Monday December 28, 2015– Before 2015 officially comes to an end, in FightersBlog tradition, we review some of the best fights put on display throughout this past year.
Though there were an outstanding number of great fights in this past year, we boil it down to the top 3 fights of 2015.
FightersBlog Top Fight #3: Daniel Cormier vs. Alexandre Gustafsson
At UFC 161, Alexander Gustafsson lost a very close decision to the at the time pound for pound best fighter in the world, Jon Jones. Though he fell short, the world wanted a rematch. As Gustafsson began working through the rankings looking for a shot at redemption, an incident took place resulting in Jon Jones forfeiting the title, ultimately being wrapped around the waist of ‘DC’ Cormier after defeating Anthony Johnson.
At UFC 192, Gustafsson would receive another shot at gold, not against Jones, but the newly crowned champion, Cormier. The world knew it was going to be a good fight, especially when you look at the resumes of both these LHW warriors, however, their battle turned into a reminder as to how tough each of these men are, and the heart they have. The fight would last a grueling 25 minutes (5 rounds) – Both would face the judges decision.
Alexander Gustafsson would fall short once again, as Daniel Cormier was victorious by way of split decision. Though there’s a winner and a loser, both left the octagon with their heads held high, knowing the put on a performance of a life time.
FightersBlog Top Fight #2: Andrei Arlovski vs. Travis Browne
Early in the UFC 187 main-card, Andrei Arlovski and friend Travis Browne were set to fight one another, and even with their great friendship, that wouldn’t stop the two Heavyweight contenders from putting on what may be the top fight of 2015, as well as greatest Heavyweight fight in UFC history.
After both entered the octagon, staring across at one another, it was hard to predict what was going to happen knowing the friendship they have outside the UFC, however, I doubt anybody in the world minded what took place following Bruce Buffer announcing the fighters.
Both Arlovski and Browne are known for great striking ability, also they’re “glass jaw”. As the first round began, both wasted little time in exchanging leather. ‘The Pitbull’ Arlovski was able to rock Browne, gain momentum and unleash everything he had on Travis, and just when you thought the fight would be stopped by the referee, Browne counters, rocking and putting Arlovski to the canvas. Andrei would quickly recover, regain control and what most would say “abuse” Travis Browne until the referee stepped in, stopping the bout within the 1st and final round.
This was one of the most explosive Heavyweight fights the UFC has displayed, and with both still active on the UFC roster, we can only hope for a rematch between the two.
FightersBlog Top Fight #1: Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald II
UFC 189, Conor McGregor was set to face Jose Aldo for the Featherweight championship, and just a week before their fight, Aldo pulled out with an injury. Chad Mendes would step in, and with the hype around McGregor, Mendes and Aldo, it almost seemed impossible for another fight to break through and shine as bright as the Featherweight feud, but, the co-main event (Lawler vs. MacDonald) would not only steal the show, but end up as one of the best fights of 2015 and our own #1 pick for the year.
As the first round began, both Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald wasted little time in meeting at the center of the octagon, ready for war. This was a “slug fest”, nothing short of an epic battle, and as the fight carried through the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th round, the octagon canvas would go from light blue to dark red, covered in the blood of these two top Welterweight contenders. Gladiator the movie had nothing on this.
Lawler and MacDonald were both badly hurt throughout the fight, both with visible injuries, both unwilling to stop, let alone slow down the slightest. The fight would carry on through to the 5th and final round, and just 1;00 minute in, MacDonald would take more punishment, drop to the mat with a broken and bloody nose. The fight was over.
Robbie Lawler may have the greatest career comeback story in the history of MMA, and it’s an amazing sight to see him as the reining Welterweight champion, but on July 11th, 2015, both Rory MacDonald and current title holder, Lawler would leave the MGM Grand Garden Arena with their heads held high knowing they left everything they had inside the steel cage – the UFC octagon.
(photos via: MMAFighting.com)
By: Adam LeBarr
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