We could’ve voted on it, of course, and discussed a list of some of the great upsets of 2013. But instead we all had different opinions and what better way to discuss the year that was in 2013 for combat sports is to discuss our favorites of the year roundtable style.
And now … the best of 2013:
Sohn: Emanuel Newton vs. King Mo
Weidman vs. Silva probably deserves some mention here, but Silva didn’t exactly play it safe in that fight. Considering how he fought, it wasn’t surprising to see Weidman come out with a W. Had Silva fought his heart out and given it his best effort, and Weidman won it still, then we’re talking upset of all time. But Silva played around and payed for it. King Mo on the other hand, took this second fight much more seriously and had Newton in a bit of trouble early on. Then something strange happened and after Newton weathered that initial storm, he took the fight to King Mo and came out with a much more convincing victory than his first KO upset finish over Mo. Newton proved he was simply…better. A huge upset as many thought a revamped and revitalized Mo would wipe the floor with Newton using his signature ground and pound game. It was looking like that until Newton pulled off the upset of the year.
Keyes: Chris Weidman knocks out Anderson Silva at UFC 162
How ‘Upset of the Year’ can go to anyone but Chris Weidman is beyond me and rational thought. Chris Weidman vanquished the balletic beast that is Anderson Silva when he refused to be swayed by Silva’s in-cage histrionics and continued to press forward in order to land the finishing blow. This can be considered a huge upset and not only because Weidman himself was coming off of a year-long layoff, but because of the imposing stature of his opponent. Prior to UFC 162, Silva had compiled a UFC record 16-fight winning streak that included a UFC record 10 straight title defences and was almost universally heralded as the greatest of all time. With one punch Chris Weidman was able to consign all of Silva’s achievements to the history books and set about create a new era of dominance in the UFC middleweight division, when very few had nailed their flag to the Weidman mast.
Sawitz: Rico Verhoeven runs the table at Glory 11 to win the Glory heavyweight title
Going into Glory 11 the story was Ghita/Saki. They were the 2nd and 3rd ranked heavyweights in the world and it was perfunctory that the two would meet in the final. Ghita did his job, dismantling Braddock Silva, but Ricco Verhoeven took a close decision from Saki in the semi-finals. And then he shocked the world one more time, defeating Ghita in another insanely close fight. Considering he hadn’t been ranked coming in, a fringe player on the outskirts getting a shot to be in the title picture, that is insanely impressive. Beating one of these fighters would put him in this discussion when it comes to combat sports in 2013. Both on one night? Yeah. No contest for me.
CY: Andy Ristie starches Giorio Petroysan at Glory 12
If you haven’t managed to take in Glory kickboxing yet you are missing some of the most thrilling action in all of combat sports. The events have been a breath of fresh air and the man many believed to be the best of them all was lightweight kingpin Giorgio Petroysan. That was before he ran into a devastating combination of punches by Andy Ristie, ending a forty-two fight, six year undefeated streak.
Tags: Mixed Martial Arts