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Best of 2013 series: Top 10 MMA Articles of 2013

As we continue to take a look back on 2013, this week we are actually looking at the contributions made by the writers of MMA Freak. Well that was originally the idea but some votes were submitted for non MMA Freak content which won’t be the case next year. Regardless as is the case with every category for the End of Year Awards, several articles were nominated but didn’t receive enough votes, here they are:

~ Honorable Mentions ~

Vitor Belfort’s winning days are over-by Ben McPhee. Ben wrote a good article about Belfort’s upcoming match with Chris Weidman.

Halloween series: Top 10 scariest fighters in MMA-by Matthew Salzer. I wrote it for Halloween listing the scariest looking fighters in MMA.

UFC 170: McMann will receive great ‘reception’, Rousey may not have many ‘bars’ left-by Brian Jerry. McMann’s chances over Rousey.

MMA’s changing of the guard-What happens to the sport when the founding fathers ride off into the sunset?-by Punch Drunk (pen name)

The Cult of Lloyd Irvin-by Jake Rossen. An in-depth piece about the cult like atmosphere of MMA trainer Lloyd Irvin and his fight team.

UFC 167: Dana White’s post-fight remarks about GSP engender backlash-by Nate Wilcox. A piece talking about Dana White’s antics.

Breaking Barriers: Struggle for Respect-by Jordan Breen. A piece about women’s prize fighting and the beginnings of women’s MMA.

Wolf Tickets: The MMA Industry, Fake Twitter Followers, and You!-by Jason Nawara. A piece about fake twitter follwings for fighters.

UFC 162 Factgrinder: The strange wrestling journey of Dave Herman-by Mike Riordan. A piece about Dave Herman’s wrestling career.

Zombie Prophet Gifs-Gifs of various MMA matches every week or so. website dedicated to the matches that go the distance in MMA.

UFC a disgrace-by Phil Rothfield. Basically an Australian sports editor ranting about how the UFC is barbaric, sick, etc etc. etc.

The absolute top 30 under 30 in MMA-by J. Gramm. A list put together but Jim Gramm of 30 fighters in their 20s that are spectacular.

Why Bellator’s welterweight champ Ben Askren shouldn’t join the UFC-Ben McPhee. An article about why Askren shouldn’t join the UFC.

WSOF adds Yushin Okami to roster-by Adam Martin. A breaking news peace about former middleweight contender Yushin Okami’s home.

UFC 168 preview: An odd assortment of intriguing matchups-by Gabriel Keith. An article about the matches at UFC 168 and significance.

Now for the top 10 articles of 2013 voted on by the writers of MMA Freak. At the end I will write congratulations for the winning author:

~ 10 ~

UFC 167 review: The good, the bad, the indifferent

by Patrick S. Tighe

UFC 167 wasn’t without it’s excitement and it’s controversy. In his typical fashion Patrick S. Tighe wasn’t afraid to dive into the problems and address what went right, wrong, and neither way for the event. The “bad” category was the largest one as it had so many different issues such as Dana White‘s meltdown, judging controversies, etc.

The “good” category did have some pointers though with things like Tyron Woodley‘s new fire and an indifferent category specifically addressing Rampage Jackson‘s Bellator debut. Good article on the event.

~ 9 ~

Top 10 potential UFC upsets before 2014

by Ben McPhee

Written in early October, this article looked at all the big fights planned before the end of the year and how the underdog might be able to come out on top. Ben McPhee correctly guessed that Robbier Lawler could pull an upset against Rory McDonald but I doubt any of us saw him earning a title shot in the process.

This also happened in the case of Urijah Faber against Michael McDonald and Chris Weidman‘s second win against Anderson Silva, as brutal as it was. However, the majority of the big name fights resulted in the favorites winning in cases such as Rousey versus Tate, GSP versus Hendricks (as controversial as it was), Johnson versus Benavidez etc. There was also the case of Anthony Pettis defending his title against Josh Thomson as Pettis ended up withdrawing due to a knee injury.

~ 8 ~

Invicta FC promo videos

by E. Casey Leydon

These aren’t articles but they did receive the votes to make it on the list so here they are. To be fair they are good quality videos. Without a doubt Invicta FC is on the rise and these videos definitely help get them out there.

They tell the compelling stories of these women going out there and pouring their hearts into each and every fight. I hope Invicta FC gets a TV deal that will allow them mainstream exposure.

~ 7 ~

UFC fighter Conor McGregor – Loving the craic

by Tom Heffernan

There is no doubt that Irishman Conor McGregor has made a huge splash in the UFC. He’s only fought twice but both those fights have been impressive wins and his second win came despite an ACL injury.

While he’s currently on the sidelines he’s basically made a name for himself with his mouth. Without a doubt these types of fighters up their marketability. Tom Heffernan captured all of this perfectly.

~ 6 ~

Save MMA by adding weight cutting regulations like boxing

by Tom Heffernan

Combat sports with weight classes will always have the issue of having fighters make weight the safest way possible. The problem is that in MMA there’s little to no regulation other then a fighter needs to make the weight and can’t take anything restricted that could help them loose weight.

That’s led to a whole bunch of issues with fighters not making weight and in a recent case a fighter dying due to complications related to weight cutting. In this piece, Tom Heffernan made a case for weight cutting regulations in MMA. No doubt it’s needed desperately.

~ 5 ~

Rewind Look Back: UFC 1-166

by Jack Encarnacao

This was the last piece of MMA content that was voted onto the list that didn’t fall under the category of a MMA Freak article. These were a series of Sherdog Radio broadcasts covering the many UFC events in commemoration of the UFC 20th Anniversary event. Memorable yes.

~ 4 ~

Top 10 men who influenced MMA – including Sherlock Holmes

by Matthew Salzer

I take pride in my top 10 lists and apparently my peers have gained an appreciation for them as well. This particular top 10 listed ten individuals I believe influenced modern MMA to some degree. Among these were some familiar names such as Helio and Rorion Gracie, Dana White, and Bruce Lee just to name a few.

However, I also listed a few names not well known by western audiences, namely Japanese MMA legend Antonio Inoki who had a famed match with boxing champion Muhammad Ali. Definitely a memorable top 10 to say the least.

~ 3 ~

How a close call benefited Olympic wrestling

by Matthew Salzer

When I am passionate about something I put a lot of effort into it and it shows. This was the case with this article about how the close call for Olympic wrestling actually benefited the sports overall.

Listed was the fact that there was some weight class reshuffling, leadership transitions in FILA, and some rule changes to make it more exciting. Also the fact it could lead to MMA in the Olympics. Time will tell.

~ 2 ~

Whatever Anderson Silva learns about himself at UFC 168 he will always be the master

by Gabriel Keith

This was written before Anderson Silva went out of the MGM Grand Garden Arena on a stretcher with his leg literally snapped in two. Gabriel Keith went in depth about how Anderson Silva is without a doubt the greatest fighter of our time and possibly ever.

It talked about how Silva has had to do some soul searching since that first loss. Then there was some sentimental issues regarding the end of the Silva era. It was definitely a well written piece to say the least.

~ 1 ~

The 50 Greatest Finishers in MMA

by Ben McPhee

Now we have come to our winner for several different reasons. The first is that Ben McPhee deserves this award and his contributions to this site are well appreciated. Secondly it must have taken him a LONG TIME to write this article. This article is huge and all of the big name fighters that one could possibly think of in the history of MMA are listed. The amount of research had to take hours to compile.

So with that congratulations Ben McPhee for having the best voted article of the year. Everyone stay tuned and leave a comment!

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