Gabe Killian Looks Back: Top 10 Favorite UFC Fights of 2014

Jamie VarnerThe 2014 UFC calendar year delivered 45 entertaining, action-packed fight cards, and with the 12 months of scraps now in our rear-view, I’m going to take a moment to reflect on my top 10 favorites of the year. These are all my opinion, so feel free to voice your own in the comments below. Here are my top 10 fights which occurred inside the UFC’s Octagon in 2014: 10) Thiago Alves vs Seth Baczynski (UFC on FOX 11, April 19) This fight marked Alves’ return to the Octagon following an extended injury layoff and it certainly delivered fireworks. The Brazilian took home the win via unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards, but “The Polish Pistola” made him earn it over the course of the 15 minutes. 9) Jessica Penne vs Ronda Markos (TUF 20 Finale, Dec. 12) The only women’s fight to make my list, and it was a good one. These women’s strawweights delivered in their UFC debuts following their time on season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter reality television series, and they left fight fans looking forward to their next outings. Ultimately, it was Penne who took home the victory via split decision on the judges’ scorecards, but even with a loss, Markos proved that she is a threat in the division. 8) Tarec Saffiedine vs Hyun Gyu Lim (UFC Fight Night 34, Jan. 4) The first main event of 2014 and it was a good one. Nearly everybody, including myself, expected this fight to end inside the distance, but these two welterweights went to war for all five rounds of action. When it was all said and done, it was Saffiedine who was rewarded the victory via unanimous decision. It seemed it was going to be a good year for “The Sponge” but then unfortunate injuries sidelined him, and when he did return to action against Rory MacDonald, he suffered the first T/KO defeat of his professional mixed martial arts career. 7) Tae Hyun Bang vs Kajan Johnson (UFC 174, June 14) This was a very exciting battle on the feet between a pair of strikers that saw the Canadian Johnson getting the better of Bang, though it was Bang who was landing the harder shots. Johnson seemed to recover well from them and continue to get the better of Bang during the exchanges, however one landed in the third frame that put him out cold. It was a great battle that lead to a beautiful finish. This is the lowest profile fight to make my list. 6) Henderson vs Shogun II (UFC Fight Night 38, March 23) A very entertaining rematch that really delivered; this fight saw the Brazilian get the better of Henderson until the third frame, where “Hendo” caught “Shogun” with a punch and followed up with more for a TKO stoppage. 5) Seth Baczynski vs Alan Jouban (UFC Fight Night 47, Aug. 16) Baczynski cracked the top 10 with the Alves fight, and he cracks the top 5 with this one. Both losing efforts, the other one went the distance, while this one ended with seconds remaining in the very first round. It was a very fun round that saw exciting striking exchanges beautiful Baczynski and Jouban, with “The Polish Pistola” getting the better of the exchanges. It seemed as if Baczynski was on his way towards earning a victory while potentially pocketing another ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus, and before the round could end, Jouban caught him with a shot that put him out. He didn’t get the win, but at least he got the bonus, which he very much deserved for that performance; they both did. 4) Alex Caceres vs Sergio Pettis (UFC on FOX 10, Jan. 25) This was a very fun bantamweight scrap that nearly went the distance, ending with a “Bruce Leeroy” knockdown of Pettis, at which point he pounced and took the undefeated fighter’s, where a split of a second of an opening was all he needed to sink in a rear naked choke to give Pettis the first defeat of his professional mixed martial arts career. It was a very fun fight and a great outing for Caceres, who came as an underdog in the upset. 3) Johny Hendricks vs Robbie Lawler (UFC 171, March 15) The rematch was entertaining, as well, but I much prefer the first bout. It was a real five round battle that came down to one takedown in the fifth and final frame of action, which Hendricks was able to score and Lawler was unable to defend. Picking up the victory via unanimous decision, Hendricks was crowned the new UFC Welterweight Champion. 2) Aldo vs Mendes II (UFC 179, Oct. 25) A very fun and exciting fight that lasted all 25 minutes culminating with Aldo getting his hand raised via unanimous decision. In his losing effort, Mendes put up a great performance and gave the Brazilian the best run for his money anybody ever has. Though Aldo is now 2-0 against him, nobody would say no to a rubbermatch, should he earn his way back to the Champ. 1) Abel Trujillo vs Jamie Varner (UFC 169, Feb. 1) This was an incredibly entertaining brawl on the feet that had fight fans on the edge of their seats from start to finish. Varner was getting the better of Trujillo but “Killa” stayed in the fight, and in the second frame answered with a shot that put the former WEC Lightweight Champion out cold. Taking home the victory via flush knockout, Trujillo also earned ‘Knockout of the Night’ and ‘Fight of the Night’ for his performance. For the now-retired Varner, this was the fifth ‘Fight of the Night’ performance under the Zuffa banner, and his third inside the Octagon.

Written by Gabe Killian

Leave a Reply

RFA 22 Betting Odds

MMA Odds and Ends for Friday: End-Of-Week Fight Announcement Roundup (CMigrator copy 7)