2012 was another excellent year for MMA, as there was no shortage of entertaining fights throughout. Here are the top five fights that occurred in 2012:
1. Chan Sung Jung vs. Dustin Poirier
Even with consecutive wins against Leonard Garcia and Mark Hominick, only a few MMA fans gave Jung much of a chance against Poirier at “UFC on Fuel TV 3.” However, the “Korean Zombie” established himself as one of the premier featherweights in the UFC, handing Poirier his first loss in the promotion.
Both men had their moments during the fight, displaying their well-rounded skills. Jung got off to a better start, but the momentum started shifting towards Poirier during the latter rounds. Unfortunately for “The Diamond,” he instinctively tried to shoot for a takedown after Jung hurt him with an uppercut, but the Korean made him pay, sprawling and transitioning to a d’arce choke, putting Poirier to sleep.
2. Jon Fitch vs. Erick Silva
Fitch is often referred to as one of the most boring fighters in the UFC, but there wasn’t a dull moment during his UFC 153 showdown against Silva. The Brazilian came right at Fitch, forcing him to abandon his usual lay-n-pray tactics. Both men came close to finishing the fight with submissions, but the fight ended up going the distance. At the end of the day, Fitch proved to be the better man, as the Octagon-side judges awarded him with the unanimous decision.
3. Benson Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar I
A WEC import, Henderson quickly established himself as the number one contender in the UFC’s lightweight division with dominant performances against Mark Bocek, Jim Miller, and Clay Guida. Henderson brought his A-game when he challenged Edgar for the lightweight title at UFC 144, and a rather entertaining bout broke out.
The fight between the two was a back-and-forth affair, but Edgar seemed to be in control early on. However, Henderson turned things around with an up-kick kick in the second round. “Smooth” got the better of the exchanges from that point, bringing an end to Edgar’s reign as the UFC’s lightweight champion.
4. Miesha Tate vs. Julie Kedzie
On paper, Tate was clearly the favorite going into their fight, but things turned out differently when the two squared up. Kedzie dominated their encounter, stuffing takedowns with ease, outclassing Tate in the striking department, and punishing her with hard combinations.
For a moment, it looked like Kedzie was on her way to pulling off the upset, but Tate showed a lot of heart. After getting dropped with a vicious head kick, Tate managed to regain her composure, and she made Kedzie pay for jumping into her guard. Tate secured an armbar, forcing the tap with less than two minutes left in the fight.
5. Georges St. Pierre vs. Carlos Condit
GSP made his highly anticipated return — after spending over 18 months on the sidelines — at UFC 154, and it was definitely one of the most entertaining fights the Canadian has been a part of in recent memory.
Of course, Condit had a lot to do with how their fight turned out, as he tested GSP’s mental toughness during the third round of their encounter, sending “Rush” to the canvas with a flush head kick. “The Natural Born Killer” inflicted serious damage on GSP — whose heart has been questioned by some since he tapped out due to strikes against Matt Serra at UFC 69 — on the ground, but the long-time welterweight champion refused to quit. GSP eventually regained his composure, and he went back to dominating Condit with his wrestling, successfully defending the UFC’s welterweight title.