Unfortunately we don’t have any UFC action this weekend, but fear not. Let’s revisit Keith Shillan’s top 25 fights in UFC History to get our fix. We’ll countdown through the week until we reach number 1. If you watch all five fights each day, it’s just like watching a main card!
#15. Karo Parisyan vs Nick Diaz
August 21st, 2004
On the Prelims of UFC 49
MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Two stalwarts of the UFC welterweight division, Karo Parisyan and Nick Diaz square off as two very green prospects. Parisyan was only 21 years old, while Diaz is only 20. Nobody knew that this early preliminary fight would matchup two of the biggest stars of the mid 2000s.
Diaz said before the prefight interview that he didn’t think Parisyan was a good matchup for him. Does that should like the Stockton Badboy of the future? Parisyan was so green that he forgot his cup when he entered the octagon.
These two guys get right at it. Parisyan initiates the clinch and immediately grabs a leg and picks up Diaz and gets a huge slam. Diaz scrambles and gets a deep Kimura. He is yanking Parisyan’s arm behind Parisyan’s back, while on his own back. Parisyan escapes and uses the momentum to take Diaz back. Diaz rolls for a knee bar, but Parisyan escapes after landing a big punch. Diaz still on the bottom, locks on a triangle choke, but Parisyan escapes again and lands a huge punch. Parisyan starts to open up with ground and pound to a grounded Diaz. Diaz scrambles to his feet, and then lands a trip takedown for himself. Diaz opens up his own ground and pound. Parisyan works to his feet and lands two straight right hands. Parisyan shoots in and lands a huge double leg takedown slam. “The Heat” lands some ground and pound, while Diaz attempts an armbar from bottom. Parisyan throws down more ground and pound to escape the submission, and lands another huge leaping punch on Diaz. Diaz attempts an omaplata, but Parisyan gets loose and lands more ground and pound. Diaz gets another deep Kimura, but Parisan rolls out of it, giving up his back to Diaz. Parisyan attempts his own standing Kimura attempt. Diaz escapes and lands a 3 punch combination. Diaz lands a hard uppercut, and a knee to Parisyan’s head. Parisyan lands two straight right hands. This gets both fighters to exchange bombs. The round ends as Diaz lands another hard knee. Very close round, which I gave to Parisyan
Parisyan bull rushes a double leg takedown, but Diaz immediately hit a sweep. Diaz lands some shots from top. Parisyan gives up back, but rolls for a Kimura. Diaz rolls with him, and keeps his back. Parisyan scrambles again and gets a front headlock and lands a knee on Diaz as he is getting up. Parisyan lands an overhand right. Diaz responds with a right hook. Both fighters clinch, where Diaz lands a lot of dirty boxing, with and many punches and knees to the body. Parisyan responds with an uppercut. Diaz lands two straight left hands and both fighters sit on their punches and start throwing bombs at each other. As they reset, Diaz lands 4 unanswered left lands. Parisyan responds by landing back to back right hands. Diaz lands a 1-2 combination, and then a high kick. Both fighters start to exchange bombs again. Diaz lands a 4 punch combination. Parisyan responds by landing back to back overhand rights. Diaz lands a hard step knee. Parisyan lands another overhand right, which hurts Diaz. Parisyan lands another double leg takedown as the round ends. Very close round, which I gave to Diaz.
Diaz lands a 1-2 combination. Pariyan responds by landing a step knee. Diaz lands another 1-2 that hurts Parisyan. Parisyan lands a must needs double leg takedown. Diaz locks in a triangle choke, but Parisyan gets out by landing shots from on top. Parisyan lands some hard elbows that hurt Diaz. Diaz goes throw another triangle attempt. Diaz scrambles to his feet. Diaz lands a knee, and Parisyan gets another double leg takedown. Diaz grabs a very deep Kimura. Parisyan gets out of it by landing a hard overhand right. They get to their feet, where Parisyan gets another quick takedown. Diaz throws up an armbar attempt. Parisyan takes Diaz back, but Diaz rolls underneath and locks on a leg lock. Parisyan scrambles to his feet, and lands another double leg takedown. Diaz goes for the rear gogoplata, and when Parisyan pulls away, Diaz lands two up kicks. Both fighters clinch, and Diaz lands two uppercuts and a hard knee. As they break, Parisyan lands another double leg takedown. Diaz goes for an armbar which he misses, but lands some punches from the bottom. Parisyan lands some ground and pound from on top, as the round end. Another close round, but I scored it for Parisyan. I scored the fight 29-28 Parisyan, but could have went either way.
