UFC 163 has been gutted with injuries, but you know what can't be gutted? GIFathons. You see, you can't GIF the future ... not even Zombie Prophet has those capabilities (or does he?). To get you hyped up for UFC 163 we've been supplied a fresh batch of GIFs featuring six fighters who are competing in Brazil tomorrow night. Dallas Winston is here with me to provide some commentary for each fight, and you'll see:
- Jose Aldo with the head kick-soccer kick combo.
- Korean Zombie's slick rear naked choke.
- Lyoto Machida wiping out Rich Franklin.
- John Lineker's lightning hand speed and power.
Jose Aldo vs. Mario Bigola (2004)
Mookie: This was Jose Aldo's debut nearly 9 years ago to the day (August 10th, 2004). It lasted only 18 seconds and this head kick against Mario Bigola followed up by the soccer kick were essentially the only two strikes he landed in the fight. Many chairs were thrown in the air.
Dallas: Zoiks, Scoob! Just ... ouch. Not that it matters, but this cringe-inducing outburst of violence was Bigola's first MMA fight as well, and unfortunate enough to persuade him into making it his last.
Chan Sung Jung vs. Shintaro Ishiwatari (2009)
Mookie: This was Korean Zombie's Sengoku debut as well as his featherweight debut. So far you've seen his grappling abilities, punching power, and submission skills, and this GIF encompasses all of that. What impresses me the most about KZ is his how quickly he jumps on a submission attempt the moment a fighter is hurt. After hurting Ishiwatari with a powerful left hand he swarmed the Japanese fighter and in the blink of an eye he had the back and locked in a suffocating RNC for the win. I have no idea why the graphic says this was a TKO.
Dallas: So, yeah ... I'm a drooling fanboy and all, but I still don't think people realize how utterly devastating Jung's submission grappling is. The general consensus seems to be "look, the brawler guy has ground skills too" rather than recognizing what a venomous aspect of his game it's always been. His grappling is almost Hioki-like in that he's shockingly long and technical while blending his signature berserk pace with the trait of "always being a step ahead." Ishiwatari's no clown either -- he has wins over the UFC's Motonobu Tezuka and Caol Uno and he drew with Michihiro Omigawa. In other words: blains.
Lyoto Machida vs. Rich Franklin (2003)
Mookie: We've actually showed this GIF before, but given Machida's low percentage of finishes (especially in his first few fights) it becomes a little difficult finding anything different. So here's a re-hashed description from Dallas regarding Machida's KO of "Ace":
Dallas: Lyoto Machida came out of nowhere by thumping a then mostly unknown Stephan Bonnar in Machida's sophomore effort, but the mystique of "The Dragon" truly ignited in his next (3rd career) fight in 2003. Rich Franklin, who'd recently shellacked the late Evan Tanner by 1st-round TKO in his UFC debut, had accrued a flawless 14-fight record (with one No Contest) and was on his way to becoming a superstar.
After man-handling Edwin Dewees in his 2nd Octagon outing, Franklin traveled overseas to face Machida in the ephemeral Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye fight league. As is the theme with many of these upsets, Franklin was expected to shatter the rapidly building hype and aura of Machida, whose signature straight left and a follow up shin to the chin sparked the 2nd-round TKO.
Phil Davis vs. David Baggett (2009)
Mookie: This was Phil Davis' last fight before signing with the UFC. As you can imagine, this was not a remotely competitive fight, and when Davis was bored of punching poor David Baggett in the face, he went for a rear-naked choke and mercifully ended the domination.
Dallas Winston: Davis ate a Baggett? (Cue the hope-shattering wah-wah-wah noise from the Price is Right.) A wrestler of Davis' caliber should have no problem assuming top position like this, but the man deserves credit for complementing his core competency with really impressive sub-grappling knowledge at such an embryonic stage. "Dragon" ain't no Bagget though.
Thales Leites vs. Matt Horwich 2 (2011)
Mookie: Thales Leites made it back to the UFC through this win over Matt Horwich. After Leites was released from the UFC, Leites went on a 3-0 run before fighting Horwich in 2010. In a shock result, Leites was submitted in the 4th round with a rear-naked choke, marking his first submission loss in MMA competition. The two obviously were re-matched, this time in Brazil, and Leites made sure there would be no repeat outcome.
Dallas: This is actually a sick sequence from Leites. Horwich is talented and experienced enough to block the pass when faced with the threat of a side choke, but Leites gives him absolutely zilch for a warning by triangling the arm and stepping over simultaneously. Many feel side control is the best spot to finish here, i.e. "rotate like the hand of a clock", but Leites decides to go full mount which greatly eliminates most of the wiggle room to escape.
John Lineker vs. Francisco Nazareno (2011)
Mookie: John Lineker is a bad bad man. That is all.
Dallas: Not to be a dick, but this is one of Lineker's nine TKO's out of 21 wins. He deserves to be lauded as a great striker for his quickness, tempo, aggression and rib roasters, but power is not his strong suit. Actually, I might still be trying to justify my pick for Tome. Regardless, Lineker is one of the most exciting bangers around and there's simply nothing to dislike about him. Kudos for the prestigious burns/hawk combo as well.
The next GIFathon is slated for August 16th, the day before UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen on Fox Sports 1. It's a card so stacked that it might deserve more than just the usual 6 GIF treatment.