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October 5, 2013

David Estrada column: Rehashing MMA's best fights

PORT ARTHUR — Rehashing MMA’s best fights

In life and in sport there are battles.  Then there are wars.

Inspired by last month's five round war of a fight between Jon "Bones" Jones and Alexander Gustafsson, this week's column will focus on the all-time best headlining or title fights that went the distance.

In general, fans prefer an ending to a fight instead of a judges' decision.  They prefer the emphatic first round knockout or late round Jiu-Jitsu choke to finish a bout.  But MMA history has shown some of these showcase or championship bouts that went the entire distance are some of the most riveting of all time.  Here is a top six list of such bouts:

6. Jon "Bones" Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson - UFC 165, Sept. 21, 2013 - This aforementioned bout was indeed the catalyst to produce this list.  When all was over with, this UFC light heavyweight championship bout with Jones retaining the title, one knew it was one of the greatest headlining bouts in history.  Naturally people had to think back to compare it with others like it where every second of every round was captivating.

5. Frankie Edgar vs. Gray "The Bully" Maynard II - UFC 125, January 1, 2011 - This five-rounder for the UFC lightweight championship has the distinction of having the most dramatic shift of the top six.  Edgar was rocked hard by Maynard in the opening round and was in survival mode.  Maynard continued the onslaught but couldn't finish the champion who miraculously made it past the first round.  To add to this fight's lore is the fact that Edgar actually fought back, dominating Maynard at some points in the later rounds. This seesaw bout was rightly judged a draw and the two later battled at UFC 136 in Houston where Edgar definitely won by fourth round knockout.

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