Elliott’s solid American folk style wrestling against Bagautinov’s Judo, Sambo, and Greco Roman skills made for an awesome clash of styles. A close fight played out with Elliott constantly working offense, but Bagautinov defended well and returned fire with much more authority. Elliott never stopped attacking, was the busier fighter, and even landed more takedowns but he just couldn’t rattle the Russian. Every single strike or takedown attempt the Russian threw was with maximum effort and bad intentions and the judges rewarded him with a decision victory. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports A fight between 2 former 155ers coming off losses and finally fighting at their better weight class. Both guys showed up with the sense of urgency you would expect from fighters in that position and promptly went after it. Oliveira’s length, scrappy kickboxing, and BJJ versus Frankie’s tight boxing, frenetic pace, and clean wrestling made for a highly entertaining battle. Olivera made a great fight of it but in the end Frankie’s experience in tough fights and superb hands proved to be the difference. The former champ pulled ahead in the final round and clubbed Do Bronx with hard right hands in search of the finish. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Not much was expected in this fight between the veteran 135er Mizugaki and the skilled but often outgunned Phan. Mizugaki didn’t get the memo though because he came out with an intensity not previously seen from the Japan native. Phan, who was making his bantamweight debut, must’ve been as shocked as the rest of us because up he simply had nothing for Mizugaki and was shut down and beat up. Phan somehow came out in the 3rd round reborn and we now had a fight. After a great final round Mizugaki was the deserving winner but MAN does Phan have some heart! Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Michael Chiesa was a talented grappler and TUF champion who’s biggest asset was his heart and will to win. Masvidal was a super tough, talented, all rounder who had yet to fulfill his vast potential. Although this fight was a massive step up in competition for Chiesa, you would never have known it by the way he went right after Masvidal. Armed with the element of surprise Chiesa stood and traded and even had Masvidal in some trouble. Masvidal came out in round 2 with a vengeance. He stopped playing around, and once on the floor he searched for a choke, found it, and got the submission win. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Both of these respected 155 lb. fighters had been making a name for themselves as tough, rugged, fighters in the few years prior to this fight taking place just in different promotions. They were both good wrestlers with great grappling with Miller having the edge in speed and Healy having an edge in size. These attributes had a huge effect on the fight as Miller almost finished Healy with a nasty flurry of ground n pound at the end of round 1 which Bam Bam somehow survived. Undeterred, Healy came out in the 2nd, moved forward, got dominant position, and choked Miller out. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports This outstanding HW battle had all the makings of a very fun fight. Browne was an emerging top HW talent who was constantly improving and Overeem appeared to have his “hormonal situation” under control and looked ready to make an impact. Overeem went right to work and was very effective with his trademark Dutch style kickboxing. As the round wore on he really found his groove scoring several knees to Browne’s body that could’ve killed an elephant. Browne survived though and started to work his front kicks, 1 of which landed on the jaw and knocked Overeem cold. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports Mighty Mouse had emerged from the UFC’s 4 man Flyweight tournament as the promotions first ever 125 lb. champ. Dodson was a respected 125 lb. veteran and coming off a very respectable run through a very tough season of TUF (see what I did there?). The stage was set for the 2 clear cut best flyweights to battle it out with the smooth, refined, speed of Johnson versus the powerful and creative Dodson. The champ was hurt a few times during the 5 round affair but his conditioning and skills carried him through to a clear cut unanimous decision win and his 1st title defense, cementing himself as the world’s best flyweight. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports The UFC’s most recent trip to the land down under gave us a card packed full of high level fights. It all lead up to the main event featuring 2 of the UFC’s more imposing heavyweights in a fight with all the ingredients for a fight of the night. It ended up being even better than that, with the 2 big men fighting their hearts out and dishing out some top level violence. Both men landed a ton of BIG shots and Hunt flashed his new and improved wrestling and ground n pound which is now a strength of his. It was a true battle for the ages and one of the few times when most of us were ok with it ending in a draw. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports It’s always fun when we get a fight between 2 exciting fighters at the very top of their division. The 2 welterweights got after it in a fight that would likely determine who would get the next title shot. This was a fight that set the action bar very high and Condit showed once and for all how to battle beastly wrestling with an active guard game and slick scrambles and transitions. And when they weren’t doing that they were slugging it out on the feet. In the end Hendricks’ strength and wrestling was too much for Condit to overcome but he put in an absolutely stunning performance. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports Utterly dominant 205 lb. king Jon Jones had finally met a foe who could match his otherworldly size and length. Once the fight began we quickly found out that Gustafsson was not to be overlooked in the skill department either. The fight moved into high gear almost immediately, and amazingly, Gustafsson was landing on and hurting the champ, even holding his own in the wrestling exchanges. The challenger threw everything he had at the champ but Jones showed the heart of a true champion and sped up as Gus slowed just a bit. In the end Jones’ ridiculous conditioning and varied striking allowed him to pull ahead and keep his belt. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports 2013 is all but a wrap. By the time this year is over there will have been 33 UFC events and 386 fights in the worlds top MMA promotion. This year gave us some fantastic fights, interesting stye clashes, spectacular striking demos, and cerebral ground battles. There was something for everyone this year and though there was consistently great fights, a few of them stand out from the pack. Here are the 10 best UFC fights of 2013.