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Top Five UFC Fight Cards in League History: A Fan’s View
According to a Yahoo! Sports report, Junior dos Santos' nice guy persona is no act as he prepares for Alistair Overeem.
"He has a genuine good-hearted nature that resonates with fans, fellow athletes and the media," said Dave Sholler, the UFC's director of communications who escorted Dos Santos on his media tour of Los Angeles. "He's a really funny, light-hearted guy. A lot of media who are new to MMA see him as this 6-foot-4, 240-pound giant of a man. But when you sit and talk with him, what they find is that he's really just a 28-year-old kid who loves music, good steakhouses and really loves to have a good time."
Dos Santos defends his UFC heavyweight title against Overeem in the main event of a stacked UFC 146 card on May 26 at the MGM Grand Garden.
In honor of the UFC 146 card, here's a look back at the top five best cards in league history:
1) UFC 100: The UFC wanted to do something special to mark its 100th official event, and that meant filling up a card with superstars, champions and fan favorites. This card was so solid that fan favorites like Jon Jones, Mark Coleman, Stephan Bonnar and "Korean Zombie" each fought on the preliminary card.
In main card action, the tilt between Yoshihiro Akiyama and Alan Belcher was an instant classic that earned Fight of the Year honors, and Dan Henderson's highlight-reel knockout of Michael Bisping is one of the most memorable in league history. The card also featured exciting bouts between Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir, plus a title matchup between Georges St-Pierre and Thiago Alves.
2) UFC 84: This card had several exciting storylines and memorable finishes. Shane Carwin made his UFC debut with a thrilling knockout of Christian Wellisch in a preliminary bout that ended up making it onto the PPV, and Thiago Silva came from behind to defeat Antonio Mendes in action on the main card.
The top bouts of the night also featured a highlight-reel knockout victory by B.J. Penn, as he crushed Sean Sherk with a beautiful flying knee, and Wanderlei Silva earned a first-round stoppage in a victory over Keith Jardine. Tito Ortiz and Lyoto Machida also put on an exciting three-round war.
3) UFC 139: UFC President Dana White called the main event battle between Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Dan Henderson one of the top three fights in MMA history, and the card also featured fan favorites like Wanderlei Silva, Ryan Bader and Stephan Bonnar. Silva's fan-pleasing standup style was on full display in a second round knockout of Cung Le, and Urijah Faber tapped out Brian Bowles in the second round of a bantamweight scrap.
4) UFC 1: I'll never forget the feeling I got from watching my first UFC fight, as Gerard Gordeau stopped Teila Tuli with a devastating kick to the face just 26 seconds into the first round.
UFC 1 also featured three bouts by the legendary Royce Gracie, since it was a tournament-style event at the time, which meant that winning fighters had to fight multiple times in the same night. When Royce Gracie submitted fellow legend Ken Shamrock in the semifinal round, I became a fan for life.
5) UFC 52: Not only did this card feature a classic tilt between Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell for the UFC Light Heavyweight title, it also had one of the best fights in league history in the long-awaited rematch between Matt Hughes and Frank Trigg. Georges St-Pierre, an up-and-coming prospect at the time, made his fourth fight in the UFC at this event, a decisive victory over Jason Miller.
What other UFC cards are the best of all-time? Let me know in the comments.
Eric Holden is a lifelong UFC fan and supporter of the sport of mixed martial arts. Follow him on Twitter @ericholden.
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