Contrary to popular belief, there is no Year Zero. Decades run from XXX1 to XX10. So while other MMA sites erroneously ran decade retrospectives last year, Bloody Elbow stayed the course of truth and fact. We polled the staff for their picks in a variety of topics covering the first decade of the third millennium A.D. Here's what they had to say.
Kid Nate: I have to go with Fabricio Werdum choking out Fedor Emelianenko. It was the end of Fedor's incredible decade long undefeated streak and the perfect reminder that submissions remain an essential component of MMA.
Brent Brookhouse: Tough, tough, tough. While Werdum's triangle choke of Fedor Emelianenko was shocking and made FEDOR into Fedor, it was also so quick that it just lacked drama. For me it has to be Chael Sonnen getting triangled by Anderson Silva. It was important and dramatic. It also was a fitting conclusion to a full story that started with Sonnen's absurd pre-fight trash talk, moved into his wonderful performance for four rounds and ended with Anderson Silva being forced into a dramatic finishing situation. Sonnen's positive test after the fight doesn't really ruin things as he was on the losing end of the equation.
Mike Fagan: Chael Sonnen was two minutes away from becoming the first man to defeat Anderson Silva in the Octagon and UFC middleweight champion in the process. Two minutes. Everyone watching had already penciled in a Sonnen victory. But then Sonnen went Sonnen and let his defenses down. Silva needed a short window to lock on the triangle that put Sonnen to sleep.
Anton Tabuena: Fabricio Werdum triangles Fedor Emelianenko - June 2010. Sure this happened on the tail end of the decade, but no other submission has sent shockwaves all over the sport as much as this one. No one expected Werdum to win, but Fedor, in traditional form, still decided to fight to his opponent's strengths. He paid for it, and The Last Emperor's decade long run at the top of the sport had ended.
Scott Haber: Gotta agree with my fellow moderators here...Werdum submitting Fedor. The Russian was unstoppable, even if you questioned his level of competition in recent years, and he gone to the ground with, and smashed Big Nog repeatedly, back when Nog was the most dangerous submission guy in MMA. The triangle itself wasn't the slickest or most creative sub we've seen this decade, but simply because of who was caught in it, the the single, calm tap it produced from Emelianenko sent shockwaves throughout the MMA community.
Jonathan Snowden: For most of the 25 minute fight at UFC 117, Chael Sonnen controlled the action against the unbeatable Anderson Silva. He knocked him down standing, took him down at will, and battered him with ease. In the end, despite Sonnen's best efforts, Silva showed the world why he is an all-time great. His triangle was the most epic finish since Hughes-Newton, a moment I will never forget.
Chris Barton: We all knew what Fedor does to BJJ players. He gets into their guard and beats copious amounts of years off of their lives. Fedor vs. Werdum was a foregone conclusion. Fabricio was Big Nog light. No chance. Perfect style match-up for the Last Emperor. Then it happened. The unthinkable. First and only loss in a decade. This one was a no-brainer Fabrico Werdum submits Fedor Emelianeko via triangle choke.