In Mixed Martial Arts
, a fighter can be knocked out instantly, slowly beaten into a puddle, or submitted from out of the blue. As a sport, it is the leading generator of oh shit
moments, which is any moment that makes you say that. Here are the top eight.
Due to the nature of expletives, this was a difficult list to put together. "Oh shit!" can mean so many things. I'm terrible at examples, but say you're at brunch, you might shout, "Oh shit, that brunch ghost has a knife!" Whereas someone else might be jumping out of a birthday cake going, "Ohhh, shit! Which one of you fellas is having a birthday party? Oh shit-- Grandpa?! Oh... shit, I bet your grandson leaping from a cake with his dick out is the kind of memory that comes with a Get Out of Alzheimer's Free card."
Because the expression has such varied usage, this will not be a simple Top Something list. Instead, I will list only the best
MMA moment from eight separate
uses of oh shit
PRIDE Shockwave: Bob Sapp vs. Rodrigo Nogueira
Bob "The Beast" Sapp is 400 pounds, and if 300 pounds of it aren't pure steroids, then someone has got to be fucking kidding. Going into his fight with Nogueira, his MMA record was 2-0 against two Japanese fighters 1/3 his size. Both fights were identical: TKO via ape spaz, followed by a post-fight interview of, "Paant! Wheeeeze! Paaaant!"
Antonio Rodrigo Minotauro Nogueria is widely regarded as one of the best heavyweight submission experts ever. So this was not so much a matchup between top contenders as it was a field test of jiu jitsu against wild animals. So no one was ready for the oh shit!
when Nogueria shot for a single leg and Bob Sapp gut-wrenched him up from the mat and fucking PILEDRIVED him.
Nogueria is legally unkillable, so he shrugged it off, but the move was so awesome that Sapp wanted to relive the moment at all costs
. This changed after three more failed, desperate piledriver attempts, when he mostly just wanted a nap. Nogueria won a few minutes later with a straight armbar.
To the Japanese, this was like beating Jesus in a fish-making contest. Bob Sapp was the center of Japan's media. He had a music video, endorsed hundreds of products, and their tiny people lined up for the honor of being eaten by him. He was the Japanese equivalent of the '85 Bears, Crocodile Dundee, Muhammad Ali, and the California Raisins all in one.
He was making so much money that he didn't give a fuck
. He used to joke that he could corner the ass-wiping market tomorrow by putting his face on one brand of toilet paper. If there was a paycheck involved, he did whatever. He ate bananas and acted like a gorilla on Japanese TV, which in the black community is like beggin' whitey's pardon and askin' if a softshoe would be to his likin'. It was racist to a point that even Bryant Gumbel called him an Uncle Tom. And Bryant Gumbel is so white that he clutches his purse tighter when he passes by President Obama.
Watch the fight on Youtube
Pride Critical Countdown 2004: Fedor Emelianenko vs. Kevin Randleman
Fedor Emelianenko is a merciless knockout machine that emerged from the ruins of war torn Stalingrad to avenge the angry dead. Kevin Randleman is a wrestler whose body was kidnapped by science and mostly replaced with horse DNA. After an early takedown by Randleman, Fedor scrambled to his feet and gave Randleman his back. It is stupidly inadequate to say that what followed next was the greatest suplex in the suplexiverse.
Randleman brought Fedor up in a perfect arc, jumped off his feet, and trebuchet'ed the weight of both of them directly on the point of Fedor's head. It was like he was trying to make dinosaurs extinct again. When wheelchair salesmen watch it, their eyeballs turn to dollar signs.
But instead of bravely learning to walk again years later, Fedor swept him, got side control, punched him in the head 18 times, jumped to north-south, and locked in a kimura. All in the span of 45 seconds. For baseball fans, this is like getting your eye knocked out by a fastball, then hitting 16 home runs with one swing.
After the fight, a reporter asked Fedor how he was able to recover from such a devastating throw, and through a translator Fedor explained, "It didn't affect me. I train to fall great distances." Oh, shit.
Watch the fight on Youtube
UFC 4: Joe Son vs. Keith Hackney
In the early days of the UFC, there were no rules! Snarl! Except asterisk: you weren't allowed to bite people or drag them around by their eye or mouth holes. This lack of rules usually led to a wrestler throwing his opponent down and clumsily headbutting them until there was nothing but a bloody crater. But in UFC 4, Keith Hackney's fists painted a no-rules masterpiece on the canvas of Joe Son's balls.
