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Use this thread to nominate matches you've seen that you think are good that would fit in this category. We'll keep this and all other topics open for the remainder of the year so you can add matches anytime you come across something you see that you like.

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Guest Famous Mortimer

Okay, I'll join in:

 

Frank Shamrock v. Tito Ortiz (UFC ?)

Bob Sapp v. Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera (Pride / K1 Shockwave 2002)

Don Frye v. Yoshihiro Takayama (Pride 21)

 

and the greatest fight, MMA or wrestling, of all time, the absolute pinnacle of two men in a ring having a scrap:

 

Kazushi Sakuraba v. Royce Gracie (Pride GP 2000)

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Okay, I'll join in:

 

Frank Shamrock v. Tito Ortiz (UFC ?)

Bob Sapp v. Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera (Pride / K1 Shockwave 2002)

Don Frye v. Yoshihiro Takayama (Pride 21)

 

and the greatest fight, MMA or wrestling, of all time, the absolute pinnacle of two men in a ring having a scrap:

 

Kazushi Sakuraba v. Royce Gracie (Pride GP 2000)

Shamrock/Ortiz is UFC 22

 

Bonnar/Griffin (TUF Finale)

Couture/Rizzo (UFC 31)

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Don Frye v. Yoshihiro Takayama (Pride 21)

See, that's not a Martial Arts fight. That's two morons with no style taking turns hitting each other in the head. Anybody could do that. All that proved is that either it was worked (which with PRIDE is always a possibility...especially if a Japanese Fan Favorite is involved) or that both of them have really thick skulls and are hard to knock out. That was basically like early UFC...two untrained people with no technique clobbering each other. If you're going to talk about a probably worked PRIDE slugfest involving Frye, at least go with his match against Shamrock at PRIDE 19. At least that one had some leglocks and whatnot, instead of non-stop blows to the head.

 

If you want a real MMA fight...with skill and technique, see Carlos Newton vs. Sakuraba from PRIDE 3 (6/24/1998) for an example.

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Guest Famous Mortimer
If you want a real MMA fight...with skill and technique, see Carlos Newton vs. Sakuraba from PRIDE 3 (6/24/1998) for an example.

Nice try imposing what you want from MMA and imagining that's what everyone else wants too. The match is a full-on classic, it's got emotion, excitement and I'd be very surprised if it was a work (if Takayama's face had been a little less mashed up, maybe). The match you listed is brilliant, but just like in pro wrestling there's room for technical masterpieces and three-minute sprints, so it is in MMA.

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Here the thing though...it's a FIGHT. It's even an entertaining fight. I was wowed when I watched it...but isn't a the point of Mixed Martial Arts to showcase Martial Arts skills? I didn't see any real skills showcased in that fight...I just two guys repeatedly punching each other in the head.

 

This is not about me deciding what is and isn't MMA, it's about what MMA really is. My problem is that Frye vs. Tak is exactly that kind of fight that gives ammo to the idiots who don't understand MMA as a sport, call it barbaric, and want to see it banned or off television. These people don't appreciate the training, strategy, skill, and knowlege of human anatomy you need to have in order to be an MMA fighter. I honestly don't think MMA is about pounding the hell out of your opponent (that's boxing.) It's about out-thinking your opponent, finding his weakness, and exploiting it.

 

In my opinion, Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera is the greatest fighter alive today, because he can do it all. He can stand and bang, but he can also tap you out. Look at his fight with Cro-Cop. That fight showed what happens when you put a well rounded Martial Artist in the ring with a striker.

 

I love Takayama as a wrestler. I loved his GHC title shot against Kobashi last year...but the man is not a Mixed Martial Artist. He's a brawler...and in my opinion (and this is just my opinion) the sport doesn't need guys getting in there and beating the hell out of each other in the head. All it takes is some moron like John McCain to see that, and MMA is off PPV again.

 

I think the sport is evolving...past those kinds of things, that's all.

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Guest Famous Mortimer

but isn't  the point of Mixed Martial Arts to showcase Martial Arts skills?

I don't think it is, any more than the purpose of a wrestling match is to display wrestling skills.

 

The purpose of it is to win, I guess, but if not that then to have given it your best shot. Takayama probably figured his best chance against Frye was stood up and given his limited skills in that area (shoot-style experience notwithstanding) just went all out straight away. Frye, showing his MMA skill, avoided the worst of the assault by positioning himself well and when Tak was gassed took the match easily. Relatively simple, but it made an amazing spectacle, and that's why it'll be remembered long after technical classics have faded into obscurity. MMA still does rely on spectacle, and it's an important part of the sport still (Hong Man Choi, Bob Sapp and Giant Silva being three notable examples).

 

So Frey / Takayama it's not just a mindless brawl either, and I fail to see how it's playing into the hands of MMA critics for being too brutal, given both men embraced after the fight and no lasting harm was done. Criticism of MMA, as "Brawl" showed pretty clearly, tends to come from those who have a vested interest in MMA's biggest rival, boxing (a disgusting and barbaric sport if ever there was one). John McCain, for example, has no problem with people causing serious brain damage by hitting each other in the head as long as it's his companies making money from it.

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Guest Cam Chaos

Jeremy Horn vs Frank Shamrock

Wanderlei Silva vs Rampage Jackson 2

Sakuraba vs Allan Goes

Genki Sudo vs Bang Ludwig (bullshit decision, hell of a fight)

Minotauro Noguiera vs Heath Herring 1

 

I've not included early Pancrase or RINGS because they didn't allow striking on the ground so I don't consider them full on MMA, otherwise Funaki vs Rutten and Arona vs Fedor would have got some consideration.

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Guest Famous Mortimer

Someone one said (it might have been Ali, it sounds like something he'd say) that the point of boxing is to not get hit, rather than to beat someone's brains out.

And look how well it worked out for him.
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Guest Bad Brain

Both Rumina Sato vs. Caol Uno matches (5/99 and 12/00) from Shooto.

Luis Firminho vs. Luiz Azeredo (4/05) from Bushido.

Couture vs. van Arsdale (8/05) from UFC. Not a classic as a whole, but the first round was incredible.

Nogueira vs. Herring (6/04) from Pride.

Nogueira vs. Kharitonov (8/04) from Pride.

Nogueira vs. Emelianenko (3/03) from Pride.

Yves Edwards vs. Aaron Riley (7/01) from HookNShoot

Sakuraba vs. Jackson (7/01) from Pride.

Sakuraba vs. Renzo Gracie (8/00) from Pride.

Frye vs. Abbott (12/96) from UFC.

Sperry vs. Zinoviev (11/95) from Extreme Fighting.

Anything where Marco Ruas and Vanderlei Silva knack people.

 

And seconding those that have already been mentioned:

 

Nogueira vs. Sapp, Nogueira vs. Herring I, Bonnar vs. Griffin, Barnett vs. Rizzo, Sakuraba vs. Newton, Hansen vs. Uno.

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