UFC names unofficial best five fights of the 2013 mid-year

USA TODAY Sports

What have been the best fights of 2013 thus far? UFC has taken a stab at it below.

As June draws to a close and with no more big Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) events taking place until early July's UFC 163 bout in Las Vegas, UFC has decided to begin the mid-year awards.

Of course, the obvious category to get things started is the hotly contested "Fight of the Year" award, but Thomas Gerbasi and the rest of the writing crew over on UFC.com have taken their best stab at it.

Here's what they feel are the five best fights of 2013 (thus far):

5: Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche - UFC 157
The first female fight in UFC history only lasted a round but it was a dramatic one as Carmouche took Rousey's back standing and threatened the bantamweight champion with a rear naked choke/face crank, putting the "Rowdy" on in serious trouble for the first time in her young career. Rousey of course would overcome the situation and finish the fight by armbar, as she's done in every bout thus far in her career.

4: Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson - UFC on FOX 6
Just what the flyweight division needed, a spectacular main event featuring the champion Johnson against a powerful young opponent eager to knock his block off. Dodson nearly did just that, hurting Johnson on a couple occasions before wilting as the fight wore on to "Mighty Mouse" and his constant unrelenting pressure. The champ would retain his title, but it didn't come without nearly giving his fans a heart attack.

3: Dennis Bermudez vs. Matt Grice - UFC 157
Two wrestlers stepped into the Octagon and unleashed complete mayhem. Both Bermudez and Grice gleefully took years off each other's lives, firing away with heavy haymakers and connecting so many times it was hard to keep track. The fight featured many peaks and valleys, including a near rally from Grice in the third round that just came up short after putting Bermudez in serious trouble.

2: Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann - UFC on FUEL TV 8
What a war! Both Silva and Stann stood toe to toe, winging bombs and connecting so heavily the crowd in Japan could feel every shot. Silva's chin isn't what it used to be, and he was dropped several times in the first round, but "The Axe Murderer" hung on, channeling his days of Pride domination and popped Stann with some massive blows in the second round to put "The All-American" out for good in one of the wildest fights you'll ever see.

1: Johny Hendricks vs. Carlos Condit - UFC 158
This bout had it all, Hendricks showcasing his insane power and connecting on several occasions against "The Natural Born Killer," Condit firing back and trying to utilize his length and overall scrappiness. When Hendricks began to slow down, it came down to "Bigg Rigg's" national champion wrestling ability as he powered Condit to the canvas only to see the former interim welterweight champion repeatedly work back to his feet and fight on. Hendricks' decision victory cemented his status as the top 170 pound contender.

Honorable Mention: CB Dollaway-Daniel Sarafian, Jose Aldo-Frankie Edgar, Tom Watson-Stanislav Nedkov, Brad Pickett-Mike Easton, Pat Healy-Jim Miller, Matt Brown-Jordan Mein, Cat Zingano- Miesha Tate, Thiago Silva-Rafael Cavalcante, Junior dos Santos-Mark Hunt, Benson Henderson-Gilbert Melendez.

Not a bad list if I say so myself. Did they miss anything? If so, feel free to make a case for your favorite fights that took place inside the Octagon this year.

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