One of my favorites was the "David vs Goliath" match up. That really showed that technique (martial arts) owned pure brute strength.
UFC 12 is what changed the game though. If you look closely you'll see who took the UFC by storm!
To sum it up here's the evolution. Not gonna go into too much detail cuz it'll take forever.
BJJ > owned everything - 90's
Grappling/wrestling (Randy/Tito/Matt Hughes) > owned everything - 2000s
BJJ + Muay Thai emerges as the most exciting to watch. Chute Box era. - mid 2000s
Then the wrestlers learned BJJ and started to nullify everyone again.
BJJ + Muay Thai + wrestling training now is the key. - present
Now the traditional martial artists are learning wrestling to nullify the wrestlers. So it's come full circle.
Now that everybody knows everything you'll start to see more and more unorthodox strikes; Ebersoles cartwheel kick, Capoeira kicks, Twister submission, high maneuver moves like Edson and Pettis, etc. This is the part that bores me because everyone who trains in an "MMA" gym thinks they're an MMA fighter. A true MMA fighter starts off with a traditional martial arts and masters it then moves on to the next.
Anderson holds three different black belts. That's why they call it Blackhouse!
Yellow Rope in Capoeira
Expert level Muay Thai
Intermediate to advanced level boxing.
Learning Aikido under Sensei Seagal.
Weidman is a purple belt with a wrestling background. He started his pro career in 2009 and now he's calling out the champ. GTF outta here... Go beat Belfort, Sonnen, Belcher, and Bisping then he's earned it or any of the two or three. Even Luck Rockhold (2007 first pro fight) called him out albeit respectfully. After watching his bout against Kennedy he's got much to learn. He can't put away Jacare or Kennedy within five rounds. How's he gonna last five rounds against The Spider. Anderson's first official fight was in 1997. These newcomers really havn't seen any hardship...yet. Every champion from the beginning (Royce, Ken, Frank, Tito, Vitor, Randy, Chuck, Fedor, Shogun, Mirko, Big Nog, GSP, BJ, Lyoto,) has risen and fallen. Every single one. Anderson is the only exception for the time being. I sincerely hope he retires although a part of me wants to see him fight forever.
That's the history in a nutshell!
Marcus Aurelius: Tell me again, Maximus, why are we here?
Maximus: For the glory of the Empire, sire.
Baked, not fried... the healthy choice.