(Either click the image or follow this link to the full fight.)
Bad blood: More so than any other fighters on this list, these two had history. They first met in the cage back in 2002 when the Hawaiian challenged Pulver for his lightweight title. After nearly succumbing to an armbar late in the second round, Little Evil took rounds three, four, and five, rocking the challenger in the final frame and winning the decision on the judges scorecards.
The two were pitted against each other as coaches for Season 5 of “The Ultimate Fighter”, and from the fighter selections on the tension mounted. By the time their rematch went down, there was hatred in the air.
The fight: From the opening bell, Pulver was in survival mode. Penn took him down twice in round one, securing dominant position and attempting several submissions. Round two saw more ground dominance from Penn, who secured the mount and took Pulver’s back while working him over with punches and elbows. The Prodigy was able to pin Pulver’s arm down with his legs and sink in the rear naked choke. The tap came quickly, but the release took a few seconds longer and a few tugs from the referee.
In his own words: “A lot of people actually they’ve asked me about me holding the choke on him and if I felt I held it too long and this and that and my answer has been the same since day one: I didn’t hold it long enough.”
Payback’s a bitch: Penn’s never been one to accept the consequences for his own actions (or inactions), but in this case there were none. The two embraced before even getting up off the mat and the hatchet was instantly buried.
I know I’ve left off an important fight or two and that just pisses you off, so let me know it in the comments section.
- Chris Colemon (@ChrisColemon)