Results and Notes:
Parisyan wins a split decision.
Sadly, as so many new fans have come to the sport, many don’t know anything about Karo Parisyan. Parisyan was one of the top welterweights for years, and an extremely exciting fighter. His battle with Nick Diaz is on the best displays of top notch grappling.
#14. Johny Hendricks vs Robbie Lawler 1 and 2
March 15, 2014
Main Event of UFC 171
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
December 6th, 2015
Main Event of UFC 181
Mandalay Bay Event Center, Las Vegas, Nevada
Johny Hendricks was coming off a classic fight against Georges St. Pierre in which many thought he won the fight, but lost a split decision. St. Pierre vacated the belt for a leave of absence, so Hendricks got a 2nd shot at the welterweight title, this time fighting against Robbie Lawler. Lawler a long time fighter in the UFC, was in the middle of a resurrection of his career. He finally lives up to his potential and fights for the belt.
After an extremely close slugfest, the two fighters rematch and fight again in another classic fight.
I am not going to recap two fights, so all I can say is that I think this might be the best series of fight between two fighters ever in the UFC (Eddie Alvarez vs Michael Chandler in Bellator might be even better). These two fighters were action packed. Both guys landing bombs. These two warriors battled for 50 minutes, I could watch them for 500. It was that good.
Results and Notes:
Hendricks wins a split decision in the first fight, while Lawler wins a split decision in the second one. I scored both fights for Hendricks, but both were extremely close that could go either way.
Sadly, we have yet to complete a trilogy. Hendricks struggled with injures, weight issue, and consistency after the second fight. Lawler, on the other hand, held on to the belt for a while. He would defend the belt twice before losing the belt to Tyron Woodley in his last fight.
Let’s hope both fighters can get on a winning streak, and we can see a third fight.
#13. Diego Sanchez vs Nick Diaz
November 5th, 2005
Main Event of The Ultimate Fighter Season 2 Finale
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
Diego Sanchez, the original Ultimate Fighter winner, entered the fight at 23 years old and had a perfect record of 14-0 but this was the first marque fight for Sanchez. Diaz entered the fight even younger at 22 years old. Diaz was ranked in the top 10 and had a 11-3 record and a 4-1 record in the UFC. Diaz talked before the fight that Sanchez did not deserve to be in a main event yet.
The first round started at an insane pace. Sanchez lands a right hand and shoots in immediately for a takedown and gets his back. Diaz rolls under for a leg lock. Sanchez scrambles and ends up on top. Sanchez starts landing punches from on top. Sanchez creates space but Diaz lands a very nice upkick. Diaz attempts an armbar, but Sanchez punches himself out of it. Diaz lands some elbows from bottom, which Sanchez responds with his own elbows from on top. Sanchez stands up to land better shots, but gets hit with another upkick. Sanchez falls back into guard and lands some hard elbows. Diaz responds with punches from the bottom, but Sanchez is getting the better shots from on top. Diaz scrambles and grabs a single leg takedown. Sanchez grabs a Kimura but is slammed to the mat. Diaz opens up some ground and pound, but Sanchez scrambles to get to his feet. Diaz locks on a Kimura but Sanchez rolls out and lands a nice knee to Diaz body. Sanchez lands a nice takedown and Sanchez rolls for a knee bar and then lands punches from the bottom. Sanchez responds with shots from the bottom. Diaz lands another upick, and is hit with more ground and pound. Diaz attempts a triangle choke, but Sanchez punches his way out of it. Diaz attempts another triangle choke, which he switches to an armbar. Sanchez lands some ground and pound. Diaz starts talking trash from the bottom, and then lands an upkick. Sanchez finishes the round with more ground and pound. Very close round, but I gave it to Sanchez.
Diaz slips on a high kick attempt to open the round, but gets to his feet before Sanchez can capitalize. Sanchez lands a left hook, but Diaz lands a sharp 1-2 combination. Sanchez lands another double leg takedown and starts some ground and pound. Sanchez picks Diaz up and slams him again. Diaz goes for a triangle choke, but Sanchez punches out of it. Diaz lands punches from bottom, until Sanchez lands a hard elbow from on top that bloodies Diaz. Diaz rolls and goes for an omaplata. Sanchez works out of it, and starts landing shots from on top. Diaz lands an upkick, and Sanchez lands more ground and pound. Diaz attempts an armbar, and uses it grab a single leg. Sanchez is sprawled out and lands a knee to Diaz and lands in the mount. Diaz immediately rolled for a leg lock and uses it to get to the top. Sanchez landed elbows from the bottom, while Diaz responds with his own shots. Sanchez scrambles to his feet, and Diaz attempts a Kimura. They both scramble. Sanchez lands a hard knee as they get up and both lands bombs on each other. Sanchez lands another double leg and gets Diaz back, while Diaz rolls for a knee bar as the round ends. Another close round that I score for Sanchez.
