With 2016 about to end we countdown the biggest upsets in the Octagon this year. It goes to show that at this elite level anything can happen. A fighter just needs to be better one night, find the right move or land the right punch to go home victorious.
If we were to only focus on the betting numbers this list would be rather dull. However, we considered the relevance of the fighters involved and the magnitude of the fight itself. We have everything, from the birth of a bitter rivalry, to a UFC debut or a championship bout.
#5 Nate Diaz chokes Conor McGregor
It may not have been a surprise to Nate, but the world of MMA -and specially all the new casual fans- expected Conor to destroy the youngest of the Diaz. McGregor came to that fight surrounded by the hype of an unstoppable phenomenon, plus, he was facing a fighter who was on vacation two weeks before the fight.
Watch the rest of the upsets by clicking on the next page
The co-main event of UFC 207 has the other bantamweight title on the line, and animosity between champion Dominick Cruz and challenger Cody Garbrandt keeps growing. In an interview on the Fight Society podcast, Cody said that Dominick knows he is going to lose and is already thinking about the next step in his career.
“He’s got that job at FOX, good for him, he’s a good commentator. But he’s getting ready for the next chapter of his life, it’s evident. He knows. He knows that he is getting ready for the next chapter of his life without the belt. When you’re thinking of that already and you’ve got a savage in front of you like myself, that’s been grinding to take this from you, grinding so hungry – There’s that saying, the wolf at the bottom of the mountain is more hungry than the wolf at the top.”
He would then make some comments about himself and his meteoric rise to title contention. Contrasting with what he considers the sunset of Dominick’s fighting career.
“He just can’t fathom that I went from unranked to fighting him in the same year. I went from unranked to world champion. He’s about to lose it all. He’s feelings the pressure. He’s talking all this s**t, he knows that his time is up. He’s already getting ready. You see his posts about how he didn’t need the belt, he realized he didn’t need the belt to be happy, so he’s getting ready for that next step. I can applaud him for that, he’s getting ready to step down and give me my belt. He kept it polished for me this whole year. I’m very thankful for that. He took care of it and I can’t wait to give it to Maddox.”
As everyone knows by now, the Nevada State Athletic Commission didn’t clear Cain Velasquez to compete at UFC 207 on December 30 in Las Vegas. However, his opponent Fabricio Werdum wants to stay on the card and says he is willing to fight any other heavyweight.
“We’re waiting. I’m on standby. If the UFC calls me, I’ll fight. I’m ready to fight. If the UFC says they have an opponent, I’ll fight. I’ll fight anyone, like I always did. I always fought the best. My record shows that. If I were afraid of anyone, I wouldn’t be in this sport.”
Apparently, Junior dos Santos disagrees with that statement. He tweeted that Werdum turned down a fight against him at UFC 207. According to Werdum, that’s not true.
“What ‘Cigano’ said was a bit weird. He has been chasing me for a long time. You usually go after the belt, not a fighter. I think that’s weird. I wasn’t offered this fight. He’s saying I turned it down. I’d fight him just to end this story of him chasing me.”
Let’s not forget the history of animosity between both Brazilian former champions. After all, it was Junior Dos Santos who knocked Werdum out cold and got him released by the UFC in 2008.
“Some people think he’s jealous because I became champion beating his ‘dad’ Cain Velasquez, but I don’t think that’s the case. I think he didn’t come out of the closet yet. I don’t have anything against homosexuals, but ‘Cigano’ needs to get out of the closet. He must have something because he won’t forget me. I already told him I’m married. Nothing against gays, but everyone does their own thing.”
The UFC has already announced Werdum will not be fighting this Friday in Las Vegas, as Dos Santos is scheduled to face Stefan Struve on Feb. 19, but Werdum said he’d fight him Friday night if the UFC wanted him to.
“He said something yesterday, he said I’m not a good fighter. I’ll show him inside the Octagon. Put us both in there now, no problem. He thinks I’m that same Werdum from 2007. Look at both of us and see who evolved more. My game changed completely.”
