Got less than ten (yes, there’s a PRIDE classic on the list) minutes to spare, but want to get the most bang for your buck? Here are the five best fights to end before round one was over!
One Round Gems – Five best fights to end in the first round
5) The Fight: Cheick Kongo vs Pat Barry at UFC Live 4 – June 26, 2011
The Result – Kongo defeats Barry via KO at 2:39
The shortest fight on this list, at just over two and a half minutes – it’s a fight that will forever go down in MMA history and the definition of “it’ not over til it’s over”. Barry catches Kongo with a right hand behind he ear, just over two minutes in. Kongo’s legs go out from under him and he looks to be unconscious. Then, just as the referee goes in to stop the fight, Kongo grabs for a takedown. Kongo gets up, then is dropped AGAIN. But somehow manages to get to his feet and back up. Barry follows Kongo to the fence, hand down. Kongo then catches Barry with an absolutely miraculous right hand. Barry is flattened out and Kongo hops on and finishes him with a few extra strikes. The referee steps in, Kongo wins. To this day, and likely for a long time to come, Kongo’s win over Barry is the greatest comeback in MMA.
4) The Fight: Matt Hughes vs Frank Trigg at UFC 52 – April 16, 2005
The Result – Hughes defeats Trigg via submission at 4:05
This was arguably the most memorable fight of both men’s careers, and it lasted just over four minutes. This was the second time these two men met, and needless to say, they didn’t like each other. Highlights of this fight include a Trigg low blow leading to a near finish after the referee missed the illegal strike, a classic Matt Hughes slam and a super slick rear naked choke finish.
3) The Fight: Don Frye vs Yoshihiro Takayama at PRIDE 21 – June 23, 2002
The Result – Frye defeats Takayama via TKO at 6:10
Hide your kids, hide your wife, they punchin’ everybody out here (yeah, that reference might be getting old, but there’s no better way to open up a description of this fight). This fight isn’t technical and it’s not for the feint of heart. There’s no other way to describe this fight than to say it was a WAR. For just over six minutes Frye and Takayama threw power punches until the referee stepped in to stop the fight. One man was left a bruised, bloody and swollen winner, while the other man was a bruised, bloody and swollen mess.
2) The Fight: Nick Diaz vs Paul Daley at Strikeforce Diaz vs Daley – April 9, 2011
The Result – Diaz defeats Daley via TKO at 4:57
What would any list be without a classic Nick Diaz scrap? This fight saw both men battered, but only one man beaten. Diaz being Diaz, he decided to stand and trade with Paul Daley instead of taking the fight to the mat. Despite being dropped and nearly finished, Diaz recovered to connect with Daley and put him on wobbly legs, forcing the referee to intervene with just second left in round number one!
1) The Fight: Renan Barao vs Brad Pickett at UFC 138 – November 5, 2011
The Result: Barao defeats Pickett via submission at 4:09
The most underrated, underappreciated, under watched MMA fight of all time is here. Renan Barao vs Brad Pickett was a thing of beauty. It had impressive stand up, a slick submission finish and was absolutely action packed from beginning to end. I‘m underselling the hell out of this fight, but only because there really are no words that can truly describe the awesomeness of it. If this is a fight you haven’t seen, or just haven’t seen in a while: you need to look it up NOW!
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