April on paper was slated to be a rather un-eventful month for the most part with Strikeforce and UFC offering one event each and Bellator running from week to week but instead we had the biggest gate in MMA history and a match of the year contender.
Submission of the Month: Vinny Magalheas
To most fans, M-1 Global are only known as the organization that prevented Fedor Emelianenko from testing his skills inside the UFC a few years back but they also are a great place to find young prospects.
On the 28th of April they presented their 25th event to be broadcasted online as well as being televised throughout Russia.
In the co-main event of the evening Vinny Magalheas of “The Ultimate Fighter” fame faced Viktor Nemkov for the vacant light-heavyweight title.
Magalheas and Nemkov had a highly contested bout for the first two rounds with Vinny getting out-struck on the feet before choosing to take the bout to the mat.
In the third period Vinny was in mount before applying a perfect gogoplata out of the Shinya Aoki playbook to shock the Russian crowd and become a viral hit on youtube.
KO of the month: Lyoto Machida
UFC 129 was slated to be a historical event with the largest crowd in UFC history. In the middle of the card featured the retirement match of one of the biggest names in the company’s history, Randy Couture.
Couture has had a career that many could only dream of being a multi-division Champion and Hall of Famer it was finally time for him to hang up his gloves.
Machida went from being seemingly unstoppable to sporting a two fight losing streak and having his head firmly on the chopping block leading into his bout with the 42-year old legend.
It was clear from the get go that this was Machida’s fight with him using his superior speed and counter striking ability to get the upper hand on “The Natural”. In the second round Machida shot a leg kick and before Couture knew it he was asleep from a crane kick much like the one we saw from Anderson Silva months prior.
Wasn’t the greatest way to send out one of the best of all time but it will be a moment that will be replayed over and over in highlight packages for years to come.
Fight of the month: Nick Diaz vs. Paul Daley
Strikeforce had just been purchased by Zuffa LLC and was their first major event since the purchase went down so they needed to impress, and that they did with the evening’s main event.
Strikeforce welterweight kingpin Nick Diaz put his ten pounds of gold on the line against UFC outcast Paul Daley.
The cocky Diaz opened the bout by taunting the Brit by putting his hands down begging him to hit him and that he did, from the moment the bell rang both men exchanged punches with one of the most exciting fights you’ll see in a lifetime.
In the four minutes and 57 seconds of the fight we saw both men get knocked down, dramatic shifts in momentum, in close striking exchanges and pure anarchy that finally ended with Nick Diaz dropping Daley with a right hand and following it up with strikes with only seconds left on the clock.
At this stage, Diaz-Daley is my fight of the year and I am challenging every fighter on the planet to take that spot away from these two talented welterweights.
That’s all for this time O-Sters; check back shortly for the May edition.