Steroids in MMA
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Video Timeline: MMA’s Greatest Techniques of the Year, 1993-2011

1997: Chris Haseman and Mark Kerr’s Chin-in-Eye Submissions
vs. Hiriwa Te Rangi and Elvis Sinosic @ Caged Combat 1, 3/22/97 (Haseman)
vs. Don Bobish @ UFC 14, 7/27/97 (Kerr)

(Kerr vs. Bobish starts at the 7:01 mark of the above video.)

Look, eye-gouging is dangerous and underhanded, and when the Unified Rules banned all forms of it in 2000, we were all better off. But you have to respect the brutal ingenuity of locking down your opponent from the top, inserting your chin into his eye-socket, and squeezing. Gross but effective, and not something that you’d think to prepare for. Responsible for three separate finishes that year — two of which came in the same night from the same guy — 1997 was the Year of Chinjitsu.

1998: Vitor Belfort‘s Running Punch-Blitz
vs. Wanderlei Silva @ UFC Ultimate Brazil, 10/16/98

In his prime, Vitor Belfort was MMA’s answer to Mike Tyson — a prodigious talent whose mix of hand-speed and power left most of his opponents staring at the lights in short order. Wanderlei Silva was building his own reputation as a hyper-aggressive brawler at the time, but against the Phenom he was woefully outgunned. Belfort blasted Silva from one end of the cage to the other, landing about a dozen punches in three seconds, most of which were thrown at a dead run. That night, Belfort foreshadowed the next generation of MMA fighters, whose athleticism gave them a stunning capacity to cause damage.

1999: Rumina Sato’s Flying Armbar
vs. Charles Diaz @ Shooto: Devilock Fighters, 1/15/99

Well, speaking of athleticism — turning yourself upside-down in mid-air to snatch an armbar requires a good amount of gymnastic ability, as well as absolute confidence and a touch of insanity. This submission is legendary not just for it’s novelty, but also for its unexpected quickness. Who else would have the balls to try this so early in a fight?

2000: Genki Sudo’s Giant Swing
vs. Craig Oxley @ Pancrase: Trans 6, 10/31/00

MMA fans are funny — we look down our noses at that fake shit, and yet we mark out so damn hard for pro-wrestling-style antics whenever they creep into the sport. Whether it’s a silver-tongued heel, a dramatic entrance, or a high-flying body-slam (see: 2002, 2005), there are some things that just hit an audience on a visceral level. Genki Sudo understood that as much as anybody else in MMA’s history. Swinging your opponent 720 degrees might not be the most practical setup for a leglock, but it’s a sure way to make the crowd go “ohhhhhhh!”  Honorable Mention: Kazushi Sakuraba‘s kimura against Renzo Gracie @ PRIDE 10, for sheer historic value.

