The year 2012 is done or about done, depending on where you are in the world, and the 366 days of this outgoing year brought us heaps of great MMA action (that’s right, 366; 2012 is a leap year). The list of spectacular bouts is a lengthy one, but GRACIEMAG.com picked five of its favorites. Here they go:
1. Anderson Silva vs Chael Sonnen – UFC 148
What can you say about a “fight of the century?” There was speculation and provocation going both ways, and it was a splendid demonstration of fight awareness coming from Anderson Silva.
Sonnen started out by closing the distance and taking Anderson to the ground, where he dominated the Brazilian for the entire first round. The second round saw the American try for a repeat but whiffed on a spinning elbow and tumbled to the ground on his own, where “The Spider” unleashed an unforgiving flurry of knees and fists to successfully defend his belt for the tenth time.
2. Chan Sung Jung vs Dustin Poirier – UFC on Fuel TV 3
This great battle of 2012, between “The Korean Zombie” and Poirier saved the day, given the lackluster event it featured in.
Jung dominated Dustin for the first two rounds, keeping him down and scoring points. The third round saw Poirier launching something of a comeback, before Zombie launched a flying knee and followed up with a snug arm-triangle that sent his foe decisively into dreamland.
3. GSP vs Carlos Condit – UFC 154
This match-up marked Georges St-Pierre’s octagon return after a year and a half on the sidelines, and against interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit right off the bat.
The divisional champ stayed true to his old ways: St-Pierre traded blows with Condit standing before taking the action to the ground to castigate the interim champ with his trademark ground and pound, considered one of the best in the business. Condit did have his moment, though, when he dropped the Canadian with a head kick. But it proved not to be enough, as St-Pierre ground out the unanimous-decision win.
4. Ben Henderson vs Frankie Edgar – UFC 144
Edgar, who won the divisional strap by beating B.J. Penn and defended it successfully against Gray Maynard, took on Ben Henderson as his fourth title defense.
It was an evenly matched affair, with both sides landing their share of strikes. In the final frame, Edgar landed a punch that dropped Henderson to the ground, but it wasn’t enough to outdo “Bendo,” who ended up taking the unanimous judges’ decision.
5. Cezar Mutante vs Sergio Moraes – UFC 147
As the co-headliner at UFC 147, Cezar Mutante took on Sergio Moraes, who stepped in as a late replacement for an injured Daniel Sarafian. The Mutante-Sarafian match-up would have been the final of the TUF Brazil-reality show contest.
Sergio, a Jiu-Jitsu world champion several times over, played an uncharacteristic game on the occasion. He reacted well to Mutante’s strikes and responded in kind. Unafraid to engage on the feet, Sergio was an unexpected treat in the match. Mutante would eventually win via unanimous decision.
This is our look back on the year in MMA. What do you think? Can you name a bout you feel is missing? Would your list look completely different? Comment below and see you in 2013!
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