The Year 2012 in Review: The Best of July

By Adam Martin Subscribe to Articles by Adam Martin

The mixed martial arts world has seen its fair share of action throughout 2012. So many memorable fights and moments stand out in each of the 12 months that have passed. As we look back at this year in the sport, we at MMA Ratings are picking out particular moments from every month that stand out amongst them all. These are some of the highlights that came from July 2012:

Fight of the Month: Nate Marquardt vs. Tyron Woodley, Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy

The best fight of the month didn’t come in the UFC but instead came in Strikeforce, where Nate Marquardt and Tyron Woodley put on a classic at Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy. For three rounds, both men battled back and forth in a closely contested bout, but in the fourth round Marquardt pinned Woodley against the fence and unleashed a vicious elbow, elbow, left hook, right uppercut combination that sent Woodley crumpling to the floor, knocked out cold, making Marquardt the new Strikeforce welterweight champion in the process.

This fight delivered and then some, and is one of the most memorable of 2012, not just for the brutal KO, but for everything that led up until that point, as Woodley actually dropped Marquardt earlier in the bout and came close to winning himself. The good performance in defeat also likely bought Woodley a spot on the UFC’s roster, and helped him gain some fans back after many thought he was just a “lay and pray”-er. As for Marquardt, the win helped redeem him in the eyes of the UFC and the fans after the TRT debacle he went through in 2011, and now he looks to defend his belt one more time against Tarec Saffiedine at the Strikeforce Finale before rejoining the UFC and maybe even challenging UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre one day.

Submission of the Month: Matt Riddle vs. Chris Clements, UFC 149

The submission of the month award goes to Matt Riddle for his standing arm triangle choke finish of Chris Clements at UFC 149. Riddle took the fight on short notice, replacing an injured Thiago Alves, but showed absolutely no sign of fatigue in the bout, living up to his “Deep Waters” nickname by taking Clements to the third round and finishing him in the last few minutes of the fight.

Unfortunately for Riddle, though, he tested positive for marijuana metabolites after the fight and his win was overturned to a no contest. Still, he got to keep his big bonus check for winning the “Fight of the Night,” and after his win over John Maguire later in the year, Riddle now finds himself on an unofficial three-fight win streak, and looks to take the next step when he fights Che Mills at UFC London in early 2013. If he can do to Mills what he did to Clements, he may find himself winning a bonus yet again. Hopefully this time he takes a break from the reefer.

Knockout of the Month: Ryan Jimmo vs. Anthony Perosh, UFC 149

Making his UFC debut after a long career fighting on the Canadian regional circuit, Ryan Jimmo was matched up against veteran Anthony Perosh at UFC 149, in front of his home province of Alberta no less, and Jimmo didn’t waste any time proving why he belonged in the big show. Just seven seconds into the contest, Jimmo connected with a thunderous straight right hand to Perosh’s chin, knocking the Australian out cold and sending the Calgary audience into a frenzy.

The knockout tied the record for fastest in UFC history, and won Jimmo the coveted “Knockout of the Night” bonus, as well as immediately cemented him as a prospect to watch out for at 205 pounds. Chris Weidman’s knockout over Mark Munoz at UFC on FUEL TV 4 was also considered, but ultimately Jimmo had a record-tying performance, and therefore he squeaks this out. Plus, Jimmo broke out into The Robot after the KO, and that has to count for something, right?

Worst Fight of the Month: Hector Lombard vs. Tim Boetsch, UFC149

After amassing a massive winning streak while fighting in Bellator and smaller shows in Australia, Hector Lombard made his UFC debut to an incredible amount of hype at UFC 149 when he took on veteran Tim Boetsch. However, Lombard did absolutely nothing during the fight and the Calgary crowd – as well as those watching on pay-per-view – loudly booed both men after the fight for falling way short of expectations in what turned out to be a lousy co-main event. Although Boetsch did little in the fight either, the judges ruled via split decision that Boetsch did enough to get the win, and Lombard’s long win streak was snapped just like that.

Since then, Lombard has bounced back by picking up an impressive knockout win over Rousimar Palhares at UFC on FX 6, but the loss to Boetsch was bad, and many people who thought Lombard could eventually challenge UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva one day changed their minds because of it. Lombard needs to keep winning in order to erase the sting of the fight with Boetsch, which will easily go down as one of the most disappointing debuts in the UFC of all time, and one which is universally lauded as one of the worst fights of 2012.

Overall, July wasn’t the greatest month in MMA. Yes, UFC 148 occurred, but despite the hype, that wasn’t a great show, and ironically enough, although UFC 149 was ripped for being a watered-down card, it produced more memorable moments than UFC 148 did. Still, though, with Jimmo’s seven-second KO and the Woodley/Marquardt fight, there are definitely some fights from July 2012 that will be watched by MMA fans for years to come.

What do you think the Fight of the Month was? Be sure to rate these fights and others, so that your favorite fight can be considered for the 2012 Fans’ Choice award.

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