Top 5 MMA Fights In 2013 So Far

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Top MMA Fights In 2013

Gary A. Vasquez-USA Today Sports

Mixed martial arts is a sports full of action; it's one of the most entertaining sports to watch today. Every year, there are so many good fights put on by promotions, whether it's under the UFC or Bellator banner. 2013 was no different. There were some absolute wars put on this year, showcasing rising starts in the sport, and veterans looking to prove they still have what it takes to be a champion.

To start 2013 off with a bang, the UFC would put on same great cards top to bottom. One of the highlights of the year was when Anderson Silva, one of the best MMA fighters on the planet today, was upset by a hungry, determined Chris Weidman. This championship bout was everything an MMA fan could want. There were ground battles and exchanges on the feet, and the world witnessed a new middleweight champion get crowned at UFC 162. It was one of the most shocking fights ever seen inside the UFC, which is just a testament to the idea that anything can happen in a fight, even when you are the greatest fighter on the planet.

Another highlight of the year was when Jon Jones took on Chael Sonnen for the UFC light heavyweight belt. Coming into this title bout, many people didn't think Chael had a chance, including Jon Jones. Jones would be able to defeat Sonnen at his own game, taking him down on several occasions. He would eventually get the TKO, proving to everyone why he is considered the great fighter in MMA right now, and he doesn't seem to be slowing down any time soon.

Be sure to check out this slideshow, which details the top five fights of 2013.

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5. Cat Zingano vs Miesha Tate (The Ultimate Fighter 17 Season Finale)

Gary A. Vasquez-USA Today Sports

One of the most intriguing bouts of 2013 was a women's bantamweight contender bout between Miesha Tate and Cat Zingano. A lot was on the line in the bout, as the winner would coach on The Ultimate Fighter against current bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey. For two rounds, Tate was able to gain position, taking Zingano down on several occasions. However, in the third, the tide changed drastically, as Zingano was able to land devastating knees to Tate's face. Tate fell to the canvas in the third, and the ref had seen enough. It was one of the most important wins of Zingano's career, proving she is one of the best women's fighters on the planet.

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4. Vitor Belfort vs Luke Rockhold (UFC on FX)

Jason da Silva-USA Today Sports

This middleweight bout was exciting from start to finish. Early in the fight, Rockhold looked to land kicks on Belfort, hoping to slow him down. Belfort stayed composed, and would then unleash a spinning back wheel kick, which landed flush on Rockhold's head. Rockhold was unable to recover, as Belfort was able to deliver coffin nail punches. This was one of the most exciting knockouts ever showcased from Belfort, and he just seems to be getting better, despite being one of the older fighters.

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3. Dennis Bermudez vs Matt Grice (UFC 157)

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA Today Sports

One of the most exciting bouts put on in 2013 was between two featherweights. When Dennis Bermudez took on Matt Grice at UFC 157, it was clear that fans were in for a treat from the very first round. From start to finish, Grice and Bermudez exchanged blows. Both were bloody early in the fight, and it seemed like both fighters could take a punch. Bermudez would pressure Grice up against the cage on several occasions, but Grice survived time and time again, which is a testament to his heart and will to win. The bout ended up being Fight of the Night, and certainly has the chance to be Fight of the Year once the award show for MMA takes place later this year. Bermudez ended up winning a split decision, but it was a war that won't be soon forgotten.

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2. Anthony Pettis vs Ben Henderson (UFC 164)

Benny Sieu-USA Today Sports

Leading up to UFC 164, both Anthony Pettis and Ben Henderson were looking to prove they were the superior fighters. In their first outing, Pettis was able to walk away the victor, which is mainly because of his off-the-cage kick he landed on Henderson in the final round. In the rematch, Pettis was able to land some good kicks to Henderson's body. Henderson was obviously hurt, and Pettis went in for another dynamic kick. The kick ultimately landed him on bottom with Henderson looking to control on top, but then Pettis pulled off a brilliant move. He was able to lock up an armbar in the very first round, becoming the new lightweight champion of the UFC. It was one of the most impressive finishes from a challenger against a champion, and the lightweight division will have a hard time dealing with Pettis's striking and Jiu Jitsu capabilities.

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1. Chris Weidman vs Anderson Silva (UFC 162)

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA Today Sports

The most shocking and impressive fights of 2013 has to be Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman, which took place at UFC 162. Coming into this middleweight title bout, Silva was on an impressive winning streak, showcasing why he is considered the best fighter to ever step inside a cage. Time and time again, Silva has been able to make his opponents look amateurish, which is partly due to his striking abilities. However, Weidman was confident leading up to the belt, believing he had the right traits to dethrone Silva; this played out to be true.

In the first round, Weidman was able to get a takedown, landing some good shots on Silva. It was apparent that Silva wasn't comfortable, and Weidman would even go for a leg lock. He didn't get the submission, and both fighters proceeded back to striking. In the second, it was clear Silva was getting frustrated, doing unorthodox moves and gestures to get Weidman to open up. This proved to be costly, as Weidman was able to deliver the perfect left hook right as Silva's hands were down. Weidman finished it up with coffin nails punches, becoming the new middleweight champion of the world. This fight was incredible from start to finish, and the rematch, which takes place at UFC 168, has the makings to be just as exciting.