2021 Strive in opposition to of the Year: Justin Gaethje vs. Michael Chandler

2021 Strive in opposition to of the Year: Justin Gaethje vs. Michael Chandler

A “Strive in opposition to of the Year” between Justin Gaethje and Michael Chandler? Coloration me shocked.

With extra performance bonuses between them than Conor McGregor has wins within the UFC gentle-weight division, it turned into once inevitable these two would at remaining beat the soul out of each and each other for our leisure.

Gaethje, the human identical to Sarlacc, drowns men sooner than devouring them in basically the most horrifying ways imaginable. No longer to be outdone, Chandler — who looks enjoy a bag of dumbbells performing their finest human impression — turned into once better than animated to stand in Gaethje’s “zone of death.”

Without fail, these two lunatics began lobbing bombs at UFC 268 with none regard for their successfully-being. Why block punches if you might perhaps presumably presumably eat four to land two of your have, honest?

With a Chandler honest hand plastered across Gaethje’s temple, followers seen the Colorado native kind his finest Bambi impersonation as he wobbled across the canvas. Sensing blood, Chandler hunted down his prey sooner than emptying the chamber, having a glimpse to separate Gaethje from his senses. Naturally, Gaethje survived the onslaught and raked an uppercut across Chandler’s jaw, sitting him down within the strategy.

Again, Chandler no longer simplest withstood the punishment raining down upon him, but motioned for Gaethje to feed him one more spoonful of violence. With blow after blow touchdown, each and each extra ferocious than the leisure, the 2 men morphed into gladiators as they battered each and each other internal Madison Square Garden.

What might perhaps presumably also acquire the brutal inform better? How about Chandler losing Gaethje on his cranium with a highly effective slam? That can presumably presumably undoubtedly effect an halt to him, honest? Perchance to a imply human, but this turned into once Justin Gaethje, finally. Rolling thru the slam, Gaethje genuine now scrambled to his feet and served up one more fistful of effort to shut out a 15-minute fracas.

“He is a warrior and we live within the wicked cases,” talked about the victorious Gaethje in his post-combat interview. “Me and him must hang been combating to the death in a coliseum.”

The hype turned into once real, and our bloodlust satiated. Properly accomplished, gents.

Now, develop we please add armor and swords to the rematch?

MMA Battling

UFC 267: Yan v Sandhagen

Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Like you ever done with Beyblades?

What am I announcing? In level of truth, you’ve all done with Beyblades. Silly me.

For those of you pretending to be confused, shut your eyes and image Petr Yan and Cory Sandhagen as plastic spinning tops whirling around, clanging together for 25 minutes.

Obtained it? Appropriate. Now you understand what Beyblades is all about (as if you didn’t already).

In all seriousness, few fights reach to reminiscence that in actual fact exemplify high-diploma martial arts rather enjoy UFC 267’s meantime bantamweight title combat in Abu Dhabi.

Battling Yan, for you cinephiles accessible, resembles the blanket social gathering scene from Stanley Kubrick’s Pudgy Steel Jacket: A non-terminate barrage of punishment the effect basically the most efficient mosey comes when your assailant chooses to halt the torture. Yan secretes violence from every pore of his body, bludgeoning his opponents into dust. On the other aspect, Sandhagen systematically carves up his opponents with merciless intentions enjoy an unhinged Mr. Blonde in Reservoir Dogs. He is disagreeable, methodical, and has unbelievable fashion in music (bawl out to my Notorious B.I.G. followers).

So when these 135-pound men within the slay locked themselves internal a cage to combat over a gold belt, followers and pundits expected nothing no longer as much as magic. And my God, did they carry.

Sandhagen unleashed an avalanche of strikes to the frail champion’s head, body, and leg honest out of the gate. Walking thru Sandhagen’s arsenal, Yan fired abet with the pair of cinderblocks attached to his palms. It turned into once violent. It turned into once honest. It turned into once additionally simplest Round 1.

Untethered from mortal physics, the 2 men whirled across the octagon, making an attempt to uncover the tiniest openings to land cutting knees, cranium-rattling kicks, and liver-exploding hooks, as if we had been witnessing two gods shape the very material of our world with each and each blow landed.

