If you’re a guy looking to write a Top 5 Finish List, a month like August is as welcome to you as a visit from the Tooth Fairy to Glover Teixeira. Of fifteen main card fights in the month, eight of them led to taps, stoppages, or starches. Here are the top five…
1. Anthony “Rumble” Johnson de-tooths Glover Teixeira
The UFC 202 co-main event offered up a match of two absolute killers in the Light Heavyweight Division. Both men have fought and come up short in championship matches and this bout served to reestablish one of them as a number one contender.
Glover, a highly-technical finisher, was coming off of a three fight win streak during which he finished each of his opponents, including Rashad Evans and OSP.
Anthony Johnson is an absolute animal when he smells blood, easily the most dangerous striker in the division (if not sport) who has finished five of his seven UFC opponents.
The two men square off, retreat to their respective corners, and prepare to answer the referee’s signal to fight. The signal received, Teixeira rushes across the Octagon, and he is rewarded for his effort by rocket launched right uppercut which sends a Teixeira bicuspid into orbit. Fortunately, just when we were all beginning to wonder if Glover was an organ donor, he showed signs of life and lives to fight another day.
2. “12 Gauge” Paige VanZant karate KO’s Rowdy Bec Rawlings
Coming off a war with Rose Namajunas in which she was stopped late in the last of a five round fight, Paige was looking to make a statement at UFC on FOX 21. After a back and forth round 1, the two ladies met in the center of the cage and began exchanging evenly until Paige summoned her inner Cung Le and landed a Matrix style flying switch head kick which dropped the Rowdy one and ended the fight.
3. Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis vs Charles Oliveira
The co-main event of UFC on FOX 21 brought us the Featherweight debut of Anthony Pettis against an extremely tough opponent in Charles Oliveira. Oliveira brought the fight and showed off some impressive kickboxing, especially his front leg techniques. Pettis, however, was more than game getting his stuff in effectively and often. By the time the bell to open the third and final round rang, this fight was already an official war. The two continued on, business as usual, taking the fight everywhere – both pressing, both moving forward – until in the final two minutes Showtime found his way to the neck of Oliveira and finished with a guillotine choke.
4. Donald Cerrone vs Rick Story
Anytime The Cowboy is in the cage, people grab their popcorn and do their best not to blink. Fighting for just the third time at Welterweight, and having looked incredible in the previous two bouts, the anticipation was high as Donald stepped in against a tough Rick Story who was coming off of a three fight win streak himself. The first round didn’t disappoint as the two fought hard, moved forward, swapped takedowns, and were effectively aggressive. Around the two minute mark of the 2nd round, Cowboy landed a two punch combination and finished with a head kick that looked like something out of a movie. Story, reeling, retreated to the cage where Cerrone moved in and secured the W.
5. Demian Maia slices through The Natural Born Killer
In what has to be the most anticipated free fight in the history of the UFC, Demian Maia faced Carlos Condit in a contest to help unmuddy the Welterweight Title contention waters. Coming in as an underdog Demian took the center of the cage, immediately shot a single worked Condit to the mat, took his back, and finished without being so much as punched. The main event was relatively anticlimactic, but the impressiveness of Maia’s BJJ is staggering. The only question Maia left with this performance was “How long until my title shot?”