Remember when many people believed Michael Bisping would out-point Dan Henderson to a decision. Yes it’s true, even many “experts” had this type of prediction prior to the UFC 100 bout. Before this fight Hendo had lost both Pride/UFC unification fights to Rampage and Anderson respectively, won a boring UD against Palhares and beat Rich Franklin by a heavily disputed split-decision. This, along with weight-cutting issues and contract disputes, caused many people to think Hendo was on his way out the door. They were right; he would end up leaving the UFC for Strikeforce shortly after this event, but not without one last right hand. (Want a good laugh? Look up the other photoshop’s of this KO. Sorry Mike, but this one never gets old)
Remember when Paul Buentello dislocated his finger in his fight with Cheick Kongo and tried to pop it back into place himself during the fight, didn’t succeed, and still kept fighting. He eventually tapped to strikes (severe pain), but let me tell you something about Paul Buentello. He was guy who never had a super ripped MMA physique. He never had amazing technical skills. What he did have was pure, natural born toughness. “The Headhunter” may not have been the best fighter on the roster, but he sure as hell was one of the toughest. I’m sure we can all think of situations where other fighters persevered by being tough alone, but Buentello made a career out of it. And with that, he made a fan out of me.
Remember when the Dean of Mean Keith Jardine almost ruined Wanderlei Silva vs Chuck Liddell? After the fall of Pride, it was finally thought that the dream match-up between “The Axe Murderer” and “The Iceman” would take place. Then seemingly out of nowhere, Dana White announces that Chuck won’t be fighting Wandy in the main event of UFC 76, he’ll be fighting Keith Jardine instead. Greattttttt. As the biggest Icefan in the world I thought, “Whatever, he’ll whoop Jardine easy and fight Wanderlei after”. The problem was Chuck thought the same thing I did. He didn’t take Jardine seriously at all and paid dearly for it, dropping a close split decision. Since Dana had the great idea to jinx Chuck by announcing before the fight that the winner would get to fight Silva, Chuck losing to the Dean of Mean brought with it the hopes of my dream fight. Fortunately for fans (and unfortunately for Keith Jardine), the UFC is a business. Jardine decided after the Liddell win that he would be taking some time away from fighting (I wonder why?), giving way to the instant all-time classic that was Liddell vs Silva. Jardine did eventually get his fight with Wandy, though things certainly ended poorly for the old Dean of Mean.
Remember when Vitor Belfort’s career was split into Old Vitor and New Vitor and it was thought that New Vitor would never be like Old Vitor again? Until he re-signed with the UFC and fought like Old Vitor again, which made him New Vitor and the Old Vitor became the old New Vitor. Confusing, but true none-the-less.
Remember when Alistair Overeem was a skinny, lanky Light-Heavyweight?
Remember Dave Terrell?