It’s to the blue corner we go today for our BE’s BADDEST Tournament Series to figure out what is the single Greatest MMA Fight Of All Time — that one to watch before the world ends. Today we have the #4 ranked, Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar, getting it on with #5 seed, Cheick Kongo vs. Pat Barry. This will be the final bout for our opening round of 32 before we begin our sweet sixteen-man portion of the tournament.
In yesterday’s tournament matchup, the red corner saw the #4 Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann lock horns with #5 Cub Swanson vs. Doo Ho Choi. This was another close one. It was neck and neck down the stretch, but with a score of 18-16, Swanson vs. Choi edged out the win. That fight will now face #3 Justin Gaethje vs. Michael Johnson in the next round.
For today’s matchup, we have the legendary war that put Zuffa on the map up against one of the most bonkers two-minutes and thirty-nine seconds in UFC history.
Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar 1 was the iconic fight that launched the UFC into the mainstream vein, and also the bout that quite frankly saved the promotion from going under. Griffin vs. Bonnar was a tremendous back and forth battle full of brawling exchanges, heart and courage, and it pretty much left everything in the Octagon soaked in blood by the time it was all said and done. It was the finale to the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter, and was available for free on Spike TV. At a time when the UFC needed it to the most, this was the fight that got the world’s attention.
Cheick Kongo vs. Pat Barry went down at UFC on Versus 4 on June 26, 2011. The madness all started when Barry dropped Kongo with a looping punch and pounced with what some argue should have been fight-ending ground and pound. The referee allowed the fight to play on, and although Kongo was badly hurt, he managed to stand back up to his feet. He did it just in time to get slumped again with another haymaker. Barry dropped some more leather, but that’s when Kongo began to wrestle, prompting Barry to back off. Kongo stood back to his feet, and when Pat went in for the kill, Cheick cleaned his clock with a nasty uppercut. An unconscious Barry fell to the canvas, and Kongo came crashing in with a few ground strikes for good measure. It’s like Pat won the fight twice but still lost. What an insane sequence!
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This is the last bout for Round 1. Be sure to participate heavily in Round 2 in order to help us determine MMA’s Greatest Fight to Watch Before the World Ends. The Sweet Sixteen will start tomorrow night, Thursday, April 23rd., at 10pm CST!
Tournament bracket (click to enlarge):