After the fight went to the ground, Keith Hackney passed to side mount. Or as it was known back then, hey-get-up-and-do-karate-you-queers position. Joe Son confusedly held onto a kind-of guillotine headlock which left Keith's right arm free to do whatever it wanted. And it wanted to pound balls.
Keith's bareknuckled hand repeatedly and single-mindedly drove itself into Joe Son's inadequate cup. The fact that it took over six blows for Joe Son to tap out can mean only one thing: vagina.
Joe Son never quite recovered from this. Using his own Jo Son Do fighting system, which I think is just Korean for "rape," he lost every fight in his career, one of them while wearing a thong over his jockstrap. What a Fashion Don't! That's like your dick wearing socks with sandals.
And that wasn't his only fashion faux pas, girlfriend. Sometimes he came to the ring in dramatic 70's eyeshadow. He looked like a chubby alien girl trying to get Captain Kirk's attention. Captain's Log: Not enough space beers in the universe, homo. Captain's Secret Log: No one must know the terrible mistake I made after 15 space beers.
There's more to Joe Son than his caved-in balls and lady's makeup, though: his love of Christ, throwing a shoe at Austin Powers, and of course Joe Son Do. Which now according to the state of California, actually is rape. I think Keith Hackney might have been a time traveller who went back to preemptively destroy Joe Son's balls like you'd kill Hitler as a baby.
Watch the fight on Youtube
, at least the ohhh shit!
Fight Festival 12: Gilbert Yvel vs. Atte Backman
One of the greatest MMA knockouts is Gilbert Yvel high kicking Gary Goodridge unconscious in the only move of the fight. Atte Backman must have seen this too, because his fight strategy against Yvel was leaping onto him like a toy koala bear on a pencil.
While Gilbert struggled to get free of Atte's pointless death grip, the two of them almost toppled over the ropes in a Greco clinch. In cases like this, the referee breaks the fighters up and tries to reset them as close as possible to how they were. This was fine with Atte, who was here to hug, but Gilbert was here to punch faces. A comical argument ensued as the referee and Atte tried to get the perfect hug reinstated while Gilbert kept pushing them away and getting in a boxing stance.
Everyone involved had wills of iron.
"Hug me, Yvel!"
"Fuck you, Atte!"
"Hug him, Yvel!"
Fuck you, ref!"
Suddenly, Mr. Yvel thought of the perfect win-win situation to these guys getting in the way of his face punching: punching the referee
in the face! Eureka, and knockout. And just to show that this wasn't some kind of accident, he kicks him when he's down.
It's situations like this that test a man. What would you do if you saw a trained fighter attacking a helpless man and you're the only one who can save him? Well, this is my favorite part: if you're Atte Backman, you immediately run for the ropes and get out of the ring! "You're on your own, ref! That motherfucker's crazy! You can kiss Atte's ass!"
Watch the "fight" on Youtube.
UFC 43: Marvin Eastman vs. Vitor Belfort
Vitor's first four fights in the UFC were all the same. He ran in, punched his opponent in the face 70,000 times in ten seconds, and then his corner would cheer "jiu jitsu! jiu jitsu!" in victory. I think it must be portuguese for "face doctor! face doctor!" But whatever it means, Marvin Eastman should have been ready and should have brought helmet.
One minute in, a gash opens up on Eastman's head so big that you could look in and see what he was thinking. Much like the virgin Mary appearing on a piece of toast, his forehead conjured the image of Joe Son's knuckle-beaten vagina. It was so wide it had time zones. The doctor stitching him up had to put the needle in one end, then take a boat to the other. Needless to say, they stopped the fight so someone could cover the awful thing with some panties.
This was another difficult category to pick, since I also said a similar ohhh, shiiit!
during PRIDE FC 1, where dick kickboxer Branko Cikatic illegally booted Ralph White in the head when he was down. Ralph, victor by DQ, immediately grew a silly putty egg on his forehead that ballooned into a pantyhose egg before our very eyes. To make it stranger, his cornerman was Dave "Apollo" Cook, who played a douchebag in the documentary Choke, couldn't stop fucking with it. As the bump grew and grew, "Apollo" was poking, rubbing, and polishing it like a kid with a dead squirrel.
If I hadn't specified MMA moments, this spot on the list would have gone to the K-1 match of Jerome LeBanner vs. Cyril Abidi. Something... evil
happened during the first round, and it caused LeBanner's forehead to swell to full elephant man. You wouldn't know by looking, but LeBanner spent the entire fight kicking Abidi's ass
. Unfortunately, it takes exactly the same amount of time to kick a Frenchman's ass as it does to gestate a forehead pregnancy to full term.
