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What has been your favorite full MMA event of 2012 so far?
RICH HANSEN, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
Honestly, my three favorite shows were the UFC on Fox show in Chicago (which sucked), UFC 147 (which sucked), and Bellator 64 (which sucked). And other than a calf slicer in Chicago (Oliveira, not the world's best cocktail which I have admittedly yet to concoct) and 25 minutes of Ben Askren funk-i-fying Douglas Lima, I don't remember a moment of any of those cards.
So... wait, what gives?
Look. People fighting other people inside of cages is most enjoyable to witness under one of two circumstances; with friends, or in person. Those constraints hold true for more than just cage fighting, of course. Damn near everything is more enjoyable with friends, or in person.
So yeah, I loved UFC's shitty little show in Chicago because I was in the building with Shawn Ennis, Jamie Penick, Brian Hemminger from MMA Mania, and other friends. I was on press row for both Bellator 60 and Bellator 64. And while 60 was certainly a better show than 64 from a pure 'fight quality' perspective, I got to watch Ben Askren tell Doug Lima to 'f*** off' by sitting on his head for 25 minutes straight. Ya don't want Ben Askren sitting on your face, then learn how to keep him off your head, dude. And for UFC 147, which was widely derided by damn near everyone, which of course lived down to expectations, I was drinking myself silly in the greatest city in the world, that toddling town Chicago. I spent the whole day/evening/overnight sightseeing, eating deep-dish pizza, drinking fantastic booze (full disclosure: I drank some crappy rail booze, too. I'm so ashamed), listening to live jazz, and just laughing constantly with a great friend. I think I saw 30 seconds where Wanderlei Silva may or may not have briefly found his younger, more axe-murdery self, and couldn't care less that I missed it. And answer me this: what has Silva got against axes, and why is he always trying to murder them?
So what are my favorite MMA events of the year? They're the events that provided me the most personal enjoyment. My list, my rules. It's perfectly acceptable to choose personal fun as the your criteria.
Fine. UFC 144 kicked arse. I'm such a sell out.
FRANK HYDEN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I would go with UFC 145. Seeing Jon Jones take Rashad Evans apart like that was a great sight to behold, as Evans is a really good fighter. Michael McDonald also arrived on the scene with a 1st round knockout of Miguel Torres. There weren't a lot of other big names, but plenty of good fights.
BRAD WALKER, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
UFC 145 provided a fantastic five round main event with some nice prelim fights to go along with it. It further solidified the building blocks of Jon Jones legacy and showed that he truly is not afraid of anybody in his weight class. The entire card wasn't exactly on fire with edge of your seat action but we did receive a long promised main event - finally.
ERIC HOBAUGH, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
UFC 146: Dos Santos vs. Mir has been my favorite MMA event of 2012. I loved the all heavyweight card. I am guessing this was a once in a lifetime event, but if the UFC can pull off another one of these all heavyweight shows, they should. Each main event fight was entertaining and that is something you cannot always say about pay-per-view events. What other card have we ever seen six of the world’s top ten heavyweights? The undercard on FX was not bad either in my book. Previous pay-per-view events this year have been disappointing and the UFC needs to do a better job of putting together better cards. I think that is one reason, along with the slow economy, the buy rates have been down recently. In my opinion, if they do not remedy this soon, we may see an even larger shift down in the interest of our sport.
GRIFFIN MARSH, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I gotta with the Mir-dos Santos card. Who doesn't like seeing a bunch of heavyweights sluggin it out? Now that also shows the poor PPV content the UFC has brought. But this Saturday makes up for all the simplicity.
DAN MOORE, MMATORCH UK CONTRIBUTOR
UFC 144 wins this particular competition by a country mile. Despite the best efforts of Shields and Akiyama, this event was almost perfect from the sole Facebook fight, right through to the main event title fight. Even the Jackson vs. Bader fight had its moments, sure it wasn't pretty, but i've seen worse. At the time I think I awarded it 10/10 for the roundtable that night. Having seen most of the card again, only the Shields fight stops it getting 11/10! Honorable mentions for UFC Sweden (atmosphere), UFC on Fuel 3 (Main Event) and UFC 147 (Far better than expected), but none of them came remotely close to besting the epic UFC 144.
JASON AMADI, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
I'm sure plenty of people are going to say UFC 146 was the best card of the year because they "love them big boys" and that disgusts me. UFC 144 was far and away the best card this year. Aside from Quinton Jackson-Ryan Bader, there wasn't a bad fight on that card. Heck, even then we still got to see "Rampage" dump Bader on his neck.
UFC 144 was one of those rare events where every single fight felt like it had a special moment that would live on forever. That card had Anthony Pettis kicking Joe Lauzon's head off, Tim Boestch with one of the best comebacks ever and then a pantheon level title fight between Benson Henderson and Frankie Edgar.
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