Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time! It has been an extraordinary year of ups and down for all of those involved in the rapidly growing world of mixed martial arts, but all things must come to an end, and it’s time for FiveOuncesofPain.com to dish out our official year end awards for the crazy year that was 2009.
We’ll be diving headfirst into a series of fifteen end of the year awards, with a new award being distributed every single day through December 31 with a special two part New Years Eve year-end award extravaganza.
In this edition we have FiveOuncesofPain’s top ten most brutal beatdowns of 2009:
1. Matt Brown vs. Pete Sell – UFC 96: Ten seconds into what ended up being one of the most barbaric beatings ever caught on film, Brown sent a blinding superman punch crashing into the chin of Sell and things started to spiral out of control really fast. Immediately after the initial strike, it was a huge head kick that was blocked but still nearly collapsed Sell to the canvas, and then a big right hand from Brown leveled the wounded fighter. This is the point when referee Yves Lavigne made arguably one of the worst calls in the history of the sport, moving in to stop the fight, but for some unknown reason, stepping back and telling Brown to “Keep going! Go, go,go,go,go!!!”. Brown looked at him like he was crazy because it was apparent that Sell was a done-dada, but went right ahead and did just that, he kept going. A couple of hard knees to the ribcage drops Sell yet again and Matt Brown climbs on top of him and tees off on the side of Pete’s face while the semi-conscious fighter has a “WTF” expression pinned to his face. After that it’s a little strangulation action as Sell gets trapped in a guillotine trying to stand up, and when they separate a couple well placed elbows in the clinch from “The Immortal” send the Pete’s mouthpiece to the Octagon canvas. It doesn’t stop there folks; Sell backs up, OBVIOUSLY hurt, and Brown tees off on his face with big knee strikes, pleading with Lavigne to call a halt to the contest. Finally it’s a few well placed punches on the fallen and bewildered Sell that brought to a halt a mugging that should have been stopped at the twenty second mark
2. Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir – UFC 100: Lesnar turned Mir’s body into a human pancake in this hard to watch beatdown, pummeling his carcass and face with a series of lunch boxes from the prison domination position on his way to transforming Frank’s face into ground hamburger and unifying the UFC heavyweight crown in the same night.
3. Cris “Cyborg” Santos vs. Gina Carano – Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg: I don’t know if it’s just a little harder for everyone else to watch a woman be beaten as mercifully as MMA’s sweetheart was on this fateful evening, but this lesson in humility ranks among the worst beatings of the year regardless of the circumstances. You could say that Cyborg “just wanted to destroy something that was beautiful”.
4. B.J. Penn vs. Diego Sanchez – UFC 107: Although Sanchez made it a point to go out fighting, all the heart in the world couldn’t have stopped this from being considered a beatdown in the truest sense of the term. The numbers don’t lie; B.J. Penn’s 150 strikes to Diego’s 8 combined with one of the gnarliest cuts to the forehead in the history of the game equals a one sided beating.
5. Nick Diaz vs. Frank Shamrock – Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz: I don’t remember the exact number of strikes Diaz ended up nailing Shamrock with in the last hailstorm of fists that brought a conclusion to this pummeling, but I’m pretty sure it was right around the fifty-something mark. Shamrock just couldn’t seem to get it going on this night, but Diaz sure could.
6. Kerry Vera vs. Kim Couture – Strikeforce Challengers: Woodley vs. Bears: I think the reason for the high amount of female bouts on this list has to be the fact that the sport is still developing for the females, and this leads to mismatches more often than would normally happen. With that said, it takes nothing away from the fact that Kerry Vera’s beating of Kim Couture was another of the hardest to watch fights of the year.
7. Mike Brown vs. Leonard Garcia – WEC 39: Most people expected for the heavy handed Garcia to at least keep it competitive for as long as the fight stayed on the feet, but a huge punch from Brown in the opening moments of the WEC featherweight title fight changed those preconceptions in a flash. From there it was all bad for Garcia as a series of strikes was followed up with an excruciating looking choke to seal the deal.
8. Cain Velasquez vs. Ben Rothwell – UFC 104: It doesn’t get much more one sided than this. Cain actually won the exchanges standing (something many didn’t expect) and then proceeded to make the massive Rothwell look like an amateur as he scooped him up and battered his face with punches over, and over, and over, and over, and over…..
9. Jon Jones vs. Matt Hammill – The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale: Jones may have suffered a defeat on paper in this bout, but Hammill’s face and spirit following this display of violence painted an entirely different picture. Jones ended up landing somewhere near forty strikes while in the mount position before this fight finally met it’s end.
10. Cris “Cyborg” Santos vs. Hitomi Akano – Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz: Cyborg has an uncanny ability to make her opponents look WAY out of their league. This “fight” was no exception. The end of this one looked like a bad case of domestic violence.