MMA Awards, First Half of 2011 - Best Fight

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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 eighth and final poll - the best fight of the first half of 2011. There have been some excellent scraps all over the MMA landscape in the first six months of this year, and getting the list down to 10 is very difficult. But I did, and this is what made the cut.

Here we go, in no particular order:

Anthony Njokuani vs. Edson Barboza, UFC 128 - The two Muay Thai specialists went head-to-head for three rounds of non-stop action and threw some crazy stuff you rarely see in MMA.

Daniel Straus vs. Nazareno Malegarie, Bellator 37 - I'm sure this flew under the radar for some, but this was a back-and-forth fight that went everywhere. Malegarie went for a ton of submission attempts, and Strauss beat him up on the feet when he managed to keep it there. It took a takedown with five seconds to go to decide it.

Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber, UFC 132 - Five rounds of non-stop action. They never slowed down, and both landed big shots and created some great scrambles.

Nick Diaz vs. Paul Daley, Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley - Only lasted one round, but it was one sick round. Back and forth action with close calls on at least two different occasions before the actual ending.

Jose Aldo vs. Mark Hominick, UFC 129 - Aldo didn't really look like the guy that had obliterated the WEC, and when he started to fade, Hominick took it to him. It was just a bit too late. Hominick would definitely win the award for best forehead grapefruit from this fight if there was one.

Diego Sanchez vs. Martin Kampmann, UFC on Versus 3 - Highly controversial decision, but an amazing fight. They opened fire in the pocket a ton of times and busted each others faces up pretty bad. Especially Diego's.

Michael McDonald vs. Edwin Figueroa, UFN 24 - The first round was a war on the feet. The second round was a war on the ground. The third was a combination of both. When was the last time you saw an undercard fight get a standing ovation?

Cheick Kongo vs. Pat Barry, UFC on Versus 4 - Just when you thought Kongo was done, he stands back up and sends Barry to dreamland.

Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard, UFC 125 - Edgar got destroyed in the first round, then made a miracle comeback and fought his fight the rest of the way.

Dave Herman vs. Jon Olav Einemo, UFC 131 - Not the most technical fight ever, but one of the few this year that had me out of my seat. One would hurt the other, then the other would respond when all seemed lost and have the first guy in trouble. Tons of fun to watch.

You can vote on previous polls at the following links. Voting closes tomorrow.

Best Submission
Best Post-Fight Celebration
Best Feud
Best Comeback
Biggest Upset
Best Fighter

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