Former UFC Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez will not fight at UFC 207. Cain had been struggling with a back injury and intense pains over the last few weeks. He even went on record to say he was using cannabidiol oil to help with the pain and was schedule for surgery on January 4th.
At the same time, he assured the media he was going to fight Werdum on December 30th, no matter what. However, all that seems to be out of the fighter’s control and things have changed this Christmas Eve.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) has decided to pull Velasquez from the rematch with Fabricio Werdum, according to commission executive director Bob Bennett’s confirmation to MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani.
“Based on the medical records, interviews with Mr. Velasquez and best judgment of our chairman, chief representatives, executive director and physicians, and to protect the health and safety of the fighter, we’ve determined Mr. Velasquez is unfit to fight,” Bennett told Helwani.
Once again, the UFC (and/or the NSAC) showed a lack of tact as the story hit the media before the fighter was officially informed. Velasquez tweeted what his doctor told him and what the Nevada State Athletic Commission had told his doctor regarding his elegibility to fight.
Bob Bennet said the NSAC was forced to intervene because excessive risks for a fighter are evident.
“It’s obvious Mr. Velasquez is physically compromised and that would place him at significant physical disadvantage in the fight. Therefore, we’ve gone ahead and suspended his license due to medical reasons.”
Just spoke to NAC's Bob Bennett. He confirmed Velasquez is out of 207. "He's unfit to fight," Bennett said. @bokamotoESPN 1st reported.
The UFC has not released any communication yet regarding the matter. Reports say they are still unsure about what to do. They are trying to find a late replacement to fight Fabricio Werdum. But it is very possible the Brazilian heavyweight will be removed from the card as well.
What better form to spend Christmas Eve or Christmas itself than reliving the best UFC fights of 2016 so far. With only one event remaining in the year it’s likely the top 5 won’t change. However, there are a few fights on the UFC 207 card that might make us change the list. In the meantime, enjoy this top 5.
#5 Conor McGregor vs Nate Diaz 2
We begin the countdown with one of the most anticipated fights of the year. On August 22 at UFC 202 we had the biggest rematch of 2016: Conor McGregor vs Nate Diaz 2. The fight lived up to the hype as we had 5 action-packed rounds with McGregor sending Nate to the canvas in the first 2 rounds. Then Nate stepping up his game to make a comeback and hurt the Irish midway through the fight as Conor disengaged to regain his cardio. In the end, a well-deserved victory for McGregor
Click on the next page to watch the rest of the fights
Danny Twinner is Cody Garbrandt’s new girlfriend and those were big shoes to fill after his previous girlfriend was Paige VanZant. VanZant is beautiful, but she may not have anything on Twinner. Twinner is an exotic beauty with amazing curves.
Below and on the next few pages are the 5 reasons why Cody Garbrandt is a damn lucky man.
1. She Knows How To Have Fun In The Sun.
As shown above, Twinner is having a lot of fun with her friends and looks amazing in the process. She seems like a great girl to be around.
(click on the next page tabs below to see more pictures of Cody’s GF Danny Twinner)
Rory MacDonald is possibly the most talented fighters that has ever crossed over from the UFC to Bellator. Just recently, close sources and personal tweets confirm that this bout is in the works. It will be exciting when his first opponent is announced.
MacDonald was a top-5 UFC welterweight for years and was also a title challenger. For years Joe Rogan was saying that MacDonald was the new breed and he was going to be better than Georges St-Pierre, but MacDonald always struggled with top opponents. MacDonald never really measured up to the hype that was around him.
In Bellator, MacDonald has a good chance to be a champion. The top contenders and champion are really good and there are also exciting prospects as well.
On the next page, it will show the opponent that MacDonald has recently been tweeting with and also sources have it that Bellator is going to make this fight happen.
(click on the next page tab to see who Rory MacDonald’s first opponent will be)
All the talk about a possible fight between UFC sensation Conor McGregor and boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr has rekindled. All because the lightweight champion of the UFC received his boxing license from the State of California this week.
