The Year 2013 In Review: The Best of July

By Adam Martin

2013 was an exciting year in the world of mixed martial arts. There were countless memorable moments and fights in the last 12 months. Looking back at this year in the sport, we at are picking out particular moments from every month that stand out amongst them all.

Fight of the Month: Ed Herman vs. Trevor Smith, UFC on FOX 8

My pick for Fight of the Month in July 2013 is the middleweight matchup at UFC on FOX 8 between Ed Herman and Trevor Smith. This was a fight that absolutely no one was talking about heading into the card, but once it went down, no one could stop talking about it. For the full 15 minutes, both men threw everything in their respective toolboxes at each other, and with Smith mixing in a few takedowns to make it interesting, it ended up going to the judges’ scorecards and being a split decision.

Herman got the deserved decision win on his record, as he was the more effective striker throughout three rounds, but there was no loser in a fight like this. And both men earned their $50,000 “Fight of the Night” bonus cheques for this epic war that I believe was one of the best fights of the year 2013 in MMA.

UFC on Fox 8

Ed Herman vs. Trevor Smith: Ed Herman def. Trevor Smith via split decision (27-30, 30-27, 29-28).

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Knockout of the Month: Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva, UFC 162

My pick for Knockout of the Month in July 2013 is easy: it’s Chris Weidman’s KO over Anderson Silva in the main event of UFC 162, a victory that earned him the UFC Middleweight Championship.

Although many sharp MMA minds were picking Weidman to defeat Silva, I don’t think anyone expected him to win the fight with a brutal knock out, especially considering Silva’s accomplishments in the striking realm. It was even more unexpected when you consider the way the fight was playing out, with Silva seemingly toying with Weidman on the feet. Toying with him, that is, until he was brutally KO’d.

It was an absolutely fantastic win for Weidman, and despite the controversial way that the fight ended, he was able to prove once again that he’s better than Silva when he defeated him at UFC 168. It wasn’t another KO win this time around, but it wasn’t a surprising win either.

UFC 162

Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman (UFC Middleweight Championship): Chris Weidman def. Anderson Silva via knockout (punches) at 1:18 of Round 2.

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Submission of the Month: Demetrious Johnson vs. John Moraga, UFC on FOX 8

Demetrious Johnson had already successfully defended his UFC flyweight title successfully once in 2013 at UFC on FOX 6 against John Dodson, and at UFC on FOX 8, he put his belt on the line once again against John Moraga. And once again he defended his title.

Only this time, Johnson didn’t just pick up a decision – he was described as a “point fighter” going into this bout – he submitted his opponent. With an armbar submission victory at 3:43 of the fifth round, Johnson earned the record for latest stoppage win in UFC history. Amazing. He also earns my pick for Submission of the Month in July 2013.

It was an incredible win for Johnson, and his knockout of Joseph Benavidez at UFC on FOX 9 later in the year proved to everyone that he is by far the best flyweight fighter in the world, and a true finisher. And all of his wins were on FOX. Now look for big things from this little man in 2014.

UFC on Fox 8

Demetrious Johnson vs. John Moraga: Demetrious Johnson def. John Moraga via submission (armbar) at 3:43 of Round 5.

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Beatdown of the Month: Ben Askren vs. Andrey Koreshkov, Bellator 97

My pick for Beatdown of the Year took place at Belllator 97 when welterweight champion Ben Askren took down Andrey Koreshkov and absolutely decimated his Russian opponent so bad that the ref was forced to stop the fight in the fourth round. It was a brutal beatdown that saw Askren outstrike his opponent 248-3. Ridiculous. Although he didn’t get a traditional stoppage, Askren’s “death by 1000 cuts” approach earned him the win in his last contracted fight with Bellator MMA.

Askren wasn’t re-signed by Bellator, and for some reason the UFC wasn’t interested in him, but he’ll be taking his wares over to ONE FC now, and I expect him to be even more dominant over there, if that’s even possible.

Bellator 97

Ben Askren vs. Andrey Koreshkov – WW Championship: Ben Askren def. Andrey Koreshkov via TKO (punches) at 2:58 of Round 4.

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July 2013 set the stage for a summer filled with fights, and as the weather heated up, so did the action in the cages of various MMA promotions. The top fighter on pound-for-pound lists was unseated, while another champion continued his quest for pound-for-pound consideration in his own right. July kicked off a second half of 2013 in MMA that was full of excitement, and never looked back.

Do you agree with these choices for July 2013? Rate these fights and others, and be sure to make your voice heard, so that your favorite fights can be considered for the 2013 Fans’ Choice Awards.

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