There have been some truly amazing bouts so far this year, but no division has been delivering the goods quite like the lightweights.
These guys fight at such an intense, breakneck pace that it should really be no surprise that three of the five matches on this list are between 155 lbs. competitors.
5. Elvis Sinosic vs. Michael Bisping – UFC 70
This was a hell of a match.
Throughout the first round Bisping, laid a huge beating on Sinosic – bloodying him in the process. As they began the second round, victory seemed only moments away for The Count. Out of nowhere, though, Sinosic, showing tons of heart, dropped him and almost secured a kimura.
Everyone I was watching the event with was going nuts, as Sinosic tried to end it. Bisping, who remained composed, managed to reverse the submission, get on top and rain the bombs until it was over.
4. Roger Huerta vs. Leonard Garcia – UFC 69
I hate to say it, but I really gave Leonard Garcia no chance in my prediction for this fight. I even went so far as to make a bad Mel Lastman joke at his expense.
Once the bell rang, though, I ate my words faster than Oprah downs a baked ham. Both competitors immediately threw caution, and fists, to the wind in a hugely entertaining slugfest. Garcia showed some incredible heart and toughness, while Huerta proved why he is one of the most exciting fighters going today.
In the end, the judges sided with Huerta, but Garcia was able to walk away with his head held high.
3. Randy Couture vs. Tim Sylvia – UFC 68
While hardly a technical exhibition, this was one of the most exciting fights I have ever seen. From the moment Couture knocked Sylvia on his ass in the opening seconds to the ring of the final bell, I was on the edge of my seat.
Utilizing some newly found boxing skills, Couture proved that even at age 43, he could both evolve as a fighter and outsmart bigger competitors. This match is just a brilliant testament to how important an intelligent game plan can be in MMA.
2. Clay Guida vs. Tyson Griffin – UFC 72
This was an absolute mat classic. Both fighters went at it with an incredible pace for three rounds and exchanged tons submission attempts and reversals.
Many fans were upset Griffin won the fight by split decision, citing that Guida was far more aggressive and in control. I honestly feel it was so close that either fighter could have been given the nod. Yes, Guida was more aggressive and constantly on the attack, but Griffin showed amazing defense, came close to ending the fight and probably got the better of the stand-up exchanges.
Either way, this was an amazing bout that every MMA fan should see at least once.
1. Frank Edgar vs. Tyson Griffin – UFC 67
What do you know? Tyson Griffin was in the two best fights so far this year.
Both fighters are accomplished wrestlers, who like the ground-and-pound. When two guys match up as well as Griffin and Edgar, their styles can cancel one another out. This is either a good or bad thing, but in the case of this fight, it resulted in an all-out war.
Edgar definitely got the better of most exchanges, but that didn’t stop Griffin from coming back and fighting with tons of heart and guts.
As the third round came to a close, Griffin caught Edgar in a nasty knee bar and came very close to ending it, but the round ended and Edgar walked away with the decision victory. This match is worth the price of the UFC 67 DVD alone.