When you get right down to it, New Year's day isn't really about family, friends or ambitious resolutions that never pan out. It's about lists! Goals, objectives, dreams and, most importan, lists from all your favorite websites of the "X Most Y of the Year."
And we at MMAmania are proud conformists.
2013 was a hell of a year for mixed martial arts (MMA). We've picked up new Lightweight and Middleweight UFC champions and had coups at Welterweight and Light Heavyweight that were a hair's breadth from success. We had terrific fights and vicious knockouts, too.
So as you all recover from copious amounts of alcohol, let's take a look back at another fine year of MMA. We'll start with knockouts!
The Top 5 Knockouts of 2013
5. Rolles Gracie wants five more minutes, Mom
(.gif via ZProphet_MMA)
Okay, I'll admit the technique wasn't great, it wasn't a stunning upset and it wasn't a big comeback. But, if watching Derrick Mehmen put Rolles Gracie down for a long and winding early nap at World Series of Fighting (WSOF) 5 is not the funniest thing you've seen all year, you've had a terrifically amusing 2013.
4. Travis Browne gets digestive system rearranged, wins anyway at UFC Fight Night 26
The opening minutes of Travis Browne vs. Alistair Overeem were so gnarly I almost got a hernia just from watching them. "Demolition Man" unleashed one of the nastiest torso beatings I have ever seen, landing countless Uberknees to the Hawaiian's guts and very nearly getting him out of there early.
Apparently, the beatdown was enough for the spirit of Sensei Segal to take over Browne's mutilated form, as he started flinging front kicks to the body and head of the flagging Dutchman.
And wouldn't you know it, one of them found his chin.
3. Emanuel Newton spins to win
(.gif via ZProphet_MMA)
You know how the story goes: Elite fighter leaves major organization, signs with lesser promotion and is expected to run shop. When Dan Henderson tried that, he ran into the Death Snuggie that is Jake Shields.
And when "King Mo" tried it, he ran into Emanuel Newton at Bellator 90.
Not only is this one of the most amusing knockouts of the year, it's also a frontrunner for "Upset of the Year," as Lawal was more than an 8-1 favorite against the Greco-Roman stylist.
It's why we love the sport, innit?
2. Junior Dos Santos flattens the Super Samoan at UFC 161
In the first round, Junior dos Santos hit Mark Hunt with what was, in my opinion, the single most powerful punch ever landed in MMA.
And it didn't finish him.
So when the third round came along and four ridiculous things happened in sequence, it was pretty astonishing.
- Dos Santos threw a wheel kick.
- Dos Santos LANDED a wheel kick.
- Hunt went down.
- Hunt STAYED down.
It was a terrific end to a terrific fight. Well done, gents.
1. The Itsy-Bitsy Spider falls off the waterspout at UFC 162
You knew this was going to be here. The invincible Anderson Silva floored by a left hook from a wrestler at UFC 162.
As the excellent Jack Slack explained, when Silva drops his hands like that, his head movement isn't just a product of incredible reflexes; he relies on the predictability of MMA striking. Silva expected Weidman to alternate hands, throwing left-right-left-right.
The key to the finish was that dinky little backfist -- it threw off the sequence and left "The Spider" leaning toward his right as "All American" prepared to throw his left hook.
Funny how the little things do so much, eh?
Feel free to tell me how wrong I am in the comments and be here for the next installment. Happy New Year!