UFC fans were treated to a legendary fight that will go down as one of the greatest displays of mixed martial arts this past Saturday night as Yair Rodriguez and Chan Sung Jung threw down for nearly 25 minutes in the leading contender for 2018’s “Fight of the Year.” Both men walked forward throughout the fight and exchanged hard strikes as the fans in Denver, Colorado — the birthplace of the UFC — cheered on and showed their appreciation for what was a great fight. But what was a great fight turned into the stuff of legends when with just one second left in the last round, Rodriguez landed a ridiculous upwards elbow that brutally knocked Jung out in devastating fashion. Jung was about to win a unanimous decision but instead got knocked out. It was one of the craziest finishes we’ve ever seen in MMA, and Rodriguez will go down in the UFC record book as the man with the latest knockout ever.
Fights like Rodriguez vs. Jung are what we hope every fight is going to be, a display of insane skills, sheer determination, big hearts, the warrior spirit, and the respect that martial arts is all about. Both men showed why they are two of the best fighters in the world at their weight class as they threw down and put on a show for everyone watching. We always hope we are going to see an amazing fight every time we see two fighters step into the Octagon, but the truth is, the majority of fights don’t match the hype. It’s fights like this that go above and beyond our expectations which is why we keep coming back and hoping for more. Not only was this an amazing fight regardless of the knockout, but the crazy way the fight ended is going to make sure we remember this fight for a long time. On the night the UFC celebrated its 25th anniversary, we saw a fight between Rodriguez and Jung that we’ll talk about 25 years down the road.
The UFC wanted to make the 25th anniversary show special, and the broadcast featured the graphics, logos and sounds of the original Ultimate Fighting Championship. The fact both Rodriguez and Jung put on a throwback fight as they were looking to knock each other out for the full 25 minutes was absolutely perfect. Even though it was supposed to be Jung against Edgar originally, it ended up being a fight that no one can complain about as Jung and Rodriguez put on an epic performance. No one could have asked for a better way to celebrate 25 years of UFC fights. Fights like this show why we tune in every Saturday night to watch the UFC, and this is a fight we’ll be talking about for a long time.
The UFC is 25 years old, and the first 25 years of fighting in the Octagon has been incredible. We have seen such an astonishing evolution of the sport ever since that first event back in 1993, and it all leads up to the current version of this sport in 2018. The fighters are better now, the events are bigger, and there are more people watching. We are watching a much more refined version of the same sport that began 25 years ago. But just as it was in 1993, we continue to watch the fights because we want to see two human beings go to battle and find out who the best fighter is, and who has the better style. This past Saturday night at UFC Denver, we saw two well-matched fighters in Jung and Rodriguez put on an incredible fight that we will always remember because of the record-setting knockout. With a fight that good, no one could have asked for a better way to celebrate 25 years of the UFC. Now, here’s to 25 more.