Nevertheless after 25-minutes of laborious battle, Yan emerged victorious, hoisting his son into the air as Dana White wrapped his fresh meantime title around his waist. Ever classy in defeat, Sandhagen embraced his Russian counterpart.

It turned into once abominable and difficult, horrifying and luminous. A combat that wants to be hung within the Louvre for the relaxation of time.

UFC 266: Volkanovski v Ortega

Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Photos

Like you ever had the oxygen choked out of your body? Alright, creeps, identify down — I’m speaking about fistfighting, no longer … by no methodology thoughts.

Anyway, that’s what came about to Alexander Volkanovski when he discovered himself choking to death within the vice grip that is Brian Ortega’s guillotine. Nevertheless we’ll revisit that momentarily.

The animosity between Volkanovski and Ortega coming into UFC 266 turned into once palpable. Volkanovski, the reigning champion, had excellent spent the simpler section of the year convalescing from COVID-19 whereas being eternally annoyed at the constantly tardy Ortega all the arrangement in which thru their time as rival coaches on The Remaining Fighter 29. Ortega, meanwhile, regarded amused at his Australian rival’s exasperation.

So when the 2 145-pound scrappers within the slay locked horns in Las Vegas, followers knew somebody turned into once leaving on a stretcher.

After a abet-and-forth opening body, that prediction undoubtedly regarded on the money. Ortega made his manner to his corner with a gnarly gash over his left search for, whereas a crimson carve discovered a dwelling on Volkanovki’s cheek. With Ortega ignoring Volkanovski’s combos enjoy Rachel Keller must hang no longer eminent those mobile phone calls (you all acquire that reference), each and each thudding blow rattled the cage walls and brought the arena to its feet. Volkanovski began to design back as he chipped away at his opponents’ legs. Then out of nowhere, Ortega despatched shockwaves thru the game as he paralyzed Volkanovski with a punch sooner than clamping on a mounted guillotine. With the group collectively maintaining their breath, the Las Vegas faithful stood in terror as they witnessed Volkanovski’s windpipes squeezing shut.

This turned into once it. His reign atop the division turned into once firm to be over. It turned into once the tip of cases for Volkanovski as he writhed under the stress on his larynx. The occasions unfolding had been his Ragnarok, doomsday, Armageddon, Judgment Day … you acquire the foundation.

Nevertheless excellent enjoy Bret Hart at Wrestlemania X, Volkanovski miraculously squirmed free and unloaded extra murderous ground-and-pound. Refusing to succumb to the sledgehammers losing down on him, Ortega threw up a triangle choke from the backside. With his championship once extra in jeopardy, Volkanovski defended the choke, broke free, and went abet to dribbling Ortega’s head off the canvas until the tip of the round.

(Sidenote: If this turned into once a Round of the Year column, this takes the tip field.)

A visibly exhausted Ortega labored abet to his corner but emerged ready for circulate within the closing frames. His face a pulpy mess and his lungs barely working, Ortega persevered to scramble ahead as Volkanovski did the entire lot he might perhaps presumably also to develop him until the closing bell.

With the beef squashed, the 2 pugilists embraced and Volkanovski secured a one-manner stamp for his gold belt to reach abet Down Below.

UFC Fight Night: Holloway v Rodriguez

Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

What if I suggested you the first fighter in UFC history to land a entire of three,000 total strikes and an precise-lifestyles ninja placed on one of basically the most unbelievable shows of martial arts this year? You’d doubtlessly be excellent as shocked as when I suggested you Justin Gaethje and Michael Chandler received one more Strive in opposition to of the Year, honest? Monstrous.

When Max Holloway signed the contract to throw down with Yair Rodriguez within the foremost tournament of UFC Vegas 42, combat followers in each place rejoiced whereas additionally scratching their heads. Here turned into once Holloway, the man many recall into narrative the uncrowned champion of the featherweight division, clean sitting atop 145-pound rankings lists across the arena. He’d excellent reach off one of basically the most lopsided performances in UFC history when he turned into Calvin Kattar’s face into raw hamburger meat and, in our minds, had accomplished better than sufficient to warrant a Third shot at Volkanovski.

