As the old saying goes “a picture is worth a thousand words”. The saying applies to this day and without a doubt, applies to mixed martial arts as some of the sports most historic moments are relived through the images that captured them.
There is nothing better than a snapshot of a fighter dealing with tragedy or triumph, or a picture of a perfectly timed strike, every microscopic fragment of impact relived as limbs and jaws collide. A photo can display a range of emotions, happiness and sadness, victory and defeat. Every picture is different, each having a unique distinction and personal story.
That being said, lets look back at the 6 best photos from the year 2011.
6. Shane Carwin After Fighting Junior dos Santos
UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos gave Shane Carwin the beating of his life at UFC 131 in Vancouver. Dos Santos utilized his highly decorated boxing to turns Carwin’s face into minced meat for the duration of three rounds. Carwin showed heart in his ability to take punishment from the Brazilian, but the ultimate cost was what you see below.
5. Nick Diaz Taunts BJ Penn
In typical Nick Diaz fashion, the Stockton based fighter taunted BJ Penn during their UFC 137 main event encouter. No one has ever beat up Penn to the point of taunting him inside the cage. Diaz humiliating and egging on one of the most talented fighters in MMA was a mind-blowing moment.
4. Mark Hominick’s Hematoma
It is hard to put into words how truly grotesque Mark Hominick’s face was at the end of his co-main event fight against Jose Aldo in April. The work of UFC featherweight champion formed a disturbingly large hematoma on his forehead. Hominick managed to fight through the damage for five rounds in a courageous effort, but didn’t do enough to earn the victory. Brutal stuff.
3. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira’s Broken Arm
A broken arm ain’t no thang for “Big Nog”, the Brazilian refused to tap to a tight kimura submission hold by Frank Mir, the result, a broken arm for Nogueira and one of the most gruesome finishes in UFC history. Nogueira’s refusal to submit was a surprise to few, but what did surprise a lot of people was the lack of reaction on his face as he gazes down at the disfigured arm. Everyone is aware of Nogueira’s tolerance for pain, but this takes it to a new level.
2. Anderson Silva’s Front Kick KO
In what many are calling the greatest knockout of 2011, Anderson Silva landed a perfectly timed front kick to the jaw of Vitor Belfort at UFC 126. The knockout was the first of its kind in the UFC octagon and this incredible photo captures the moment perfectly as Silva thrusts is left foot into the face of Belfort.
1. Just Another Victim For Jon Jones
This photo by Esther Lin of MMAFighting.com is the mixed martial arts “photo of the year “by a long shot. After Jon Jones ruthlessly put Lyoto Machida to sleep with a standing guillotine choke and threw him to the mat like a child, the champion calmly walked away from his foe with no regard for the corpse lain before him. Another day at the office, another brutal finishes on the resume of “Bones” Jones.