Two Legends decide to Party like it’s 2004

Posted: March 4, 2013 in Commentary/Opinion
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Tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 2004! That’s what the two big winners from UFC on Fuel were probably saying Saturday night. Wanderlei Silva and Mark Hunt both managed to pull off devastating knockout wins in the main event and co-main event. And fittingly, they did so right in the same place they saw the most successful moments of their careers.

Toward the end of 2004, Silva capped off Pride 28 with a win over Rampage Jackson that may be the most memorable knockout in history. Jackson was left unconscious, dangling between the ropes while Silva celebrated. That brutal knockout was the apex of a streak of an 18 fight unbeaten streak.

During that 4 year span, The Axe Murderer recorded an incredible 14 knockouts in 16 wins (1 fight was a draw and another was ruled a no contest). The only two fights that went the distance were against Dan Henderson and Hidehiko Yoshida. After destroying Rampage for a second time, Silva finally lost a fight. It was a heavyweight bout against…Mark Hunt.

Similarly, Hunt had a reign of terror in Pride almost a decade ago. After defeating the legendary Silva on New Year’s Eve 2004, he returned exactly one year later to defeat another legend, Mirko Cro Cop on the same date in 2005.

As I watched UFC on Fuel, I thought maybe I was caught in a time warp. Hunt employed the good ol’ “Hit a guy enough times and he’s bound to fall down” strategy that worked for him many times over the years. And Wanderlei quite frankly looked like the old Wanderlei—the one who would storm his opponent with flurries of wild punches like a buzzsaw. Eventually it was way too much for Brian Stann to handle.

We’ll be talking more about these two fight for a while; and where exactly these two aging legends fit into the grand scheme of things in the UFC. But I had to watch those fights three times each. Everyone loves a good comeback story, and Saturday night brought back some great memories.


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