Best Fan Pleasing Victories of 2017:
One of the best years of MMA was 2017 were the world of combat sports witnessed several title changes and crazy unforgettable moments inside the Octagon. From Daniel Cormier’s tragic loss to GSP’s triumph there have been many fights that created historic moments. As Joe Rogan says anything can happen inside the Octagon. And that unpredictable nature of the game creates moments that fans can never forget. Here are some moments that have fans will talk for a long time:
- Cris Cyborg defeats Tonya Evinger: Cris Cyborg has won the featherweight titles in other top organizations like Invicta FC and Strikeforce but the only title that were out of her reach was the UFC Woman’s Featherweight title. When she had initially signed with the UFC there was neither a UFC Woman’s Featherweight Title nor was there an official woman’s featherweight division. She fought her first two UFC fights at a catch weight of 140 pounds. Later, when inaugural woman’s featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie was stripped of her title, Cyborg beat Tonya Evinger for the vacant title by TKO to take her rightful place as the queen of the division.
- Georges St Pierre defeats Michael Bisping: This was one of those moments that the Canadians will never forget. GSP made is return to the Octagon after a long hiatus from the sport and faced then middleweight champion, Michael Bisping. Many thought GSP wasn’t taking Bisping seriously as he is a much bigger fighter than former UFC Welterweight champion. But at UFC 217, GSP proved everyone why he is the greatest of all time when he put ‘The Count’ to sleep to become the fourth two-division UFC champion. Upon achieving the feat, the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted out his best wishes to the Canadian Superstar.
- Max Holloway defeats Jose Aldo: Holloway was on a ten fight win streak and had become the Interim UFC Featherweight champion by defeating Anthony Pettis. Despite his impressive win over the former lightweight champion, many thought he was too young and incapable of overthrowing the Brazilian legend, Jose Aldo. But he proved everyone wrong when he dominated and destroyed the champion on the mat in the third round. To cement his legacy as the best featherweight of all time he demolished Aldo once again when the duo faced at UFC 218 and ending any doubts, once again in the third round of the fight.
- Eddie Alvarez defeats Justin Gaethje: Alvarez is one of the most experienced fighters in the UFC roster, and many had high expectations from the undefeated rising star Gaethje after his impressive victory over Michael Johnson. The entire combat sports world had been waiting for the match. The two faced at UFC 218 where they fought for the title of the ‘Most Violent Man’. The two exchanged strikes throughout the fight but in the end the former UFC Lightweight Champion got the best of the less experienced Gaethje who fought valiantly. Alvarez’s knee strike did the trick which sent his opponent crumbling down to the canvas as a result ending his undefeated streak.
- Tony Ferguson defeats Kevin Lee:
Ferguson was initially scheduled to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov but later Lee was replaced to fight him for the Interim UFC Lightweight title. The two stars disliked each other way before their match was even booked. Kevin Lee entered the match with a controversial win over Michael Chiesa and Ferguson had a nine fight win streak. The two warriors gave all they had but in the end, Ferguson’s tenth planet Jujitsu skills got the better out of Lee when he finished the Motown Phenon with a triangle choke.
- Francis Ngannou defeats Alistair Overeem: Ngannou came to the UFC with a little knowledge of MMA but never failed to impress the fans. He has finished all his opponents in the Octagon inside of 2 rounds with the last four fights ending within the first round. The French Cameroonian fighter faced the highly decorated MMA fighter Alistair Overeem who despite being highly experienced was the underdog in the fight. Ngannou knocked out the Dutch legend within two minutes of the very first round. This victory earned him a title shot at UFC 220 against the current UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic.
- Demetrious Johnson defeats Ray Borg: This match was all about Demetrious Johnson breaking Anderson Silva’s record of highest title defenses (ten defenses). He is the first UFC flyweight champion and the only flyweight champion and is regarded as one of the greatest fighters of all time. Mighty Mouse faced Ray Borg at UFC 216 where he submitted Borg in the fourth round via arm bar. The finish was one of the most impressive finishes of all time. Johnson lifted Borg into a suplex and as he was about slam his opponent, he made a quick transition to an arm bar forcing the challenger to tap out. UFC commentator Joe Rogan said that he had never seen this suplex-arm bar move before.
- Jon Jones defeats Daniel Cormier: Jones faced Cormier for the second time at UFC 214 for Cormier’s UFC Light-heavyweight title. At the end of the first two rounds the scores on the judges’ cards were even but as the two began to exchange strikes in the third round Jones landed a round house kick that sent Cormier wobbling backwards. Jones capitalized and finished the champion with a series of back to back punches to which Cormier didn’t respond forcing the referee to intervene. The MMA world saw the return of the most dominant UFC fighter but Jones’ reign as the champion was short lived as he was stripped of his gold strap when he tested positive for Turinabol.
- Rose Namajunas defeats Joanna Jedrzejczyk: The Polish Champion reined the straw-weight division since its inception, and there was nobody who could match her skill or dominance that she would bring into the Octagon. Little did we know that Joanna wouldn’t be able to break Ronda Rousey’s record of highest title defenses by a woman in the UFC. On a fateful day of UFC 217, rising star Rose Namajunas who had an average fight record of 6-3 before entering the match, TKO’d the undefeated champion in three minute three seconds of the very first round.
- Conor McGregor’s boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather- Though this match didn’t turn out to be in favor of McGregor, he was considered a winner too since he made 100 million dollars from the fight. Moreover, he represented the sport of MMA on a global platform where he fought the greatest boxer of all time, Floyd Mayweather. As a result, the sport of MMA got much more popularity not to mention the benefit for the UFC on expanding its fan base. The event was a win-win situation for everybody.