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 course of 2013. 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? (If that spiel looked familiar, it's because I've used the same one for three years in a row. Originality? What originality?)
It's pretty simple. I'll post 5-10 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 is tough.
Now that we've got that out of the way, let's get onto the latest poll - the best fight of 2013.
Here we go, in no particular order:
Matt Brown vs. Jordan Mein, UFC on Fox 7 - The bout was non-stop action the whole time with knockdowns, submission attempts, and brutality. Brown bloodied Mein up in the second with a barrage of strikes and got the stoppage.
Eddie Alvarez vs. Michael Chandler, Bellator 106 - Alvarez came back after a year off and the two men came close to topping their amazing bout in 2011. Alvarez picked up a controversial split decision victory, and you know these two are going to meet for a third time down the road.
Johny Hendricks vs. Carlos Condit, UFC 158 - Condit gave it everything he had, blasting away and pressing the action any time they were on the feet. Hendricks wasn't shy with his hands either. Every time Hendricks took him down, Condit got back up and came back for more. But Hendricks' wrestling was just too much in the end and he claimed the decision. This was my personal favorite fight of the year, and I wrote a post about it on Christmas Eve.
Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann, UFC on Fuel 8 - The two men brawled for close to two rounds, each scoring knockdowns and coming close to finishing the fight. In the end though it would be Silva who picked up the win by blasting Stann into unconsciousness.
Diego Sanchez vs. Gilbert Melendez, UFC 166 - When Melendez wants to go to war, he can do it better than just about anyone. And Sanchez completely obliged him. The two men threw caution to the wind and just brawled for the whole 15 minutes. A late knockdown by Sanchez made it even more crazy, but Melendez held on for the victory.
Georges St-Pierre vs. Johny Hendricks, UFC 167 - A back-and-forth war of attrition that went to one of the most controversial scorecards of the year. Forget the aftermath - the fight itself was pretty awesome.
Dennis Bermudez vs. Matt Grice, UFC 157 - The two men went to war for 15 minutes, knocking each other silly over and over again. Both men were on the brink of nap time more than once in the fight, but they persevered and threw down right until the final bell. Bermudez claimed a split decision, but the real winners in this bout were the fans that tuned in to watch it. PS - Get well Matt Grice!
Alexander Gustafsson vs. Jon Jones, UFC 165 - Jones went into his sixth title defense as a big favorite, but Gustafsson took it to him immediately. Round after round went back and forth, and fans thought that Bones might actually lose his title for a while. In the end a bloodied-up Jones retained, but people have been calling for a rematch ever since.
Mark Hunt vs. Antonio Silva, UFC Fight Night 33 - Who would have ever guessed that these two men would go 25 minutes? They both came close to finishing the fight at different times and it was an absolute war from start to finish. It may have been tainted somewhat by Silva's TRT pop, but the fight was still all kinds of great.
Cat Zingano vs. Miesha Tate, TUF 17 Finale - Tate controlled the first two rounds, with the second being closer than the third. Both of those rounds featured great action on the ground and on the feet. In the third round, Zingano took over and eventually blasted Tate with brutal elbows and knees and bloodied her up enough to get a stoppage.