It's Friday, which means it's tie for another edition of the GIFathon! The day before every UFC PPV or Fox card, we (myself, Dallas Winston, and Zombie Prophet) profile several fighters and GIF some of their better stoppage victories on the regional circuit. Oh, and before we continue, there is no hard G in GIF, so the debate is over and I will not accept any other pronunciations.
With Dallas Winston unavailable this weekend, it'll just be my words combined with Zombie Prophet's GIFs. This week you'll see:
- Cain Velasquez's 2nd pro fight.
- Junior dos Santos' 1st pro fight, complete with a typically violent finish.
- Mark. Hunt.
Cain Velasquez vs. Jeremiah Constant (2006)
Mookie: BodogFight: St. Petersburg, Russia was the site of Velasquez's 2nd pro fight (his last before entering the UFC), and it was a total wipeout from start to finish. Jeremiah Constant, who is a former NCAA Division II All-American wrestler, might as well have been moving in slow motion compared to Cain. The whole fight shows how fast Velasquez is compared to just about any other heavyweight on the planet, and after beating him up on the ground and on the feet, he mercifully ended the exhausted Constant's night within a round.
Junior dos Santos vs. Jailson Silva Santos (2006)
Mookie: Here's a side of JDS you probably haven't seen before ... probably because soccer kicks are involved. This was dos Santos' first professional fight, and unlike his UFC performances, he actively pursued the takedown right away. The majority of this bout took place on the ground with JDS on top, maintaining control and landing effective ground and pound. Jailson Silva Santos' striking can only be described as "Karlos Vemola-esque", and JDS notched his first win by tossing Jailson like a child and then sending him into unconsciousness with a soccer kick.
Mark Hunt vs. Jerome Le Banner (2001)
Mookie: Mark Hunt fought Jerome Le Banner about 175 times in K-1, but he only won once. So yeah, of course I'm going to GIF his victory, as this was part of his run to the 2001 K-1 World Grand Prix Championship.
James Te Huna vs. Anthony Perosh (2009)
Mookie: We really have to stop seeing Anthony Perosh's face in a twisted and concussed state. Anyway, James Te Huna and Perosh advanced to the final of the Cage Fighting Championship LHW Grand Prix in Australia. Perosh was just about thrashed and the finish above shows it. What impresses me the most about Te Huna is his hand speed for such a big man as well as his sharp uppercuts, which he's used with great success in the UFC as well. Te Huna signed with the UFC after this fight. Perosh would join him on the UFC 110 card; Te Huna won his debut vs. Igor Pokrajac while Perosh lost by TKO to Mirko Cro Cop in his return to the promotion.
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Kadzhik Abadzhyan (2011)
Mookie: I'll admit, this wasn't the first GIF I had on my list. Nurmagomedov actually submitted Bellator featherweight contender Shahbulat Shamhalaev by armbar a few years ago on an M-1 Challenge event, but the video quality is so poor that I had to scrap a potential GIF and find another fight. Instead, here's one of Khabib's seven fights in 2011 under the Pro FC banner. Nurmagomedov choked out Kadzhik Abadzhyan with a beautiful 1st round triangle choke, and went on to submit his next two opponents with the same move in the same round.
Max Holloway vs. Bryson Kamaka (2010)
Mookie: Max Holloway is the youngest fighter in the UFC at 21 years old, and his MMA career started at 18. He's shown diverse and accurate striking but not too much in the way of big finishing power, hence just 2 stoppage wins out of 6. This was his first finish back in 2010 (at lightweight according to the commentators) against Bryson Yamaka. Both men were quite active offensively, as can probably be expected out of two young fighters. Just before the KO Holloway had made his way back onto his feet after being lifted and slammed to the ground by Yamaka. As soon as Holloway got back up it spelled doom for his opponent. I have no idea what took the referee so long to stop this fight, but I guess the 8th unanswered punch on the ground was enough for Holloway to earn the win. Completely unrelated, but apparently Holloway's nickname is "Lil' Evil" a la Jens Pulver. The things you learn listening to regional show announcers.
The GIFathon returns on June 14th, the day before UFC 161. If you have any GIF suggestions please list them in the comments section or through Twitter (@mookiealexander). Please note we cannot use footage from the UFC, Zuffa-era WEC, Strikeforce, or PRIDE. Thanks to Zombie Prophet for being the multimedia king, and we'll see you next time with more great GIFs.