Alternatively, Rodriguez hadn’t made the stroll to the octagon since October 2018. Since then, an ankle damage and a USADA suspension had forced “El Pantera” to witness from the sidelines. So what did Holloway deserve to construct from going thru an idle — but extremely lethal — Mexican warrior in a five-round combat internal the UFC APEX?


And he earned that glory. We didn’t realize it but, but the game turned into once about to interrogate an precise-lifestyles Ken vs. Ryu matchup, and it turned into once button-mashing at its finest.

Residing as much as his self-proclaimed title of the “finest boxer within the UFC,” Holloway stood honest in front of Rodriguez and let the leather-essentially based flit. Nevertheless whereas the Hawaiian turned into once busy racking up punches, Rodriguez served up a plethora of leg kicks sooner than snapping Holloway’s head abet with a mixture. Holloway spoke back by sending Rodriguez on his heels with one more flurry, no longer exhibiting any indicators of slowing down.

The damage on inform turned into once jarring. Every punch turned into once a automobile atomize, every kick turned into once a baseball bat to the ribs, and each submission strive turned into once a death rattle that reverberated through the venue. It turned into once a boss combat to halt all boss fights, each and each man pulling out every trick they’d realized over the years.

When the dust within the slay settled on the bloodbath sooner than us, each and each opponents had been covered in blood and barely in a field to mosey. Rodriguez might perhaps presumably also no longer hang earned the victory, but he cemented himself as one of many hardest other folks on this blue marble we call Earth.

Bravo, lads, you excellent effect yourself thru a meat grinder, survived, and received the hearts of thousands and thousands.

UFC Fight Night: Reyes v Prochazka

Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Jiří Procházka is a psychopath.

Here’s a one who ran out into the woods, discovered a tree, and punched it 500 cases as WARM-UP for his precise coaching camp. He is Saitama reach to lifestyles, a one who can drain your lifestyles power with a single punch — or elbow.

So what extra or much less man is Dominick Reyes? A totally different breed of athlete, to be determined. After all, he had pushed the huge Jon Jones to his limits and turned into once hellbent on erasing his previous loss to then-champion Jan Blachowicz heading to UFC Vegas 25. He turned into once on a mission, and Procházka turned into once in his manner.

Nevertheless that’s simplest one manner to characterize the horror on inform within the foremost tournament that fateful night internal the UFC APEX, and I’m going to need your abet environment the relaxation of the scene.

Coast into your kitchen, reach into the drawer the effect you withhold your leftover sauce packets (yes, I know you all hang one), toss a pair of into a blender, add a handful of gravel, field the energy to its absolute perfect, and flip it on.

OK, now glimpse internal. Horrendous honest? That is my expert prognosis of how Reyes’s combat in opposition to Procházka done out.

Your total combat turned into once as terrifying because it turned into once speedy. The two gentle heavyweights traded blows, crimson streaks splattering across the canvas. The octagon regarded extra enjoy Patrick Bateman’s night out with Paul Allen than an precise wearing tournament.

Procházka at remaining ended Reyes’ night with a slashing elbow to the cranium, sending the top of “The Dominator” into one more dimension and securing one of basically the most memorable finishes in UFC history.

(Side portray: I’m assured that I would hang died if Procházka had hit me with that same elbow.)

Here is how the voting for MMA Battling’s 2021 Strive in opposition to of the Year done out.


  • Charles Oliveira vs. Michael Chandler, UFC 262
  • Paulo Costa vs. Marvin Vettori, UFC Vegas 41
  • Max Holloway vs. Calvin Kattar, UFC Strive in opposition to Island 7
  • Merab Dvalishvili vs. Marlon Moraes, UFC 266
  • Cory Sandhagen vs. T.J. Dillashaw, UFC Vegas 32
  • Cheick Kongo vs. Sergei Kharitonov, Bellator 265
  • Anthony Pettis vs. Clay Collard, PFL 1
  • Paul Daley vs. Sabah Homasi, Bellator 257
  • Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Miguel Baeza, UFC Vegas 28
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