5 Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate (Strikeforce) March 3, 2012
Chick fight! This was pure mayhem! To start, both fighters agreed not to touch gloves prior to fighting which spoke volumes to their mutual hatred of each other. From the get-go there were punches flying, takedowns, elbows, and the like. No, it is not normal to be aroused during a fight, but it is understandable. These ladies fought furiously! If this fight would have gone longer than one round it might have ended up number one on this list. Rousey won it with an arm bar that dislocated Tate’s elbow and a gruesome twist of fate!
4 Nate Marquardt vs. Tyron Woodley (Strikeforce) July 14, 2012
This fight was a meathead’s dream come true. It was a fight for the Strikeforce Welterweight championship and it lived up to expectations with both guys coming out and landing heavy, testosterone filled strikes. Woodley made the first big splash of the fight when he landed an overhand right that wobbled Marquardt and he attacked him immediately to try to finish it. Marquardt weathered the storm and came back and landed a huge right of his own. The punch dropped Woodley and Marquardt jumped on him and gave him a solid beating for the remainder of the round. Round two was completely controlled by Marquardt. But in round three Woodley came out throwing combinations and was actually landing them. He caught Marquardt with another overhand right, dropped him, jumped on top of him and grounded and pounded him using a mixture of elbows, hammer fists and body punches. After the action stalled the referee had them stand up and Marquardt displayed his incredible shape by recovering quickly and even controlling the end of the round, but the round belonged to Woodley. In round four, Marquardt came out swinging. He hurt Woodley with a right hand and had him up against the fence and it was there that he landed a devastating left elbow, right elbow, left uppercut, right uppercut combination that knocked Woodley out and ended the fight. Picturesque knockout!
3 Benson Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar I (UFC 144) February 2, 2012
The stare down before the fight was intense! It completely set the tone for the fight before even one punch thrown. Both fighters came out aggressively. Henderson was using his right hand from his southpaw stance to gauge distance and Edgar was using lateral movement to create angles for his strikes. The first round was pure MMA beauty as both fighters displayed a good balance of offense and defense. They both landed sharp strikes while defending strikes smoothly. Incredibly, the rest of the fight maintained that pace as both fighters enjoyed success in a razor thin decision victory for Edgar. It was a chess match offensively but both men attacked and never let up. Exchanges were frequent and the winner of those exchanges seemed to flip-flop every time. This was truly one of those fights where either fighter could have won the decision. Henderson actually landed more strikes (100 to 81) but Edgar had a couple of important take downs after catching Henderson’s kicks. This fight was so good they had to do it again. At UFC 150 they had their rematch and Henderson won the decision solidifying how evenly matched these two fighters are.
2 Chan Sung Jung vs. Dustin Poirier (UFC on Fuel TV 3) May 15, 2012
Both men immediately came out aggressively. After Jung secured a takedown he landed a sharp elbow that opened Poirier up. They went back to their feet where they had heated exchanges for the remainder of the round. Jung narrowly won the round by a slight advantage in landed strikes and defense on Poirier’s take down attempts. Jung caught a Poirier kick and slammed him onto the mat to open the second and used an effective ground and pound to win the round. Round three started with more impressive exchanges. Near the end of the round Jung took Poirier down and pounded him once again. Poirier found his way back to his feet and they continued to exchange, right where they left off. Guess where round four started? More exchanges! Jung landed a heavy uppercut and followed with a crazy flying knee. Poirier tried to counter the knee with a takedown but Jung put a D’Arce choke on him that ended the fight. This competition was action-packed and both men showed tremendous heart.
1 Joe Lauzon vs. Jamie Varner (UFC on FOX 4) August 4, 2012
This fight was so good that you got the feeling nobody actually lost after the fight ended. These men put on an incredible show! After 20 seconds of feeling each other out Varner began to let his hands go. He wobbled Lauzon with an overhand right at the 3:45 mark but Lauzon recovered quickly. Varner proceeded to dominate the round with his hand speed and he also mixed in solid low kicks. With 43 seconds remaining in the round Varner connected with another devastating overhand right that dropped Lauzon. Varner jumped on top for some old ground and pound but Lauzon was able to make it through the round. Round two had Varner controlling the pace with his hand speed. At the 1:40 mark they had a vicious exchange and Lauzon landed on top of Varner, quickly landing his best strikes of the fight. Varner regained position with 10 seconds to go in the round and landed some hard shots before the bell halted the action. The final round began with a huge hug as a show of respect and then Varner realized he forgot his mouthpiece and after he put it on the violence continued. Varner continued to dominate with his striking. After he landed a great combination he went for the take down. Lauzon reversed the take down and put Varner in a triangle choke that brought the fight to a dramatic end.