Over the next few days, Bloody Elbow is going to ask for your opinion on some of the best things that have happened in the MMA world over the first half of 2011. There will be a total of eight different categories you'll be asked to vote on. For simplicity's sake we're going to stick with high-level and relevant MMA stuff in these posts. While I'm sure there was a ludicrous knockout in an unscheduled MMA event at The Lumberyard strip club in Des Moines, or an insane pancreas lock submission on an obscure ZST! card in Japan, let's just stick to stuff a lot of us have seen, okay? And yes, we'll count UFC 132 in this despite it being on July 2nd, since I'm getting a late start on it.
It's pretty simple. I'll post 10 options in a category, you vote for what you think was the best. If you think I left something really important off my list, post it in the comments and we can add it to the poll if it's deemed worthy. I can almost guarantee you won't like all my suggestions, but narrowing down these lists to 10 is tough.
Now that we've got that out of the way, let's get onto the third poll - the best feud of the first half of 2011. Some fighters like to talk trash and add some heat to their fights with their mouths. This last six months has seen some pretty interesting feuds develop between fighters, and we're going to pick which one we liked the most.
Here we go, in no particular order:
Urijah Faber vs. Dominick Cruz - These two fighters rematched at UFC 132 for the UFC bantamweight title after Faber had picked up a win over Cruz in the WEC a few years ago. Faber was upset by Cruz writing on his face on promotional posters before their WEC 26 matchup, and the two traded personal barbs all the way until their bout on July 2nd.
Chael Sonnen vs. Brazil - Sonnen has been on a rampage of late, calling out everyone with the last name Silva, Lyoto Machida and more. This is a continuation of his feud with Anderson Silva before their UFC 117 matchup last year, but Sonnen has turned up the heat recently with many more disparaging comments about the country and it's people. Many Brazilian fighters have directed venom towards Sonnen for his comments.
Rashad Evans vs. Jon Jones - Former training partners turned rivals. Evans was supposed to face Mauricio Rua for the light heavyweight title at UFC 128 but got injured, paving the way for Jones to take the fight and win the title. Despite saying they'd never fight each other initially, minds were changed and feelings were hurt, leading to Evans moving to a new camp and wanting his shot at the title and his former friend.
Michael Bisping vs. Jorge Rivera -The leadup to their UFC 127 fight was pretty nasty, with Rivera and his camp putting out humorous videos that skewered Bisping. Bisping responded with a lot of anger. The fight was controversial, with Bisping landing an illegal knee that some felt was intentional, and going on to win the fight before spitting in the direction of Rivera's cornermen. Bisping has apparently been reprimanded by Dana White, but there is still a lot of bad blood there.
Donald Cerrone vs. Mac Danzig - Danzig's never one to hold back, and he turned to twitter take a shot at Cerrone for getting fights he didn't feel he deserved. Cerrone responded, and the feud was on. The two were scheduled to fight at UFC 131, but Danzig backed out with an injury which led to more trash talk from Cerrone. These two will probably meet down the road at some point, and the rhetoric will be turned up once again I'm sure.
There are five more options after the jump, plus the poll.
Matt Mitrione vs. Tito Ortiz - Mitrione had said some things in jest about Ortiz to the media, which led to Ortiz confronting "Meathead" at the UFC fighter summit. The fighters traded insults and threats for a little while after that, with Mitrione asking for a catchweight to fight Tito. Nothing came of it fight-wise, but you can bet these two would love to verbally battle whenever they're given the chance.
Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort - In the leadup to their UFC 126 fight, the two fighters had an odd back-and-forth that never developed into full-blown hate, but it was obvious that there was a lot of dislike from Anderson's side at least. Both fighters chose to keep their reasons to themselves, but there was a fair amount of trash talk from both sides anyway.
Diego Sanchez vs. Martin Kampmann - After Diego won a highly controversial decision over Kampmann at UFC on Versus 3, the two turned to twitter to badger each other for a while. Kampmann claimed he was robbed and wanted a rematch, and Diego responded by saying he didn't deserve one and he needed to go win a few fights first. A rematch between these two is pretty likely someday, and they'll likely pick up right where they left off.
Anthony Johnson vs. John Howard -These two have been feuding on and off for over two years, but the beef picked up steam this year again. They were scheduled to meet at UFC on Versus 1 last year, but Johnson ended up pulling out with an injury. Johnson returned this year with a less-than-exciting win over Dan Hardy, which led to Howard savaging him with insults about his fighting style. Johnson responded of course, and they were off to the races again. This won't be settled until the two men fight each other.
Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Strikeforce - In January, Siyar went off in regards to Strikeforce not booking a fight for him yet. He said he had passed up many other lucrative opportunities to sign with SF but was getting nothing out of it. He then said SF stiffed him on a contract, and tore a strip off of Scott Coker. Coker responded by saying it was tough to get a visa for him, but Siyar was having none of that. Coker stated later that due to Siyar's outburst, it was unlikely he'd be seen in Strikeforce. Oddly enough, he is now rumored to be signing (re-signing?) with the organization, and it will be interesting to see how that works out if it does go down.