We all know it’s illogical for the fight to take place as MMA and boxing are still worlds apart. Regardless of what all the new fans of the UFC may think, their idol Conor McGregor would be destroyed in a boxing match. Not only a bout against Mayweather, but essentially with any professional boxer with a decent record.
And no, we are not ripping on McGregor just to bust your chops. Imagine a tennis player like Roger Federer trying to defeat a ping pong champion in a ping pong match. No matter how good Federer is at tennis, he just wouldn’t be able to use all his skills.
Looks pretty cool, right? Well, boxer Chris Van Heerden was not happy with the edited version shared by the Irish. So he shared one full unedited round from their session which paints a more accurate portrait of McGregor’s boxing skills against a boxer.
But, since we know you won’t just take our word for it, you can see it for yourself.
Jon Jones has made quite a few mistakes in his life. Some would say that it’s because of those mistakes that he is not known as the greatest of all time in the world of MMA.
This week, Jones was on The Joe Rogan Experience and talked about what happened ahead of UFC 200. Jones maintains that he has never used steroids and that he’s not a cheater. Here’s the transcript of part of the interview:
Joe: “You tested positive for some estrogen blockers that a lot of people associate with people who take steroids. These are standard drugs in the steroid-user world.”
To which Jones replied immediatly: “That was all new for me. I took and off-brand Cialis pill. It wasn’t actually Cialis but it was described to me as being a Cialis. So I thought it was a Cialis and I just took it.”
Joe: “Why does a guy like you need Cialis?”
Jones: “Because I have a huge c**k, Joe. It’s too big. I’ve taken male enhancers before. It puts the twist and the punch. It’s a good time, you know”
“I have a teammate whose girlfriend is a pharmacist and he was talking about how she can get all this stuff.”
Joe then intervened to ask about the origin of the drugs and went on to say that most people are getting them from China. Where the quality standards aren’t as high and sometimes supplements and other substances are contaminated. Jon Jones then continued explaining what happened last summer.
“So I ended up taking one of the Cialis pills. I thought everything was fine and dandy. I had no clue that I was now having something else in me that was illegal. So I took the pill on June the 14th, June 16 USADA came over to my house at 6 in the morning. I had no idea that was going to be the test that derailed my life.”
(Click on the next page to watch the hilarious moment where Jon Jones talks about his manhood)
On October 30, 1974 possibly the biggest fight in combat sports history took place in Kinshasa, Zaire (It is now called Democratic Republic of the Congo). Muhammad Ali took on George Foreman for The Ring, WBC & WBA Heavyweight titles.
Ali came in the underdog for this fight. Ali was still seen as an amazing boxer, but did not seem like he had possessed the sting and charisma that he once had before he was suspended for 3 1/2 years for refusal to comply with the United States draft. Foreman however was crushing his opponents much like a young Mike Tyson did in the 1980’s.
Foreman was 40-0 going into that fight and only went to a decision 3 times during those 40 wins. We see Tyson’s highlights all of the time, but a lot of Foreman’s fights were not broadcasted the same way. Tyson was more short and compact, but both Foreman and Tyson possessed insane knockout power.
Ali had 2 losses coming into the Foreman fight and they were against Ken Norton and Joe Frazier. Ali ended up redeeming those losses by decision, but the crazy thing is that Foreman took both Norton and Frazier out in just two rounds a piece. There is no question that George Foreman was the scariest man on the planet at that time.
During the fight, Ali made it a point to take everything Foreman had and throw it back on him. Ali actually leaned back against the ropes as Foreman threw everything he had to try to knock Ali out. Ali would keep throwing straight jabs to Foreman’s face that eventually made it puffy over time. Once Ali noticed that Foreman began to tire in the 8th round, he started to move like the Ali of old with his signature shuffle and lit Foreman up until he eventually knocked Foreman out.
Not even fights in movies could have reenacted what took place in the Rumble in the Jungle. What Ali did that day did not even seem human. Ali showed that it is not always the hardest hitter that will win the fight, it is the person that keeps moving forward, even though it seems like they are behind, will be the fighter that will eventually prosper.
(click on next page for an inspirational video inspired by the Rumble in the Jungle)