To kick off our 12 Days of Quintmas series, we’re giving you our favorite moments from each of the 12 UFC events that has transpired in 2015, beginning in January and working our way to the present!
UFC® 182: Jones vs. Cormier
This light heavyweight title fight has been one of the most talked-about matches of 2015, but not always for the fight itself – often, for the circumstances surrounding it. The battle began immediately, with former Olympian wrestler Cormier getting taken to the ground early. The crowd wasn’t disappointed when the two fighters began to seriously light each other up in the second round, with each man somehow managing to stay in the game after being battered by repeated blows. Both were worn down, exhausted and bloodied by the end of the final round when the judges’ scores were revealed: Jones kept his belt by unanimous decision.
Watch the slow motion breakdown and the highlights for Jones vs. Cormier starting at 0:52 in the video below!
UFC® 183: Tate vs. McMann
This fight was as close as they come. Miesha Tate was widely regarded as an underdog heading in, while the more seasoned Sara McMann carried better odds. These two hung on for five rounds inside the Octagon, battering one another while somehow still remaining on their feet. The judges pronounced Tate the winner with scores of 29-28, 29-27 and 28-28. Check out the detailed recap here!
UFC® 184: Rousey vs. Zingano
“Rowdy” Rousey was already a household name by the time UFC 184 came to fruition, but this match elevated her career to even higher heights. Fans were crying for their money back after Rousey finished off No. 1 bantamweight contender Cat Zingano in a record 14 seconds with an arm bar submission! Read up on the fight analysis here. Got a few seconds to spare? Watch the full fight below.
UFC® 185: Jedrzejczyk vs. Esparza
Jedrzejczyk quickly rose through the ranks of public recognition in 2015, establishing herself as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the UFC – male or female – after gaining the strawweight championship belt in this match. She’s adorable in interviews, but fatal in the Octagon. Jedrzejczyk dethroned the reigning champ of the strawweight division, Carla Esparza, in a lopsided fight where the challenger dominated. Jedrzejczyk’s striking game proved to be devastating to Esparza as she finished off the titleholder with a second-round TKO.
UFC® 186: Johnson vs. Horiguchi
This was “Mighty Mouse” Demetrious Johnson’s sixth straight flyweight title defense, and though Horiguchi held his own against the man who is arguably the UFC’s best pound-for-pound fighter, he ended up the same way Johnson’s past six challengers did – on the mat. The champ caught Horiguchi in a last-second arm bar to secure his victory. Detailed recap can be found here.
UFC® 187: Weidman vs. Belfort
Prior to UFC 194, this was Weidman’s most recent title defense in a string of three successful defenses. Weidman didn’t waste any time once the match began, getting in not just one, but two head kicks within the first 30 seconds. Belfort got in a few excellent shots to the champ, but Weidman stood his ground and ended the fight by taking Belfort down and pummeling him until the ref stepped in. Only 2:53 had passed in the first round, and Weidman had already finished off his opponent. Looking for a recap? Check this one out.
UFC® 188: Velasquez vs. Werdum
This heavyweight title unification bout took place at the Arena Ciudad in Mexico City. Werdum dominated every aspect of the fight from beginning to end, polishing off Velasquez with a guillotine choke with 2:13 left in the third round. Word on the street is that a rematch between the two will take place at UFC 196 in February 2016, but in the meantime, enjoy the slow motion fight highlights of their first meeting beginning at 0:47 below.
UFC® 189: Mendes vs. McGregor
If you’ve been paying attention to the whole Aldo-McGregor trash-talking debacle leading up to UFC 194, you probably already know that this is where the bad blood began. The featherweight title match was originally promoted to be between Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor, but Aldo was forced to pull out of the fight due to a hotly-contested fractured rib. An interim belt was put on the line and Chad Mendes was found as a last-minute substitution.
In spite of the short notice, Mendes proved himself to be a more than worthy opponent for the scrappy McGregor, who’d had ample time to prepare for the fight. The two were evenly matched through the first two rounds with McGregor possibly on the losing end. That is, until McGregor unleashed a barrage of hits, taking down Mendes via TKO with just seconds remaining in Round 2. Fight motion begins at 1:43 below!
UFC® 190: Rousey vs. Correia
Once again, Rousey’s aggressive style came through for her in her UFC 190 bantamweight title defense against underdog Bethe Correia. We could probably give you a play-by-play in just one sentence since the entire fight only lasted 34 seconds (still longer than UFC 184), but since actions speak louder than words, we’ll just let you watch the TKO for yourself.
UFC® 191: Johnson vs. Manuwa
In spite of his relinquishment of the light heavyweight championship belt to challenger Daniel Cormier just a few months earlier, “Rumble” Johnson was in fine form at UFC 191 facing off against Jimi Manuwa. The two gave an action-packed first-round performance, with Johnson holding a razor-thin lead against his opponent. Round 2 only lasted 28 seconds before Johnson’s right hand connected with Manuwa for the TKO. The final seconds of the match can be seen below!
UFC® 192: Northcutt vs. Trevino
This catchweight match-up is the only 2015 highlight we selected that took place in the prelims, and it’s not hard to understand why. 19-year-old newcomer Sage Northcutt didn’t waste any time proving his worth in his UFC debut. Northcutt rushed Trevino straight out of the gate, put him on the ground and then began inundating him with a flurry of hits. The ref called the fight just 57 seconds into Round 1 to make it official – Northcutt defeated Trevino via TKO.
UFC® 193: Rousey vs. Holm
Leading up to this fight, Rousey was invincible. After UFC 190, UFC fans were left wondering if the female bantamweight division held any woman capable of even challenging her, let alone defeating her. Enter “The Preacher’s Daughter” – Holly Holm. Few even gave her a second glance – but not because of her lack of skill or experience so much as their unwavering confidence in Rousey’s dominance.
Rousey revealed a number of holes in her stand-up game, falling victim to Holm’s nearly-flawless defense and overwhelming striking capability. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know how this fight ended up: Holm lit up Rousey to claim the belt via TKO after Rousey failed to adjust her aggressive style to match Holm’s shrewd, calculated technique.
BONUS from UFC® 194: Aldo vs. McGregor
The shortest fight in UFC history to lead to a championship belt changing hands. Just 13 seconds into the match, McGregor landed a left-handed punch to make his interim belt a true championship title belt. McGregor shocked the world when he lived up to his own hype – and then some!
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