The third round starts with Diaz dropping Sanchez with a left hand. Diaz drops Sanchez again with a right hand. Sanchez misses a double leg takedown. Diaz lands a 1-2 combination that opens a huge cut on Diaz eye. Sanchez gets two takedowns blocked. Sanchez lands his own 1-2 combination and gets a double leg takedown. Sanchez opens up some ground and pound. Diaz scrambles up and lands another 1-2 combination. Sanchez lands another double leg takedown and takes Diaz back again. Diaz rolls under and starts a scramble. Sanchez attempts a guillotine choke on the feet, but Diaz takes him down. Diaz lands some huge ground and pound. Sanchez throws up and armbar that looks very deep. Diaz punches his way out of it. Sanchez scrambles to his feet and grabs a leg, while Diaz goes for a Kimura. Sanchez lands on top. Diaz throws up a triangle and then lands shots from the bottom. Sanchez lands some big shots from on top, while Diaz lands some from the bottom. Diaz throws up a Kimura, and then switches to an armbar as the fight ends. Very close round that I scored for Diaz.
Results and Notes:
Sanchez wins an unanimous decision.
It was the first huge win for Sanchez. It also was the first huge win of Greg Jackson’s coaching career. Jackson’s success with Sanchez helped lead him to getting other fighters, and becoming one of, if not the most successful coach in MMA history.
Diaz is the bad boy from Stockton, that has a cult following. He had mixed results after this fight, and is supposed to be returning to the UFC soon.
#12. Matt Hughes vs Frank Trigg 2
April 16th, 2005
Co-Main Event of UFC 52
MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Legendary fighter, Matt Hughes defends his belt against Frank Trigg for a 2nd time. They squared off 2 years earlier with Hughes winning by rear naked choke submission. Trigg was always a trash talker that loved to get under Hughes skin.
Hughes starts the fight by landing a hard inside kick. He shoots in for a takedown, which Trigg stuffs and then clinch. Trigg lands several uppercuts. They break away and Hughes lands a nice kick to the body. Hughes shoots in again and is stuffed and they both clinch. Trigg lands several uppercuts again. Trigg lands two knees in the clinch. Trigg lands a knee to the groin of Hughes, who steps back and holds his hands up to tell the referee. However, Trigg doesn’t hold up and goes in for the kill. He lands several huge shots on the feet to a hurt Hughes. One of the punches drops Hughes, and Trigg unloads a series of huge punches. Hughes is hurt bad. Trigg lands a bunch of elbows from on top. Hughes tries to hold on, but Trigg lands huge shots. He gets the mount, while Hughes holds on. Hughes gives up his back, and Trigg lands shots from behind. Hughes attempts to roll over, and Trigg sinks in a deep rear naked choke. Hughes face is going red and he looks like he is going to tap out. Amazingly, Hughes pops his head out, and reverses the position. Trigg attempts to get up, but Hughes locks in a bear hug on him. He picks Trigg up, and runs across the octagon holding Trigg. The crowd is going crazy. Hughes goes to mount and lands hard shots and elbows from the mount. Trigg goes to his stomach, and Hughes attempts to choke him. He rolls back to his back, and Hughes rains down more shots. Trigg gives up his back again, and Hughes locks in a rear naked choke, causing Trigg to tap out. Truly unbelievable.
Results and Notes:
Hughes wins by 1st round submission.
This will go down as the best moment of Hughes career, and one of the most memorable moments in MMA history. This was the first PPV after the Ultimate Fighter season 1 finale. Many fans viewed a UFC PPV for the first time and Hughes performance kept them fans.
Hughes would defend the belt two more times, before losing it for good.
Trigg would never be in such a big fight again.
#11. Mark Hunt vs Antonio Silva 1
December 7th, 2013
Main Event of UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs Silva
Brisbane Entertainment Center, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Here is two behemoths battling. Two huge heavyweights, who both have legendary power.
The fight starts out slow with a feeling out process. About a minute and a half in, Silva lands the first real offense with a push kick and right hand. Hunt lands a left hook and a right hand combination of his own. During an exchange, Silva lands a right hand that drops Hunt. Hunt scurries to get up, and Silva lands 3 uppercuts, and a high kick as he does. Hunt gets to his feet and lands two hard leg kicks. Silva lands another push kick and a right hand combination. Hunt lands a 1-2 combination. Silva lands a hard leg kick. Silva shoots for a takedown but is stuffed against the fence. Silva lands a body kick and the round ends. 10-9 Silva.
