Mixed Martial Arts has more than its fair share of ‘Holy Jesus!’ moments- from flying side-kicks to flying armbars – the sport has it all. The sport’s top organisations such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Bellator, Pride FC (now defunct), One FC, RIZIN FF and others, showcase a wide variety of stylistic matchups- some technical, others all-out slugfests.
Amongst these, there are a few fights that transcend the run-of-the-mill MMA bouts; involving insane skills and manoeuvres that challenge the laws of physics.
Regardless of the fight, regardless of the outcome, a group of gifted athletes elevate our sport as well as themselves to the next level of martial science; by their larger-than-life in-cage/in-ring moves. Such glaring illustrations of MMA gold, are listed below:
#5 Ryo Chonan’s flying scissor heel hook in Pride
Ryo ‘Piranha’ Chonan (22-13) is an MMA veteran of Pride FC, UFC, DREAM and other notable organisations, with an MMA base of Kyokushin karate. Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva (34-8-1) is a former UFC Middleweight champion with a record 10 title defences to his name.
Silva’s MMA base is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) and Muay Thai. He trained in Taekwondo and capoeira as a child as well.
Chonan faced the mighty Silva at Pride Shockwave 2004 in Saitama, Japan. Silva dominated Chonan, tagging him at will and toying around with the Japanese karateka on the feet. Chonan looked to be on his way to getting knocked out by Silva, when all of a sudden, he successfully executed a flying scissor-lock takedown on ‘The Spider’.
Chonan immediately secured position and slapped on a heel-hook submission on his Brazilian foe, who was forced to tap-out instantly. Ryo Chonan’s flying scissor takedown and simultaneous heel-hook that are usually two different manoeuvres were integrated seamlessly to form a perfectly choreographed submission sequence.
Pride’s 2005 NYE event forever lives on in the minds of MMA fans. Pride Never Die!