The GIFathon is back and better than ever! We even have a brand new logo created by Dallas Winston, who is also here to provide commentary on all of the GIFs you will see today. As usual, Zombie Prophet is responsible for the multimedia wizardry, and yours truly chooses the fights.
UFC 158 has three great welterweight bouts on the main card, and we're going to look at all six of the combatants involved. Today you'll see:
- Georges St. Pierre finishing a fight.
- Nick Diaz winning the first ever WEC welterweight title.
- Jake Ellenberger delivering a brutal one-punch KO.
- Carlos Condit wiping out Renato Verissimo.
Georges St. Pierre vs. Pete Spratt (2003)
Mookie: GSP's final regional fight before entering the UFC came against Pete Spratt, who had already fought in the UFC 3 times before.
Dallas: This finishing sequence was one of the most reliable and proven in the early NHB/Vale Tudo days and always will be. Takedown, pass to mount, amplify the pressure, slip in a hook when they they spin out and seal it with the mata leao. Notice how GSP intelligently gives Spratt a little mounted slam to break the grip on his defensive body lock and create space to strike; the mere threat of which inspires Spratt to give up his back.
Nick Diaz vs. Joe Hurley (2003)
Mookie: The first ever WEC welterweight champion was determined on March 27th, 2003, when Nick Diaz fought Joe Hurley in California. It was a total whitewash, seconds into the fight Diaz had floored Hurley with a right hand, and it was effectively survival mode from there. Diaz's kimura finish was absolutely lethal.
Dallas: At the time, this was a huge win for Nick: he was coming off one of his least-talked-about losses to Kuniyoshi Hironaka (a close split-decision in Shooto) and Lions Den rep Joe Hurley is a forgotten bad-ass. Hurley was 11-2 going into this bout and had exploded into the spotlight by starting his career at 9-0, which included besting Yves Edwards in Hurley's 2nd pro fight and finishing a prime Chris Brennan with elbows. I know I'm fruity and an unabashed Diaz nut-hugger, but what stands out to me from this gif is the way Nick shows respect and concern for Hurley after tapping him, as he did with Frank Shamrock. In my opinion, all the smack talk and mean mugging before a fight (and, in the case of the Diaz brothers, during the fight) takes a backseat to a fighter's conduct afterwards; a time when both Nate and Nick are generally quite sportsmanlike.
Johny Hendricks vs. Richard Gamble (2008)
Mookie: Johny Hendricks only has one submission win on his record, and he earned it five years ago with an early D'arce choke against Richard Gamble.
Dallas: Broken record alert, but this is another example of the basic top-side submissions that can drastically increase the finishing voracity of a dominant wrestler. Controlling your opponent's upper-back and head is key to maintaining position, and that scenario is highly conducive to pursuing neck and head-and-arm chokes. Considering that Hendricks is often likened to Dan Henderson for his combination of blistering punching power and overbearing wrestling, dabbling with more submission attempts like this one would add another fearsome weapon to his arsenal.
Carlos Condit vs. Renato Verissimo (2006)
Mookie: Carlos Condit is one of the best finishers in the sport today. Once he has you hurt or in a vulnerable position you're pretty much screwed. In 2006 at Rumble on the Rock, Condit blasted Renato Verissimo with a knee to the face as Verissimo was shooting for a takedown, and the rest is just classic Natural Born Killer.
Dallas: This gif is like a summary of why everyone likes and respects Condit as a fighter, and also shows how he embodies the philosophy "the best defense is a good offense." "Charuto," B.J. Penn's Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor, had built a respectable reputation after quite arguably deserving the decision over a then-unstoppable Matt Hughes in the UFC (which is a fight that New Jersey's Nick Lembo uses as a discussion point for effective guard play). Staying upright was highly advisable for Condit and, rather than employing traditional takedown defense, Condit scorches him with the high-risk step-in knee. It could be me, but it looks like Condit is working towards cinching a D'arce choke amidst the barrage of knees as well.
Nate Marquardt vs. Izuru Takeuchi (2003)
Mookie: Nate Marquardt fought Izuru Takeuchi on three occasions, losing the first time and winning the other two. This fight was their second meeting, with Marquardt knocking Takeuchi around the ring and finishing him with a brutal uppercut.
Dallas: Nate had been unseated as the Middleweight King of Pancakes by Kiuma Kunioku, and two fights along his comeback trail (one win coming over Kazuo Misaki) he suffered a surprising loss to Takeuchi by decision. On the heels of that defeat, Marquardt exacted serious vengeance by crumpling Kunioku with a flying knee, recapturing his middleweight title in the process, and then treating Takeuchi to his signature uppercut.
Jake Ellenberger vs. Jose Landi-Jons (2007)
Mookie: I had never seen this fight before until I saw it for the GIFathon. It was worth the whole 9 seconds. Jose Landi-Jons went for an immediate flying knee on Jake Ellenberger, and seconds later Landi-Jons was snoring thanks to the powerful right hand of The Juggernaut.
Dallas: I shit you not -- I was bitter towards Jake for this brutal curb-stomping up until a year or two ago. Pele was the face of the Chute Boxe team in their early days and initially established their reputation for inflicting sheer violence. There's no magic about what happens here: this is a well-timed meat-hook that turns the Vale Tudo legend's lights out.
The next edition of the BE GIFathon will be on April 19th, the day before UFC on FOX 7: Henderson vs. Melendez. Thanks to ZP and Dallas for their work and thank you for viewing!