Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar 1 is the definition of an instant classic in mixed martial arts (MMA). Now known by MMA fans as "The American Classic," it's the monumental moment in MMA, the inflection point from which most fight fans and historians can draw a fine line in time and pivot.
In other words, there was MMA before Griffin-Bonnar 1, and there is now MMA as we know it after Griffin-Bonnar 1.
Believe it or not, that historic three-round war of attrition took place more than seven years ago. Both men went on to have successful careers with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) after earning their well-deserved "six-figure" contracts, with Griffin even holding the 205-pound strap for a stint.
It's been a wild ride for sure. And it continues this weekend when Bonnar steps inside the Octagon on short notice to take on the best the sport has ever seen, Anderson Silva, in the unlikely UFC 153 main event.
Bonnar was actually easing into retirement before getting the call to tangle with the "Spider" on his home turf in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in a three-round, non-title "fun" fight for the fans. Most aren't giving Bonnar a chance in hell to win; in fact, he's the biggest underdog ever in modern MMA history.
But, there's really no telling how it all might shake out once the cage door closes. And for all we know, we could be in store for another memorable "instant classic" that will be bandied about for another seven years.
Time will tell.
In the spirit of Bonnar and his epic fight with Griffin, MMAmania.com and fight historians and apparel brand Roots of Fight are celebrating their showdown in the build up to "American Psycho's" fight this weekend with Silva at UFC 153. How do we celebrate around here?
You should know the drill by now:
We give-a-way free stuff to our loyal readers and avid MMA fans. This time around not only do we have a ridiculous prize package to award one deserving reader, but we also have a just released slick mini-documentary that reflects on that magical night in Las Vegas, Nevada, featuring Bonnar, Griffin, Randy Couture, Urijah Faber and Joe Rogan (Scroll down and watch it below).
What do you have to do to win? It's pretty simple.
Griffin-Bonnar set the MMA "instant classic" bar; however, there have been numerous UFC bouts since that time that have been down right amazing. All you have to do is tell us an instant UFC classic that has taken place throughout the years and tell us -- in the comments section below -- the reason(s) it was so special and where/how it stacks up against the top dog, Griffin-Bonnar 1.
Best overall answer, reason and supporting argument wins the prize. It's that simple! One entry per reader, contest ends at 10 p.m. ET on Oct. 13, 2012, just hours before Bonnar's UFC 153 entrance. What are you waiting for? Hit us with your best instant UFC classic in the comments section below.