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Cagepotato Comments

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Gabmonta- February 3, 2012 at 9:12 am
I am shocked that catching a kick and countering with a knockout punch didn't make the list. It is a tried and true old school move that requires perfect timing and accuracy. While I am not sure who recorded the first knockout as a result of this counter, Anderson Silva vs James Irving may be the most prominent example of its devastating power.
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ringjoker80- October 28, 2011 at 2:12 pm
who says ufc and karate don't mix absolutely epic...hahaha
zhchdd- October 28, 2011 at 8:01 am
NomadRip- October 28, 2011 at 6:48 am
@dranokills That Royce v Shamrock fight did end that way, and Royce made up for it in the next fight when he held a rear naked a lot longer than he needed to on Gordeau(sp?). Though that was also because that guy bit his ear, too, which did nothing but piss Royce off even more.
PHISTAKUPHS- October 27, 2011 at 7:07 pm
i remember watching a lot of these as they actually happened. i miss the old school mma matches and rivalries. guys that would fight anyone at any time in any weight class. real warriors. too bad that type fighter is becoming rarer and rarer these days.
Sho Nuff- October 26, 2011 at 10:20 pm
This is probably my favorite article ever from CP. Great list. Even if one could nitpick whether this or that finish was the best of this or that year, it's still a great list of classic fights. That said, I'll throw one out there anyway, and say I, like ElDandy, hold Bas Rutten's liver shots about the crucifix finish. That shit was some true dim mak.
FightZen- October 26, 2011 at 4:48 pm
Speaking of CB, his Peruvian necktie sub of Jesse "JT dummy" Taylor inspired me to try it in my BJJ class. I was a white belt and my instructor yelled at me when I nailed it on another white belt. Totes worth it!
Richard Fitzentite- October 26, 2011 at 11:58 am
Can you just imagine how dominant Dan Severn would have been in his prime if someone would have just taught him any jujitsu?
Me likey- October 26, 2011 at 11:52 am
c.b. dolloway is the best at the "i didn't tap face" every time that guy loses he looks at the ref all crazy.
Viva Hate- October 26, 2011 at 10:43 am
Sweet article, I still smile everytime I watch Jorge Masvidal flop over.
macreadysshack- October 26, 2011 at 10:33 am
Awesome feature. That's some fun shit and I can't even watch the vids at work. You know I'll be back after 1800 ...
dranokills- October 26, 2011 at 10:08 am
I like how in the video of Royce chocking out shamrock, shamrock must have pretended like he didn't tap, or the ref didn't see it right away and was asking Shamrock if he tapped, and when he didn't answer right away I love how Royce was right on top of him yelling in his ear, you can just almost hear him saying: " what? you better tell that ref you fucking tapped, you BETTER tell him right NOW! Cause if you don't , I am gonna choke you till you shit your pants!"
You can see how intense Royce is, even after the fight he is just right in shamrocks face jawing at him. It was like an adult chastising a really scared child.
eDrinker- October 26, 2011 at 10:06 am
Fantastic article, really enjoyed watching those
SethF- October 26, 2011 at 9:36 am
Even more mind blowing to me: Dos Caras Jr.'s MMA record. The dude won MOST of his fights.
MichaelTRJones- October 26, 2011 at 9:30 am
This is great!

I remember Gary Goodridge's elbows and Marco Ruas's devastating kicks like they were thrown yesterday. I was 14 when I first saw them in a UFC compilation on the net; it was stupidly named: "Have the guts to watch? Fighting for real".

Watching these techniques is inspiring.
This makes me REALLY want to practice flying armbars, scissor-leg takedowns and flying inverted triangle chokes. hahah

Fuck it, I just called my brother right now to help me with the inverted triangle. :D
Me likey- October 26, 2011 at 9:19 am
not to be a stickler but you forgot to include brett rogers choke and punch technique. his wife had absolutley no answer for it.
Jugger- October 26, 2011 at 9:08 am
Rock on, Goldie. Great article.
NomadRip- October 26, 2011 at 9:07 am
That Dos Caras guy led me to finding this video of a fight in DEEP, where he broke the dude's arm with a belly-on-belly suplex.
I'd never heard of that guy. I don't follow that wrestling stuff.
NomadRip- October 26, 2011 at 8:53 am
Great list Ben. Some stuff I hadn't seen. Even if you hate sending me t-shirts.
Todd M- October 26, 2011 at 8:53 am
Good article guys, great trip down memory lane
JohnnyBlaze- October 26, 2011 at 8:34 am
danomite please leave this site and stop posting forever
bgoldstein- October 26, 2011 at 8:29 am
@ Me likey: The twister is a good call. I actually added Shayna Baszler's twister as an honorable mention for 2008. Now that James Irvin's superman punch has been exposed as a fraud by danomite, it probably deserves to be the selection for that year.
DangadaDang- October 26, 2011 at 8:20 am
Awesome list BG. I can't believe that fucking Dos Caras Jr. is the WWE Champion nowadays. This is the man who beat John Cena, who starred in possibly the greatest action film of all time in The Marine? Nothing is sacred anymore.
TheWarsawExpress- October 26, 2011 at 8:19 am
Should include some front kick KOs