by Jeff Cain – MMAWeekly.com
As 2005 nears it’s end, it’s the time to reflect on the last calender year of Mixed Martial Arts competition and select the one fight that stood out among the rest; the one fight that is worthy of being called, “Fight of the Year.” UFC play-by-play commentator and sports broadcaster, Mike Goldberg, spoke exclusively to MMAWeekly radio and gave his choice for the 2005 UFC fight of the year.
The three candidates for UFC fight of the year discussed were: Forrest Griffin vs. Stephane Bonnar, Diego Sanchez vs. Nick Diaz, and Matt Hughes vs. Frank Trigg 2. “I really think it’s a no-brainer that it’s Stephane Bonnar and Forrest Griffin in my mind, and of any choice including Liddell Couture 2 which took place this calender year,” Mike Goldberg told MMAWeekly Radio.
Some people may disagree, but Goldberg made a strong argument to support his opinion. He stated, “Not only was the fight a thriller with the guys going the full fifteen minutes and throwing, but I think more importantly, if you think about the sport of Mixed Martial Arts and what that particular fifteen minutes did to our sport, and I hope did for every fighter, that to me tells me it was fight of the year. That to me tells me it had an impact much larger than the impact that took place in the octagon. For that reason, it may be the greatest fight of all time when we sit back and reflect in twenty years.”
He continued, “There may be better battles. There may be bigger fights. There may be title fights that are just amazing like with [Randy] Couture and [Pedro] Rizzo 1, when it went back and forth and Randy finally won in the 4th round, but to me the statement that, that made, allowing Mixed Martial Arts to arrive to the mainstream fan, what it has led to for the UFC, what it will lead to for the Mixed Martial Arts world just defines that fight in a way that no other fight can carry those kind of ramifications. I mean to have the story book ending to what was this Cinderella soap opera, if you will, which was ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ season one, you couldn’t have written a better script. There’s no question about it.”
Goldberg further commented, “I think when you look at the pure numbers and the households that we reached, for a period of that fight, for a seven minute period of that fight we had over ten million viewers on Spike TV, and that’s why I define that fight in a different fashion.”
To hear the interview in it’s entirety, such as Mike Goldberg’s most memorable fight to call from the UFC broadcaster’s table, click on the radio archive.