Dana White has seen extra fights than you can presumably think about, with the UFC president utterly numb to the sight of bloody spray and sweat flying.
Because the chief of the biggest and most dominant MMA organisation in existence, the 52-year-old has seen the best fighters in historical past commerce blows towards each other.
But above all else, his favorite struggle stays the rematch between Matt Hughes and Frank Trigg at UFC 52 again in 2005 for the welterweight world title.
Sitting beneath Randy Couture’s rematch with Chuck Liddell and Renato Sobral’s light-heavyweight conflict with Travis Wiuff, few may have predicted how iconic the 170lbs title conflict would turn into.
Hughes had submitted Trigg in November of 2003 at UFC 45 and had no want to face his former foe once more, having locked in a rear bare choke with such consummate ease the primary time round.
“To me, rematches solely profit the loser of the primary struggle,” he informed the UFC. “I had nothing to win. And Dana referred to as me with it and I mentioned, ‘Dana, I don’t need that struggle.’ He goes, ‘I perceive, however that’s all we’ve obtained proper now.’ Okay.”
But wins over Dennis Hallman and Renato Verissimo had propelled ‘Twinkle Toes’ into title competition as soon as once more.
The rivalry was additionally very actual, as was epitomised on the night time when Trigg obtained so near Hughes on the face-off, the defending champion felt the necessity to push his opponent away.
In entrance of 17,000 followers (together with Pamela Anderson and Cindy Crawford) Hughes took a low knee to the groin within the clinch and pleaded with referee Mario Yamasaki for help.
It by no means got here and Trigg unloaded with left and proper arms to drop the champion and even handle to lock in a rear bare choke himself.
“I believed the belt was mine after I knocked him out, after I smashed him and put him down,” Trigg mentioned. “The struggle’s over, it’s comparatively straightforward at this level. He’s down, he’s dropped, the struggle’s obtained to be over and Mario simply didn’t cease it.”
Incredulously, Hughes broke free and produced probably the most viral MMA moments in historical past – choosing the challenger up and marching him throughout to the opposite facet of the octagon earlier than slamming him down emphatically.
From that time onwards, it was successfully the start of the top as Hughes rained down punches and elbows to open his opponent up and anticipate the blood to cascade down into his eyes earlier than locking in one other RNC.
The struggle was the primary to be inducted into the Battle wing of the UFC Corridor of Fame and stays White’s favorite bout from his storied profession.
“Once I say my favorite struggle ever, I imply MMA, boxing – it’s my favorite struggle,” he informed the UFC.
“The backstory behind that one is I name Hughes up and he hates this man. I mentioned, ‘You bought to struggle Trigg once more’.
“He’s like, ‘I hate him, I already beat him and I’ll by no means beat him extra impressively than the primary time I did. I’m not saying I’m not going to struggle him, I’m simply saying it sucks.’
“Tons of trash-talk and backwards and forwards between these two to the purpose the place within the face-off, Trigg walks out and actually touches Matt’s face together with his face. And Hughes pushes him backwards.
“Trigg really kicks Matt within the nuts and the ref doesn’t see it. Then Trigg will get a rear-naked choke and Matt had mentioned some stuff like, ‘Who will get rear bare choked in a struggle? You must be like a white belt to get rear-naked choked’ – and now Matt’s getting rear-naked choked and it appears to be like just like the struggle is over.
“I don’t know the way he did it; from laying on the bottom he picks Trigg over his head, on his shoulder, and actually runs all the distance of the Octagon. 17,000 folks jumped out of their seats on the similar time and the roof almost got here off that constructing.
“The best struggle I’ve ever seen, ever been to. It was my favorite struggle ever.”
As for Hughes, it was a double whammy with the struggle being added to the Corridor of Fame and the person himself taking his place within the Pioneers wing.