Watch this fight on Youtube
UFC 2: Fred Ettish vs. Johnny Rhodes
UFC 2 was crazy. It was a sixteen man tournament, meaning you had to beat four
guys in one night. And when you have sixteen men, who thinks to bring backups? This led to a problem when one fighter couldn't continue in the quarterfinals.
But there is no problem that can't be solved with Ettish. Fred Ettish was backstage, enjoyed karate, and never doesn't have a karate outfit with him. He emerged as a replacement fighter, still putting his gi on, while the announcer Rich "G-Man!" Goins struggled to read his fighting style from a card. "Shoren ee riimatsu... goren? Kenpo karate!"
He faced Johnny Rhodes, a doughy but tough kickboxer. The bell rings and Ettish strikes a pose. He throws a snap kick exactly like the picture in his Bruce Tegner karate book. It hits exactly where he threw it and he, Johnny Rhodes, and the people watching from home all say the same thing: oh shit
. A guy who trains with nine year olds at the YMCA is in a real fight.
The fight was a perfect storm of catastrophe. Johnny was just clumsy enough that he couldn't finish Ettish off. He beat Ettish into a meatloaf while he curled into variations on the fetal position and tried to somehow pull it together long enough to personally invent how to fight. The referee thought he was only there to check people for ninja stars, so he had no idea it was his responsibility to save someone from this type of savagery. He was only there to enforce no rules! Mercifully, Johnny Rhodes stopped dropping fist bombs on Fred Ettish's head long enough to give it a hug, and Fred Ettish had a chance to tap out to the "choke."
Fred Ettish never appeared in the UFC again until minutes later when the bloody remains of his face popped up behind Johnny Rhodes during the post-fight interview. It was ignored by Rhodes himself, and the production crew.
Watch the legendary fight on Youtube.
Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit!
PRIDE 21: Don Frye vs. Yoshihiro Takayama
Don Frye looks like an old west sheriff, and Takayama looks like Japan tried to make their own Hulk Hogan out of juiced grapes. When they faced off, the two of them somehow, without speaking, managed to come to some kind of gentleman's agreement. They decided the only move each of them would use is grabbing the opponent's head with one hand, and punching it over and over with the other.
Within seconds, it turned into a sublime combination of ultra violence and slapstick. As they pound, pound, pounded each other's skulls, you could see all the faces in the crowd light up with joy. Grown men, little girls-- they'd been waiting their whole lives for this one perfect moment! Your brain damage does not happen in vain, Frye and Takayama!
Watch this chess match unfold on Youtube.
PRIDE Bushido 7: Charles "Krazy Horse" Bennett vs. Yoshiro Maeda
"Krazy Horse" isn't a cute nickname. Charles Bennett is a legitimate lunatic. And when he's not strangling people professionally and recreationally, he loves to do celebratory backflips off the ring ropes. Almost always with near-death results.
I... think that's what he had in mind when he knocked out Maeda. He cheered and ran straight for the ropes, but in his excitement, he forgot to run the idea through his head. Without cutting his momentum, he flew right over the ropes and into what I imagine is either oblivion or alligators. We'll never know. Once it's clear that Krazy Horse is falling to his death, the director cuts away to a shot of Bennett's downed opponent. We're left to assume that Charles Bennett... is lost forever.
Watch his leap of faith on Youtube.
Oh shi-- OH SHIT!
TUF 4 Finale: Scott Smith vs. Pete Sell
Three minutes into the second round, Pete Sell hits Scott Smith with a huge left to the body. Most people reading have taken a body shot or had the wind knocked out of them. But what many people don't understand is what it's like to get hit in the liver. It's the liver's job to filter toxins out of your body. And when somebody's left hand or foot slams into it, it's like every cocktail you ever drank, every poisonous insect that crawled in your mouth while you slept... they're all released back into your body at the same time. The end result is a lot like getting knocked out, only you're awake for it. Your arms and legs stop working and you see an Indian with an extra horse beckoning you into the woods.
This happened to Scott Smith, and he doubled over like a cartoon. Pete Sell was stunned by his own bad assedness for a moment, then rushed in to finish his helpless opponent, purely as a technicality. But Scott! Smith! Was! Not! Done!!! He threw an overhand right into Sell's face that removed a year of elementary school from his brain. The two collapsed on each other Rocky II style, one unconscious and the other incapacitated. The ref declared it a knockout win for Smith, exactly zero seconds before he rolled onto his back and waited to join his brothers in Valhalla. Oh, shit!
Watch this fight on Youtube.