The following at the Top Five Moments from UFC 205 Fighters…
5. Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard 2
I’m biased here and I won’t try to hide it. This is my favorite fight of all time and, in my opinion, Frankie Edgar’s best performance of his career. After getting rocked and beaten down in round one, Edgar roared back to arguably take three of the last four rounds on the scorecards. I was fine with the decision being a draw, it made sense with the scores. This fight showed the tremendous heart that Edgar possesses and how efficiently he mixes his striking and wrestling together. Even if Edgar never wins another title, he’s a fighter that is worth watching no matter what.
4. Tyron Woodley vs. Robbie Lawler
Woodley always insisted that he was a future champion and for some time, he seemed to be only one thinking that. When he finally received his title shot at UFC 201, he was a heavy underdog and champion Robbie Lawler was expected to keep up his winning streak. Two minutes into the first round, Lawler met the same fate that Josh Koscheck and Jay Hieron met. Woodley cracked him hard and Lawler went down. Just like that, Woodley proved that all the talk was real and with his mixture of speed and power, he may be the champion that sticks around for some time.
3. Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Carla Esparza
Carla Esparza was the first UFC strawweight champion in UFC history, taking the title by winning the 20th season of TUF. Joanna was two fights into her UFC career with a record of 8-0. Esparza was highly touted as a dominant fighter and predicted to be a longtime champion. At UFC 185 in Dallas, that all changed. Esparza tried working her takedowns and Joanna stuffed all but one. Joanna punished every failed attempt and mauled Esparza at distance with her powerful and precise striking. Esparza was saved by the bell in round one and came out to more of the same. Joanna dominated her with powerful elbows and a stinging jab that finally put Esparza down with less than a minute remaining in round 2. The win brought the title to Joanna and started her dominating run that looks to continue this weekend against Karolina Kowalkiewicz.
2. Eddie Alvarez vs. Rafael dos Anjos
Alvarez was a fighter that was always this close to joining the UFC. He spent his career in smaller promotions as well as larger ones such as Dream and Bellator. When he became the Bellator lightweight champion, he was constantly compared to his peers in the UFC. His first fight upon entering the UFC was a loss to Donald Cerrone and his wins against Anthony Pettis and Gilbert Melendez were underwhelming. He was a heavy underdog coming in against dos Anjos but the odds mean nothing to Eddie Alvarez. Dos Anjos worked his patient game against Alvarez for the first three minutes until Eddie landed that one big shot. Dos Anjos was rocked and managed to weather the storm when Alvarez launched a missed flying knee that dos Anjos managed to gain top control from. Dos Anjos was still wounded though and Alvarez did not let up. He battered dos Anjos against the fence with punches to the body and head until the referee had no choice but to stop the fight. Alvarez would become the champion he always said he would become.
1. Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 2
Conor McGregor may be one of the best fighters in the world but he may also be one of the best salesman as well. Hate him or love him, people watch him fight. His first fight against Nate Diaz was one of the biggest PPVs in UFC history and a rematch was guaranteed. McGregor used the loss to refocus his training and fight preparation, changing his nutrition and cardio training to avoid gassing out again. When he entered the rematch, he was a different type of animal. He knocked Diaz down numerous times and avoided being goaded into a ground fight with the BJJ black belt. The two men went to war for five bloody, grueling, amazing rounds. McGregor was awarded the majority decision in a fight that could have gone either way and brought the UFC the largest PPV numbers it had ever seen.