The King Was Nearly Dethroned: The Best MMA Fights of 2010
5 Brock Lesnar vs. Cain Velasquez (UFC 121) October 23, 2010
The contrast of the two fighters was evidenced by their respective ring entrances. Velasquez came out to classic Mexican music while Lesnarcame out to “Enter the Sandman.”Lesnar was easily the most popular fighter in the UFC due to his WWE popularity and the majority of fans wanted to see him get beat and Velasquez did just that! Lesnar came out fast as he rushed Velasquez and held on to him as he landed multiple knees and even some punches. He dominated the first two minutes of the fight. Then Velasquez took over! He had a takedown and when Lesnar found his way to his feet Velasquez landed a huge knee that was the beginning of the end for Lesnar. He went down and got pounded. He somehow got up (on shaky legs) and Velasquez landed a crushing right hand that put him back on the mat. He then pounded him ruthlessly until the ref stopped it as the sold out crown at the Honda Center in Anaheim cheered wildly. New Heavyweight Champion!
4 Leonardo Garcia vs. Chan Sung Jung (WEC 48) April 24, 2010
This was a real fight! Whatever these two fighters worked on during camp was absolutely rendered useless once the bell rang. They went toe-to-toe from the beginning to the end and the fans got their money’s worth as they stood and cheered throughout the entire scrap. There was no sign of technique whatsoever! This fight still managed to win fight of the night and Fight of the Year! After three rounds of brutality Garcia was awarded the split decision.
3 Chris Leben vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama (UFC 116) July 3, 2010
This was easily the greatest performance of Leben’s career. After Wanderlei Silva was forced to pull out of the fight due to broken ribs,Leben gladly stepped in. And he made the most out of his opportunity and he put on a great show! He took Akiyama’s best shots and just kept coming. He was relentless and it paid off. He put Akiyama in a triangle choke that ended the fight in the third and final round. The fight was named fight of the night and rightfully so.
2 Jorge Santiago vs. Kazuo Misaki II (World Victory Road Presents: Sengoku 14) August 22, 2010
This was a war from beginning to end! It was nearly impossible to score the rounds because of the nature and pace of the fight. Both men gave and took! Instant classic and must-see-TV. Every single fight fan enjoyed this brutal affair. This is the only fight on this list that can stake a claim as the best fight of the year over Silva/Sonnen. Santiago/Misaki was actually Japan’s Fight of the Year and they are dead serious about the fight game in Japan! They are very meticulous about their decisions regarding their fights. But this is not Japan and there is no shame in the number two spot on this prestigious list. After an insane four rounds Misaki’s corner threw in the towel at the 4:31 mark of the fifth round. Santiago earned the greatest victory of his UFC career.
1 Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen (UFC 117) August 7, 2010
Silva is arguably the greatest fighter in the UFC, and the world for that matter. So coming into his fight with Sonnen he was heavily favored (and rightfully so) and many expected a glorified beat down at UFC 117. Well, in the UFC you cannot assume anything! You have to get in there and actually get physical. Sonnen literally got this fight because of his big mouth. While almost every single person expected Silva to emphatically shut Sonnen up, Sonnen and his camp were the only ones who thought otherwise. For four rounds we were all treated to a beat down. But shockingly,Sonnen was the one dishing it out! It was incredible! And on his way to the greatest upset in UFC history Sonnen was put in a triangle arm bar by Silva that ended the fight and ruined Sonnen’s dreams!
2010 was a great year for the MMA world! The momentum the sport had gained was now snowballing! Everyone wanted to train now! Seemingly every corner had a gym where you could hone your craft and the quality of the fights during 2010 played a huge role in that. These are the Top 5 MMA Fights of 2010. Wouldn’t you agree?