No fancy intros needed. These are the best fights of the first half of 2013, and they speak for themselves…
5 - Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche - UFC 157 (watch event replay)
In the first women’s bout to ever take place in the UFC Octagon, bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and challenger Liz Carmouche made history with style. Yet despite Rousey’s status as the Queen of the sport, Carmouche nearly spoiled the party when she had the champion seconds away from a submission defeat. In the end though, it was Rousey prevailing late in the first round with her trademark armbar.
4 - Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson - UFC on FOX 6 (watch event replay)
Against hard-hitting number one contender John Dodson, Demetrious Johnson’s first flyweight title defense became a battle for survival in the first two rounds of their UFC on FOX main event in January. But showing the heart of a champion, “Mighty Mouse” roared back in the final three frames to not only retain his title via unanimous decision, but also pick up Fight of the Night honors with his game challenger.
3 - Dennis Bermudez vs. Matt Grice - UFC 157 (watch event replay)
The old mixed martial arts adage is that when you pit two quality wrestlers against each other in the Octagon, a standup brawl will ensue, and Dennis Bermudez and Matt Grice certainly did their part to prove that to be true, as they engaged in a fast-paced scrap that thrilled fans from start to finish. When it was over, Bermudez earned the decision win, but Grice lost no stature whatsoever in defeat.
2 - Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann - UFC on FUEL TV 8 (watch event replay)
Most expected the bout between Wanderlei Silva and Brian Stann to be a standup battle, but no one could have forecast the intense slugfest that the two light heavyweights delivered for nine minutes and eight seconds until the legendary “Axe Murderer” emerged with a stirring knockout victory. Calling it epic would be an understatement.
1 - Johny Hendricks vs. Carlos Condit - UFC 158 (watch event replay)
On any other card, the UFC 158 co-main event between Johny Hendricks and Carlos Condit at Bell Centre would have been a main event. Regardless, the two welterweight contenders fought like headliners, with Hendricks squeezing out a close, but unanimous, decision win in an instant classic that cemented Hendricks’ claim to the number one contender’s spot in the division and also secured Condit’s place as one of the most exciting fighters in the sport.
HONORABLE MENTION: CB Dollaway-Daniel Sarafian, Jose Aldo-Frankie Edgar, Tom Watson-Stanislav Nedkov, Brad Pickett-Mike Easton, Pat Healy-Jim Miller, Matt Brown-Jordan Mein, Cat Zingano- Miesha Tate, Thiago Silva-Rafael Cavalcante, Junior dos Santos-Mark Hunt, Benson Henderson-Gilbert Melendez
Unofficial Half-Year Awards: The Fights of 2013
The Highly Unofficial Half-Year awards season continues with the best fights of 2013 thus far...