I offer you today my six points retrospective excellent year for mixed martial arts. An exceptional year for the UFC organization but which ended with the long-term loss of Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva.
The year was excellent also for Bellator, but ended for them too on a sour note with the injury to Tito Ortiz. However the performance of athletes of both organizations promises a whole year in 2014. Here’s to you my review of the year
Combat Ann Ed: Gilbert Melendez c. Diego Sanchez (UFC 166, October 19, 2013)
The year 2013 resulted in several great battles, but none of them in my opinion not hold a candle to the real war that Americans have engaged Mexican origin Gilbert Melendez and Diego Sanchez.
It is even in my case the best fight I’ve had the opportunity to see in my life, all combat sports confused. Melendez and Sanchez did allow any moment of respite in this battle filled with action, emotion and twists. Both have at one time or another in the fight got a real chance of winning dramatically, but it is finally Gilbert Melendez who emerged victorious in this crazy fight by decision of the judges. There is a safe bet that in a not so distant future we will have a Melendez-Vasquez 2. I want to give honorable mentions to two other battles, the clash between Mark Hunt and Antonio Silva at UFC has been tarnished by the positive testosterone Brazilian control, not to mention the spectacular rematch that we have offered and Eddie Alvarez Michael Chandler Bellator side – a third fight between the two is also provided in the first months of 2014.
Back Of The Year Ed: Robbie Lawler
What about the explosive Robbie Lawler who has done an outstanding back in the UFC organization in February 2013 with a TKO powerful facing the aspirant and member of the world’s top-10 Josh Koscheck.
A victory in less than four minutes was all wide-eyed. He followed that performance with wins over Bobby Voelker and Rory MacDonald – and these three victories gave him a pass for a fight world championship 170 pounds in March face Johny Hendricks. If someone has the tools to defeat Hendricks so dominant and spectacular is well Lawler. In addition to being a fearsome puncher with dynamite in both hands, it also has excellent control and a herculean physical strength. The American is also very big for a 170 pounds, a ton of elements that could represent quite a headache for Hendricks. A fight that will be definitely one to watch.
D Ed Iscovery Of The Year: Brandon Thatch
People in Quebec have had the pleasure and the chance to discover the incredible Brandon Thatch before the rest of the world thanks to its three appearances in 2011 and 2012 in three events that I have presented here. Long ago that I speak of this talented American who has all the attributes to be enthroned at one time or another on top of the 170-pound division. True gentleman outside the octagon, Thatch becomes aggressive and dangerous predator when the cage doors close. With technical kickboxing and Muay Thai devastating Thatch is as accurate and powerful. Asset underestimated his arsenal: his work on submissions. Thatch knows he needs to work on his struggle in the weeks and months to come as this is his only real weakness though more often than compensates for his incredible physical strength. Even if it is tipping the scales at 170 pounds during the official weigh it comes to his fighting (the next night) at 205 pounds. Thatch was operated in the shoulder and ankle earlier this month and he will be back around June 2014. One to watch!
Surprise Of The Year Ed: Premi Era Victory Weidman Silva
This is certainly not everyone will agree with me, but I think the surprise of the year 2013 is the victory of Chris Weidman to face Anderson Silva in their first duel.
Nobody could have predicted a victory by knockout Weidman against the dominant Brazilian. Yes Silva made the fool in this battle and Weidman is a young talented athlete, but I never thought this possible scenario. During the rematch, despite the incident that ended the fight, Weidman was simply dominant and silenced the critics who did not believe in him. The young student Matt Serra has a whole future ahead of him and I can not wait to attend his fight against Vitor Belfort in 2014.
Most Of Obtain Good Reception: The Fall Of “King Mo”
There were some disappointments this year in our sport, but for me the biggest is undoubtedly the fall of “King Mo”. Excellent fighter with very good boxing, Lawal was disappointing in 2013 particularly during his two fights against Emmanuel Newton. The latter gave a lesson to Lawal on all aspects of combat. The first time with a KO MLB and the second time with an almost complete domination for three rounds. When he brought in Bellator, the U.S. organization has done everything to place at the top of the mountain, giving opportunity over opportunity. Now it’s him in 2014 to turn the tide and be liable for all the hopes in him.
Fighter Ann Ed: Vitor Belfort
How to ignore the absolutely wonderful year that has offered us Vitor Belfort, the Brazilian phenomenon emotive amateur mixed martial arts for over 17 years. Probably the most spectacular athlete and the most promising of the history of MA, Belfort was more dominant than ever in 2013 and this year was just perfect for the talented athlete – three wins by knockout in three fights, and each time with nothing less than a kick to the head. His victims: Michael Bisping, Luke Rockhold and Dan Henderson, all fighters ranked in the top-10 world. Belfort among others was the first to pass the KO Dan Henderson during the long and legendary career of the latter. Belfort’s next fight: a rendezvous with destiny against Chris Weidman to become world champion and avenge his countryman Anderson Silva. The fight will take place on the land of his ancestors in Brazil and the fight should be the most watched in the history of sport, both in level and then television audience that the UFC plans to present the event in a huge stadium soccer in Rio de Janeiro.