The second round begins and Hunt lands a nice 1-2. Silva responds with a right hand and a low leg kick. Silva lands a short left hook that wobbles Hunt. Silva rushes in and lands a 1-2 combination. Hunt lands a right land, and both fighters exchange body punches. Silva lands another 1-2 combination. Hunt lands a right hand that hurt Silva. Hunt lands another left hook and then a 1-2 combination. Silva responds by landing a right hand. Hunt lands a body kick and a left hook. Silva lands another low leg kick that buckles Hunt legs. Silva lands three very hard body kick. Close round, but I score it 10-9 Silva.
Third round begins and Silva lands a 1-2 punch. Hunt catches a leg kick and takes Silva down. Silva scrambles to his feet, and lands a nice push kick. Hunt lands a left hook and they clinch. As they break Silva lands a right hand and a high kick. Hunt lands an uppercut. Silva lands a right hand that hurts Hunt. They clinch again. As they break, Hunt lands a right hand and a left hook. Hunt lands a 1-2 combination that drops Silva. Hunt jumps on the hurt Silva and lands very serious ground and pound with punches, elbows, and hammerfists to a hurt Hunt. Blood is really flowing. The round ends big for Hunt. 10-8 Hunt.
The fourth round begins and the fight turns legendary. Both fighters exchange bombs to start the round. Silva lands a right hand and leg kick combination. Silva lands a 12 combination but misses his double leg takedown attempt. Hunt counters with double leg takedown of his own. Hunt starts to land some ground and pound, but Silva throws up a armbar attempt. Hunt squeezes out of the armbar and starts some more ground and pound. Silva scrambles to the feet. Hunt lands a right hand, while Silva lands a hard jab. Hunt lands two short elbows. Both fighters exchange and land bombs. Crowd is going crazy. Silva clinches and lands a knee to the head. Silva lands a 4 punch combination that hurt Hunt. Silva unloads a series of 10 punches that go unanswered. Hunt lands a left hook that rocks Silva. Silva lands a right hand, and Hunt responds with another left hook that hurts Silva again. Hunt shoots in on a takedown, but Silva lands on top. Silva rains down huge shots from on top. Silva gets the mount and drops some really hard elbows and punches. The ref is close to stopping the fight. The round ends with Silva lands crazy hard shots, and now both guys are a bloody mess. 10-8 Silva.
The last round. Both fighters meet and the middle and hug. Hunt lands a left hook and a right hand. Hunt lands a 3 punch combination that wobbles Silva. Hunt lands a big right, then a jab. He lands a left hook, then a 2nd left hook that hurts Silva bad. Silva clinches and lands a knee to the head. They break and Silva looks really gassed. Hunt lands a right elbow. Hunt then lands two straight rights and 3 left hooks. Hunt lands another 1-2 combination. Silva misses another double leg takedown attempt. Hunt lands a right hand, and then a short elbow. Hunt lands two more left hooks. Silva is hurt bad. Hunt unloads a 10 punch combination which included elbows and body shots. Hunt lands a hard right hand. They separate and the ref stops the action so the doctor can check a cut on Silva. The doctor gives the okay and they fight again. Silva lands a leg kick and a right hand. Hunt lands a right elbow and left hook. Silva responds with a 3 punch combination. Silva lands a right hand. Both guys clinch. Silva unloads his own 10 punch combination. Hunt responds with 3 hard left hooks and a right hand. Hunt lands a right elbow. Silva clinches and lands a knee to the head. Hunt lands 2 more straight right hands. Silva clinches and lands two hard knees to the body. Silva lands a straight right, while Hunt lands a left hook. Hunt lands a right hand as the round ends. The crowd goes crazy. Standing ovation and possible the loudest crowd that I have ever heard. I scored the round 10-9 Hunt. I scored the fight 47-46 for Silva but it is really close.
Results and Notes:
The fight is declared a draw, and the crowd erupted. The crowd was ecstatic.
This is a fight that ends careers, due to the damage to the brain.
Hunt would go on to eventually fights for the interim title.Unfortunately, Silva seemed to have never recovered from the fight. Silva would go 1-7 after this fight.
The fight would be changed to a NC, because Silva tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone. They would rematch 2 years later with Hunt winning by early first round KO.
Stop in tomorrow for 6-10!