Ten Best – The Losses Of 2009

Machida vs. Rua 

Thomas sent this in:

There are no moral victories in the UFC: A loss means half the paycheck the winner gets, a step away from a title shot and a disheartening trip home.

But every now and then, a loss enhances a fighter’s reputation or showcases his skills in a way that makes people forget the overall outcome.

So we’re kicking off our unofficial year-end “Best Of” season with a list of the “best” losses of 2010 – ten performances worth saluting, L or no:

10 – Alan Belcher loses to Yoshihiro Akiyama – UFC 100 – July 11

Eclipsing Lesnar, Mir, GSP, Hendo and more, Alan Belcher and Yoshihiro Akiyama earned Fight of the Night honors on the sport’s biggest stage ever. Belcher’s disputed split decision loss to Akiyama elevated ‘The Talent’ from prospect to contender. Belcher ended the year with a blistering knockout of Wilson Gouveia at UFC 107, proving that he’s here to stay.

9 – Tim Credeur loses to Nate Quarry – UFC Fight Night – September 16

As the first Louisianan to receive a black belt in BJJ, Tim Credeur came up as ‘the ground guy.’ Soon Credeur began throwing his hands with more abandon — fine against some folks, but you don’t want to trade with Nate Quarry if you don’t have to. That’s just what ‘Crazy Tim’ did though. He got knocked down and busted up, but he never stopped swinging (not to mention that he left his “winner” looking like this.) He lost the decision – and his rep as a  ‘ground guy’ for good.

8 – Mark Coleman loses to Shogun Rua – UFC 93 – January 17

After nearly three years away from competition, Mark Coleman’s odds of returning to form at the age of 44 and beating Mauricio Rua in the rematch of their 2006 PRIDE bout were slim. But shockingly, ‘The Hammer’ put on a performance that had Dublin fans screaming for him by round three. He put it on the favorite, seemed close to finishing Rua on a couple occasions, and while it was Rua who pulled off the late TKO victory, Coleman proved he still had ‘it’ – a fact backed up when he beat Stephan Bonnar at UFC 100.

7 – Cheick Kongo loses to Cain Velasquez – UFC 99 – June 13

I included this in my half-year list of best fights, and I stand by my assertion that Cheick Kongo’s performance made that fight. He rocked Velasquez and threatened to finish several times. Velasquez dominated the bout, but Kongo never gave in when most fighters would have. There are guys with Kongo’s skill set out there, but not many show that kind of heart.

6 – Wanderlei Silva loses to Rich Franklin – UFC 99 – June 13

Even when “The Axe Murderer” falters, he does so after he’s left everything of himself on the mat. After losing four of his last five bouts leading up to his UFC 99 battle with Rich Franklin, many wondered if he was done for. Of course, you have to mention that those losses came against Mirko Cro Cop, Dan Henderson, Chuck Liddell, and Quinton Jackson, but still, four losses are four losses.The Franklin fight saw Silva lose again, but only after a three-round war fought at 195 pounds. The Brazilian icon turned back the clock for the night and showed why he has a guaranteed spot waiting for him in the Hall of Fame. In February, he makes his middleweight debut against Michael Bisping. If you’re not excited about that fight, you’re not a fan of MMA.

5 – Paul Buentello loses to Stefan Struve – UFC 107 – December 12

Sometimes when a UFC veteran comes back to the organization after a long absence, the thrill is gone, and sometimes so is the skill, with the fighter never being able to recapture the magic he had the first time around. So when it was announced that affable Paul Buentello was coming back to the UFC to face 6 foot 11 prospect Stefan Struve, some feared the worst. But after a rough first round, it was the Buentello of old — punching hard and deceptively fast, standing toe-to-toe and putting on a performance that had the crowd roaring. The majority decision for Struve was met with boos and debate, but one thing was clear at the end of those 15 minutes – The Headhunter was back home where he belonged.

4 – Jake Ellenberger loses to Carlos Condit – UFC Fight Night – September 16

When Jake Ellenberger entered the Octagon for the first time in September, he was considered a sizeable underdog to former WEC welterweight boss Carlos Condit. Then the bell rang and Ellenberger almost finished Condit three times in the first round with two knockdowns and a guillotine choke attempt. Condit rebounded in the next two rounds, but each stanza was still close, and the Nebraskan could well have walked away with the W. Condit took it via split decision, but Ellenberger gained stature among casual fans in defeat.

3 – Clay Guida loses to Diego Sanchez – TUF 9 Finale – June 20

If this fight ended after its frantic 60 second opening, it would have still found its way onto the top ten list for the year. But disbelieving audiences got 15 full minutes of action from these two lightweights. While Sanchez earned the three round split decision, who can forget the sight of Guida’s fists and hair flailing as he stood toe to toe with the ‘Nightmare’? Or ‘The Carpenter’ rising after taking a flush kick to the chin in the first round? Guida always brings it, and in a fight like this, the final result is a mere footnote.

2 – Jon Jones loses to Matt Hamill – TUF10 Finale – December 5

Fight game vets know you can’t pick out winners and losers based on physical damage. Exhibit A: Matt Hamill, who made way out of the Octagon with a dislocated shoulder, a deep cut across his nose, and a dejected look on his face that wouldn’t have anyone believe that he’d actually won. But he did, as the previously unbeaten Jones was disqualified for an illegal elbow strike that finished off what would have been one of the year’s biggest wins for Jonny Bones. Jones is currently appealing the DQ verdict in favor of a no contest – either way, Jones certainly had no one calling him a loser that night.

1 – Mauricio Rua loses to Lyoto Machida – UFC 104 – October 24

On October 24th, Los Angeles hosted one of the closest championship fights in recent history, as Lyoto Machida successfully defended his light heavyweight crown via unanimous decision over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Some of the rounds were brutally tough to score: I saw it 48-47 for Rua that night; 48-47 for Machida when I rewatched it on TV. But with the subsequent, unprecedented fan outrage, you’d have thought the world was about to end.

What this outrage meant is that “Shogun” was back to the form that had terrorized PRIDE fighters in Japan for years. And with many calling him the uncrowned champion after 25 minutes in the Octagon with Machida, it’s clear that this fight was as close as a fighter can get to a victory without getting his hand raised. In 2010, Rua gets his chance to reverse the verdict.

Honorable mention – Keith Jardine vs Quinton Jackson, Steve Cantwell vs Luiz Cane. Tell us who we left off.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Enjoyed this post?
Subscribe to Octagon Buzz via RSS Feed or E-mail and receive daily updates from us!

Submit to Digg  Stumble This Story  Share on Twitter  Post on Facebook  Post on MySpace  Add to del.icio.us  Bark It Up  Submit to Reddit  Fave on Technorati

3 Responses to “Ten Best – The Losses Of 2009”

  1. […] the story on Topix Posted in […]

  2. Does it work for all races? I mean black people like me have kinky hair which very different from the hair white people have

  3. corey says:

    bj penn vs st.pierre 1. St.pierre went to the hospital a bloody swollen mess and B.J. went home

Leave a Reply

Write For Us