It's been a busy month of fights in combat sports (boxing, kickboxing, and of course MMA), and the final UFC event this April sees Jon Jones defend his light heavyweight title against Chael Sonnen at UFC 159 in New Jersey. But before you watch tomorrow's PPV, we're back to bring you another edition of the GIFathon. As usual, we (myself, Dallas Winston, and Zombie Prophet) profile several fighters and GIF some of their better stoppage victories on the regional circuit.
Highlights of this week's BE GIFathon include:
- Chael Sonnen comfortably submitting Tim McKenzie in Costa Rica.
- Michael Bisping winning by armbar.
- Roy Nelson flattening Brad Imes in the IFL.
- Rustam Khabilov's "other" suplex KO.
....and more! So let's get started right now, shall we?
Chael Sonnen vs. Tim McKenzie
Mookie: The rise of Chael Sonnen started in BodogFights after a submission loss to Jeremy Horn sent him out of the UFC. Sonnen won his first two post-UFC fights, and then pulled off an impressive and quick stoppage of Tim McKenzie in Costa Rica.
Dallas: Not sure what took him so long here. This is undoubtedly Chael at his best, as everything is almost flawless from start to finish: he sets up his double leg well and doesn't get the best penetration on his shot, but beautifully transitions to a stifling head control with the over-under grip and immediately hits a sweet inner leg reap (or what Judokas might refer to as the O Uchi Gari). We're seeing a lot of fighters benefit from transitioning to a submission based on their clinch grip, and Chael does it here by wisely morphing his over-under grip into a fight-ending D'arce choke. (Notice the brief cameo by a young Jake Ellenberger at the end of the gif.)
Pat Healy vs. Dan Hardy
Mookie: Dan Hardy's historically had problems with his ground game, and this fight against Pat Healy was one of them. Both men were in the early stages of their careers, but Healy effectively had his way with Hardy on the ground. Earlier in the round Healy had back mount on "The Outlaw", but lost a point for repeated strikes to the back of the head. Following the point deduction, Healy wasted no time in getting the guillotine choke finish.
Dallas: It seems the theme for this Gif-a-thon reinforces the wealth of submission attacks from the front headlock position. Healy was bound and determined to finish this choke, as he can be seen adjusting his grip, torquing and re-torquing the hold throughout the sequence. Barring the single-leg counter, Hardy's defense leaves a little to be desired here but, in his defense, this was only his 4th pro outing. The key here is the way Healy emphasizes the back arch when he regains his footing after the failed single leg.
Roy Nelson vs. Brad Imes
Mookie: If you watched this GIF without context of the fight, you might be questioning the timing of Roy Nelson's stoppage of Brad Imes. At first glance it could be a tad early, but make no mistake about it, Imes got destroyed from start to finish. He was on rubbery legs essentially 40 seconds into the opening round, and completely incapable of stopping Big Country's right hand. Nelson defended his IFL heavyweight title, and also became the first man to KO the TUF 2 runner-up.
Dallas: Classic "Big Country": the Pitcher's Throw KO and double-handed belly rub combo for the win. I'm on the fence as to whether this portends poorly toward Nelson's predictable path to victory or substantiates the sentiment that any monster punch can win an MMA fight in the blink of an eye.
Michael Bisping vs. Ross Pointon
Mookie: Yes, Michael Bisping has a submission game. Yes, this is Ross Pointon (now 6-17 in MMA), and yes, Ross Pointon is the guy who competed in both the MW and LHW brackets -- the latter as an injury substitute -- of TUF 3. These two re-matched in the LHW semifinals and Bisping won via strikes stoppage.
Dallas: No, Ross Pointon does not excel in submission defense (Mookie's statement above is true though.)
Vinny Magalhaes vs. Victor Nemkov
Mookie: Dallas is going to explain this submission (because I sure as hell can't), but as an aside, how BAD are the M-1 commentators? Seriously, go to Youtube and pick any M-1 fight and you'll be fast asleep within minutes.
Dallas: No, Vinny Magalhaes is not struggling to maintain mount. If you watch carefully (starting around 3:30ish), he's threading his shin through the tiny gap between Nemkov's head and left shoulder to secure the mounted gogoplata and then twists the poor man's head to persuade him to tap by adding in a neck crank for good measure, which is some altogether serious shit.
Rustam Khabilov vs. Akin Duran
Mookie: MOAR SUPLEXES!
Dallas: Egads. It takes serious talent and ferocity to fling an opponent in your own weight class over your head with a belly-to-belly suplex. Smashing his opponent's back against the ring-post prevents him from lowering and widening his base enough, forcing him into a dangerously upright position that makes it impossible to defend the vicious throw.
This is the last fight week GIFathon until May 24th, the day before UFC 160. Until then, thanks again to Dallas Winston, Zombie Prophet, and all of you who have sent in fight suggestions.