Movie Night: Five Great Fights
It’s been quite a year already in the world of ultimate fighting. Feathers and fur have been flying in the Octagon and out. Who’s getting a rematch? Who isn’t? Who’s already in the running for the most-gruesome eye injury of 2016? But because we’re just crawling out of the winter weather rut and some of us out here in the workaday world are still trying to kick off a kilo or so, let’s amp up with a few great fight videos for inspiration
We took an ecumenical approach and chose some great fights with educational value. KO highlights videos are fun and all, but they can’t teach you much about craft. After watching these fights, you’ll have to take it easy on your sparring partner.
Hearns-Hagler (1985): This was one for the ages. Marvellous Marvin and Hitman Hearns came out swinging like their lives depended on it, and the announcers ran out of superlatives. As the Boston Globe writer Ron Borges says in the HBO documentary Legendary Nights: The Tale of Hagler Vs. Hearns, “When Marvin Hagler came out of his corner, he was carrying with him all the frustrations and broken dreams of his whole life, and he was gonna take them all out on somebody else.” The documentary also makes for good viewing.
Silva-Sonnen, UFC 117: Sonnen brought it all to the mat, no doubt, but it doesn’t end the way you think it might after he dominates for four rounds. This fight from 2010 shows how those moves you’ve trained over and over and over can surface just when you need them most.
Tyson-Holyfield II (1997): This fight is worth watching for the sheer jaw-dropping shock of Tyson’s disqualification, but it’s also a great showdown. Holyfield’s performance was impressive and Tyson got rattled. A good object lesson in not letting your mind undo your training – and your career.
Rousey-Holm, UFC 193: It’s all well and good to end a fight in 13 seconds, but for learning purposes, where’s the fun in that? Ignore all the chatter and just watch the fight for Holm’s execution and the way she exploited every opening. Rousey was definitely in control of her faculties before the fight, because she predicted that Holm would try to get her with a kick to the head.
Sakmongkol-Jonsanan (1993): “Hello, I’d like you to meet my elbow. And my shin.” Before the Octagon, there was Bangkok’s Lumphini Stadium, the scene of many legendary muay Thai matches, including this one between two fabled fighters. This match was named the Lumphini Fight of the Year.
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