What a year 2016 has been. From the UFC getting sold for over $4-billion, to Conor McGregor winning his 2nd world title. 2016 was memorable in more ways than one.
Now there were a handful of entertaining MMA fights last year. This much is true. And while some fights are complete shockers, the five bouts listed here are back-and-forth wars that didn’t have a clear winner until the very end.
With 2017 promising to be another epic year in MMA, the storylines have yet to be established. McGregor is out for a few months and Ronda Rousey may never be seen in the Octagon again. MMA will never be on more unsure ground than it will be this year.
But while this may be the case for the next 12 months. To take your mind off things, lets take a look at “The 5 Most Entertaining Fights of 2016.”
#5 Eduard Folayang vs Shinya Aoki
Filipino MMA veteran Eduard “Landslide” Folayang is considered the face of Philippine MMA. He has represented the country on the international stage of wushu and mixed martial arts for over 10 years.
On the flipside, Shinya Aoki is a Japanese MMA veteran and a grappling legend. When he entered the cage against Folayang, Aoki was also the ONE Lightweight World Champion.
To say that Aoki was the favorite against Folayang was definitely an understatement. The “Tobikan Judan” (Grandmaster of Flying Submissions) was riding a nine-fight winning streak. He was considered Asia’s most talented fighter.
The amazing run however, was snapped when he met Folayang.
Folayang proved that he had vastly improved his defensive wrestling game. And that his wushu was too much for Aoki to handle.
Folayang authored the most comprehensive victory of his career, overcoming Aoki’s grappling advantage to win by 3rd round TKO. With the win, Folayang clinched a lifelong dream of becoming an MMA world champion.
The last man to beat Aoki prior to Folayang was former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez.