23 pm
Bas at 6:13..."Whoa, that's fuked up."

definately pays to watch the entire vid.

wonder how many "bonnngs" were hit during the making of that vid.


fukit...that's my new name bitches.
robnashville- October 21, 2008 at 11:11 pm
Boondock's hurt, 3rd man, and furious angels not in the top 10....... wowww.......

someone give this man a swift kick to the balls....
Rich S.- October 21, 2008 at 10:20 pm

Mike- October 21, 2008 at 10:17 pm
The end of the 'funniest moments' where Dave Legeno goes fucking nuts is awesome. I guess it pays to be an actor and a fighter. I mean, Brock Lesner's got nothing on this guy. It's all an act but after seeing that, I wanted to kick someone's ass.
lewis- October 21, 2008 at 10:06 pm
yea who is that crazy giant looking dude and where can i see that video?
Tpark- October 21, 2008 at 10:06 pm
for the first time that was ABSOLUTELY NOT A FUNNY RICK ROLL
ThatsRowdy- October 21, 2008 at 9:56 pm
Never gonna give you up...Never gonna let you down...

lol October 21, 2008 at 9:51 pm
Holy shit that was one of the cruelest Rick Rolls in history.

But my buddy just IM'd me with this link - it's a video of GSP making out with Mandy Moore at a McDonald's in Minnesota after UFC 87:
UFC fan- October 21, 2008 at 9:50 pm
after watching that pride compilation, I can say I can see why it died. that shit looks like a KIMBO Slice heaven. Just a bunch of wide swinging, illegal kneeing and head kicking. that's not MMA, that's backyard brawling, and that my friends was garbage, that's why 99% of the pride fighters sucked in UFC they couldn't fight like backyard Kimbo slice acting no talent hacks.
You shouldn't have shown that, now I hate it even more.
that looked like UFC 1 just a bunch of beefed up dumbasses seeing who had the best KO.
Thank God for Royce Gracie.
You bastard!!!- October 21, 2008 at 9:29 pm
The only video I care about and it is stupid Rick Astley. THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!