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 fourth poll - the best comeback of the first half of 2011. Everyone's been watching a fight where they think a guy is done. He's being pelted with shots, or he's covering up, or just barely avoiding tapping out. Then he miraculously rises from the grave and ends up winning. That's what today's poll is about.
Here we go, in no particular order:
Nick Diaz vs. Paul Daley, Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley - Daley dropped Nick with a monster hook and jumped in looking for the finish, but Diaz weathered the storm and matched to pick up the TKO victory with seconds to go in the first round.
Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard, UFC 125 - Maynard absolutely destroyed Edgar in the first round, offering up one of the best cases for a 10-7 round that I've seen in MMA to date. But Edgar persevered, got his game going in the second, and outworked Maynard for the rest of the fight. It ended in a draw, but Edgar was dead-to-rights in the first and his resilience was amazing.
Brian Cobb vs. Drew Fickett, MFC 30 - Fickett had taken Cobb's back and locked in a body triangle in the first, and kept switching between RNC and neck crank attempts that were very close to finishing Cobb. Cobb finally managed to roll into Fickett's guard and just started unloading shots on Fickett until the ref jumped in with 16 seconds to go in the round and gave the win to Cobb.
Nik Lentz vs. Waylon Lowe, UFC Fight Night 24 - Lowe had taken the first two rounds from Lentz by frustrating him with his superior wrestling and heavy shots. Lowe opened up the third with some heavy leather as well, but as he shot in for a takedown, Lentz locked up a super-tight guillotine, got full guard, and squeezed until Lowe had to tap halfway through the third.
Shane Roller vs. Thiago Tavares, UFC on Versus 3 - Roller had got absolutely nothing going in the fight after being hurt by a Tavares punch halfway through the first. He lost the first round convincingly and was still trying to get his head straight in the second, getting taken down and outstruck for the first half of the round. Out of nowhere though, Roller pawed with a left jab then landed a bomb of a right hand that dropped Tavares. Two more right hands on the ground and Tavares was napping.
There are five more options after the jump, plus the poll.
Cheick Kongo vs. Pat Barry, UFC on Versus 4 - Barry had knocked Kongo down and it looked for all the world like Kongo was absolutely done. Then he managed to get to his feet and land two punches, and Barry went down like a ton of bricks, unconscious.
Marloes Coenen vs. Liz Carmouche, Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson - Carmouche steamrolled though Coenen for the first three rounds, tossing her around and keeping her grounded so she couldn't get any offense going. Finally in the fourth Coenen was able to lock on a triangle and adjust it accordingly to get the submission win.
Diego Sanchez vs. Martin Kampmann, UFC on Versus 3 - Kampmann dominated the first by stuffing takedowns and punishing Sanchez, even dropping him momentarily at one point with a punch. Sanchez continued on with very bloody mouth, and while he had his takedowns stuffed again he was much more successful on the feet. It still seemed like a Kampmann round though. The third saw Diego finally get a (brief) takedown and land some solid shots. It was a very controversial decision and a lot of people thought Kampmann won, but Diego showed a lot of heart to come back and keep fighting like that.
Conor Heun vs. Magno Almeida, Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum - Almeida had Heun locked up in a nasty armbar in the second round that should have ended his night for sure, but he somehow got out and ended up winning a decision. After the fight, the camera showed off Heun's dislocated elbow to the disgust and awe of just about everyone watching.
Jeremy Stephens vs. Marcus Davis, UFC 125 - Davis had successfully used his boxing to frustrate Stephens and take the first two rounds. In the middle of the third though, Stephens landed a short right hand that put The Irish Hand Grenade out cold and gave Stephens the victory.
You can vote on previous polls at the following links: