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The 6 Most Amazing Acts of Mid-Fight Mockery in MMA History

#3.
Duane Ludwig vs. Shad Smith

King of the Cage 4

Shad Smith claims to have been in over 1000 street fights. Normally when someone makes a claim like this it turns out they're exaggerating from the number zero. With Shad Smith, though, I believe him. He's the only openly gay mixed martial artist, and that takes an insane amount of courage. Not because of homophobia, but because out of every activity, being a gay mixed martial artist has got to have the highest risk of boner-in-front-of-everyone possible.

Still, a giant pair of balls isn't really a match for Duane Ludwig. From the opening bell, Ludwig lit Shad up, connecting with virtually everything he threw. A beautiful combo knocked Shad out two minutes in, and Shad didn't care. The fall woke him up and he kept coming. Duane hit him with six more highlight reels worth of knockout shots, but Shad figured he'd already had plenty of sleep for the day, so he stayed on his feet.

Shad Smith is not something a doctor would call "not a zombie," so Duane had only one move left to try against his unkillable opponent: the Crane Kick.

Did it work?

Fuck yes. If do right no can defense. To be honest, this might not have been a taunt. Duane was probably only doing the Karate Kid stance out of politeness while he waited for Shad's brain to figure out it was in a coma. When it never did, Duane landed a combination of kicks and punches that was so goddamn sexy that now I think I might be the gay one. Eventually Shad's corner had to throw in the towel since he was too busy being awesome to fall.

#2.
Nate Quarry vs. Kalib Starnes

UFC 83

There's an abstract concept in the UFC called "Octagon Control." It's the idea that all things being equal, the fighter who dictates the pace of the fight wins. By that standard, Kalib Starnes is the greatest Octagon controller of all time. His incredible strategy of doing nothing and running made Nate Quarry's attack plans almost impossible. Kalib Starnes must have studied under Vin Diesel before the fight because 50% of his performance was crankiness and the rest was chase scene.

Nate did what he could to run Kalib down and hit him, but there's a reason Hard Target is 97 minutes long-- when a man really doesn't want to get killed, it takes awhile to catch him. Plus, the only people properly trained to fight men running away at full speed are policemen and rapists. So Nate had to settle on openly mocking Kalib while he fled. He did the running man, waddled after him pretending to be an elephant, and all of it seemed to only terrify Kalib more. This is going to sound crazy, but I think someone might have drawn monsters on the inside of Kalib Starnes' contact lenses. I mean, even the referee was laughing.

Did it work?

As any scholar will you tell you, you only do the running man when you're telling someone that their crew is through and you're two legit to quit. Nate showed that it can also be used in the UFC to tell the ringside judges that your opponent is a giant pussy. It got the message across. Despite delivering an arguably average ass-kicking, Nate Quarry won the decision by the second widest margin in UFC history. One judge had Nate ahead 30-24. To translate that into a different sport, say basketball, it would be like scoring 100 points while your opponent cried into a bowl of ice cream and left his ex-girlfriend a voicemail.

#1.
Frank Shamrock vs. Bas Rutten III

Pancrase: Truth 5

Bas "El Guapo" Rutten loves to fight, almost too much. He's so excitable that he actually draws "R"s on the back of his hands to remind himself to "relax" during a fight. You can trick Bas Rutten into knocking a tree stump out of your yard by standing in front of it and asking him if he polishes his head or if his scalp naturally secretes turtle wax. Of course, this will kill you.

Frank Shamrock knew all this and, maybe stupidly, decided that a lunatic Bas Rutten would be safer to fight than a tactical Bas Rutten, so he spent a lot of the fight fucking with Bas. It's a technique he's used often in his career. El Guapo kept his cool at first, landing kicks and knees and opening a cut over Frank's eye, but everything changed when Frank took it to the ground and the two of them started battling for leglocks.

You don't see a lot of leglocks in mixed martial arts because an effective escape is just sitting up and blasting your opponent in the face until he lets go. Bas Rutten knows this defense; it's the same escape he uses for jury duty and cell phone contracts. However, in Pancrase rules, the fighters can't punch. They can only use palm strikes, a mysterious martial arts technique that's lethal against an imaginary mugger but semi-harmless against a real skull. So as Bas Rutten bitch-slapped his way out of the leglock, Frank baited him with silly faces. He was actually trying to get Bas to form a fist, knowing it would lead to a penalty red card. If you're not familiar with the rules of MMA, the risk-reward of this tactic is similar to letting a bully hold you under toilet water until someone happens upon the scene and gives him detention.

Did it work?

Yes, Frank's master plan of getting punched worked. In the same way "jumping" works for getting down an elevator shaft. Bas lost his temper, made a fist, and thumped it into the cut on Frank Shamrock's grinning head. This gave him a red card, but it also started the fight back on the feet where Bas had every advantage. He was also now strangely energized, probably since Bas Rutten was designed by Dutch military scientists to have erogenous zones on the ends of his fists. Sure enough, Bas came out like a killing machine and Shamrock came out like a man with a recently-smashed head wound. Bas landed a knee and almost pulled Frank's spine out with a standing guillotine choke. Soon the cut on Shamrock's opened so far that the doctors stopped the fight. Not for medical reasons, but because in Bas Rutten's frenzied state, a vagina on his opponent's face could have leveled the stadium.

Seanbaby has a round kick that bends parking meters and a comedy website. You can follow him on Twitter or face him on Facebook.

For more Seanbaby & Combat, enjoy 7 Fighters Who Lied Their Way to Legendary, Worst Life Ever: The Story of Kazuyuki Fujita's Skull, or The Top 8 Oh Shit Moments in MMA

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