With the raging success of UFC, mixed martial arts matches have become a part of sports lore, and if you look through the annals of history, there are some truly amazing fights to enjoy. So what makes a fight great, or even legendary? In general, there are three components to a great fight: displays of technique, background storylines that elevate the fight and the exhibitions of sheer will and toughness that can only be found in martial encounters.
Technical battles aren’t always a treat to more casual audiences, but anyone in the know loves to see opposing styles test each other fully. This can come in the form of traditional martial arts clashing in the ring, but in some of the most amazing battles, strikers facing grapplers holds an amazing give and take. An excellent example is the thrilling battle between Stout and Fisher, where the defensive footwork of Stout was able to edge a win against the unrelenting aggression of Fisher.
In the end, one of the great appeals of sports comes in the form of the dramatic storylines leading up to an event. Recently, this was clear when Conor McGregor destroyed Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205, conquering yet another division. In terms of amazing storylines throughout MMA history, the crowned king has to be Griffin vs Bonnar. The fight came as a climactic culmination of the Ultimate Fighter reality show, and it is heralded as the event that took MMA to mainstream audiences. The fight itself had plenty of great moments, but many still call it the greatest of all time for no other reason than the story tied to it.
Still, for veterans and newcomers alike, the absolute best fights are the obvious displays of toughness that can’t be found in other sports. The most famous example was the legendary toe-to-toe brawl between Frye and Takayama at Pride 21. If you haven’t seen this fight, run over to Youtube and enjoy the visual feast. It will only take a few minutes out of your day, and you won’t be disappointed. On the other end of the spectrum you have the marathon battles like Sakuraba vs Gracie. That classic display of technique lasted for a full 90 minutes of combat time.
In the end, the value of MMA is its variety. There is a fight that appeals to every kind of viewer, which is the strength of accommodating the range of techniques and styles. If you enjoy the promotions and hype, then UFC will continue to deliver. If you prefer the technical breakdowns, there are plenty of films to sate you until the next classic. Alas, for those who just like to see human beings pushing their limits, there will never be a shortage of these indomitable displays.